Negative Vibes In Elland

When the modern world is getting you down, you can always climb aboard your chemical-powered time machine and revisit former times. The chemicals in question include dimezone, phenidone, sodium hydroxide, and sodium thiosulfate – otherwise known as photographic developers and fixers! – and you don’t even need to reopen the bottles. Just take an old strip of negatives, exposed and developed four decades ago, and insert it into the magic scanning machine.

It would be nice if the time-machine transported us back to some halcyon days of sun-filled meadows and grain-filled larders, but it has always been of a fickle nature, and so it takes us to the West Yorkshire town of Elland in the early 1980s. It was still a town of terraced houses and  and tired chapels, a town of browns and greys. Before too long, one has an overwhelming desire to add colour where colour wasn’t.

The most memorable shot on this short strip of negatives was of a mill, with a prominent “For Sale” notice on it. If nothing else, it reminds us that the old days were not always the good old days, and that you should avoid viewing history through digital filters.

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