lmm 7 days ago

Cripes, that introduction is laying it on a bit thick:

> “…the photographer knows he’s getting the last shots of those wharves, steamers and warehouses before they are replaced by imagined hotels and marinas, the proto-blueprint for the new world dominated by leisure, tourism and heritage replicas. These post-dockland utopias are soon to be upgraded into big business steel and glass, craven monuments of late capitalism. The future was in a distant haze, just around the corner.”

These photos should remind us that East London has always been changing, that progress is real but slow. Those "craven monuments of late capitalism" are every bit as utopian in their own way as the blocks being built in these photos, and in my experience much nicer places to live and work.

  • confounded 7 days ago

    People that can afford to live in either a new luxury flat or a 1960s ex-council flat, will generally prefer the former.

    That’s not generally the gripe with gentrification; it’s that in the experience of most of the residents of an area, gentrification expells not enriches them. Their lives and communities are used as fuel for someone else’s private fire.

  • andybak 7 days ago

    And large parts of those photos can be seen still today.

    Biggest differences I noticed:

    1. You won't see those cars obviously 2. Shop fronts have changed styles. More modern branding. More large chains

    But if anything I was surprised by familiar they look. I grew up in London in the 70s and 80s and I remember scenes almost identical to those. And even still you can find large parts of London that resemble that.

eesmith 7 days ago

  Kodachrome
  They give us those nice bright colors
  They give us the greens of summers
  Makes you think all the world's a sunny day
  I got a Nikon camera
  I love to take a photograph
  So mama don't take my Kodachrome away
Those are some nice pictures. I lack the geographical and cultural context to really appreciate them though. What I know about the East End comes third-hand.
isfield 7 days ago

The Stifford estate photo is my favorite. The 'new' brutalist architecture of social housing marching in over the old pre war landscape. It's hard to imagine the utopia it was supposed to represent. Roll forwards 20 years those sorts of buildings represented drugs crime and poverty.

  • jdietrich 7 days ago

    Brutalist developments in London are weirdly polarised. Either they've been torn down because of chronic social problems like the Heygate estate, or they're Grade II listed and massively desirable like Trellick Tower, the Barbican or Rowley Way.

    • KaiserPro 7 days ago

      The Heygate estate is an interesting point. I used to live in the foursquares, a smaller equally deprived estate just to the east.

      At the time of the "regeneration" (2000s) it was a toss up between a number of estates and the heygate. However because of its size and location the heygate was chosen

      My estate was turned around, and I was lucky enough to live in the estate, not on it. I got to know some of the original residents(and still do).

      There are two important things to note, Council housing is almost exclusively of a very high standard (bigger than new builds by ~10+ sqm) Compared to the slums described so vividly in the road to wigan pier, a paradise. (running toilets, windows, heating plaster, enough bedrooms for each kid)

      Until a rule change in the late 70s, you had to have a job to be eligible for council housing. There were (and still are, more or less) residents associations that look after the running of the estate. Caretakers lived on site, towers had 24 hour concierges, and ne'dowells were evicted.

      However, that was all taken away in favour of dumping problem families, outsourcing cleaning and upkeep (In some cases, one cleaner 2 hours a day costs something line £80k annually.)

      In short, there is nothing wrong with the estate fabric (of the surviving estates) but how they are looked after, and who lives there. Grenfell is a shining example, a solid block that was subdivided and halfarsedly put in new gas mains.

      • tnorthcutt 7 days ago

        My estate was turned around, and I was lucky enough to live in the estate, not on it. I got to know some of the original residents(and still do).

        Asking as someone mostly ignorant of estate housing: what does this distinction imply/represent?

        • KaiserPro 6 days ago

          By living _in_ the estate, I mean I turned up to the residents meetings, and participated in the governence of the estate. Council housing has been sold off, and represents a cheap, profitable rental income. Because of the high rate of change, they are socially and funtionally seperated from either leaseholders or council tenants.

          When it came to regeneration/improvements, we were the one consulted, not the private renters.

          If I missunderstood your question, here is some waffle:

          An estate is a logical collection of dwellings, normally flats (but can be houses) that were commissioned and built by local governement for the express purpose of housing the employed working classes.

          for example my estate was made up of four blocks of about 180 flats. Each block encloses a shared garden, with childrens play equipment.

          as to what they look like:

          https://municipaldreams.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/the-brandon...

    • theoh 7 days ago

      It's important to know that the Barbican was built as luxury housing. Trellick or Alexandra Road were social housing and they still have a much broader social mix.

      • andybak 7 days ago

        The Barbican makes me feel like I've woken up in a J.G. Ballard novel.

        • bodyfour 7 days ago

          As someone said above, it's a polarising place.

          On one hand, I'm sure I would hate living in a city where everything looked like the Barbican. Yet, every time I'm there I'm awed by its strange beauty. It has such a strong identity.. it feels like walking inside a sculpture.

          • lambdadmitry 6 days ago

            I found that one part of the feeling you describe comes from it being "organic" in an unusual way. It's easy to find any number of modern buildings that use "organic" shapes or materials (think curved or made from wood). However, they will still be boring and predictable inside and fit into a very boring street grid outside. Barbican is different: it's "brutalist" and as un-organic in its material as possible, but the structure itself is an unpredictable, multilevel maze where you don't know what awaits you around the corner. That provokes a very different feeling, more akin to a forest over the rolling hills than to a city. And it's built that way both inside and out, at least as far as public spaces are concerned.

            I think that different kind of "organic" is why I love Barbican. There aren't many places that make me feel like a child exploring a new area, but Barbican is the best at that.

  • bodyfour 7 days ago

    Don't underestimate how terrible the low-incoming housing stock was beforehand. It was already decades behind the standards that you'd find in, say, an American city (mostly because London had grown huge earlier than they had, so a lot of expansion had been constructed to an earlier standard) Having chunks of it bombed flat in WW2 didn't help, either.

foobar1962 7 days ago

Kodachrome is stable as long as it’s in darkness. Light fades them pretty quickly.

Back in the day originals would be on Kodachrome, from which copies would be made on Ektachrome for projection in slide displays or an inter-negative on Kodacolor for enlarging.

sizzzzlerz 7 days ago

I love looking at the street views with the little shops and taverns. Its an interesting reminder of the times when there wasn't an Amazon or Costco or a myriad number of cookie cutter bars and restaurants. Of course, these are the places that drove them out of business for good, if not for better.

  • cm2187 7 days ago

    In fact I find the most mundane pictures of street life to be the most interesting for anything older than 30y old. But those are the pictures taken today that people today would dismiss as uninteresting when it is really what will amuse them the most in 30 years.

    • pavel_lishin 7 days ago

      I wonder how accessible all the photos on Instagram and Twitter will be in 30 years' time.

    • skookumchuck 7 days ago

      When I look through old family photos, the photos I want to see are the mundane ones that weren't taken surely because they were thought to be boring. Like a picture of the supermarket we patronized.

things 7 days ago

I attempted to locate the photos in this set on streetview. Some were easier than others.

In the same order:

Whitechapel Road https://www.google.com/maps/place//@51.5173129,-0.0668225,3a...

Spitalsfield Market https://www.google.be/maps/@51.5190196,-0.0773324,3a,75y,74....

Belhaven Street (no longer exists, got as close as I could) https://www.google.be/maps/@51.5286117,-0.0380893,3a,75y,27....

Stifford Estate (demolished) https://www.google.be/maps/@51.5174684,-0.0497713,3a,75y,285...

Mile End Road https://www.google.be/maps/place/@51.5243606,-0.0367707,3a,7...

Three Colt Street (difficult to get the exact location so got one with visible landmark) https://www.google.be/maps/place/@51.5096904,-0.03012,3a,75y...

Watney Market (massively changed but pointing in the right direction over the area) https://www.google.be/maps/@51.5128337,-0.0581398,3a,75y,348...

Gardiner’s Corner (nothing left, the department store burnt down in the seventies) https://www.google.be/maps/@51.5151995,-0.0716539,3a,75y,289...

joelhaasnoot 7 days ago

This is amazing. Having watched "Call the Midwife" and stayed in the docklands area in London, this puts into perspective some of the 'scars' in the landscape you can still see today

perardi 7 days ago

I am absolutely a sucker for the look of Kodachrome, and I'm glad I managed to shoot one roll before processing of it ended.

The processing itself is rather convoluted and interesting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-14_process

eveningcoffee 7 days ago

Ratio between image sides is 1.25 meaning that it is likely the scans came either from 6x7 (cm) medium format slides or more probably from the 4x5 (inch, or larger) large format slides.

  • gunzel 6 days ago

    Unlikely, Kodachrome larger than 35mm was dead after the mid 1950's, there was a brief revival of medium format in the 1980's, but it didn't last long. I suspect the format might be more driven by the format of the book.

    • eveningcoffee 3 days ago

      So more likely crops made from 35mm slides?

abritinthebay 7 days ago

Does anyone with a photographic bent know what the modern equivalent of Kodachrome would be? (Stable, archival quality, rich color reproduction, and digitizes well)

  • iamatworknow 7 days ago

    In terms of current film stock I've shot Kodak Ektar probably comes the closest to the look of Kodachrome, but it's still pretty far off. I think the processing technique for Kodachrome is what really made it unique, and since that's gone nothing else quite compares.

    • Bokanovsky 7 days ago

      I was just going to reply suggesting Kodak Ektar, but you beat me to it. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ektar

      There are massive discussions with film photographers about the different kinds of films and their colour profiles, characteristics and so on.

      • iamatworknow 7 days ago

        While I do like the look of Ektar, when I shoot color film I personally lean more toward slide films like Velvia, but that's a whole different beast. I just love that punchy contrast.

  • dboreham 7 days ago

    Upload to both AWS and GCP and use a Canon DSLR, retaining raw sensor data?

    • abritinthebay 6 days ago

      Unless you're shooting a DSLR with ~140 megapixels of resolution... it's not the same thing at all.

      • dboreham 5 days ago

        I'm not sure, but I _think_ you're asserting that the information content of a 35mm Kodachrome slide taken in the 1970's is 140 Mpix. It isn't. Not remotely close. A present-day DSLR (e.g. 5Ds) with a present-day lens is going to greatly exceed that slide's information content.

        • abritinthebay 4 days ago

          I'm not asserting anything. A 35mm Kodachrome transparency, like other 35mm transparencies on films of comparable ISO rating, contains an equivalent of approximately 140 megapixels of data in its 24 mm x 36 mm image.

          Citation: Langford, Michael (2000). Basic Photography (7th Ed.). Oxford: Focal Press. p. 99.

          Film has vastly more resolution than even high-end DSLRs. This isn't shocking or surprising if you know anything about the space.

Slansitartop 7 days ago

What's with the submission date? It currently says I submitted this 12 hours ago, but that's not true at all: I submitted it closer to 24 hours ago.