As you may be aware, in the second world war Lincolnshire was home to many airfields. So much so, a specialist RAF hospital was set up near Lincoln in the sleepy village of Nocton. The village had already housed a similar set up during the first world war which had taken over the ancient Manor House and grounds. The Hospital was expanded during WW2 so as to provide medical support for the many RAF and USAF airmen stationed across the County. Post war, the hospital was again expanded to provide a more general medical support for the growing number of RAF families in Lincolnshire and beyond when, amongst other changes, the maternity unit was constructed. My wife’s family were RAF and indeed my mother in law was treated there and one of my brothers in law was born there 60-odd years past.
In a conversation I was having with fellow photographer John Meehan over on ‘WhatsApp’ he quoted the phrase “Soot and whitewash” to describe prints using an economy of tones in mono printing. The conversation started after I published the image shown above of Saltley Gas Works in Birmingham taken back in the late 60’s – early 70’s. Very reduced tonal scale, very grainy and even scratched. I said it was redolent of the times. John’s phrase came from a book called “Young Meteors” by Martin Harrison in which he discusses photographers and their styles in the years 1957-1965. The tonal compression style of McCullin, Bulmer et al is dramatic. The images jump off the page. I wrote in my previous piece on WhatsApp how Saltley, where I was born and lived for a few years, has left a strong impression on me, reflected in this Gas Works shot. For me *“Soot and Whitewash” has 2 meanings: The first, clearly, is the graphical reduction of tones in a black and white print; The second meaning reflecting …
Recently, I was musing on the relevance of images to each of us and how that changes from person to person. People see an image and it means different things to each person. The image effects them. To some that effect is deep and meaningful, visceral even, and to others it’s trite and meaningless. I can’t account for that except it’s perhaps what allows us to “edit” the millions of images we see, into piles – important/trivial, like/dislike – and I have to say, in the main, that’s how my own editing works. Binary. On / off – like / dislike. Phil Cosker, a dear friend of mine, a photographer, writer and all round Renaissance Man, produced a set of images nearly 40 years ago. Recently he displayed them – printed very large – in a number of churchyards around Lincolnshire. Even more recently he has included them on his web site <<<HERE>>> under the title “Landscapes”. I was assisting Phil with his web site at the time and as I was uploading the images, …
This is my 3rd picture by way of a contribution to the “One a day for a year” project initiated by David Barrett, a British photographer living in Gloucestershire. David says the project, which he calls “Trip around the sun” was inspired by Barry @pixelsonapage and ‘The Once More Around The Sun’ project shot by Joel Meyerowitz. “It’s not intended to produce a masterpiece everyday” he says. Adding, “It’s more a survey of your everyday”. This is my image No3. It’s a wooden mask I have at home. The developing results of the project reside over on Twitter under the hashtag: #365aroundthesun PDBarton Lincoln 03.01.2020
This image is of ‘Human Artists Mannequins’ dumped in a vacated coffee shop. Lincoln 2019.
An exhibition of picture by the artist Jacob Lawson opened in the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln this week. It’s hard to believe this is Jacob’s first show. What is not hard to believe is the work is strong, strident and selling well, The first images were snapped up by a buyer from Germany. This is a must see show. Be ready for an overload for the eye. If there is one criticism it would be there is simply too much. Go to see if you can. The show is open until 4pm on the 22nd December. You can find information about Jacob, his work and the gallery here… Sam Scorer Gallery. Lincoln PDBarton. Lincoln, 16th December 2019.
An image from a continuing series on ‘Fellow Travellers’, this image was made on a bus as it entered the centre of the city.
A street image from a walk in Dublin.