Recently while visiting friends in Wales we took a trip to a 50s museum (http://www.50smuseum.uk/). 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…
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!
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.
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” https://www.flickr.com/photos/g-simons/41717440092/in/dateposted/
and my Photoblog: https://gerrysimonsphoto.blogspot.co.uk
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
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.