Holiday Camp

A gentle stroll down the beach in Prestatyn, Wales with my parents and sisters. We came across this holiday camp. It didnt look particularly inviting but things were a bit like that then. This may of course have been taken after 1984 when it was closed down and used to train police in riot control. In 2001 it was redeveloped for housing so assuming foreign holidays are something of the past we need to get re-building.

Bedroom in Nebo

My bedroom for the week on a family holiday in the small Welsh village of Nebo in 1980.

There was a quiet timelessnes to the room.
At the ago of 20 this was my last family holiday together. My father got on very well with a couple of local farmers who invited him to join them on a mole hunt, he didnt quite expect the knock at 5am to go out and do it but it all worked out in the end.

Californian wind

Old style wind towers. Taken on a road trip in an open topped car, Los Angeles to San Francisco, July 1991.

I was with two old school friends, Keith Hunt and Robert Williams. They could both drive so I was the backseat passenger who could enjoy the views. occasionally I would ask them to pull over so I could get out my Mamiya RB67 Medium format camera and photograph the sights.
These wind towers were beside the main highway in California, there seemed to be hundreds of them and we enjoyed driving the service roads to have a look. America really is a country of big contrasts, the congested freeways and the open wind farms were a lasting memory.

 

Lone Tree

This image is available for licensed use, please contact Stephen Johnson for details.

The Lake District, UK. Taken in 1995 and submitted to Getty Images where it began to sell in 1996.

Originally shot on 120 Fuji Velvia film this image was not manipulated other than changing contrast and reducing saturation (Velvia like Kodachrome before it tends to turn all images into a sunny day).

I have seen the image used in a few places, a front window display for Timberland stores and for the CD cover of “The best songs” by the 80s group China Crisis (https://bit.ly/2xTjhh8)

This is the original grade for the image from the period, done using Barco Creator software on a Silicon Graphics Indy machine.
I would probably do a softer grade if I were to work the image these days though that would of course take some of the drama out of it.

Mamiya 7 medium format range finder camera, 80mm lens, Fuji Velvia 120 film.

The Eiffel Tower

The shear audacity and the vision.
I discovered the continent of Europe in my 20s and spent some of my happiest times there. Europe will always be part of me.

Portuguese fruit shop 1980s

Fruit shop, Portugal.

A harsh light.

APU: (Aliança Povo Unido) from wikipedia: The United People Alliance was an electoral and political coalition between the Portuguese Communist Party and the Portuguese Democratic Movement. After 1983, the Ecologist Party “The Greens” also joined.

Ecstasy in the garden

Water drops from the fountains in the garden of the Generalife,  adjacent to the Alhambra Palace.

Taken during a visit to Granada, Spain in the 1980s. I went on a tour with Adam and he introduced me to Southern Spain, visiting cities, towns and villages well away from the crowded beaches.

This was my first trip to a hot country and I remember being extremely hot even when walking in the shadows, entering the sunlight brought an overwhelming blast of heat. Coming as I do from a small industrial town in the North West of England it was certainly something I had never experienced before.

Walking through the beautiful water cooled gardens felt very special. These small moments of bliss are fleeting, saved up and revisited years later, a glimpse into what could be.

Read moreEcstasy in the garden

The Lakes

The Lake District. Fellow ex Cowley pupils, perhaps 1981. We had gone our separate ways to college/university/polytechnic but met back up in the Summer for a few days. In the car on the way up from St.Helens we played an Imagination tape none stop, “body talk” and “just an illusion” being favorites. Some enjoyed a swim in the freezing water, I just kept my camera dry.

Two worlds

I cannot reconcile my earlier documentary work and my later commercial work.

Some images cross the boundary a little easier. This image didnt sell too well through Getty Images though of course that is only one way to judge it.

Between two worlds new patterns emerge.

Ferns shot on 6×7 colour transparency and the water shot on  a Gandolfi camera using 10″x 8″ black and white film. Image composited in Barco Creator Software. Both images shot in the early 1990s, Location: the Lake District / Brockley, London.