Ian Holm

So sorry to hear of Ian Holms death today. A pretty good innings at 88 though.
 
I was fortunate enough to meet Ian Holm when he played Lech Wałęsa at Granada studios Manchester in 1981. I was there with Adam, a fellow photo student at Trent Polytechnic who was the son of the writer Boleslaw Sulik. He had written “Strike! the story of Solidarity”, the movement that eventually saw the collapse of Soviet control of Poland.
 
What I remember most was his good grace; he was kind to me, a young stranger who took photographs of him as he tried to relax and focus in the breaks between filming scenes. We  had a short chat about photography as it was also an interest of his wife.
 
I was struck that this humble man was completely grounded as he took center stage in depicting the story of the Polish freedom movement. A real pleasure to meet an extraordinary man.
 
In this photo Ian is talking to the writer Boleslaw.
Pentax K1000 camera, 50mm f2 lens, Ilford HP5 film rated at 400ASA.

Flats

Burrows court Flats photographed from Colwick Woods, Nottingham Taken in approx 1981/2
(Many thanks for the people on the Facebook “Nottingham” group for their help in finding this location)

Mamiya 124G twin lens reflex camera 80mm lens, Ilford Pan F film at 50ASA.

As a 14 year old

An image from my very first self processed roll of film, possibly the first film I used in my Zenith E as I took up photography as a 14 year old schoolboy.

Not a particularly striking image but it does show my interest in detail and quiet scenes. Now that I have digitized a reasonable number of images for the site I’m starting to see patterns and themes reoccurring throughout my work. The accepted wisdom is that a photographer improves over time but I’m not so sure now, there are images the 14,15 or 16 year old me had taken that I feel I would not want to change even a little bit.

Rainy morning trip into work

Three London bus inspectors respecting each others space on the top deck, the rain rolling down the windows completes this little tableau. Taken in the mid 1980s.
I would have taken the picture because even one inspector sitting down would have been an unusual sight, they normally were seen standing up and demanding to see your ticket, but three sat down? I had to use my camera – there was no other choice.

Ilford XP chromogenic film (C41 process Black and White)

On the nature of the ephemeral

Doorway, Butlers Wharf, Docklands London. Taken some time in the 1980s.

No doubt large parts of this building were retained and converted but I doubt the grime built up over the years or this wooden doorway is there anymore.

At photo and film school I played around with image as illusion, Im now thinking that a photo can retain a reality after the subject is no longer there, the hard material world changes over time but stages can be preserved in images. Perhaps because at base there are only mental images?

Let’s together pause on this street and appreciate the history of the scene in front of us.