Often i handle work were the details of the photographer have been lost to time. I’ve always liked the idea that the photo repair and copying services I offer, help preserve at least some of the vintage photography and keep the photographer’s work alive. How much of it gets destroyed or lost each year is anyone’s guess but it is probably more than we’d like to see lost forever.
The above photo is a case in point. Back in August I was contacted by a vintage photography collector who had come across 120 fragile glass negatives that he believed document people who lived in my community back in the late Victorian and early Edwardian era. The images are of a very high quality and cover a good cross section of people. It is a valuable social record of a community or family during the late 19th and early 20th century. The only problem is that the photographer is unknown and the people in the portraits remain nameless. In fact the entire collection, apart from around eight street photographs that are easily identifiable, remains a mystery.
The images are being archived to Flickr and the community website that i designed and help run is attempting to find some answers by pooling the detective work. Someone out there knows who these people are. The locations are also a factor. If we can even identify the locations where some of these images were taken, it will help in the identification. Hopefully some answers can be found to this photographic mystery.
This time last month i was in the Highlands, a remarkably beautiful place that is a photographer’s paradise. Images are round ever corner whether it be the mountains, the lochs or castles like Eilean Donan seen in the image above. The visit, as well as being a great creative canvas, made me rethink a one of my planned projects.
Originally I intended to release another photography book about the Highlands later this year, but after some thought I’ve decided to delay the book until late next year. The reasons are many but what it really comes down to is two factors. First i think the idea of doing a book each year is rather limiting.
A book should only be released if it has strong photographs, otherwise it is just a waste of time. Secondly, the Sea, Sky, Sand and Street project worked well and produced a strong photography book. To rush and release something when it isn’t complete or ready seems ridiculous. You don’t make a book just for making’s sake, it has to be right!
The images taken up there this year are a start. The foundations have been laid and next year more photography will be shot to be added to the book project.
So it looks like 2012 will see no book releases by me. I’m happy enough with that. I’d rather release a great book occasionally that a weak one each year. One book remains on the list for release next year. The Norfolk Project photography book, covering over ten years of photos will take shape over the coming months with a release due for the summer of 2013.
Family albums are remarkable documents that sadly seem to dying out due to the social networks. Why keep the images in a book where the rest of the family can’t see them, when you can upload them to Facebook?
Recently i was able to look through a beautifully ornate and fascinating family album, bought to me by a client who wanted to have a number of the images copied and repaired.
It was obvious that the album was old just from looking at it, but after a bit of research i realised that the images dated form well before the first world war. The fascinating detail of what i found out can be read here.
Photographs are very delicate documents. Water, smoke and especially strong light can cause an immense amount of damage to a photograph. Sometimes that damage can be fatal, although it can be surprising how much detail remains even in the most faded photograph.
The photo restoration service extends the lifespan of an original photograph. See the old original photo as being like a negative. The original can be placed safely away, away from the elements that would harm it, and the new one displayed for all to see.
For a list of photograph restoration, copying and retouching services currently available, check out the links on the services page.