Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Walking Backwards : A Hot Day In York

Walking Backwards : 

It is possible to think of each old photograph as a step into history. If it is a photograph of unknown people in unknown places, it is, by definition, a step into the unknown with all the uncertainty and potential for excitement that implies. If it is a photograph you are familiar with - or better still, a photograph you took decades ago - it is a step into more familiar territory, rich in clues to memories that have long been in a state of hibernation. If it is a strip of negatives (photographs that are linked together by celluloid certainty) it is not a step, but a walk through history. Scanning a long forgotten strip of negatives from forty or fifty years ago is like walking backwards through time and one of my favourite occupations.

A Hot Day In York

It was a hot day in York, many years ago. I suspect it was sometime in the 1980s - the fashions and the cars look right for that period. I can vaguely remember walking around the streets, camera in hand, looking for photographs, but the memory is as hazy as the heat rising from the warm stone sets. The narrow streets were as busy as they always are in York, but this would have been the era before shopping malls and retail parks. People were drawn to the central shops, drawn to the river bank, drawn to the street entertainers, and drawn to a cooling pint or two.



  1. Great collection, Alan! You should check out my friend Arleen Thayler on Facebook; she's been doing street photography for over 10 years now and has some fantastic shots!

  2. Wonderful photos. You capture some of that time period quite well...

  3. The one with the railings is a masterpiece!

  4. All super photos with that special grainy quality of black and white film that digital photos can only imitate.

    The bearded man is playing a Hurdy-gurdy, or Vielle as the French know it. It is a folk instrument more common to the Auvergne countryside than Yorkshire.

  5. I really like strips of film, and seeing these photos coming from it, fits this summer day perfectly.


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