Alys Tomlinson – 19th October 2018

Alys Tomlinson - The Shot I Never Forgot - 'The Family, Coney Island 1998' Black and white photograph of a family walking past ferris wheel in Coney Island

Alys Tomlinson – The Shot I Never Forgot – ‘The Family, Coney Island 1998’ (image of original print)

ALYS TOMLINSON – THE SHOT I NEVER FORGOT

‘The Family, Coney Island 1998’

I was 22 and living in New York, finding my feet as a photographer. I would often take the F train down to Coney Island where I’d wander up and down the Boardwalk, too scared to approach anyone but happy to observe what was going on around me. I had my Dad’s old Pentax 35mm and got through roll after roll of b/w film. I could have picked many images from that year in NYC. I was sent all over the place to take photographs for the Time Out Guide to New York. A dream job for an aspiring photographer just starting out. There were many memorable moments – photographing a crazy gay club in Chelsea, spending hours trying to track down an Italian fruit and veg seller in the Bronx, an evening in a smoky Latino jazz club…but this image always stayed with me. Although I loved being in the darkroom, I’ve never been a great printer and I remember getting frustrated trying to print this well. It reminds me of a specific time in my life when I was discovering the joy of photography. When I look at it, I see the innocence of the kids’ expression, the fact that there’s no Mum, just a Dad with his family on a day out, dressed in the Hasidic Jewish way with the Wonder Wheel in the background.

> You can see more of Alys’s work at www.alystomlinson.co.uk

> Alys’s new book ‘Ex-Voto’ is to be published by GOST in Spring 2009, if you would like to support this wonderful new work (and get your hands on a copy of the book first), please visit:

www.kickstarter.com/projects/996033668/ex-voto-a-photobook-by-alys-tomlinson

Simon Carruthers – 20th February 2015

Simon Carruthers - The Shot I Never Forgot - four men chat in roadside lay-by cafe

Simon Carruthers – The Shot I Never Forgot – ‘Hot Food Next Lay-by’

Simon Carruthers – The Shot I Never Forgot

‘Hot Food Next Lay-by

Looking at this photo now it seems hard to believe that it is one of my own – there are so many elements here that are now redundant to my practice. I haven’t carried a 35mm camera for the best part of a decade. I rarely, if ever, shoot in black & white and people are almost always absent from my more recent work. But the real reason that this photo has stayed with me for so long is not nostalgia; it is because, like all the photographs that intrigue me, this photo has an air of ambiguity.

I more of less know the back story to this photo but somehow the facts don’t quite fit with the image. The Shepherd Neame ashtray and Sun newspaper, placed on the coffee table, offer some clue to the location but the space isn’t your typical café and the characters within don’t belong to the Sussex coast. The scene is theatrical but who or what is being picked out and why? Is this some kind of a club and are those posters of military vehicles significant? The photo throws up more questions than it seems willing to answer, inviting the reader to decipher the clues and draw their own conclusions.

www.simoncarruthers.org.uk