I recently started uploading to Flickr. Took me long enough I suppose. Moving the blog over to WordPress made me think it would be nice to see all the images I have taken to accompany posts, in one place. As soon as those images were done, I found others that I felt able to send out into the wide world. I have started thinking about it in a similar way to my blog. I want to upload images I see a story in. Images of interesting things. I don’t plan to put personal people pictures there for everyone to see.
It seems I like to photograph toys and small things. A lot. One of my blog posts of a while back was about a model in the Shipping Gallery at the Science Museum, London. When uploading that to Flickr, I post-it-noted my brain to remember to put the whole set up.
These were all taken in the Shipping and Agriculture galleries in the museum. The models in them are truly great. Terribly old-fashioned, in terms of museum displays. But the thought and craft gone into these models and panoramas draws me to them. Great clothes made small. Expressions and posture bespeaking real characters. Backdrops painted with proper perspective. Tiny pebbles on the beach. A frowning sailor. A dog straining to be off over the field.
When I photographed in these old, often empty galleries, most people drifted on through, looking for something a bit more interactive. But occasionally I’d get talking to crusty old chaps who were hanging out, studying form. In detail. Not as dodgy as it sounds.
A chap in a peak cap and sensible windbreaker had a farm in America. He thought the agricultural gallery models a fascinating contrast to the way he farmed. In shipping, a grandfather patiently pointed out rigging details – in case after case – to a wriggling child. Couples were often making use of the empty spaces. Ship-spotters, skirting around the edges and furtively examining the incredible detailing in the models. Shy members of young farmers clubs, imagining having a smart tractor model on the dresser at home.
And me. Crouching on my old knees to get a better picture.