Month: August 2014

Norwich in flames

Here is a selection of George Swain’s camera melting exploits. Originally photographed in Black and White. I colourised these, based on looking at modern colour photos of fires and then painting them in, very simply to be honest. They depict the nights Norwich burned during the blitz, mainly from 1942 when the air raids were at their peak. All colorised images copyright Nick Stone. Original images in monochrome are from my private collection of Swain images, most of which can also be found at Picture Norfolk. Special thanks to them for their support with a lot of my blitz...

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Vanishing point: Berlin Sap

It looks like a field, because it is a field, one that slopes gently up to a low ridge, 60 metres at its highest point, best appreciated either from a mile or so back in the open areas behind the old line. It looks like nothing much, close up it is just a slope and gentle stroll across quite long grass that will prick the skin and raise the heart rate slightly. The land is bumpy but not unmanageable, too steep for a train to ride, which is why the three bumps you can see are higher than the...

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Vanishing Point: Essex Farm, The Eve brothers

I’m fortunate, I get to go to Ypres and the Somme and indeed various other bits of the Western Front fairly often, I do it mostly for my own vicarious pleasure/misery or whatever you find you want to call it. If I face facts it is I suppose a strange thing to want to do in some ways, or in fact need to do at least twice a year. When I go as well as the looking at it and taking photographs of it, I like to have people to visit, that is apart from my own boys, my...

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Vanishing Point: Rosebeke

A strange day. I’ve been working very loosely on an ongoing project called ‘Vanishing Points’ for a while. I’m a bit of a fan of VPs, lots of artists are as a way of leading the eye into compositions, focussing the viewers mind. Kubrick for instance is a master of the Single Point Perspective, watch pretty much everything from The Shining right through and spot them, some clever soul has dutifully stuck them all into one YouTube video to take away any pretence of effort. So I’ve been applying a set of rules to various things and shooting them,...

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Lost in a Landscape: Pleasure beach

An set of photos from 2009, taken during a phase of producing ‘candids’ or ‘street’ photos, it’s an alleged art-form that involves trying to take photos of people in an interesting way without them realising and not getting your head kicked in. People dress it up in lots of arty ways, but basically that’s it. My main tip would be use a small camera and smile if you get clocked, also learn to walk backwards fast. I stopped doing them a while ago after one chap got a bit moody about it and I stopped having a small enough...

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Hidden history: Doors of Perception

Sometimes the interesting things are hidden in plain sight and it’s remarkably easy to just overlook stuff like bits of public art because you see them all the time, these are just such a thing. I am a lover of city hall, I like the shape it makes in the sky, it’s a proud building, modernity, looking forward from the 1930s when the huge area of courts and yards was swept away and ‘our’ city hall, previously housed in rooms all over and around St Peter Street was opened up, the row of semi derelict hotels swept away at...

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Here are the young men

I’ve been rescuing these boys from Junk shops for years, those 50p unknowns, the Great Uncles who maybe died and had no children, they become orphaned from their families, so I’ve ended up with an old biscuit tin full of these lads. Mostly Brits, but a few Aussies and Canadians have turned up, plus the occasional Fritz and one Belgian, I have no French men yet for some reason. The most touching one to recolour was the chap in his hospital blues, the process usually starts with cleaning the image, removing the scratches and dinks in the halide or...

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Dead cities: Langham Dome

A sort of anti-axis forces death star type thing. It looks a bit like one of those chocolate bombs or a steamed pudding, but about 18 feet high, made of reinforced concrete and painted black. Nestling on the edge of an abandoned airfield about 4 miles from the coast, it used to contain a gun turret, Wellington bomber style I think, this was used to train gunners for shooting down the “Hun in the sun”. It involved a projector of some sort, pulleys and colour footage with sound, as LED 3D screens and augmented reality and VR were not...

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