A Pair of F2s: 14/100. Bankside, London. Made with a Nikon F2 and Kodak T-Max 400 film on the 27th of March, 1988.
What is photography for? Lots of things. For many it is about creativity and artistic expression. But photography is a key contributor to the collective memory, because of the way it can capture a record of the ephemeral, in images that are authentic and can stand the test of time.
In 1988 I had just spent a year working as an Assistant Photographer (no more than a darkroom printer) at the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. Quite a mouthful, which is why it’s now known as just Historic England. The role of RCHME was to compile a national record of historic built environment: an endeavour I’d always admired. This was about architectural photography, yes, but more than that: it was about capturing a record of the rapidly-changing built landscape in totality.
London was being redeveloped in the eighties at an accelerating pace. Most of the redevelopment until then had been about infilling bomb damage and the spaces left by slum clearance programmes. There had been showcase projects such as The South Bank and The Barbican, and the skyward growth of the City of London. But much of London was still unimproved, including most of Bankside, the stretch of the riverside from what is now Tate Modern to Tower Bridge, where the old wharf buildings still stood, dark and empty. This was some time before the new Globe Theatre or the Great London Authority building.
These were the parts of London I instinctively headed to, with my cameras.📷 #bwphotos #80slondon #builtlandscape #london_city_photo #londonphotographers #londonphotos #photographerlondon #streetsoflondon #bwphotograph #35mmphotography #kodaktmax #kodaktmax400 #nikonf2 #nikonf2photomic #citystreets #streetphoto_bnw #blackandwhitefilm #blackandwhite_photography #architecturephotograpy #buildingsphotography #buildingsphoto #stpaulscathedral #riverthameswalk