mobile: +44 (0) 7828 834731 tel: +44 (0) 1943 870792
email: alan@capricornphotography.co.uk
mobile: +44 (0) 7828 834731
tel: +44 (0) 1943 870792
email: alan@capricornphotography.co.uk

REPHOTOGRAPHY: A CHANGING LANDSCAPE

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “Change is the only constant in life”, and how right he was. I have no control over the world’s changing landscape but as a Photographer what I do have control over is how these changes are captured to provide a ‘then and now’.

Rephotography as it’s known in the ‘trade’ is a concept that fascinates me so much that as well as providing a commercial rephotography service for businesses, I also embark on my own personal rephotography projects to capture extraordinary moments and special memories.


Bingley’s Changing Landscape

An example of a rephotography project that I have undertaken is the old Bradford & Bingley Headquarters in Bingley, West Yorkshire. I’m told that the building was designed by John Brunton & Partners in such a way that the ‘tiered’ style structure was reference to the Bingley Five-Rise Locks - the steepest lock staircase in Britain.

Some residents believe that the Bradford & Bingley building was an iconic landmark, while others saw it as something of an eyesore. I saw it as a major change in the urban landscape of the town’s centre and thus a rephotography exercise presented itself.

I chose to photograph the various stages of the building’s demise in the style of John Davies - the renowned British landscape photographer - who is famed for capturing the British landscape in a permanent state of flux using black and white photography. My chosen photographic discussion was to photograph from the very urban, with clashing buildings old and new, through to the very rural.

The photographs below were taken in April 2012 after the building had been stood empty for a few years and casting a shadow (some would say unwanted) over the town:

Bradford and Bingley Building
Bradford and Bingley Building 2

Fast forward to March 2015, and in a pseudo post-apocalyptic fashion this is all that remained of the former Bradford & Bingley headquarters which had once employed hundreds of people:


Bradford and Bingley Building 3
Bradford and Bingley Building 4

At present, the site stands empty and has done ever since it was demolished in 2015 and the residing bats departed. It’s understood that supermarket giant Lidl, will take over the former Bradford & Bingley site - yet another step in this changing landscape - and another chance to create a photographic record of the site once the supermarket is built.

A Captured Moment

If there’s one piece of advice that I can give you when it comes to rephotography - it’s that you must grab the opportunity to capture change while you can - don’t keep putting it off!

Time waits for no one and I have deep regrets that I didn’t photograph the old amusement arcade in Guiseley where Aldi now sits. We can’t turn the clocks back, so rephotography is vital in ensuring that memories and moments, don’t disappear completely.

As for now, well, I’m waiting for another one of John Brunton & Partners’ buildings - High Point in Bradford and the old headquarters of the Yorkshire Building Society - to come down…

Alan Carmichael, owner of Capricorn Photography, specialises in corporate photography for small and medium enterprises. For more information visit www.capricornphotography.co.uk. Alternatively, contact Alan on 07828 834731 or email alan@capricornphotography.co.uk

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