One of my photos

Wallowing in it

September 1st, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 3 Comments · Life

One of our home-made lighting gantries at New Barn House

I have been putting off going through my photos for a while because it was a bit daunting, but now I have started and it turns out to be a much better way to pass an evening than watching TV and I have already scanned in some of my favourites from two albums which cover my last year at school and the year or so immediately afterwards.All these older pictures would have been taken with little instamatic cameras, probably with those 110 or 126 cartridges.  The nostalgia is not just in the contents but also in the very format of the prints, some of them with the rounded corners and with that peculiar 70s colour to them.  How times change.  With digital cameras now we think nothing of taking several hundred photos on a day out, but back then a 24-exposure film might last months.

Having a quick flick through the albums I came across some pictures taken in Tunisia the first time I went.  There were only 3 or 4 of them.  Last year I went for a week and took 300 or 400 in the first few days.

The picture above is of the grounds of New Barn House in Lindsell, Essex.  It was a grand but uninhabited house which we took over two years running to do Shakespeare in the open air.   We hired proper lights but built our own gantries by nailing planks of wood together.  Cables ran back across the grass to a control panel in the house and sheets of plastic were thrown over to protect them from the wet.   This was in the days before health and safety.  We are probably lucky to have survived.

Fyfield: the middle quad from above

One set of photos has a particular significance for me.   They are only tiny pictures – 35mm across I imagine because they are cut from a contact sheet.

The significance is that I developed these myself in the darkroom at school.  I didn’t take them – that was done by one of our teachers – but when he developed the film he let us do prints of them to learn how to do all the timing and everything.

I never did get into developing my own films, too much hassle finding a space and having all the chemicals, but I do appreciate having had the chance to do it.

Not looking forward to the next few albums.  I had a quick look through and they are very 80s indeed.  There are a couple where I look like I am auditioning for a Haircut 100 tribute band.

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3 Comments so far ↓

  • Rob Glover

    Have just volunteered to scan my parent’s collection of Kodakchrome transparencies dating from 1965-1979, they dug them out for me the other week and it’s still amazing how well the colour holds up compared to prints from the same era. As you say, some of the ’70s prints you can date from the style of the paper and even the colour cast of they dyes used.
    I’ll scan the transparencies at film resolution and see what they come out like, there are some _very_ young Robs on them.
    It’s amazing how quickly I’ve got used to digital photography and how liberating it is. As you say in the 70s I recall Dad would buy a roll of film for the holidays that could give you 12 transparencies. Every photo was posed, very few just taken on spec.

  • Skuds

    So far I have not come across any of those triple prints. Remember those? You would get a big photo and then two sort of thumbnails next to it.

    What surprised me was, given how few photos we took then, the number I have that are of apparently random things. Maybe some were of the ‘using up the last couple of frames so i can get it developed’ genre.

  • Rob Glover

    Yes, there was that. That’s how I have random photos of my album collection, kitchen, car etc from the late 80s through to the 90s. Using up film which contained holiday snaps taken 6 months previously!