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 a delightful ancient village called Nocton. Nocton had already housed a similar set up during the first world war which had taken over an ancient Manor House and grounds. The Hospital was expanded both during WW2 and after so as to provide support for the many RAF and USAF airmen in the County. Post war, the hospital was again expanded to provide for RAF families in Lincolnshire and beyond when 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, …
Back in early April I wrote here about the possibility of an on-line exhibition of the works comprising this show. I’m pleased to say the exhibition of the images produced is now live. It can be found here. “A line Runs through it.” The work describes, both geographically and in pictures, the transit of the 0deg Meridian line as it passes from just above first landfall in Holderness in the east Riding of Yorkshire, South across the Humber and continuing on through Lincolnshire until reaching the Lincolnshire / Cambridgeshire border some 76 miles due south. The image above shows some of the Ordnance Survey maps and photographic and GPS navigation tools to make images. I would like to thank Masshaus Exhibition Design of Birmingham for the renders of a virtual gallery for these images and, in particular to Kate Naylor-Barton, the Design Director at Masshaus – our daughter – for the design and production of the website. Images are available to purchase. Please contact me on email@example.com for details. PDBarton Lincoln, UK 2020
I’ve added a new project to the others in my portfolio. I’ve always been interested in shops. Not the modern glossy chains, but the old and quirky, or just the simply odd. Empty shops interest me too. I’m going to be sorting through my images this year to put up some pictures of shops and, of course, shooting new images in this genre too. To start off the project here’s a picture I shot today in Woodhall Spa, a small town, more a large village really, to the east of here towards the coast. Woodhall is famous for being the base for 617 Squadron (The Dam-busters) during the 39-45 war. In many ways it still wears those colours. As my mother would have said… “It’s a village which thinks the war is still on” It certainly does everyear when it stages a 40’s weekend. Anyway, I digress. Here’s an image of just one for the shops in the village. More to come over the year.. PDBarton Feb 2020
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.
A picture taken in Boston, near to St Botolphs church, aka Boston Stump. This image was originally taken as part of a series I was making about the meridian as it passes through Lincolnshire. However, it does have carryover to other series; for example the series on dumped furniture and another on reduced landscapes. The abstraction of what I saw appealed to me greatly. PDBarton November 2019