Saturday, February 13, 2010

Canal lift operator

His name was Charlie and he operated the Anderton Boat Lift. He was brought up on a barge on the canal where his father operated the lift before him. He had pneumonia three times because of the damp, he said. The lift provides a 50 feet vertical link between two navigable waterways: the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal in north-west England.

The picture was taken on the best colour film Kodak ever made: Kodachrome II, the sharpest, the most natural saturated colours under any lighting conditions, and you could expose it for half an hour and it wouldn't change colour.
This is a recent scan from the original.


  1. Wow. So vivid. And this from a scan of a photo that's over 30 years old?!? Amazing! Looks like it was taken yesterday. The dark background really brings out every weathered detail of his face.

  2. Hi Dmitri - this is Fran Seeve, a former student of yours.
    I love your blog. Thank you for showing the beautiful portraits you make, and for your insightful commentary. All best wishes

  3. Striking photo. His weathered face contrasts nicely with the machinery in the background.

  4. What a moving portrait. The last time I was in England, Ralph and I visited his family in Merseyside, exploring the river and waterfront. I can just see this man working on a barge there.


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