Still life on Velvia

Items from the Patrick Cook collection at the Patrick Cook studio in Brockley, London. Taken in approx 1988.

Patrick very kindly let me use his artist studio to take pictures of his collection.
Horseman LX 5×4 studio camera Nikon 150mm lens shot on Fuji Velvia film.

Chips again Ste?

Image from a documentary project. Student accommodation, Flat 8 Hampden Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FF. Pentax K1000 camera, 50mm f2 lens, Ilford HP5 film.

Going straight from school to Polytechnic was not an easy journey, the art students I shared first year accommodation with were older and more world wise. They were good guys and I hope that life has treated them well since I last saw them in 1980.

Student Accommodation

 

Image from a documentary project. Student accommodation, Flat 8 Hampden Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FF. Pentax K1000 camera, 50mm f2 lens, Ilford HP5 film.

 

Summer 1980. One of my fellow flatmates (right) enjoys the company of a guest in first year student accommodation in Flat 8 Hampden Street Nottingham.
The majority of boys I shared with were art students which made it easier when I did a small photo documentary project of the place as part of my first year Photography course.
Im currently digitising the rest of the images to recreate the whole project. Would be nice to hear from the people who lived there then.

BBC Radio Nottingham 1981, live on air, mikes closed.

BBC Radio studio Nottingham, record playing on air whilst matters are discussed. March 1981.

This was going to be part of a project on the entertainment industry that I had negotiated with the course leader Euan Duff, it was never used as the project became more nightlife based.

3 static negatives

Animated gif file made from 3 consecutive black and white negatives shot in the 1970s as part of my duties to photograph the school teams and provide prints.

Team photos taken at Cowley Boys School in the mid to late 1970s.
It was sleeting as I took the pictures. As always I shot a few frames of each team so as to minimise the chance of anyone spoiling the shot by blinking or gesticulating.

Some forty years after taking these images I can recover a time element by animating between the three negatives, a highish definition black and white video of a time gone.

Fountains

Victoria Park St.Helens, 1979.

Fellow Cowley pupil Robert Williams takes a photo as I record him and Victoria Park during a 6th form Photo Society outing in 1979.
Pilkingtons Glass was a major manufacturer based in the town and employed a whole lot of townsfolk in the factories dotted around.

Speke airport

Awaiting departure at Speke Airport, early 1980s.

A gateway to possibilities, later to become John Lennon airport. Not long after “British Airways” became just “British”, this was later reversed after people realized it was just silly.

Haydock races

Haydock Park, horse race in progress. Early 1980s shot on Kodachrome 25

Eiffel tower

Photographing down from the Eiffel Tower 
Paris in the spring later 1980s.

Looking down was much better than looking across. My earliest stock photography images with Tony Stone Photolibrary were travel shots including this one that was given the number T70L 101094-1T.

Foggy hometime

St.Helens, across Ormskirk Street to the site of the new NatWest Bank yet to be built. Mid 1970s.


I have come to love this hopeless light, neglected and fading.

Two memories come to mind.

Ladies in their  older years always wearing scarfs over their heads, though I don’t think it was for religious reasons. Memory is of them hiding curlers or perhaps a bouffount protected from the wind.

A visit from the new manager of the bank when it was completed to the Cowley Sixth form. I cannot remember the purpose of the visit (perhaps recruit future staff?). I recall taking a very low view of the new bank, it seemed to me to be a way of extracting money from the local economy.

Decades later after many scandals and fraud it turned out that I may have had a point.

Ferry cross the Mersey

Setting off from Liverpool dockside on the Ferry to New Brighton

St.Helens, my home town is about half way between Manchester and Liverpool. I don’t recall many trips to either city but this (rare for me) 1970s colour image shows me departing from Liverpool and heading towards New Brighton on the ferry.

I must have been 3 or 4 years old when I first saw a large body of water. It was the Mersey Estuary seen from the docks. In that one moment I remember being completely overwhelmed seeing the waves dancing with the wind and the sheer scale of the scene in front of me filled me with awe.


Chariots of fire

Olympic changing room scene filmed at Cowley boys school

The Summer of 1979 being the end of secondary education for me it was a treat when a film company used the school as a location in the final week of term. Being a little less than honest in saying “I was from the school magazine” I was fortunate that the director Hugh Hudson allowed me to photograph the scene he was filming in the changing room. This was destined to be the Paris Olympics changing room towards the end of the film “Chariots of fire”. Click on the image to see the whole sequence from 1979.

Early morning plastics

Bakelite products from the  Patrick Cook collection, Brockley London late 1980s.
I met the artist Patrick Cook whilst volunteering at the Age Exchange in Blackheath. He very kindly let me photograph his studio and collection of early plastics, this is one of a few images based around egg cups.

Team photos

My first income from photography came from taking over the team photos at Cowley Boys School. I didnt charge very much, 50p bought a whole plate (8.5″x6.5″) print in black and white. Cheap even at the time this enabled me to buy short lengths of outdated film or chemicals for the darkroom.

Sleet added to the atmosphere in this shot. Of course I should really have followed a Masters advice and photographed the teams directly after a match – much less smiling!
St.Helens.

Robert in Sheffield

Visiting Robert Williams in his college room at Sheffield University approx 1980. Robert is still wearing his school jumper in these pictures.

Jackie Topham

Jackie Topham, studio setup, Trent Polytechnic early 1980s.

One of my fellow “last Diploma in Photography” students at Trent Polytechnic taken in approx 1980/81. After our year group the course changed to a degree level one as the Polytechnic moved towards becoming a University.

For some reason root vegetables were over represented in still life work, not sure why.

Jackie is using a Weston Euromaster light meter to work out exposure, an essential tool in fully manual photography. We were incredibly fortunate to learn all manual photography from the ground up.

Meeting ourselves

Waiting for the lights to change at the pedestrian crossing on Bickerstaffe Street, St.Helens approx 1975.

I was returning to the large building on the right which is the Gamble Institute and needed to finish the film I had been given at the photo department there.

I had been loaned a twin lens reflex camera and told to go for a walk and learn to use it.

I would not have printed a frame like this at the time as I would have considered it “too ordinary”.  With the passage of time it becomes more and more interesting, the clothes, the attitude, the smoking, the lack of smart phones…

Some of the people noticed a shy 14 year old with a funny looking camera pointed at them and responded, as is natural.  With time I have realised that capturing the “ordinary” is one of the greatest of photography’s gifts

Violin making


Part of a second year photo project at Trent Polytechnic to illustrate the courses available at Newark College. This was taken in the violin making school approx 1981/2.

I was accompanying the designer who was also a student and who would make the prospectus for the college. We had very little time in each department and building so was a bit rushed but going into the violin school there was an immediate sense of peace and I wanted to capture the calmness.

I had prints of these on the wall of my darkroom at Tony Stone Images, perhaps hoping that some of the feel of craftsmanship in them would rub off on me in some way!


Letting the glue set.

Dancing class

Image taken in the main hall of the Nottingham YMCA during a dancing class. Im drawn to this image as it is so “quiet”.

This was part of a second year photo documentary project at Trent Polytechnic. Taken in either 1981 or 1982.

In retrospect photographing the raw energy and chaos of the younger classes and the more refined formal dancing of the older classes gave me a spectrum of images reflective of life’s progression. 


The learning process
giving space to enjoyment