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Record shots


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Record shots

24 Aug 2020 9:56AM   Views : 419 Unique : 290


Record shots are boring, aren’t they? Simply an accurate rendition of what’s there…

Except in retrospect. I used to drive past a factory in Aldridge that had a bin lorry outside on display. When I say ‘outside’ I actually mean on a platform, thirty feet in the air. Unremarkable after the first couple of times you drive past (on a busy, straight road) so I never stopped to take a picture.

And it’s gone.

In Walsall town centre, there’s an archway on the main street to allow lorries to deliver to the new Primark store. I don’t actually remember what was there before, but I do know there was a building in the way. Again, I wish I’d simply photographed the street a few times over the years.

Opposite the great big new hole in the town, there’s what used to be a music shop, with carvings on the front – various musical instruments. I think I have pictures of it – but I’m going back to take more later today, just in case.

Not to mention the Twenties building that is soon going to be pulled down to make way for a new medical centre, replacing several ageing houses for five local GP practices. I need to get in there fast… It was a British Leyland showroom and garage when I moved to Walsall: it was, briefly, an arts centre in the Eighties, before a combination of Tory government and Tory council leadership closed it to save money.

Walsall has lost three different factories that have burned down in the last few years, Victorian heritage buildings that added character to the town. So I’m going to look for the things that may be under threat now, and take pictures while I can…


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dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
24 Aug 2020 9:57AM
It works on a very local scale, as well as in town centres. Fences may become walls - or hedges. And will double yellow lines exist in 50 years' time?
MikeGillingham Avatar
Are they just record shots? I always think of them as being an important piece of social history. My main fear is that many of these records of social history are now rarely printed and will remain on a hard drive and never see the light of day, particularly when the owner eventually departs to the big darkroom in the sky!
bluesandtwos Avatar
bluesandtwos 13 544 1 England
24 Aug 2020 10:52AM
The cynic in me regards derelict character buidings going up in smoke with great suspicion. Often they are on valuable sites for development but for one reason or another cannot be knocked down and redeveloped. The solution it would seem would be to keep paying the local druggies to set fires until the building becomes unsafe, then you can legitimately bulldose it and build whatever you like.Sad

A record shot today is a historic glimpse into the past, for the people of the future. I derive great pleasure from thumbing through the numerous books I have of old photographs, being a saddo I have even been known to take a magnifying glass to look at the faces and clothing of the 'ordinary' people and the 'ordinary' goods for sale in shop windows. The quality of old photos is often amazing, and the 'ordinary' of then is, to me now, extraordinary.

Taking record shots of the, to us, normal is a little like planting a tree sapling. The benefit is more for the people who follow on from us.
altitude50 Avatar
altitude50 19 23.9k United Kingdom
24 Aug 2020 11:18AM

I wish that I had kept more of the photos I took on film between about 1956 & 2010 approx. I still have a lot of 35mm transparencies, some I have digitised. The prints just seemed to get discarded.

I took the above from a multi-storey car park. This row of shops was demolished in about 1976 to build the Friary Centre, Guildford. In 50 years time will anybody care?Sad
mistere Avatar
mistere Plus
10 38 8 England
24 Aug 2020 11:39AM
There's a small shop in Tamworth that's run by the Tamworth Historical society. They do a lot of charity stuff for the town
and help to promote it as a bit of a tourist site. They are always happy to receive pictures of anything to do with Tamworth's
past or future development. I wonder if there's anything like that in Walsall. Or anywhere else for that matter. We could all contribute
a few images to help out.
bluesandtwos Avatar
bluesandtwos 13 544 1 England
24 Aug 2020 12:18PM
Here where I live ( small town/big village) there is a very small local museum above the chemist shop where a lady collects old photographs (as a fund raiser they have produced a few locally printed books, actually they are rather good!Grin) and she makes a point of going out and photographing any changes taking place in the village. Well done that lady!
Digital images are easy to store and easy to sort but I do prefer to view a 'proper' print!
dark_lord Avatar
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
24 Aug 2020 12:40PM
There are many buildings and streets that I could have taken but never did for one reason or another, usually 'oh it's only such and such'.
The value of such images is not votes on epz, or likes on social media, but to history and posperity.
GGAB Avatar
GGAB 7 31 1 United States
24 Aug 2020 12:50PM
"In 50 years time will anybody care"?

I submit that in 50 years no one will care about any of the pictures we take today, regardless of what they are of or whom.
bluesandtwos Avatar
bluesandtwos 13 544 1 England
24 Aug 2020 1:28PM

Quote:"In 50 years time will anybody care"?

I submit that in 50 years no one will care about any of the pictures we take today, regardless of what they are of or whom.

I don't this is so, I along with more than a few others it would seem, get a lot of pleasure from looking at pictures from the past, some over 100 years old...that's the pictures...not the people who like to look at them!Grin I can't see why people in the future would not get the same pleasures.Smile
chase Avatar
chase Plus
18 2.5k 682 England
24 Aug 2020 2:25PM
I find it fascinating to see how things were and how they have changed, sometimes for the better sometimes not.
Looking through several hundred photographs from my parents cache, there are people and places from both mine and their past, if it wasn't for the pictures, they would be forgotten...tradgedy !
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
24 Aug 2020 2:50PM
From the response to old pictures I've posted in various places, there will, very definitely, be people who care in 50 years' time. Assuming humanity survives, of course.

I have posted a series of images from around 1970 in a Facebook closed group, interested in the history of a small Staffordshire market town, Leek, and they've been popular. Posting here in an article some while ago, there was similar interest. If you're interested, it's HERE.

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