Corridor

It’s quite a while since I posted an image from my Print Archive, so here’s another one for you from 1972.

ARPS1_DS75342Actually I should qualify that statement – the original image was taken in 1972. At the time I was working as a junior doctor (House Physician to give it the correct title) to a Cardiologist at Northwick Park Hospital near Harrow, North London. The Hospital was newly built – a giant concrete monolith that was both a district general hospital as well as having a wing dedicated as a clinical research centre. The image comes from one of the inter-connecting corridors.

It was a demanding job working within a tight-knit team. The cardiac unit was not only an acute ward for emergency admissions but also admitted patients for investigations including catheter studies with a view to bypass surgery at Harefield Hospital where the well-known cardiac surgeon Magdi Yacoub worked. The great man regularly visited our ward to discuss patients pre-surgery. My job was exacting, but also it was a six-month period that I look back on with considerable nostalgia. Every time I travel by train to London I pass by the hospital that looks very little different now from how it did forty years ago.

Back to the image. The image you see above was ‘created’ around 1980 during a period when I did quite a lot of work with lith inter-negatives. The left side of the original image was used – copied twice onto lith film and then one copy flipped and overlapped to create the symmetry that you see here. This was one of my successes – the image being accepted for the RPS International Print Exhibition in 1981. Those were the days….

To read more about how I breathed new life into my old print archive, click on this link: New Life for Old Prints, or click on Print Archive in the Category section of the Rt sidebar.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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15 Responses to Corridor

  1. Chillbrook says:

    It must have been incredibly hard work, and really quite stressful I’d imagine Andy, working in such an acute environment, especially for a junior doctor working those notoriously long hours. Quite a buzz also I’m sure, being associated with work right at the forefront of what has now become quite routine in many ways.
    A very interesting process used to achieve this image which is superb. I love the strong geometric lines. I’ve yet to tackle a dark room and print my own negatives. It is something I’d like to do. I love the immediacy of digital and it’s cheap but there is something about the alchemy that goes on to produce a superb print that makes film very special.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. I was working on a ‘one-in three’ on-call rota at times. The hours add up! Sometimes when I look back I wonder how I coped. There was something magical about watching a print appear in the developing tray, but…a four hour stint (not including set up and clear up) often resulted in just four decent prints. That’s a lot of time for a handful of results.

  2. oneowner says:

    I love seeing your early lith prints. I remember it well. It was a difficult process to master but the hardest part was picking the right source material for it since it didn’t work well with for some scenes with a lot of detail. This one’s excellent.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Ken. I loved working with lith – I wish I had done more of it. It was during that time of experimentation that I really grew to appreciate the power of contrast. And you are absolutely right – selecting the right negative was always the critical first step.

  3. This is an incredible image Andy. I love the graphic quality if it. And i just learned something…i didn’t realize you were a doctor 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks so much Edith. Yes, ‘were’ being the operative word. Six years into retirement and I don’t miss the work one bit. I miss the patients, many of whom became friends as well as patients over the course of thirty plus years.

  4. Len says:

    Pretty amazing to transform this old photo into a work of art Andy.

    • LensScaper says:

      Lith work was huge fun. I used to copy the original negative onto two-and-a-quarter square lith film. I could use Snopaque to spot out the bits I didn’t want (analog healing!) and then contact copy the Lith positive to generate the Lith negative for the final print. If I was ever to venture back into the darkroom it would be to play around with Lith a lot more. I still have the enlarger…

  5. shoreacres says:

    All of what you’ve said here about the photographic/print process is new to me, and fairly opaque. What I know for certain is that I love this image. It’s so strong, so striking. Now and then I come across something that passes my acid test — “Could I live with that?” I could live with this one, and not tire of looking at it, for sure.

    Interesting about your work on the cardiac team. It was 39 years ago that I began working on a different kind of bypass team. Dr. Stan Dudrick, at the Texas Medical Center, was researching hyperalimentation, using sub-clavian catheters in bowel bypass patients. I was the social worker on the team, and it was fascinating work.

    A side note: I was living in the Med Center at the time, and my living room window looked down into Michael DeBakey’s scrub room. That was better than television, let me tell you!

    • LensScaper says:

      Always interesting to hear from you Linda. Over the years quite a few of my prints have hung on my consulting room walls and at home. Michael DeBakey – now that’s an important name in the field of Cardiac Surgery. I would guess with reasonable certainty that Magdi Yacoub and Michael DeBakey would have met up at conferences from time to time to share knowledge and research.

  6. suej says:

    Love this image, I thought it had to have been a lith process! Back in the days when I used to do my own processing, I did have a go with lith just the once, and I still have a print on my wall (not great, but I like it!!)

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Sue. During the ’80s there were a lot of very talented Lith workers in the Midlands area – some of them doing colour toned separations which were always dramatic. The influences from our younger years never really go away – I still love Lith and high contrast.

  7. poppytump says:

    Love the symmetry and boldness here Andy . I’ve no knowledge of lith or processes so a fascinating read for me too .

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