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Roger Mayne's photographs capture 1950s street life
Old 03-12-2017   #1
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Roger Mayne's photographs capture 1950s street life

"Roger Mayne was one of the pioneers of so-called "humanitarian" photography.
He turned his lens on daily, commonplace interactions between people and places, with his most famous series capturing the lives of residents of the run-down Southam Street in west London.
His photos are being exhibited for the first time in nearly 20 years - in The Photographers Gallery in London. Karen McQuaid is one of the curators.
"

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-39235590

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Old 03-12-2017   #2
Jake Mongey
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My girlfriend took me up to see this yesterday and its a fantastic body of work as well as a well put together exhibition. I would really recommend seeing it as its a fantastic example of british photojournalism and a fantastic depiction of life during that period.

Cant praise the work enough - I have a new favourite
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Old 03-12-2017   #3
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Very nice, thanks for the link. I didn't know he had passed. One of the first to do street photography in the UK. It looks odd seeing all these kids in his photos. Today it'd be very hard, nay impossible to do that.

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Old 03-12-2017   #4
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Thanks for posting: https://www.google.com/search?q=roge...w=1219&bih=885
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Old 03-12-2017   #5
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Thanks, very interesting.
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Old 03-12-2017   #6
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I was intrigued by the contact prints I saw of his. They looked like 120 rather than 35mm. I found an article that said he opted for a Zeiss Super Ikonta camera instead of the ubiquitous street camera: Leica. The negatives look like 645, does anyone know if that camera can be made to make a 645 format? Or has two red windows to allow different spacing.
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Old 03-12-2017   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I was intrigued by the contact prints I saw of his. They looked like 120 rather than 35mm. I found an article that said he opted for a Zeiss Super Ikonta camera instead of the ubiquitous street camera: Leica. The negatives look like 645, does anyone know if that camera can be made to make a 645 format? Or has two red windows to allow different spacing.
The Super Ikonta C could be used with a mask to change it from 6x9 to 645. I think there was also a plain 645 version of the Super Ikonta too although I don't know the model number off the top of my head. (edit: google tells me it's the 531 A)
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Old 03-12-2017   #8
charjohncarter
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Thanks, I admire his using 120 for street photography, but I have a similar camera and it is not a rapid fire piece of equipment. Also even for 120 some of his photos look out of focus (not that that diminishes them), but it is interesting that he could used this equipment in what was totally Leica territory.

Contact sheets.

https://www.morrissey-solo.com/peopl...gton-proof.jpg
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Old 03-13-2017   #9
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The current exhibition of Roger's work at The Photographers Gallery is well worth a visit. All of the work is great, his images from West Yorkshire / Leeds especially.

Don't rush upstairs to the Deutsche Borse though. Disappointing selection this year.
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Old 03-13-2017   #10
Brian Atherton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeBanks View Post
The current exhibition of Roger's work at The Photographers Gallery is well worth a visit. All of the work is great, his images from West Yorkshire / Leeds especially.

Don't rush upstairs to the Deutsche Borse though. Disappointing selection this year.
Thank you, Luke.

My wife and I are members of the Photographers' Gallery; we'll be going to see the Mayne exhibition on Wednesday.

PS There's a great exhibition (free) at the Barbican:
https://www.barbican.org.uk/artgalle...l.asp?ID=19949
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Old 03-13-2017   #11
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You're welcome Brian. Thanks for the tip on Mosse at the Barbican, I hadn't seen that coming up.

If you have time on Wednesday then the bookshop is well stocked at the moment. The furthest table from the stairs had an unwrapped copy of Salgado's 'Kuwait' that I spent longer looking through than I did most of the galleries. Stunning work, worth finding if you can.
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Old 03-13-2017   #12
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I always liked his photos.

He was one of the first photographers to document the original Teddyboy movement in Britain.
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Old 03-13-2017   #13
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I have the excellent book "The Street Photographs of Roger Mayne' by Zelda Cheatle and Michael Mack. In it, Mayne explains

'Guess focus troubles a lot of beginners, but a story where lots of things are happening fast and furiously, one has no time to look through the ground glass to focus...or even to use the rangefinder...I keep my camera set at 10 feet, which takes care of most pictures. For close ups I quickly change the focus to 6 feet. With concentration on six and ten feet, and a lot of practice, one can guess these two distances.'

He adds later on '...just practice six and ten feet, but do your practicing at home at your leisure...you won't have time on a story.'

It's not surprising that maybe a few of his photos were a little out-of-focus. He definitely put 'catching the moment' ahead of taking the perfect picture. His street photos have such vitality. I will certainly be visiting the exhibition.

In the book they state that much of his work was done with a Super Ikonta 'small and portable compared to Weegee's 5x5 inch press camera'.
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Old 03-13-2017   #14
helenhill
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Adore his work...Wonderfully Enchanting !
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Old 03-13-2017   #15
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His work was extraordinary. It's worth mentioning that the primary area he documented is the 'Notting Hill' of the eponymous Hugh Grant film. It's extraordinary to see how it has changed from an inner city working class district to huge affluence over the course of 60 years.
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Old 03-13-2017   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ade-oh View Post
His work was extraordinary. It's worth mentioning that the primary area he documented is the 'Notting Hill' of the eponymous Hugh Grant film. It's extraordinary to see how it has changed from an inner city working class district to huge affluence over the course of 60 years.
Indeed, in rather less: the last 30-40 years, I'd say. But it was still patchy for a very long time. Is it still? I've not been there in 20 years or more.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 03-13-2017   #17
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I rode the bus to 'Notting Hill' ten or less years ago, and the Mexican that served us told me he was illegal. So some of that feeling was still in Southam or Notting Hill just ten years ago. So get out your cameras and photo your neighborhood.
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Old 03-19-2017   #18
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Quote:
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Indeed, in rather less: the last 30-40 years, I'd say. But it was still patchy for a very long time. Is it still? I've not been there in 20 years or more.

Cheers,

R.
I live very close by. It hasn't entirely 'gentrified' but the white working class and ethnic minority immigrant communities are pretty much squeezed into the local social housing projects these days. It's still quite a 'buzzy' area but a very different vibe to when I was a kid 40 years ago.

Southam Street itself was flattened in the 1960s and the Erno Goldfinger designed Trellick Tower was built in its place. The Trellick Tower originally had quite a grim reputation as a piece of failed social engineering but much, if not all, of it has been sold off to private buyers and it's now a rather grand and chi-chi address.
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Old 03-19-2017   #19
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Ade-oh, I was labouring in a house on Portobello Road last week and barely recognised the area, and it's only 10 years or so since I was last there. There still seemed to be a good buzz about the area but it was sad to see that even the 'independent' retailers that used to make the area so famous are all now rather bland and 'touristy'. As for gentrification.. well that's quickly become the story of London as a whole.

So much so that I've started to shoot a project aiming to record what I knew London to be during my childhood, before it's all gone for good. Seeing Mayne's images were a handy motivation / relief from the fast pace of change.

Edit: I dread to think what the asking price of that house will be once completed.
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Old 03-19-2017   #20
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was Mayne a part of the "Mass Observation" project?

https://joemoran.net/academic-articl...stwar-britain/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass-Observation

and for a slightly darker view of the practice:

https://auticulture.wordpress.com/20...t-yorkshire-8/

I have a couple of those Super Ikonta 531A's. Really neat little cameras. I can understand the use of hyperfocal techniques with one though. In find it quite slow to operate if you use the rangfinder, although very accurate as you would expect from the golden age of Zeiss Ikon.
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Old 03-20-2017   #21
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Thank you so much for educating me about this wonderful body of work.
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