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.

New World in the morning

New World radio from the Patrick Cook collection.

In the late 1980s I looked after this Bakelite radio for Patrick Cook. It is sat on the mantlepiece in a room I rented in Brockley, London. I did not want to give this back at it was an object of wonder, form and function but also beauty.

Photographed onto a sheet of 10″x 8″ black and white film on a Gandolfi studio camera using the front portion of a convertible 360mm lens.

The Wasteland

No, not a shot of a failed Mars Lander.

Abandoned carcass of a black and white valve TV set, possible early 1960s vintage. Photo approx 1976/7. Taken in St.Helens on some wasteland, possibly after some street demolition. This shot reminded me that I used to enjoy taking the backs off old TVs to poke around and see how they worked, surprised I’m still alive thinking about it now.

Read moreThe Wasteland

Channeling Jim Morrison

Burns Street, Nottingham, 1981-82
Adam Sulik, fellow 2nd year Photography student at Trent Polytechnic strikes a pose. Im pretty sure Adam is at least 6′ tall so the guy I have only just noticed in the background must be over 7′
Walking to the old Victorian house where he had just rented a room. Adam was a big fan of The Doors and had a pretty good stereo system.

Unofficial 5th form class photo 5L Friday 21st April 1978 12.00am

For some reason Cowley Boys school did not arrange class photos during the time I was there. This however was the period of punk and we did not need no official photographer to get the job done.

Form 5L, In one of the frames I’m holding my arm out to steady myself after running from setting the self timer on the Zenith E camera mounted on a tripod.

Read moreUnofficial 5th form class photo 5L Friday 21st April 1978 12.00am

Being. On a bus.

An early (and rare for me) colour image taken as a school boy in the 1970s, likely on the way to school. I term shots like this as “quiet” a silent visual meditation. My commercial images shouted very loudly for a short time but they dated quickly, the quiet images last forever.

Haydock races

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

Im not a gambler but I knew it was worthwhile taking a few frames of the scene behind me on the stands, far more interesting than the horse race.

Photographing a horse race does not need to show horses, a valuable lesson.

 

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)

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.

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.