Saturday, August 21, 2021

Matching Moods On Sepia Saturday


I have been participating in the Sepia Saturday project for the best part of ten years and matching themes for most of that time. I have featured pictures of bridges to match bridges and pictures of my granny in a hat to coincide with hat week. After getting on for 600 weeks, however, I now match mood more often than matching objects. So my contribution to Sepia Saturday this week has nothing to do with cinemas or Turkish villages. For whatever reason, however, as I was leafing through my box full of found photos, found this tiny negative and held it up to the light, something told me that it would be a suitable match for this week's Sepia Saturday. Here it is ....

As with all my found photographs, I have no idea how it came into my possession, nor the time, the place or the subjects of the original shot. I can make guesses - lovers of old photographs develop a feel for time and place - and the car models always provide a general date-stamp.

Something happens when you click the shutter of a camera, and it doesn't matter if it is a Kodak Brownie or an iPhone 12 - a moment is captured along with a bag full of emotions. Some people might try to hide behind poses, others can't. It is that bag-full of emotions that make the photograph, irrespective of when it was taken or where it is set.

And if the mood match is too esoteric, or me just rambling on as I have been for the last ten years, you can take comfort from the fact that the tilt of the open boot reflects the angle of the cine projector.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Postcard From The Conservatory

This immensely colourful postcard of the conservatory at Akroyd Park in Halifax must date from the first decade of the twentieth century, although it is difficult to date it precisely as it was never posted. Bankfield House, the home of Edward Akroyd, and its grounds, were sold to Halifax Corporation in the 1880s and converted into a park, library and museum. In Victorian times, no grand garden was complete without a cast-iron conservatory, sheltering the delicate flowers from, not only the cruel English climate, but also the choking English smog.

Monday, August 09, 2021

Talking To Spirits

Spirit of Art by James Woodford. Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery. 1937

Walked through Huddersfield today and fell into conversation with the Spirit of Art, one of the two grand sculptures outside Huddersfield Library and Art Gallery. She was happy to talk to me having had nobody but the Spirit of Literature - from the other side of the door - to talk to for most of lockdown. “The trouble with Literature', she said to me, "is that she keeps telling the same story over and over again

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Strangers 1


Sometimes an image can be so visually stunning, that it leaves a lasting impression on you. This particular image is taken from a medium format negative that turned up in a job lot of old, discarded negatives I bought on eBay a number of years ago. I suspect I may have featured the image before, but it is well worth a second look. It's an image that grabs hold of you with the power of a claw hammer, an image that remains in place long after you have closed your eyes and gone to sleep. It should be hanging in a gallery, it should be celebrated, copied, discussed and reprinted. Instead it was discarded on an anonymous darkroom floor, swept up into a manilla envelope, and sold for a few pence to the highest bidder.  In my new categorisation system I have home and away, family and friends, and now I have a category entitled "strangers". This is a stranger.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Home 10 : The Abattoir And Cart


We hear a lot these days about the changing nature of town and city centres, but the centre of gravity of our conurbations has never been static. I took this photograph over fifty years ago from the waste land at the bottom of Woolshops in Halifax. Widespread demolition had already swept through the narrow streets, terraces and workshops of - what was traditionally - the heart of the town, leaving vacant lots and uninterrupted lines of sight to the town abattoir. The retail footfall rarely got down this far back in those days, preferring the wider prospects of Commercial Street and the like. And then things changed: development came, new stores and car parks were built, and the abattoir and cart would more likely to be the name of a rather select bar than a description of what could be found outside.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Expectation And Warning


All photographs capture time: old photographs capture history. This is a random image from my "Lost and Found" box - I know neither man nor dog, neither time nor place. There was a pencilled caption on the reverse of the tiny print which said "D and Louchs", but which is which I have no idea. The image, unknown as it is, now features on my daily desk calendar: D and Louchs have been brought back to life for a day, looking out at the world with a mixture of expectation and warning.

Daffodil On The Water

When I was young, back in the early 1950s, our family’s annual seaside holiday would alternate between Bridlington on the east coast and New...