All posts filed under: Portraits

Hotel Chef. Karnataka, India.

Occupations. A developing set of pictures of people related to their occupation. Check back regularly for additions.

Many years ago I saw the work of  August Sander, a German Photographer 1876-1964 (you can read about him here and see some of his work). I was inspired. The book he published in 1929, ‘Face of our Time’ shows pictures, portraits of people. Ordinary people, less ordinary people, the man, and woman in the street. The book contains 60 portraits. It is quite literally a snapshot of the time. I have chosen in my own humble way to do something similar, grouping the images on Facebook and Twitter with the tag #occupations. I am capturing people both here in Lincoln and the wider UK plus images from further afield, all featuring a person. Just a person. I hope you like the set. I too have hopes of producing a book of these images at some time.     Advertisements

coffee-shop-birmingham

Those quiet moments in coffee shops…

Coffee shops, or coffee houses as they were first known, spread to England from the middle east in the 1600’s. Hundreds of them sprung up in several cities across the country. They quickly became popular as a place to conduct business and to socialise as an alternative to the ubiquitous alehouses and taverns which proliferated at the time. Nobody back then drank water as most was not potable. Alehouses served weak beer in which the alcohol had killed the bacteria in the water from which it was made. Likewise, coffee houses used only boiling water to make their beverages. The action of boiling water for tea or coffee killed off the many bugs in the water. It was possible during that period to gain access to a coffee house by payment of one penny. You could stay as long as you liked and there was no need to even buy coffee. They were places of commerce where some businessmen would conduct their business. I say “business-man” as women weren’t allowed in coffee houses unless they owned …

Navvie Birmingham

Four connected portraits.

I have chosen 4 of my pictures, all of which are over 40 years old, in order to show ‘related’ images. Odd you may think, but this choice reflects my desire to return to what I saw then. Not what I actually saw, you understand, but more my ability to see something else. Yes, they are out of focus. Yes, they are grainy. Yes, they may have been treated with a heavy hand when scanning and printing. All of these are faults by modern day standards. And yet, for me,  these images manage to contain some of what todays ultra-sharp, perfectly exposed and wonderfully printed images lack, That ‘Je ne sais quoi’ that I’m struggling to regain. Perhaps it’s the magic of time passing which has provided that curious, mysterious essence. Or maybe it’s just that these characters aren’t around anymore; disappeared from our more homogenised society. Who knows. It goes without saying they were shot on film. All Black and White. One, the Navvie, was shot on 6×6 the others on 35mm. And all …

Fellow travellers

One way or another we all travel. For me, part of the enjoyment in travelling is ‘people watching’. I suppose I’m no different to others in that respect. We’re all the same. Inquisitive, nosy even. What sets the photographer apart, perhaps, is the desire to capture images of some of the people seen while going from A to B. Travelling in cars or taxis is Ok. It enables you to take pictures as you pass by, but it engenders an insular attitude as you move through people’s lives. Watching. A voyeur perhaps. But, for real ‘people watching’, for real close up interaction, you can’t beat public transport. Buses, trains, tram’s, tube trains,ferries, whatever’ so long as people are moving with you, surrounding you. I don’t profess this to be high art. It’s, both literally and metaphorically, just a snapshot, a moment in time as I pass through my life and cross the lives of others. I’m merely chronicling those ‘never to be repeated’ conjunctions and crossings. Sometimes beautiful. Most times not. But always interesting. There’s …