Rain is falling so no excuse not to make some more progress with the projects I have in hand. The image above was taken on a trip out to nearby Southport, a resort on the Lancashire coast not too far outside of Liverpool. It has a slightly faded gentility these days but that’s not to say it’s shabby. The shot is of the interior of what had been a great second hand book shop on the balcony level in the Wayfarer’s Arcade on Lord Street, it had been full of floor to ceiling shelves crammed with every sort of literary temptation with stacks of cheaper books outside. I always remember the piles of National Geographic magazines etc. So anyway as the way with these things it closed and within a short space of time the shop was emptied with only the two chairs left in it. In the dull half light of a cloudy day it had quite a poignant atmosphere and by now the shop looked too small to have ever contained all the books. Apart from the two chairs the only other reminders being the marks in the carpets where the shelves had once stood.
Southport also has one of those offbeat claims to fame that I like. The future French Emperor, Napoleon III nephew of the Great Napoleon, spent some of his exile in the area and was taken with the stately presence of the town’s Lord Street, the wide, main shopping thoroughfare which is lined on one side with glazed canopies over the pavements. It is thought that on his return to France and the Imperial throne he decided that the cramped medieval centre of Paris should be swept away and in it’s way there should be the wide boulevards a la Southport.
Of my projects, my list of titles is growing steadily, there’s two making their way through the jumble that I like to think of as my ‘system’ . One is a book of B+W gothic images, the other a reformatting of an existing eb0ok into print on demand format, this second being the Five Cities book of B+W images of five UK cities. While I like all aspects of photography I do feel that for this type of image only black and white will give the proper timelessness. As I normally have the attention span of an over excited goldfish it’s a pleasant change to be able to sit and focus on image qualities, tones and layouts, a far cry from a previous existence working in the crash bang heat and noise of the catering industry. I’ve timetabled them to be ready for January ’16 but if the weather dips any further that date could move forward. I don’t see the point in going out to get wet to find out if it’s raining, I’ll just look out of the window and put some more logs on the fire.
While I’m pleased with the nine titles I currently have available I know that there will always be room for some refinements. I’ve put together the beginnings of two serial publications with books of railway images and a second strand with a book of the more unusual image, the ones that catch your eye because they just have some odd quality, a street name or quirky architectural detail. I find this is helpful with the editing process when I’m looking through my photo files for material to publish and of course when I’m out and about with the camera, it is also making me less fanatical about finding that mythical ‘Perfect Shot’ if something has attracted me then press the shutter release and ponder about it later. That moment isn’t going to come back, I own a Fiat not a TARDIS.