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.
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
One of my earliest images, shot on a twin lens reflex camera borrowed from the photo department of the Gamble Institute in St.Helens.
St.Helens Industrial area from the late 1980s
The St.Helens I remember from my youth. I was thirteen and a half when I took this (I have a very clear memory of taking this image).
Late 1970s image showing the corner of Cooper and (I think) Argyle street in St.Helens (since demolished).
The formal (and quiet) atmosphere in the room seemed at odds with the doll and I think this is what caught my attention and provoked me to take a picture.
Decades later its not so much the novelty that I get from the image but more about “how we are”. I could easily imagine that when we are concentrating on something we need to put other things out of mind , perhaps move them behind us so that they don’t distract both metaphorically (and in this case) physically.