Something new and exciting, dynamic and daring and I liked it.

Royal Liverpool Hospital Boiler House Chimney

I have always found this functional chimney impressive. A part of the Royal Liverpool Hospital and built around 1963 (Holford Associates) the boiler house upturned ‘hammer’ like chimney belongs I suspect to the 1960s brutalist style. Although, I have never found it brutal – in fact I find it inspiring and thrilling both in style and scale. It measures 67.06m in height and I was around when it was being built. I grew up close to the construction site and would have been about 9 years old when the building was finished. I have a fondness for the boiler house in particular. It’s brutalist style looked very modern to my young eyes, surrounded as I was by Victorian terraced houses. This was something new and exciting, dynamic and daring and I liked it.

I wanted to make a photograph that would capture those feelings that I had for this building and with the billowing steam at atop the chimney and the dramatic sky above, I think I have done it some justice.

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Filed under Architecture, Caught my eye, Photography

If only we knew…

Kodak No.2 Foldinga Autographic BrownieRecently while visiting friends in Wales we took a trip to a 50s museum ( The wonderful thing about the place was the fact fact that almost no exhibits were in a case and many things were very accessible. It’s all a little disorderly, but for me it added to the undoubted charm of the place.

As I walked around my eyes were caught by the camera collection. Although many of the cameras were far earlier in date than the fifties their engineering beauty shines out from across the decades.

The Kodak No.2 Folding Autographic Brownie in particular, made between 1915 and 1926, stood out for me and I wanted to make a photograph of it surrounded by other cameras. Who knows what pictures this wonderful camera may have taken over the years. If only we knew…

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What makes a memory?

A door in the wall

I made this photograph of a simple wooden door in a red brick wall. But the reason I made it is locked in my past and to one of my earliest memories.

I remember I was walking back from a shopping trip with my mother on a hot summers day in 1958. I would have been 4 years old. I recall the heat and my mother’s bright floral dress. We had stopped by this very same wall because my mother had met a neighbour and they were chatting. It was very hot.

But what fixes this so strongly in my memory and in my mind, was the sweet scent from a flowering privet hedge growing on the other side of the wall in what I assume was the rear garden of the house. Privet flowers in late summer, producing a sickly sweet aroma and that places my memory in a specific time of the the time of year. Every time I smell that fragrance my mind is catapulted back to that day back in the late summer of 1958.

I was in the same area recently and wanted to check if the wall was still there and was it how I remembered it. As it turned out, it was! The wall is now in a heritage area and part of a grade II listed building, so was well preserved. The door must be a newer addition, but the wall was exactly the same as I remembered it 60 years ago. I just wonder if behind that wall the privet hedge is still there. I’ll have to return in late summer and see if I can pick up the scent. Now that would be wonderful!

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Filed under Looking back, Photography, Uncategorized

Kotor, Montenegro using a Fuji X100F

Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor is a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast, in a bay near the limestone cliffs of Mt. Lovćen.

This photograph was made using a Fuji X100F on the approach to Kotor harbour, looking back to the entrance to the Bay of Kotor where the fjords meet the Mediterranean.

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Still Waters using a Fuji X20

Still Waters copy

One from the archive… Windermere from Borrans Park close to the Waterhead Hotel. Taken with my old Fuji x20. The water was still and the breeze light. The lighting conditions were unusual and the distant hills blended to nothing. Only the sounds of the mooring ropes and rigging occasionally disturbed the quiet.

For my Flickr”

and my Photoblog:

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Speke Hall using Fuji X100F

Speke Hall

For more on this image and others visit my Photoblog:

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Caught my eye, Liverpool, Photography

Photography with an 86 year old!

Photograph of St James Park, Liverpool

St James Park, Liverpool

Sorting out the loft (still not sorted by the way), I came across my dad’s old May Fair Camera. A simple box camera made in 1931.

After cleaning the May Fair inside and out, I ventured out armed with a new roll of 120mm Ilford HP4 – still available from Boots the Chemist – and made a few photographs at St James Park by Liverpool Cathedral. What you see above is scanned from the original print and has not been enhanced or altered. The weather was overcast but the light reasonable.

After using digital cameras for many years now it takes some getting used to the idea that you only have 8 negatives! It really focusses the mind on the job in hand.

The viewfinder is very small and despite my best efforts at cleaning remains a somewhat scratched. Composition was difficult and the photographer has to rely on sufficient light reaching the mirror that reflects the image up onto the tiny viewfinder.

My dad's vintage May Fair Camera

My dad’s vintage May Fair Camera

I think for an 86 year old camera this image is impressive and I will be going out again to see what else I can capture with this vintage gem.

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A New Direction

My first camera

My first camera

Back in May 2014 I posted this:

Over the past couple of years photography has increasingly become a more important part of my life. I use it as a part of my job as a graphic designer but I’m also using it more and more outside of the professional sphere to take images that give me pleasure or capture a moment in time. Drawing and painting are truly pleasurable activities too but there’s something about photographs & photography in general that is really beginning to dominate my free time.

I intend to post a some of my photographs to this blog, along with observations on photography, cameras equipment etc and I hope you enjoy the new direction this blog will now take. I will, as before, continue to make comment or write about other subjects or events that interest me or come to my attention.

To read my May 2104 post follow the link below:

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A rare thing indeed

Reid shop window

After the demise of Waterstones in Bold Street, see my earlier post: bookshops in Liverpool are becoming few and far between. Reid of Liverpool is one of the few independent booksellers left in this city. A very rare thing indeed.

Reid of Liverpool is a traditional antiquarian & used bookshop, established in 1975. Over 40,000 titles of a most varied stock, from academic, science, fiction, unusual and arcane.

Reid of Liverpool

If you are interested in more go here:

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Filed under Books and authors, Liverpool

Type that makes me smile #2

beer garden

But the beer is very good.

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Filed under Caught my eye, Typography

Type that makes me smile #1

Reception sign


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A cathartic experience in the main.

A an old fashioned graphics studio

This photo (above) is a faded polaroid of my old home studio which was carefully tucked away under the stairs of our home. Nothing in the picture now remains and only the washed out image capturing the past gives life to my memories of the objects within it.

It’s been a long time since I last posted to this blog. May the 2nd 2014 in fact. The reasons are many and largely personal and of probably of little interest to most people, so I’ll spare you the details…

However, over recent months circumstances have forced me to look back over the past. Going through old photographs, personal effects and having to wade through and then part with a lot of things that have accumulated over many years, both in my own life and the lives of others close to me. Charity shops seem very happy with much of what I’ve brought into them over the months and as for the rest – those ‘things’ that had had their day – it was off to the local Waste Recycling Centre. It’s been a cathartic experience in the main, as well as a truly exhausting one.

So I’m in a reflective state at the moment, when I can find the time. All the sifting and sorting is still going on, but the end (of sorts) is in sight now.

I thought it would be interesting to look back to May 2014, when I last managed to post to this blog and get a glimpse of what was in the headlines back then. This is a very short selection of what I found…

Malaysia’s government releases a preliminary report on a missing plane, and Nigerians search for the kidnappers of hundreds of girls.

UEFA to investigate nine clubs suspected of breaching financial fair play regulations

Jeremy Paxman quit Newsnight after new BBC news boss James Harding reprimanded him for ‘disloyal’ attack on ‘smug’ corporation.


Boo Boo the bear cub is given a last-minute reprieve after officials threatened to put him down for biting 14 students and sparking fears of rabies outbreak on a campus. Two-month-old bear was part of petting zoo that visits Missouri university in May 2014.

So please bear with me (so sorry about that) as I do my best to bring this blog back to life and for those of you who have dipped in and out to check up on older posts – a big thank you. I’ve been amazed that this dormant blog has had so many views while I’ve ‘been away’ and it’s encouraging to know that blogging, in the age of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, still has a place.

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Between one second and the next


Over the past couple of years photography has increasingly become a more important part of my life. I use it as a part of my job as a graphic designer but I’m also using it more and more outside of the professional sphere to take images that give me pleasure or capture a moment in time. Drawing and painting are truly pleasurable activities too but there’s something about photographs & photography in general that is really beginning to dominate my free time.

Only a camera can capture that instant in time, that vital moment between one second and the next and record it forever. There’s something thrilling about that and I find it increasingly addictive.

Maybe as I’m getting older I notice how time appears to slide by at an alarming rate of knots these days. Possibly this is my futile attempt to freeze time, slow it down to a moment and hold it there for good.

The more images I take, the more I realise I have so much more to learn. I’m currently looking at the work of Saul Leiter and Cartier-Bresson, two masters of the art. I recommend their work if you like me have an interest in photography.

If you want to take a look at a few of my images then they can found on my Flickr site. I would be delighted if you paid them a visit and added a comment here and there.

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Thank you one and all!

Just topped 17000 views. Thanks to all who have visited this blog. Please come back again soon…Image

This is a shot of me and Morris, my dad’s car way back then in the dim and distant past. It was shot with an old Kodak ‘Hawkeye’ camera (I think) that my dad used to use. If you want to see more cameras that have played a role in my life then go here. (Unashamed plug for my Photoblog).

I’ve also blogged about my ‘Box of old cameras’ here.

I’ll be blogging here too from time to time. So once again, thanks for visiting.

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Filed under A box of old cameras, Blogging

Tony Ben RIP 14 March 2014

Tony Ben RIP 14 March 2014

Tony Ben

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March 14, 2014 · 10:22 am