October 15 2018 Hidden Gems

It has been an interesting couple of weeks as I have finished a new lantern slide lecture and started scanning some 35mm negatives. I still have a lot of negatives that need scanning and this is going to take some time to do but I do enjoy doing the scanning if it is done in relatively small doses. One of the joys of the scanning is discovering images that you had forgotten you had even taken which turn out be little ‘hidden gems’.

The first image was taken in July 1995 whilst I was living and working in Bangkok, Thailand. The hotel I was staying in, Tai Pan, ran tourist day trips via a travel company and I was booked in to a one day trip to Kanchanaburi. I went on quite a few of these day trips and they provided a means of getting out of the city at the weekend and becoming a tourist. However, these trips always included a mini bus meet up to exchange passengers from other hotel pickups and also a stop at a gem store on the way home for which I stayed in the mini bus. At the time I was taking photos with a Pentax Zoom70R compact camera.

At Kanchanaburi we visited the death railway including the museum, cemetery and a short ride on the train. The Bride on the River Kwae was the main attraction and I managed to wait for most of the tourists to have departed before grabbing this image with a lone figure in the distance. Considering the historical significance of the bridge this is an image I am very happy with and is likely to end up on the wall at home.

Bridge on the River Kwae, Thailand

The second image is from August 2003 when I attended a Royal Photographic Society meet at the Victoria Baths (swimming) in Manchester. This had recently at the time featured on a BBC programme called restoration and had won the prize of funding to undertake restoration works on the baths. The meet was on a Sunday and we were given a tour of the baths and then had access to take photographs for the rest of the day. It was a fascinating building and provided many photographic opportunities. On the day I shot mostly with a NikonF100 camera with both black and white and a couple of colour negative films.

The image I have selected is one from the colour negatives which with the aid of my Nikon CoolscanV and VueScan software has produced a lovely simple image. The colours are really subtle and this images did not require over processing.

Victoria Baths, Manchester (RPS Workshop)

I look forward to continue to work through my negatives and hopefully coming across a few more hidden gems. Photographs whether they are film/analogue or digital should not be forgotten and buried in folders or hard drives never to be see the light of day. The photographic process is only complete when a print is made not when it is viewed on a screen or on social media. It is so easy with digital photography to take a lot of images, hundreds maybe thousands, which sit on a hard drive and may be half a dozen are any good and maybe printed. Focus on quality not quantity and then hopefully we will all produce more ‘gems’.

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