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Random thoughts and images from the photo archive:

Having spent most of my lifetime immersed in photography of one kind or other I have decided to go through the archive of images and give them a life outside the negative folders and boxes.

The galleries follow me from the start of my photography and cover the following periods: 1970s: My Cowley school images from St.Helens, 1980s: Photo College in Nottingham then London, 1990s: London then moving to Sheringham, 2000s: Before the transition to digital

Porto Portugal

Life within the sound of bells.
Mid 1980s trip to Portugal for some stock travel photography and a holiday. Portugal is unlike anywhere I have ever been. This was the view (possibly?) from the rented accomodation for the night. One night whilst walking the streets I was spotted by someone a little drunk, he stared at me intently and then exclaimed loudly “You have an English face!”

The door in the wall

I love the short story by H,G.Wells “The door in the wall”, you can read it here
Read as an allegory it touches something that was very tangible for me, since lost in the noise of life.

This side of the doorway was in Haydock, Merseyside in the early 1980s.

Light duality

1990s 6×7 Mamiya RB67 colour transparency reimagined in 2021 as a black and white play of light.

Infra red

On the water. A frame from my first roll of Kodak infra red film

Place

Night time shot in Nottingham. Taken in approx. 1982-1983.

School show

Even Latin Masters could show their funny side when on stage at the school show.
Cowley boys school, St.Helens, later 1970s.

No talking at the back of the class.

French lesson in progress, Crowley boys school 1977 or 1978. Unseen by the teacher I got out my Zenith E camera and took a few shots. The shutter was loud so I’m not sure how I managed to take more than one before the teacher noticed but there are two adjacent negatives rather than one.

I generally sat at the back of the class to avoid being noticed too much by the teachers. Not that I was up to no good, I just didnt think of myself as academic. Taking photographs seemed meaningful though my activities seemed not to really register with others. I’m glad I took the picture as I dont think there are many images of live classrooms from the period, true documentary.

A later documentary project of a Nottingham school allowed me to take similar images of a real life lessons in a private boys school but the difference was I was there as an outsider and conspicuous, here I was part of the scene.

Concentration

Taken not at my state school Cowley Boys in St.Helens but at a real private school in Nottingham.
Part of a second year Trent Polytechnic Photo project covering the subject of schooling in Nottingham in collaboration with a design student in 1981 or 1982

Very similar school to Cowley boys in pretty much every way except this was a fee paying school. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go to Cowley as they managed to drag me up from ‘failing’ to ‘mediocrity’ in academic terms, a huge shift for me. The ethos of the school promoted learning and development and it did rub off.

Framed arrangement

View from St.Stephens Church, Sneinton, Nottingham. Looking West towards the Kingston Court flats. Taken in 1981/1982.
I used to live on Lees Hill road in Sneinton and passed this church each day. Sometimes its good to explore and get a different angle on things.

As a school boy

Taken in the Photography Studio at the Gamble Institute in the later 1970s. This was one of the very first portraits I took and is of another attendee at the Saturday Morning Photography classes that the Gamble Institute ran.
I was not meant to be there as I was too young to be on the course (approx 15), my school friend Ian Griffiths managed to blag us both onto the course by stretching the truth a little.
The Pepsi commercial line written on the blackboard dates from 1974 but this may have been taken between 1975 -1977 when the unusual nature of the commercial still inspired wannabe creatives..

November dip

A gentle still day. The sea laps against the North Norfolk shore at Sheringham. Digital, not film, Lumix G7 shot processed as if it were film.

Waterway

An early component of the Victorian revolution. Canals became a network that enabled a revolution. The revolution started in the North West of England and transformed the world.

Held high in the air this waterway crosses the road.

Some guidance needed

This image sold well on Getty Images when I used the agency but has also been stolen many times by religious groups on Facebook and various blogging sites – I’m coming for you!

The maze started life as a black and white line drawing that was then extruded using the landscape generator software “Bryce” that was popular in the 1990s. Other elements shot on film and scanned before being put together on a Silicon Graphics Indy computer running Barco Creator software.

Please note that I do not provide sharing links for commercial images on this site, these are for viewing on this website only If you wish to purchase a license to use the image then just get in touch)