I grew up in a house where the aroma of darkroom chemicals frequently filled the air. To supplement his income as a professional musician my Father worked as a photographer for The Musical Express in London, now the NME (New Musical Express). He was fortunate in that not only did he photograph the famous singers and bands of the day but also the countries he visited, touring as a Musical Director for various acts.
We were talking about the old days when my Mother reminded me that he used a Leica M3 for many years. No, unfortunately I didn’t find it perfectly preserved in the loft but I did unearth a plastic bag with some old prints of street genre photography. Street? I was really only familiar with his more traditional travel memories of temples and tourist spots.
He never really spoke much about these images and clearly was following in the footsteps of the ‘decisive moment’ giants but it was like opening a new window into his life. The images you see here are just scans of the old prints, so please forgive the quality but I wanted to give some of his photos an airing to a group who I thought might appreciate the style of work some fifty years later.
There are well documented links between photographers who were also musicians and vice versa. From Ansel Adams and Milt Jackson through to Bill Wyman. From philosophy through to learning the tools, technique and interpretation. Perhaps it’s all about a musician’s sense of timing applied to photography?
There’s also a thought here which could be applied more widely. Many of us, me included, are propelled forward through our creative lives; updating, uploading, upgrading, it never stops and neither do we. Maybe there is a benefit in seeking out those undiscovered gems, revisiting old projects, breathing life into old ideas whose time may have come full circle.