viva Blackpool #2 / 14 June, 2006 [click for previous image: viva Blackpool #1]
viva Blackpool #2 / 14 June, 2006 [click for next image: viva Blackpool #3]
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Title • viva Blackpool #2

Having made the decision to post this small set of images as three separate entries, I think I'll stick with that rather than putting the last two up together, not least because it gives us another 24 hours to discuss some of the things that I think are relevant here.

The first thing, and this is probably the most important, is that these aren't working especially well without the context that would make them more intelligible. Well, I'm assuming that the context I have in mind will make them more intelligible. After reading it, you can tell me ;-)

Anyway, here's the backstory …

Those of you who live in the UK (and regular visitors to chromasia) will know that Blackpool doesn't have an especially good reputation. It's seen as tacky and down-at-heel: home of 'kiss me quick hats' (or worse), donkey rides, drunken and marauding hen and stag parties, cheap and tatty souvenirs, lap dancing clubs, pole dancers, massage parlours, and so on … and that's by no means an exhaustive list.

Over the last year or so the local council have spent a good deal of time and money working towards cleaning up Blackpool, both in terms of its image and in the more material sense of putting a lot of money into urban regeneration projects, a new seafront, and so on.

And in many different ways I'm involved with these projects. First, we live on the edge of town, within the regeneration area, so many of the changes the local council are working towards will affect my immediate surroundings. Second, chromasia (as in the company that my wife and I set up last year, rather than just the blog) is beginning to be involved with some of these projects, especially in terms of discussions to use some of my work to promote a better vision of Blackpool. And third, I'm personally interested in documenting these changes as they happen, both in terms of visual content (the old deckchairs on the seafront, for example) and in terms of historical process.

All of which brings me to these three images ...

When I saw these, lying on the floor, covered in bits of dust and rubble, my immediate thought was they're metaphors for how the local council wish Blackpool to be seen – their vision for the future. In yesterday's shot the tower, perhaps Blackpool's best known icon, was placed alongside a pole dancer. In tomorrow's the association is between another lap dancer and one of Blackpool's more recent landmarks, the world's largest mirror ball. In both instances the association draws attention to the seedier side of Blackpool's night life rather than any of the more positive aspects of the town. So, that's one of the reasons I like these images: they capture a common perception of Blackpool (in the images within the image), but the image as a whole shows this as something cast aside. I guess, as I saw it, they're a good metaphor for the social and historical changes currently taking place within my town.

And that brings me onto the border I've used on these images. All three of them have a similar border, and all have the same handwritten text (no, it's not a font, I wrote them). My reason for adding it was that I wanted these images to look like exhibits, almost as though they'd been taped to a wall and labelled (hence the rather grungy look). As for what they exhibit: maybe they're simply exhibits of the seedier side of things, maybe they're exhibits of the changes I mentioned above. Either way I wanted to frame them in this way to draw attention to the fact that they're something that can be held up as testament to something else (seediness, historical process, whatever). The frame, in this instance, adds another layer of meaning (at least that was my intention).

Anyway, that's the backstory. Does it alter the way you look at this one, or yesterday's, or doesn't it make any significant difference to how you see these images?

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
12.27pm on 11/6/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
35mm (56mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
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