CONTENTS Contributors Editorâ€şs Letter; Disposable Lifestyle, the Constant Desire For more The Exceptional Panoramas of Edwin P. Thompson Nostalgic Beauty Fighting the Pixels Sweet Memories Sisters Party Hats & Wrapping Paper Family Ties What Goes Around Comes Around Sonisphere Ski The Local
CONTRIBUTORS Editor & Photographer: Hannah Walsh Writer & Photographer: Neil Kendall Model: Rebecca Friis-Jansen With special thanks the following for image contributions:
Becki Clavering Hayley Thompson Victoria Saxton Christopher Twitchell Samuel Walsh Giles Ward
Disposable Lifestyle: The Constant Desire for More From the Editor
hy is it that we are never happy with what we have? Perhaps grass is greener on the other side, with our new piece of technology and a brand new wardrobe. But really, the way we dispose of our unwanted items is hardly green at all. According to the disposable planet website, the waste output of the average American has doubled in the last 40 years. Things like clothes are bought, used for a while and then replaced. Fashion is simply a big cycle, and most items will be back on the catwalk in no time- I learnt my lesson after I threw away an old baby-pink beaded necklace, only to be purchasing a new one a few years later. Everything seems to become re-branded and repackaged to appeal as the latest ‘necessity’ so that the earlier versions seem out of date. We are only unhappy with our items when there is a newer version available. Photography, like everything else, is disposable. With millions of images now uploaded onto the internet, it is understandable why analogue photography is dying. It has to be said that I am disappointed to know that children of the future will be unable to look through their grandparent’s photo box of old smudgy images. Instead they will be browsing through thousands of files on the computer. Of course digital is not all bad, with its help, we are now more educated than ever about the world we call home. News stories are more approachable and now anybody can enjoy taking photographs.
Disposable cameras, however, is a film camera that is still popular and has many uses; holiday pictures, wedding favors, underwater shooting, used as ‘accident’ cameras in cars and they are also used for projects where they are left in a public space for someone to find, use and send back. This snap, snap, snap, quick and easy shooting is exactly what has taken control of the photography market. Not only do we enjoy how easily we can take images but we also love how quickly we can receive the results. It is a shame that analogue is coming to an end (certain with the stop to many analogue camera and film production) but there has been a rise in new analogue. Lomography produce some of my favorite film cameras, with beautiful quirky results. In the near future photography as we once knew it, will be limited to sales in small antique shops, similar to sales of old record players. Collected by enthusiasts and retro lovers. For now, let us celebrate what we have. Take images for their beautifully grainy texture and the surprise of seeing what we have captured. The reaction of the chemicals is beautiful, a fragile moment in time, imprinted on paper. In this issue, we celebrate the analogue breed with disposable in mind. I hope by the end of reading you feel inspired to rummage through the attic for your good ol’ chunky film camera for a taste of excitement and mystery.
Let the light leak in.
Images here by Vicky Saxton & Giles Ward
THE EXCEPTIONAL By Neil Kendall
dwin was dead: to begin with. Probably. Maybe. There is sadly no evident register of his burial signed by a clergyman, a clerk, an undertaker, or even a chief mourner. In fact it must be admitted that any connection to these curious images is purely circumstantial; indeed all the evidence presented here is more anecdotal and subjective than might be ideal. But it is upon such inconsistent frames that much of the tapestry of history is woven. These photographs were discovered, by chance, at the end of November 2010 in an antique shop in Buxton, Derbyshire*. To be precise, they were in an ornamental box with the name of Edwin P. Thompson written in pen on a small piece of paper glued to the inner surface of the lid. It may be that the pictures were put in the box
simply for passing convenience and there is no connection with the name. But as it is the only name we have, this association deserves to be pursued. The only other reference currently to be found to Edwinâ€™s name is a description from the end of the 19th century of the picturesque village of Hognaston, which can be conveniently found just twenty-five miles southeast of Buxton near Carsington Water. At the time of the document, half a mile to the west of the village, there lived the Misses R. & Q. Thompson.
PANORAMAS OF EDWIN P. THOMPSON
Arch of View + This has been identified as Buxton; here Edwin’s obsession with curves and form are clearly shown along the avoidance of any humanity or, frustratingly, signs of daily life from the period. He does however capture both the power and grandeur of the stone as well as the sensuality of the curve and relatively delicate carving and balustrade beyond.
The same manuscript also mentions a farmer by the name of Edwin who resided on a farm somewhat less than a mile north of the village. No distance at all for an ardent suitor, who may well have given his name to a child who then bore the surname of the mother. A birth out of wedlock was something to be discreet about at that time and may well explain the lack of further evidence of Edwin’s existence.
There is no grave that bears his name in the hallowed grounds of St Bartholomew’s church or mention in the register’s of any Derbyshire parishes. This lack of monument or public acknowledgement was unhappily not unusual for a bastard child of rural parentage. The timeworn path of the ardent genealogist is often a labyrinth full of dead-ends, cul-de-sacs and locked doorways.
Shining Shadows + Edwin’s obsession with architectural shapes is displayed here with this curious image of bright angular paving. He seems to have quite purposefully pointed his camera downward, which indicates it was a reasonably flexible mechanism. The hard geometric forms of the slabs are contrasted with the tantalisingly curvy forms in the railing shadows.
An initial examination of the panoramas supplies few tangible clues, the majority of the backs are blank but a few have pencilled notes that indicate connections to the local villages of Kettleshulme***; Upper Elkstone; Wildboarclough****; Tunstead Milton*****; Pott Shrigley******; and Hathersage Booths. Did Edwin follow in the footsteps of the many cyclists and ramblers, and travel between these tranquil Pennine oases at times of leisure, walking stick in one hand and camera in the other? We can be sure that Edwin was not a Salesian Missionary as their exemplary records make no mention of him and he may have been in the later years of his life by the time they were established in Shrigley Hall. So apart from the possibility of photography Edwin’s leisure activities and religious beliefs remain enigmatic and merely the subject for speculation. As a major source of employment in Buxton, Mr Thompson may have found work in the limestone quarries. The box from the antique shop contained more panoramas than are reproduced here. A few are sadly too faded or worn to provide any worthwhile information. Several others are of a nature too personal for widespread publication, however
expert examination of the visible fabrics and lace may eventually provide information that will allow more accurate dating of the images. These photographs do point towards at least one of Edwin’s areas of interest. The eight panoramas below remain quite enigmatic but do provide some valuable pointers on the character of the collection.
Vertical Rays + This photograph exploits the very camera lens to create an object than transcends the scene before it, with rays of light almost physically leaping over the water towards the viewer. The format is ruthlessly exploited and the notions of framing that would have abounded at Edwinâ€™s time have been challenged in a brave and extraordinary manner. There is much to see in this small selection from this inscrutable collection with its themes of form in nature and manmade structures and its attempts to go beyond any temporal indicators. It is a shame that it is so successful in the latter that it leaves the contemporary viewer with no more than a pattern of assumptions and guesswork to built upon.
Arboreal Strength + This may have been achieved by a ninety degree tilt of the camera, with the form leading the viewers eye into the third and then beyond as the tree shatters and shatters again into ever smaller parts. The shape seems to use the stretched form of the panorama to toy with notions of the golden section and so force the viewer to reconsider their perspective on several levels.
* PENNY POST ANTIQUES in Cavendish Circus + NAMES we have no indication that any of the panoramas were named by Edwin P Thompson, so the nomenclature has kindly been provided by Claude Van Redondo – Life President of the Central Pennines Photography Club and Bernice Appleby – his secretary and former Miss Bakewell. ** HOGNASTON a parish and small village, pleasantly situated 5 miles SW by W from Wirksworth, contains 1,350 acres of land, three-fourths of which is pasture, and the remainder arable; rateable value, ٦ 2,044£s. In 1٨51 it had 70 houses and 299 inhabitants, of whom 14٦ were males, and 153 females. The principal owners are Wm. P. Thornhill, Esq., M.P., Mr Edw. Trueman, Mr R.M. Thompson, Misses Thompson, Mr Jno. Heathcote, Mr Wm.Alsop, Mr John Sims, Colonel R.B. Leacroft, Mr Robert Bunting, Rev William Buckwell, and the Rev. Joseph Sikes. The Church, dedicated to St Bartholomew, is an ancient structure, with square tower, and south porch, within which is a fine Norman arch. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the King’s book at 3 7£s. 4d., now 155£, has been augmented with ٨00£ Queen Anne’s bounty. The Bishop of Lichfield is patron, and the Rev. Thomas O Grady, incumbent. In 5٦-1٨55, a handsome parsonage was erected a little W. from the church, at a cost of about 1500£, exclusive of the site, which was the gift of Mrs Thornhill. The Primitive Methodist Chapel, built in 1٨27, is a neat brick building. The Independents have a chapel erected in 1٨55, at a cost of ٦0£, it is a neat stone building, and will seat ٦0 hearers. ½ mile W from Hognaston is the residence and property of Misses R. & Q. Thompson. Mr Edwin Shuman also owns and resides on a farm miles 4/3 N from the village.
Wye Surge + This image reflects another theme that runs through the collection, that of water. There is enough here for us to be confident of our identification of this as the River Wye at Bakewell. Here Edwin has relished the interplay of three curves, the manmade form of the riverbank, the sweeping wavelet on the water and the almost magical apparition of a ring of light. Three great philosophical obsessions of the early twentieth century intertwined.
Lacework of Branches + Edwin has carried his interest in form into the natural world; with the sweeps and curves of branches, and lacy traceries of twigs enhanced by the panoramic format. Of time and place there is nothing concrete but maybe it is in this very timelessness and universality that a greater appeal lays. Was Edwin using this very mechanical device of metal and glass to try and reach out to a more spiritual plane?
Arboreal Forms + With the passing of time and seasons, some of these images are very difficult to place. Some have pencilled annotations indicating local villages, but also include names, times and even selections of grocery. For example, the picture above includes the following tantalising message â€“ Upper Elkstone, Edith, 2 ,3.15 pounds of purple sprouter. It seems on occasions that the backs of the pictures are being used as some form of notepad.
Lace in Iron and Stone + Another of Buxtonâ€™s panoramas that plays with a variety of arches and almost feminine shapes this time visually linking the curves of the stone above the windows in the background with those in the wrought iron of the pillars and roof across two planes. It is hard to tell if the top right hand corner is corrosion, a curious reflection or a large amount of snow.
*** KETTLESHULME was once a centre for the manufacture of a material called candlewick but this finished in 1937, leaving just an abandoned mill as a reminder of the past. The village’s other claim to fame is as the 19th century dwelling place of Amos Broadhurst, whose beard grew to the extraordinary length of seven feet. **** WILDBOARCLOUGH claims to be where the last wild boar in England was killed but as with many things there is no evidence for this claim. It may simply be named after a deep valley or clough that used to be the den of those creatures from the past. ***** TUNSTEAD MILTON in the parish of Chapel en le Frith near Coombes Reservoir is the location of Tunstead Dickey a “Screaming Skull” that was remarked on in ‘Highways and Byways in Derbyshire by J B Frith’ (1905) as well as Black’s 19th century guide. ****** POTT SHRIGLEY is best known, if known at all for anybody but its immediate residents for the nearby Shrigley Hall, the home for almost five hundred years of the Downes family. In 1929 the hall and grounds became the Salesian Missionary College. Curator d’Image – Neil Kendall 2010
Fighting the Pixels An extract from my dissertation, ‹A discussion of the developments that have occurred in amateur photography, with relation to the digital age and resurgence of analogue technology›.
We have become deluded by digital. Real life is a reference point, as it seems that the world without and before digital is not worth remembering. The necessity of mobile phones, and the compulsion to photograph anything and everything seem to occupy the thoughts and actions of many people. Rather than enjoy an event, a concert or a birthday, it seems that we must give ourselves a task, as a way of occupying our minds. Life is no longer good enough to the digitally minded, they must live in several spheres at once. Digital technology has engulfed analogue photography. Some believe that analogue is dead, however I personally argue that it is only traditional photography that is coming to an end. The Lomographic Society is an example of how analogue has been rebooted and resold in the form of a newer, cheap and accessible package. While the internet has helped the society as a platform for reaching new Lomographers, iPhoneography has also shown a
surprising surge in the popularity of the toy camera because of the editing and ‘filter’ applications that allow the user to customize their images to replicate the products of the original analogue cameras. Amateurs use traditional analogue photography in a completely separate way. Looking through family albums brings a warmth and nostalgia that are present in even the modern camera replicas. However, it is argued that snapshot photography (the typically beautiful and personal photograph) is an old cliché. However, I believe that snapshot photography is fading with traditional analogue. Although all amateur photography could in some way be described as snapshot photography or photojournalism, I feel that that the modern snapshots taken today are edited prior to taking the images as a way of the user creating a picture profile of themselves, planning already that these will be uploaded onto their favorite social networking site. In this sense, these are forms of
photojournalism that have taken the place of the snapshot image. No matter if the subject seems to show the magic of a fleeting moment, if its key use is to become a display of memories in an online archive, it is being used as a way of advertising the self, to help portray the desired digital aura. To some extent we are not creative with digital photography, the automatic nature of new technology allows the camera to take its own image, although composed by the user. Any image can appear beautiful through the camera’s eye especially after post editing. In this sense it can be argued that the digital form of art is in the ‘painting’ and altering of the images in Photoshop. However, are we therefore not simply editors of the camera’s images? Surely a photographer is only as good as their unedited pinhole image. The skill behind the pixels seems hazy when it is so difficult to see where the camera’s eye stopped and the photographer’s began.
Photography has become lazy. Rather than taking an actual photograph, we now use digital automated tools for taking and editing our ‘art piece’. When photography was first invented, it was used as a tool of recording, preserving whilst also taking inspiration from art to capture beauty. But what is the driving force behind photography today? Because of beauty’s perceived cliché, it seems that photographers have always fought to escape from the typical and capture the surreal beauty, what is out of context and challenging. However, the amateur photography of today seems to still focus on the desire to replicate and be remembered. Technology’s advances have allowed for imagery to be shared in a drastically new way,
enhancing the social network of the photographer. Images are no longer personal or particularly cherished as much as they once were; they are disposable. The desire to replicate and revert back to analogue however enhances the idea that society loves to possess memories, to be able to refer back to them in times of discomfort and angst. Amateur photographers like to collect images that are aesthetically pleasing to them, be it because of the subject, positioning or the strings that it pulls on their heart. Aesthetic opinion, it can be debated, changes and only when technology stops evolving, will the views on aesthetics stay still. Due to the enormity of the media, the desire to produce images like
those seen in magazines will not dim until editing tools available are so abstract from the reality of the image that photography merges with graphic design at the end of the photographic spectrum. No matter how photographs are taken, there are many underlying reasons why amateurs photograph including the desire to be remembered, the need to inform the world in the form of photojournalism, a hunger for the past because of nostalgic feelings and of course the pressure be involved. We desire to keep or memories as possessions. Convenience has lead to the popularity of digital when all amateurs really want is a pretty picture.
Every time that I see these images I remember the past, recalling wonderful holidays, camping trips and my family at the time of the images. Some images here, existed before I was born or they were captured while I was very young which then encourages feelings of love for those who are shown in them and a desire to know more about the history of the photographs that they are in.
Polly Pocket clip on earrings. My brother Chrisâ€ş Care Bear (that our mum would wash when he was sleeping) when he discovered that his teddy was missing, he would sit in front of the washing machine waiting teary-eyed. My dad whilst traveling. Mum in a jacket that I remember her wearing for years when I was young. Ready for a disco with my sister Tanya.
Sisters Images courtesy of Victoria Saxton Poem by Mahfooz Ali
Thank you, sister, for being there And letting me know you will always care. Thank you, sister for loving me so you helped me find where I wanted to go. Thank you, sister when times got bad you stood by me as no one had. Thank you, sister for being my friend I will love you until the very end. And I thank you, sister like I have before. But this time, sister it means so much more.
Party Hats & Wrapping Paper
It can be argued that the idea of the family has become disposable; not what it once was. Family occasions are often considered a situation to avoid, whereas children up until their teens, live and depend on family perhaps not appreciating what they have until much later, leaving a gap between two stages of dependance and happiness. Like the family photo album, the idea of family dinners, sunday lunches and religious holidays have begun to fade with the generations that started them.
Images courtesy of Hayley Thompson
Family Ties Images courtesy of Giles Ward
Family Holidays, day trips, sunday lunches, celebrations and preserving the memories of our loved ones. The family album is a treasure chest of special moments, personal encounters and achievements. The places that have visited and the things that stop us in our tracks. Why are some moments more beautiful, important and special than others? We photograph what we feel is worth remembering.
What Goes Around, Comes Around Images courtesy of Becki Clavering
erms, lace dresses, denim, flared trousers and petticoats.
Fashion goes around in loops, swaying in and out of trend. In this sense, fashion is disposable because of the way it is consumed and then replaced. Past styles become retro and part of geek chic culture, old wedding dresses become vintage and very popular with age similar to vinyl and dated analogue cameras. Recycling has also become classy in the way that in some cases it is renamed as vintage with an expensive price tag. Today, because of the acceptance of retro culture through vintage designers, film remakes and media reproductions; geek chic now applies to popular culture that has reverted backward. Despite this, geek chic items do not necessarily become popular for the right reasons, but rather for the image and the status that is now surrounded by retro. When we are nostalgic, we look through old family albums of black and white images of relatives. It could be said that subconsciously, these nostalgic feelings are directly linked to the rustic textures
of the old looking snapshot photographs. Every image that includes a person also captures time in the precious sense that eventually death will creep upon them, â€œthis link between photography and death haunts all photographs of peopleâ€? (Sontag 70 :1971). Therefore, to use analogue cameras in hope of obtaining quirky photos must be partly linked to the positive emotions that are encouraged when looking through shoeboxes of genuinely old images of past relatives. Files stashed on a computer do not enhance these same emotions; they cannot be held. It seems a shame that the old collections of photographs stashed in shoe boxes in our attics is coming to its end with the development of digital imagery. Though we should appreciate that for now, we can look back at our past and the history of our families, and at what we once wore.
Sonisphere Images courtesy of Christopher Twitchell
mages here have been taken on a disposable camera at the Sonisphere Festival of last year. Drinks were consumed, tents were burned, and classical rock music was blasted in all directions.
Arrival at the festival and tent setup. Cracking open a can to enjoy with the hot summer sunshine.
Methods of survival at an oxygen and shisha bar.
Images courtesy of Samuel Walsh
Holidays are disposable and so are the skills that we pick up along the thread of life. One ski trip allows for a check list tick of the things that have been experienced, tried and photographed.
Money is disposable, like the nights that it is spent on alcohol, the memories that are lost and the memories we wish we never had.
Memories are disposable along with self respect.