Burn, Burn, Burn ~ Hannah in Robin Hoods Bay Photo Series
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” ~ Jack Kerouac from On the Road
A Piece of Home ~ A Saltaire Photo Series
I’ve lived in Saltaire for over a year & a half now & every day I feel like I have a home in one of the most awesome places in the world. Saltaire was founded by Sir Titus Salt in 1851 & pioneered the wool industry in Yorkshire. Titus created Saltaire by combining & relocating 5 Bradford mills & their staff to the new location by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Now a world heritage site, Saltaire is a beautiful model village with a strong artist community. Including of course the best non traditional vintage reportage & alternative documentary wedding photographer in Yorkshire ;-) Shutter Go.. Click Photography.
There’s just something about getting off the train from a busy day in Leeds & walking through the cobbled streets. Smelling the wood burning stoves of cosey cottages. Watching the breeze play through treetops amidst slow moving canals. I remember getting home from 30 hours of travelling back from the beautiful Bali (after our honeymoon) & struggling with luggage, house keys & an impatient wife needing a wee. But then just pausing a moment & soaking in the view of a incredible rainbow rising over Shipley Glen.
It just goes to show, you don’t always have to travel far from home to see the biggest of pictures. Sometimes they can be right on your doorstep…
A Story Unseen ~ At Stranger Times ~ A Leeds Photo Series
When you look back through the past couple of years in photographs on hard drives, it’s amazing the memories that are rekindled. Not just the moment where the image was captured, but where I was in my life when they were taken. Some of the photos above were shot from the rooftop garden at Leeds General Infirmary. The dwindling light cast warmth over a busy city skyline.
At the time my dad had just woken up from a coma after having an aortic aneurysm. It was a pretty surreal time in my familes life & I’m greatful for every moment with him since. Of course, he went on to stand by me as the best man at my wedding & one day in the not so distant future. He’ll be the best rockstar grandad the world has ever known.
Photography is not just a means of remembering a moment, it can be about reliving an emotion, a story unseen beyond the megapixel…
If there’s one camera that I’ve wanted since I started taking photographs it’s the awesome Polaroid SX–70. The SX–70 is a collapsible single lens reflex camera made by Polaroid between 1972 & 1981. This little bad boy was a birthday present from my lovely wife & came from my favourite shop in the world West Yorkshire Cameras.
The first one my wife bought me was an original 1972 model in brown leather & after putting a pack of film in it, I realised the cassette door didn’t close flush with the body. Boo! Hats off to the awesome guys at West Yorkshire Cameras though. They replaced it no questions asked & now I find myself the proud owner of a later 1978 Sonar OneStep SX–70 in black. Schwing!
The awesome feature of the Sonar OneStep is that it actually has autofocus. not the autofucus we have come to know in recent years though. This little magic box was made by wizards. The Sona OneStep actually uses a form of Sonar to achieve focus via a series of ultrasonic chirps let out by the electrostatic transducer above the lens. Just like a more primitive form of Sonar normally found in submarines (Torpedo Ahead) These chirps bounce back off the target communicating with the camera as to where in the hell said subject is.
I tell you now this autofocus is fast & pretty damn accurate but boy is it all kinds of noisy. Honestly, the autofocus in this camera is so damn loud that beached whales have been found ashore whenever I use it. But who cares, you’re not using this camera to remain stealthy. This camera is all about the results, instantaneous results of a physical, beautiful print in your fingers. Perhaps that’s why this camera has its place alongside the expensive high resolution digital gear in my bag. Not just for fun shots, but i’m rocking the SX–70 at paid shoots, weddings, engagement sessions & travel.
Now Ryan, why in the hell are you carrying that great hunk of 70’s metal when the same results can be achieved in post? For the people who need to ask that, Polaroid isn’t for them. For me the SX–70 like all film photography has a rawness, a purity. I have one control wheel which adjusts exposure, a shutter button that doubles as autofocus & pop…whirrrr… A picture in my hands.
When I pull the SX–70 out of my bag a lot of clients ask me if you can still buy the film. All I can say is thank the photographic God’s for the Impossible Project. In 2008 Florian Kaps & Andre Bosman purchased the last remaining factory manufacturing the then doomed Polaroid film. Along with keeping its 10 very best expert employees, they set about retaining the decades of heritage by keeping the instant film where it should be, in the hands of photographers.
The term ‘instant photography’ is best used loosely when discussing Impossible film. As it can take between 20–30 minutes to fully develop I’m not gonna lie. I could shoot digitally, upload my picture, edit it & have the image broadcast across the world within a quarter of that time. But there’s such a magic to the chemistry of its creation. It’s the subtleties in colour, the randomness.
Quite often as photographers we are striving to achieve a constant state of technical perfection. Of course this isn’t to say the SX–70 doesn’t require a certain element of control. When I first got my camera I spent a whole cassette of film trying to get the bloody thing to expose properly (& I call myself a pro;-) But Polaroid cameras strip back the complex buttons & dials, they don’t pretend to be advanced all encompassing photographic tools. They replace numbers & pixels for something physical, something you can touch.
The Polaroid SX–70 allows me to connect with an art that can quite often become bogged down with thought process. In a world which consumes media & photography faster & faster it’s good to step back, release the dark slide & watch your memories develop…
Based in Saltaire, Shutter Go.. Click specialises in non traditional vintage reportage & alternative documentary wedding photography in Yorkshire.