Frank Carter

I am pleased to be exhibiting some of my photographic work again in the 2023 London Photo Show.

My display this year contains 15 framed prints selected from my ‘Sunsets and Reflections’ collection, many of which were displayed at my exhibition held in Southend On Sea last April.

I am also delighted to be able to display 2 very large mounted, sepia prints of Covent Garden Market, which although printed in the mid 1980’s have not been exhibited before. These 2 prints from 35mm sized negatives, were processed by myself and a friend who’s invaluable help was much appreciated at the time. I would like to take this opportunity to explain the procedure that had to be followed to enable me to achieve this.

I was at the time working in Holborn and was frequently staying overnight in the area. Early one morning I decided to walk to Covent Garden to take some black & white shots of the market. When I arrived it was still dark and raining, so I was able to capture the reflections of the illuminated shops in the wet cobbled street. I then decided to wait until it was daylight to capture the interior of the former fruit and vegetable market which was opened as a craft market / shopping center in 1980 and became a popular tourist attraction.

I was very pleased with the results of my early morning venture, and after processing black & white prints of various sizes, I decided to create sepia effect prints by processing them in a sepia solution. This proved popular so I was encouraged to create much larger prints. To achieve this, some difficulties had to be overcome. I was able to purchase large rolls of photographic paper which would need to be cut to size in essential red safe lighting conditions. The enlarger head was turned around so that the image was not being projected onto the base board but down onto the floor below. To achieve a maximum area of exposure, the baseboard had to be weighted down with heavy books, and the image projected down onto floor level from a great height.

Problems with processing the large prints then had to be overcome as developing and fixing dishes of the necessary size could not be purchased. I decided to make my own ‘very large processing dishes’ using wood for the edges, hardboard sheets for the base and polythene lining to make them water tight.

After making an approximate calculated guess on the exposure time required, the large sheets of paper, approximate size exceeding 1 meter x 0.75 meter, had to be held by 2 persons, then passed back & forth through the processing solutions and rinsing water’

I was fortunately, pleasantly surprised with the results of this difficult project.

I have sold many recently framed prints to raise funds for charity organisations including the Alzheimer’s Society, the Jo Cox Foundation and this year in memory of the late Sir David Amess MP who in 2021 launched the appeal for the Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue Fund.

Frank Carter.

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