As I scan my way through a strip of old negatives, I am constantly amending decisions I have made about when and where some of the photographs were taken. Many of these negatives are over fifty years old, and over the years they have gathered their own collection of scratches, dust spots and blemishes. I like to spend some time trying to restore the images to something like what they were when I took them all those years ago; and that restoration process means you get up and close to the enlarged image, and in so doing, discover details you might never have noticed before. In some way it is like walking down a street again – in this case Russel Street, Halifax – and reacquainting yourself with the shop names, the street furniture and the car models.
Having walked down Russel Street, I have decided that it is more likely that I took these photographs in 1965 rather than 1966. The two men who feature in this shot – and in the early “Bike Shop” image – were, I remember, fellow students on a Halifax Tech photographic course. And now that I am in Russel Street, I can more accurately guess that the bike shop of that previous photograph was Halfords which can be seen here at the top of Woolshops.
I often try and produce a colour version and a filtered version of the original monochrome image, just in case they add anything to the original. Filtered versions that slightly blur the detail of the original often seem closer to what I remember – but that is a result of my slightly blurred memory rather than some technical or creative endeavour.