Jim Morrison – A Salty Seadog

Some 15 years ago whilst I was at college I did a series of portraits of retired seafarers in Falmouth, Cornwall. Those men who had spent their lives at sea, working the Cornish harbours, fishing and saving lives in the seas around Cornwall. One of the gentleman I photographed was Jim Morrison (nothing to do with The Doors!) Jimmy was a lovely man, retired and at the time, was in his eighties. He had plenty a tale to tell of his life aboard his boat named Eclipse moving cargo from one Cornish harbour to another under full sail.

These images were very well received locally and I had a few of them in an exhibition at a Truro gallery. Two of the images sold almost instantly to the gallery owner’s son who wanted them for his home. Some years later (15!) and I get a call from the gallery owner, (John – who is also now retired) who has been trying to track me down. I moved away from Cornwall 13 years ago and lost touch with John but thankfully I have still the same mobile phone number which he kept filed away.

He was after two prints of the images his son had bought for a friend who admired them on his gallery wall 15 years ago.  His friend lives in Munich but had mentioned she would love a couple of prints if John could find me.

Times have moved on in the world of photography and those negatives that I made on my Hasselblad film camera would be stored away in a box somewhere at home. I spoke to John a couple of months ago and we agreed it would be a good idea for me to search for the negatives in January when I was a bit quieter. One night last week I unpacked a large box full of negatives, wow my film processing costs must have been high.  All of my college negatives are in folders and it didn’t take too long to find the images I was looking for, all still in amazing condition. Now, I have the negatives but I don’t have a darkroom anymore, so they need to be into an electronic format. I sent the negatives to my lab for scanning and they arrived yesterday. The images look fantastic on my Mac screen and it is testament to the amazing optics of the Hasselblad camera I shot the portraits on – such an amazing camera that I still own! So a quick retouch to remove dust spots from the scans and the files are now ready to be printed. I would have remove dust marks with dye back in the day but Photoshop sorts it out now.

So times move on, our ways of recording images and outputting them has changed but the images of Jim Morrison will always remain dear to my heart. Such a wonderful man.

Here are the two images of Jimmy and his boat. Limited edition fine art Giclee prints available on request to info@marklordphotography.co.uk

Fine Art Prints Mark Lord 1 Fine Art Prints Mark Lord 2

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