Posts Tagged ‘colour photographs’

Notting Hill colour 1994

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-125-positive_2400

In 1994 I set out to photograph carnival both in black and white and in colour, and while my colour images concentrate on the people in the procession and their costumes, it was a little more varied than in previous years, with more overlap with the black and white work.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-111-positive_2400

So I took some pictures of the people watching the carnival in colour and perhaps rather more than in previous years where the carnival was the background rather than the main subject.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-108-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-104-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-097-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-094-positive_2400
Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-078-positive_2400

I was working with colour negative film, and exposures were a little more critical than with black and white, which has greater latitude. There are some I could not get good prints from in the darkroom, and although digitising makes it a little easier there are still some where the colour is not as good as I would like.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-048-positive_2400

But despite these problems I was encouraged by the results , and the following year for various reasons photographed Notting Hill almost entirely in colour.

Notting Hill Carnival, 1994. Peter Marshall 94c8-nh-018-positive_2400

There are around 60 colour pictures from 1994 beginning some way down page 6 of my Notting Hill in the 90s album and continuing onto the next page. Clicking on any of the pictures above will also take you to larger versions in this album.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Panoramic Carnival 1992

Sunday, October 11th, 2020
Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992

Although I’d been making the occasional panoramic image over the years, taking a series of pictures and painstakingly cutting and pasting several prints to produce a seldom quite convincing join, it was only late in 1991 that I finally bought a camera capable of taking true panoramic images.

Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992 nh92001_2400

It’s hard now to imagine how difficult it was to produce panoramic images back in those pre-digital days – unless you could afford an expensive panoramic camera. Nowadays many cheaper digital cameras come with a ‘panoramic’ mode (though I’ve never managed to use one to produce an image that survived close scrutiny) and both specialised “stitching” software and more general programs such as Photoshop make joining several frames just a matter of a few clicks.

Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992 nh92004_2400

It was the Soviet Union, and Krasnogorsky Mechanicheskiy Zavod  (KMZ) that first introduced a reasonably priced panoramic camera to a wider audience, with the Horizont, available from 1966-73, but at the time I wasn’t interested in panoramic photography. Like their Zenith SLR cameras which I started serious photography with this was pretty basic and had a possibly undeserved reputation as being something of a problem to use.

Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992 nh92011_2400

When I bought my first panoramic camera in 1991 it was a Japanese model, a Widelux F8, a similar swing lens camera to the Horizont but with a wider 140 degree angle of view and rather smoother operation. It was also considerably more expensive and I think cost me almost a month’s salary.

Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992 nh92020_2400


Although the camera worked smoothly, its viewfinder was abysmal, and I made landscape pictures with the camera on a tripod and using two arrows showing the field of view on the top of the camera body, with a spirit level in the accessory shoe to level the camera. But for the carnival and similar images of events I used it handheld.

Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992 nh92022_2400

In later years I bought the revised version of the Russian camera, now with a similar mechanism encased in a plastic body and called Horizon (there were several slightly different models.) The viewfinder was so much better than than Widelux and thankfully incorporated a spirit bubble – and the cameras were less than a tenth of the price (I used at least two over the years, one ridiculously cheap from a clearly illegal operation in the Ukraine, evading any customs duties.)

Panorama, Notting Hill Carnival 1992 nh92024_2400

The only colour images I can find from Notting Hill Carnival in 1992 were taken with the Widelux, and appear to have been taken in two relatively short periods, one on Ladbroke Grove and the other on Elkstone Rd. There are some more, some rather similar to those in this post, in my Flickr album Notting Hill Panoramas -1992.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Hull Colour – 9

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Time for the last post on my series of colour pictures from Hull in my Flickr album which covers the period up to 1985. I didn’t stop photographing Hull then, but I did stop using slide film around the middle of that year, and some of the pictures in the album from 1985 were made using colour negative film. Although this made it easier to get good prints and allowed me to work with a wider range of subjects, it does make the images harder to digitise. I’ll write more about this at a later date. The first few images here are from slides and later ones from negatives.

Barge moored in River Hull, Hull 83-Hull-1-2-Edit_2400
Barge moored in River Hull, Hull 1983

As well as the colour I was attracted by the seemingly random numbers on the building and the ordered line of them on the prow of the barge, indicating the draught – the distance from the waterline to the lowest part of the hull. This barge, R38, is more or less empty and I think floating, its draught below the lowest mark of 4 (I think in feet), but when fully loaded would be at 9 or a little above. The slide mount crops the image rather more than I intended when making this picture.

83-Hull-8-Edit_2400
Factory, River Hull, 1983

There are new industries on land adjoining the River Hull, particularly on the northern outskirts of the city, around Stockholm Rd, Malmo Rd and Bergen Way, names reflecting the traditional trade, still continuing across the North Sea into the port of Hull. I think this picture was probably made just to the north of Sutton Road bridge.

For me the bank of reeds expressed that these new industries have turned their backs to the river, while traditionally Hull’s industries had been on wharves and dependent on the River Hull for the transport in of raw materials – whale oil, agricultural products and later petroleum products and sometimes the export of bulk products such as edible oils. Now everything moves by lorry.

Lee Shore, River Hull, Hull 83hull159_2400

It is just possible still to recognise this as the view looking upstream from Chapman St Bridge, as the low sheds at left are still standing (or at least were in 2019) but I think most of the rest of the buildings in this view have disappeared and ships such as the Lee Shore and the other vessel upstream on the left bank no longer moor here.

The cocoa works on the right bank was razed to the ground around 10 years ago, and is now Energy Works, a renewable energy site built with the aid of a grant of almost £20 million from the European Regional Development Fund which will power 43,000 homes from waste and develop innovative technologies together with the University of Hull.

S Low, Laundry, Spring Bank, Hull 85-10c1-43_2400

S Low’s laundry had long amused me as I regularly travelled along Spring Bank either on foot or more often on the top deck of a Hull Corporation Bus, and I photographed it a number of times. This was the first I had taken on colour negative film and I’m not sure that the colour is as accurate as on the two different versions on slide film you can also see in the album.

This building is still there on Spring Bank, now painted very drably grey and no longer a shop.

Blanket Row, Hull 85-10c3-61_2400
Humber Dock Side/Blanket Row, Hull 1985

I apologise for the green cast in this image which I should really correct, but it is perhaps appropriate given that this location, now the Humber Dock Bar and Grill overlooking the marina, describes itself as “Formerly the Green Bricks”.

The picture shows that before becoming a pub and restaurant the area was home to Charles Batte and the Kingston Fruit Co and along the street a number of other businesses, and the green glazed bricks of the pub, opened in 1806 as the New Dock Tavern and around 1838 renamed as the Humber Dock Tavern, taller than the rest of the row, are only just visible above the parked blue van. The green bricks by the Leeds Fireclay Co. Ltd probably date from 1907 and the pub was locally listed in 2006.

This was the final picture from Hull in the album Hull Colour 1972-85 (though I may add more later) which ends with some pictures from Goole.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Hull Colour – 3

Sunday, July 12th, 2020
Humber Ferry, Hull 72hull057
PS Lincoln Castle – Humber Ferry, 1972

Before the Humber Bridge was opened in 1981, ferries transported passengers and cars across the Humber from the pier in Hull to New Holland in Lincolnshire, where a train service took passengers on to Grimsby and other stations. For drivers it avoided the journey to Boothferry Bridge near Goole, 28 miles away up river – and a similar journey back on the opposite bank. By the mid-70s an alternative route for many journeys had been provided by the M62 viaduct a mile or so east of the Boothferry Bridge – which largely removed the necessity for the Humber Bridge.

The Lincoln Castle was a great improvement on the other paddle steamers when she came into service in 1941, and was much loved by the time she was replaced by a more economical diesel-powered ferry in 1978. For a short time she was grounded on the beach at Hessle as a restaurant – where I went for afternoon tea – and later in the same role in Grimsby. By 2009 her condition had deteriorated and after attempts to preserve the ship failed was scrapped in 2010.

I travelled across on the ferry a couple of times, took a few pictures in New Holland and took the ferry back. It was a good family outing, particularly for our two young boys as the ship had been constructed to give passengers a good view of the engine room and steam engine.

Old Harbour, Hull  77hull045
Old Harbour, Hull 1977

You can still walk beside the River Hull in the Old Town, and it remains an interesting walk, but back in the 1970s there was still some commercial activity, and at the right times of the tide vessels would pass up or down past these largely redundant barges, moored here three deep.

This was the original harbour of Hull, before the docks were built, though there were many wharves upstream both in Hull and further north to Beverley and beyond, and the river remains navigable. Although traffic had dropped markedly there were still a number of industrial sites still using the river in the 1970s and into the present century.

Old Town, Hull 77hull047
Old Town, Hull 1977

Wooden crates were being burnt in a bin down an alley and producing an almost comic book head of flame, a beacon in the shadow of the alley. Flames are always something of a challenge for photography, generally resulting in burned out highlights that have nothing to do with their temperature but simply their intensity. I was surprised that transparency film with its very limited exposure range handled this so well, more I think a matter of luck than expertise.

Terrace, Hull 81-Hull-003
Terrace, Hull 1981

Widely publicised as a “fairytale wedding” and the “wedding of the century”, the marriage Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on Wednesday 29 July 1981 clearly caught the imagination of many in Hull, and I photographed some of the decorations painted on derelict buildings and here on a typical Hull “terrace’, though I cannot remember its location.

Many of Hull’s roads have these short pedestrian terraces at right angles to the main street to pack more houses into a small area. Not all have such neatly maintained fences and gardens, but almost all are too narrow for them to have been converted to take cars.

The black cat halfway down the street didn’t bring the unhappy couple much luck.

Wincolmlee, Hull 80hull087
Wincolmlee, Hull 1980

Wincolmlee runs roughly parallel to the River Hull, on the road side of the wharves along its west bank, from the north of the Old Town up to Air St, a little over a mile. Lime St, runs in the same way on the east side of the river a little less than half the distance.

Much of Hull’s industry involved agricultural oils and there were storage tanks on both sides of the river. I think these colour-coded pipes probably linked some of them, but what attracted me as well as their colours were the clouds of steam.

Scott warehouse, Hull 80hull088
Scott warehouse, Hull 1980

Hull’s unlisted riverside properties have largely been demolished with some notable losses. But John A Scott’s warehouse in Alfred Gelder St was converted to flats around 1980, the work going on while I took this picture involving making windows in what had been a largely or entirely blank wall.

It isn’t in itself a very exciting building, but it’s river frontage now fits better with the listed building immediately downstream than a new build.

Quite a few buildings in the industrial area around Wincolmlee which in areas of higher property values – such as London – would have been converted to luxury flats have simply been demolished or are still largely derelict. But the area has perhaps been given a boost by the ‘Bankside Gallery’ of graffiti which sprang up following the intervention by Banksy.

Mud, Hull 80hull090
Mud, Hull 1980

I’m unsure as the the actual location or date of this picture – one of the great majority of my slides which lack any captioning. But it is certainly one of Hull’s docks, almost certainly Humber Dock, Railway Dock or Humber Dock Basin. The reflections in the wet mud give some clues, but not enough for me to be sure.

These docks close to the centre of the city had been unused for some years and were all heavily silted with Humber mud. Considerable dredging was required to make Humber Dock usable as Hull Marina, which opened in 1983.

S Not W, Hull 80hull091
S Not W, Hull 1980

I deliberately cropped the message which I think was written on the wooden side of a dockside shed to give the rather enigmatic message ‘S NOT W’. Unfortunately I can no longer remember the entire text, though the letter after W is clearly E, and not as I hoped A for an anti-war slogan.

The saturated red which attracted me, at least in part because it matched the colour of the painted letters, was the roof of a car.

British Extracting Co Ltd, Hull 80hull089
British Extracting Co Ltd, Hull 1980

This former British Extracting Company silo on the side of the River Hull was built in 1919 and one of a number of similar buildings in Hull and elsewhere designed by Gelder & Kitchen of Hull. It has regularly been visited and photographed in recent years by urban explorers.

Sir Alfred Gelder (1855-1941) was born in North Cave and became a Hull councillor in 1895, serving five terms in a row as Mayor from 1898-1903 and overseeing the extensive redevelopment of the city after which he was knighted. He was Liberal MP for Brigg from 1910-1918. A Methodist, he founded his architectural practice in Hull in 1878 and designed a wide range of buildings including several Methodist chapels in the city and elsewhere as well as many flour and oilseed crushing mills, including the first roller mill for fellow Methodist Joseph Rank and other buildings for Ranks’s son, J Arthur Rank.

Llewellyn Kitchen, (1869-1948) from Manchester joined Gelder as chief assistant in 1892 after having worked for a number of architects elsewhere and soon became the junior partner in the practice, although he appears to have been the more interesting architect of the pair. Kitchen was also a leading freemason in the area.

Gelder and Kitchen LLP is still in business, the second oldest firm of architects in the UK today.


Norwood to Brixton: TQ31

Saturday, June 13th, 2020
House, Norwood Grove, Norwood,  1991 TQ3170-001

My pictures from TQ31, a 1km wide strip of London begin at Norwood Grove with a picture of the ‘White House’ there, a fine building dating from the early 19th century on the edge of Croydon. It’s a total mystery to me what I was doing there in 1991, but I did photograph this house again in 1996 but on a dull, overcast day. Possibly I was on a family walk and we had gone to look at its gardens which are listed with the house.

Barber, Norwood Rd, Tulse Hill, 1991 TQ3172-003

Hairdressers are a good example of businesses that can be set up with relatively little capital expenditure, and are often quite individual in the furnishing of their shops and window displays. I don’t think there are any real chains or franchises in the trade, either for barbers, unisex or ladies salons. And given the nature of the business the windows often include representations of heads – drawn and photographed (as in this case) or even three-dimensional, making them of great interest to me. Something that the differential fading of the colour image at the right only added to.

Tailor, Dulwich Rd, Herne Hill, 1991, Lambeth Tailor, Dulwich Rd, Herne Hill, 1991 TQ3174-020

It was definitely the colour that attracted me to this cafe on the Dulwich Rd at Herne Hill, set off by the white porcelain ashtray. Getting the colour right in the darkroom (it wasn’t on the enprint) proved a little difficult, but the ashtray and the CocaCola box were good reference points and this was one of the pictures I exhibited in the 1990s

Repairs, Railton Rd, Brixton, 1991 TQ3174-005

Brixton was a place I loved to visit for its colour and vibrancy. Back in the early days I went there quite frequently to buy cheap outdated photographic paper from A.W.Young Photographic in Altantic Rd. Later I used to go to Photofusion in Electric Lane to go to exhibition openings and take in pictures for their photo-library. This was Sherlock Electrical Repairs in Railton Rd, and they seemed to specialise in vacuum cleaners.

121 Centre, Railton Rd, Brixton, 1991 TQ3174-019

I bought some pamphlets and magazines from the 121 Centre in Railton Rd, on the corner of Chaucer Rd. It was a squatted anarchist social centre, and later in 1999 I went to at least one party in the street outside when it was threatened with eviction.

The centre had been squatted in 1973 by Olive Morris and became and anarchist social centre around the time of the 1981 Brixton riots, when Railton Rd was the “front line!, later gaining an international reputation for the groups and events it hosted. Set on fire by right-wing thugs in 1993, it recovered but was evicted by Lambeth Council in 1999 despite a determined and well-organised campaign of resistance. Property values in the area had risen dramatically and Lambeth who perhaps hadn’t been worried when Brixton property was almost worthless decided to take the property back.

More from Brixton in a later post. You can see these and other pictures in the Flickr album TQ31 London Cross-section. As I write there are still more pictures to add of TQ31 north of Stockwell.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Romeo & Heads etc – TQ30

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

The Grid reference TQ30 continues north of Kings Cross and Pentonville up through Lower Holloway, Holloway and Upper Holloway and on to Hornsey, taking in a few areas to the side on its way. You can see my colour pictures from this strip of North London on page 4 of TQ30 London Cross-section.

Romeo Trading, Roman Way, Lower Holloway, 1990 TQ3084-018

I think it was largely the name which attracted me to the rather run-down premises of the Romeo Trading Co Ltd which gave no indication of what their business had entailed, and I could only speculate. Perhaps its name was connected with its address which was on Roman Way. The company still exists, though now in Edmonton and has a web site which includes the following text:

“Since its establishment in 1941, forming strong roots in military surplus, Romeo Trading Co Ltd has developed into a company with a manufacturing facility for all military and casual wear, together with its related products.”

Hornsey Rd had a number of interesting shops and provided some examples for various series of shops I was working on.

Hairdresser, Hornsey Rd, Holloway, 1990 TQ3086-011

One of these was collecting heads, and this Hairdressers shop window had a couple of fine examples.

TQ3088-005

and there was another further north in Hornsey itself.

Clothes, Shop, Crouch Hill, 1989 TQ3087-003

Fytos Fashion was another business that attracted me in part because of its name, which I read it as ‘Photos’ (but is really a Cypriot name.) But there was also the rather strangely bagged garments hanging in the window (no doubt to protect them from dust) and the large text below ‘WE SELL RETAIL BRIDALS, BRIDESMAIDS, CHRISTENING, HOLY COMMUNION’. Unfortunately you can no longer buy a bridesmaid here as this is now a nail care shop.

Cafe, Hornsey Rd, Upper Holloway, 1989 TQ3087-022

Another series I was taking was of cafés, and there was another fine example further north on Hornsey Rd.

Shoe Repair, Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, 1989 TQ3088-006

And some really odd reflections in a shop offering shoe repairs.

These are just a few of the pictures on the page, which also includes a number of factory and workshop premises – mainly in a block now occupied by new flats, shopfronts and shop windows, houses, a view of north London rooftops, and ends with a distant view of Alexandra Palace and a less distant view of a gasholder.

Page 4 of TQ30 London Cross-section

Dancing and Dereliction – TQ30

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

North of Covent Garden in the 1km wide strip of London in TQ30 we come into the areas of St Pancras in LB Camden (which includes Kings Cross) and Pentonville in Islington which were largely outside the tourist zone, apart from housing a number of hotels, none of which appear in my colour pictures from 1986-93.

Printer, Kings Cross Rd, St Pancras,1990 TQ3083-057

Businesses here catered for London, and many were failing thanks to changes in technology and the de-industrialisation of our economy. A large swathe was blighted by plans for development of the railway lands, including much outside the actual rail areas that were threatened by demolition, though thanks to local opposition much has so far been saved.

Wellers Court, Somers Town, 1990TQ3083-048

North of Kings Cross there was to be wholesale demolition, and even listed buildings were not safe. The gasholders that were such a prominent landmark in the area were soon to be dismantled, with some being re-erected some distance away on the opposite side of the canal.

Gasholder, Pancras Rd, Kings Cross, 1990 TQ3083-030

And the dancers on the side of Stanley Buildings were having their final dance before they and the other nearby buildings were demolished.

Dancers, Stanley Buildings, Kings Cross, 1990TQ3083-009

Perhaps surprisingly I took few pictures of the Regent’s Canal in colour, though rather more in black and white, but I had photographed around here fairly extensively in the previous few years and perhaps felt I had little more to say.

Works, Albert Wharf, New Wharf Rd, Pentonville, 1986 TQ3083-021

But it was good to have a picture of the road side of Charles Bartlett, Export Packers & Shippers, whose chimney and works dominate this stretch of the canal.

Door and Brooms, Caledonian Rd, Pentonville, 1990TQ3083-064

But the road that fascinated me most was the Caledonian Road and its side streets, as a number of the pictures here show. You can see these and others on the third page of my album TQ30 London Cross-section.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


TQ30 Covent Garden

Friday, June 5th, 2020
Legs, Great Queen St, Covent Garden, Camden, 1987TQ3081-017

Continuing the one kilometre wide strip of London TQ30 north from Westminster leads to Covent Garden, which by the time I took these pictures around 1989 had already become a tourist Mecca. The market had closed and moved to Nine Elms a dozen years earlier in 1974 and many trendy businesses had moved into the area.

Cactus, Entrance, Russell St, Covent Garden, 1991 TQ3081-042

Among them were many clubs and eateries joining those that there already in an area of theatres and of course the Opera House. Opposite that was Bow Street Magistrate’s Court, still in business (it closed in 2006), one of London’s best-known legal landmarks, where many famous and infamous had come to trial.

Young Dancer, Enzo Plazzotta, Broad Court, Covent Garden, 1991 TQ3081-041

Just to its north is a wide alley, Broad Court, with a fine row of red telephone boxes and a statue of a young dancer, though I’m not sure why facing the Opera House was thought to be an appropriate position for her.

Elvis, Great Queen St Holborn, 1991 TQ3081-043

Elvis was not far away, in Great Queen St. It was had to tell from many of the shop windows exactly what business they were in, but one of the strangest was in Betterton St – The Albanian Shop, where you could buy the thoughts and probably a bust of ‘The Iron Fist of Albania’ and which doubled as ‘The Gramophone Exchange’. It is alas no longer with us.

Albanian Shop, Betterton Street, Covent Garden, 1991 TQ3081-052

Doubtless there is still much of interest in Covent Garden, if in normal times you can see any of it for the hordes of tourists. It’s an area of London I now tend to avoid, but back then was always an interesting and often surreal experience.

Gloves, shop window, Judd St, St Pancras,1986 TQ3082-015

More pictures mainly on the second page of TQ30 London Cross-section.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


Scanning London

Monday, March 30th, 2020
TQ1985

A few months back I was lying prone inside a giant metal tube on a flat bed which moved me slowly backwards as successive slices across my body were scanned for the purposes of research, and the CT scan reminded me of a project on London which I began in the 1980s.

Nowadays we are all familiar with the idea of geotagging and some cameras can add geotags to the Exif date as you photograph, while gadgets can be fixed onto other cameras to add the data. Smartphones do the same, as they always track you position. The web site https://www.geograph.org.uk Geograph was set up in 2005 to “collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland” and so far 13,114 contributors have submitted 6,397,064 images covering 280,384 of the 1km grid squares, still leaving around 15% should you wish to strike new ground.

TQ2083

I’ve occasionally added geotags to my own landscape pictures in Lightroom, using a free little phone app by one of my sons, ‘Easy GPS Logger’ which records GPS location and time data to a file. You load this into LR along with the pictures, match up any one of them with a particular place on a map and LR then uses the file to add the information to the other pictures. There are only two problems – remembering to turn on the logger at the start of your walk, and secondly to turn it off when you finish!

TQ1982

Back in 1986, the only way to add location data to your photographs was by hand, using a map to find the grid reference. Of course you had to know where you were to do so. I had the idea of doing a series of South to North cross-sections of London based on the Eastings and Northings of the National Grid using colour negative film.

Rather than attempting a series of south-north walks, I simply took a camera with colour negative film on more normal walks while I was photographing London in black and white, then sent the films for processing and printing 6×4″ enprints. When these came back from processing I’d sort out those I wanted to keep and use a map to find the grid references and add these and the date with a technical pen along the lower edge of the print. The date meant (at least in theory) I could find the negatives in my files.

TQ1683

At first I glued the prints onto card sheets to file them under the grid reference in a set of A4 files, but this soon became tedious and I bought filing sheets which held 8 prints, four on each side. Each of the kilometre grid squares had its own filing sheet, and some soon had several, with the series expanding to fill around a dozen A4 files. Each file holds around 50 double-sided sheets and so could hold around 400 prints, though many sheets are not full, so the project probably has around 3,000 or 4,000 prints.

TQ1978

Of course what was more important were the scenes I chose to photograph. I carried in my wallet a reminder of things I was interested in photographing (an idea picked up from reading a list made by Walker Evans), in a small zipped pocket together with a folded £20 note for emergencies. Of course colour was important, not just for itself, but as an illustration of how and why colour was used, and I had a great interest in representations of people and things, in ethnic differences and in the evolution and fashion of colour.

I can’t remember exactly when I ended the project, though it certainly continued well into the 1990s. But at some point I stopped sending colour negative film to be processed and began developing it myself, and producing enprints wasn’t really an option. Instead I made 8×10″ contact prints and worked from these, producing very many fewer but larger prints.

TQ2080

Over the years I’ve probably published or shown only around a hundred of these pictures, the largest group from 1986-90 in the book dummy and web site ‘Café Ideal, Cool Blondes, and Paradise

As with my black and white images of London, this is a body of work which I think has a great deal of historical interest as well as some photographic interest and it would be good to see it in some permanent museum or similar collection rather than simply gathering dust on my shelves.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

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