Photo of the week: 3 Mar 2002, no.5
Every Sunday one of
my photographs - past or present - and the story behind it
There's a BBC tv series showing at the moment called
Life Laundry. In it, people have to face up to parting with the junk that is cluttering
their home and their life. I could do with them around here! In last week's programme,
the presenter suggested keeping a photograph, while disposing of the actual item
itself. 'Photos take up much less space,' she explained.
I won't even try to get into the psychology behind why that works for people.
But, on a basic level, it illustrates how a photograph can preserve a vivid memory
of something, either as a comfort or a less-pleasant reminder.
This week's photo was taken partly as a reminder... After I left University, I
spent autumn and winter working for a thoroughly-awful film editing company. A
large part of my job was delivering cans of film -- between the processing lab,
our company and the tv studios. I did this on foot and, being Manchester, it was
nearly always raining. So, I had blisters all over my feet and often I was soaked
to the skin.
In the 1980's parts of Manchester city centre were pretty run down. My route took
me through Castlefield, which has since been transformed into a fashionable place
to be. I always carried my camera and I took shots, partly to remind myself of
the awful job, but also to record some of the marvellous derelict buildings and
run-down back streets that I passed on my daily route.
I don't think enough is done to record the changing face of our cities. Too often
it is left to chance. Buildings come and, a hundred years later, they go -- sometimes
without even a photograph to prove they ever existed.
Besides my photographs, one good thing that came out of that job, was self-employment.
I was determined I would never work for anyone like that, or do a job like that,
ever again :-)