Picture the scene if you will. It is the summer of 1588 and Britain faces the threat of naval defeat and invasion as an armada of Spanish ships sails up the English Channel and an army of 30,000 soldiers wait in the Netherlands to capitalise on the expected defeat of the British Navy. The British fleet is a rag-tag collection […]
In reviewing my old negatives, it appears as if I spent a large part of my youth walking up and down Shaw Lane in Halifax. Here is a triptych of views from a strip of negatives shot in the 1970s. I am particularly fond of that final image – it sums up so much about the Halifax of my youth.
Photo trouvée : noun – an image found by an artist and displayed with no, or minimal, alteration as a work of art. I’m no artist, but I could put together a pretty good case to suggest that this is a work of art. In the best traditions of “objet trouvée“, I found it amongst a pile of old and forgotten […]
In some ways the centre of Elland has changed little since this photograph was taken 100 years ago, whilst in other ways it has changed so very much. The Saville Arms is still open, and still dispensing beer, but the bank opposite has stopped dispensing cash and many of the shops stand empty. The clock has gone and so have […]
This is a photograph of a young girl carrying a basket. It is my attempt to match this week’s Sepia Saturday prompt image – which is a photograph of a young girl carrying a basket. The prompt photograph dates from the early years of the twentieth century, and my little photograph is of a similar vintage. We know that the […]
Smiles – smiles on photos, at least – were a twentieth century invention: smiles on the faces of the subjects of Victorian photographic portraits are as rare as Trumpian truths. The reason was partly that Victorian cameras could only cope with fixed expressions – but it was also partly that they tended to be a miserable lot. By the 1920s […]
Back in the early twentieth century, when picture postcards were all the rage, the subjects reflected what people saw as important, what they were proud of, what – to them – represented their home towns and villages. There were, of course, many pictures of celebrity music hall stars and vacuous views of pretty nothingness; but there were also grand public […]
I grew up in the village of Northowram, a few miles north of Halifax, and I must have taken this photograph of the top end of the village about forty years ago. It shows the village, looking east from Howes Lane. What caught my eye when I scanned the negative a few days ago was the mill chimney in the […]
There is a delightful serendipity about the objects that end up in the window of a second hand shop. All human life is there – available at a bargain price.