Friday, March 06, 2015

Tate Britain's 'Salt & Silver' as well as Tidying and 'Media memoirs' (from some time ago)

One of the great advantages of being a Tate Member is that all exhibitions are free so as well as being part of a conducted tour at Tate Britain we were able to take  a look at the historical  'Salt and Silver' - quite a number of pictures to take in, many by pioneer Fox Talbot but the French were just as important as the Brits  in the early history of photography .
So there were also pictures from Gustave Le Gray and early portraits by pioneer photographers including Nadar.
Salt and Silver

The 'Salt and Silver' relates to the chemical process that allowed fixing of images but this was a display at an Art museum  bringing to life a time when the limits were not yet  set- the lack of an enlargement facility was significant but artistic composition was clearly a goal  - all worth a look if you've ever done more than just taken a snap. 

Tidy time

Yesterday I made a start on clearing a load of paperwork - largely course working from  some years back that are of little use or which can be found within other sources - came across this which I think was a preliminary exercise associated with my Mass Media MA:-

Hopefully not too pretentious (I've not edited it to make it look any better!) 
So much rubbish  being thrown out

Media Memoirs

It is difficult sometimes to draw the line between one's own recollections of the past and that which is given to one by one's family and friends 


I believe that I was later in learning to read than my (single) older brother whether or not this was due to my not having the earlier start at school that my brother did I am not clear-I know that when I had mastered (or mastered enough to give me the required enjoyment to make the effort worthwhile) I was a fairly voracious reader (as I believe is still the case) -my reading (when not directed by school) was lowbrow and I remember spending my pocket money largely on the works of Enid Blyton I also remember that I was "allowed" a weekly comic (a very "British" one - these having text below a picture rather than speech "bubbles" and indications of time & scene at the top of the picture as in the "American" style) I am not sure if this was called "Play hour" or something like that -I am told by my brother (although I have no firm recollection of it myself) that I had my comic changed when my father had a story published in what was a rival publication to my normal one. Another feast of comics was when holiday-going Isle of Wight and getting bumper 2s 6d (that's about 12p)  package full of old comics.

I also remember a feast of less worthy comics (Beano Topper etc..) that I was able to view when I visited my Maternal Grandparents (Grandfather a railway train driver) these were handed on to my grandparents by their neighbours for her grandchildren's edification. My recollections of Newspaper are more difficult to pin down we always took the "Daily Telegraph" and the Sunday Express my first use of the "Telegraph I remember is seeing what was on TV, I was also more enthusiastic when it provided (on Friday) a magazine


Out of both a "technical" inclination (my father was an electronics engineer) an excitement at both the wave of Beatle generated pop excitement and the new "Pirate" radio (I think this concept in itself would be exciting to a pre-teenager) radio was very important - my father constructed a "crystal" set at an early stage for my amusement and I received my first "transistor" radio as a seventh birthday present - radio has seemed to be always present and important - Radio was both a shared and a private pleasure -I recall Mrs. Dale's Diary and most certainly the "Top 20".


In some ways my recollections of TV are more difficult to pin down than with other avenues of entertainment/information -I think this is partly due to the fact that TV (perhaps because of its large requirement for product) repeats so much-I remember watching Batman on TV but now become confused with watching it as an amusement in later life. I remember having tempers etc. with my mother for not being able to watch 'Man from Uncle' or 'Mission Impossible' but now recall having seen Mission Impossible (very recently ) at the cinema.

The items of TV which will stay with me are probably things like the Moonwalk and England World cup 1966.

An interesting Phenomena which I have encountered as have many others) is the juncture between colour & black and white - sometimes surprising what we thought we saw in Colour but saw in Black & White.

Also the programmes which I remember watching on my return from school - Crossroads (then show about 4:25 p.m.) and Blue Peter -I think then there was a certain animosity/snobbishness against imported programmes and a belief that BBC was preferable to commercial TV. Thursday was always important for TOTP (probably for more years than I care to admit)


Cinema for me growing up was a rare treat (probably less than 4 films a year until the age
of 18), this was due to expense, geographic location & the decline of cinema in the 60's &
70's having said that I remember seminal (for me) films Dr. Who and Beatles also Jungle
book, in a way Cinema is an enjoyment that has grown with me over the years and is now
(perhaps partly due to the time I have spent out of the UK) more of a shared experience
with my peer group than TV (or other media).

Cinema also has the attraction of being watched in "uniform & controlled " conditions it is probably being watched by other friends in similar conditions and once the film begins the lack of external stimulation and restriction on one's behaviour leads to the greatest suspension of belief of any media.

It is worth noting that Cinema is more likely to bring tears or whatever than other media (even seeing the same film on TV the effect is greatly diluted).

Many people are aware of the feeling (temporary on leaving the Cinema after a Clint
Eastwood" type film.

The effect of film while strong seems in most ways more discountable and less insidious - we can feel the effect go as we leave the cinema and return to the real world.
Media remains a very important part of my life - (partly because it has been my employer for most of my working life) - it is interesting to note the enjoyment which comes at first hand and that which is merely evocative (like cheap perfume etc.) of a previous time and occasion.

Post a Comment