Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Sunday Thought.

Image copyright Mark Page

I thought today that in keeping with the Sabbath we could get a little contemplative. This has come about because I have just rediscovered an old Victorian book I forgot I had called "A Sunday At Home" and also because of something a friend recently did that made me all thoughtful and to be honest a tad morose, so be warned. Now that I've set the tone for that whole Sunday service bit, I'll just give you a bit more atmosphere below.

Are them pews good and hard? Good then I'll begin.

This friend of mine who's an illustrator, was asking me where he could get some old photographs from, you know the sort of thing just a collection of "snaps" cool vintage stuff. I told him I thought he would be lucky to find anything like that nowadays as appropriating old photographs was a bit of a fad with both art photographers and artists alike.

He took no notice of me like most of my friends, and spent the afternoon rummaging around various secondhand bookshops around Shudehill. A few hours later and £400 lighter (I may be doing his funeral service when he tells his girlfriend) he turned up with a box of old photo's. We spent a while looking through several hundred black & white prints mostly on 8x10 fibre based paper. They were mainly landscapes of the Cheshire countryside in and around Hale.,_Greater_Manchester There were also shots from around North Wales and some group portraits. Most had information on the back, neatly typed onto bits of paper and glued on. Place, season subject, F.stop speed etc. Annoyingly no dates though. There also appeared the same name. (I won't publish it here.)

It became apparent that they had all been taken by the same man, and had been printed by him. I imagine that he was a "serious amature" and this was his life's work. We treated them with more respect and both got a little melancholy. They were well made prints often different versions of the same subject. This was the work of somebody who cared a great deal about the images they were making.

I'm glad my friend made a rash decision to spend £400 on that box of old photo's He intends to sort through and maybe get them online for other people to enjoy. It made me think about what would happen to the photographs I've taken. I, like the man from Hale have spent time and effort in making them. I hope that if they end up in a cardboard box in the backroom of a musty shop somewhere in Manchester that someone like my friend finds them and appreciates them.

So that's it, just a quick thought on mortality and what not, fucking hell cheer up!


Anonymous said...


TomRS said...

unfortunatley ... more than likely as they are probably digital and not in print form they will end up on a hard drive somewhere ... on a dump ... as old electronic stuff that no longer works ... looking for someone to rescue it and reformat it ... I've thought a lot about this subject and have only feelings of loss as all our digital work will not be found and appreciated as is the photographers work your friend purchased ... it's a discussion worth considering.

Mark Page said...

Hi Tom, I do have a few thousand negs but of late, last couple of years I shoot digital. I try where ever possible and subject to cost to print as much off as I can. I have a decent Epson printer and use good inks fuji paper etc. I hope I leave enough of that to encourage someone to take the time with what remains digital.