If you’ve have a scan through my site you probably have come across images of Morgan Motor Co. I spent a few days back in 1999 documenting the life in the factory which was my final degree work and helped me gain a 1st BA(Hons).
Armed with a Bronica ERSi with a few fixed lenses as far as I can remember I had no real aim or brief for myself other than to ‘shoot life’ in the factory. I shot on Ilford XP2 and think I had 120 rolls which for a 6×4.5 size neg (6cmx4.5cm negative) gave me 15 images per roll. I’ve still got all the negs and brings back memories of days in the dark room selecting and editing down my final gallery.
While looking through them there are plenty of other portraits and shots which never made the first selection… still plenty of memories.
Shooting film (aka “Filim”) you need to be disciplined in the sense that you can’t just format the camera and shoot shoot shoot!… unless your student loan could stretch to another few rolls.
Something I still do today is to only take the shot if your about 90% sure its going to at least make a 1st selection.
Approaching this project again last Sept (2014) I came to the decision that I would just approach it without referring back to the 1999 shoot. Just to shoot it as I would how I do now… with the thought of keeping it colour.
The only thing I was wanting to ‘repeat’ was to find out who were still there from 1999… The image above shows the original portrait of ‘Taff’ and an inverted version to show it the correct way…. the scanned image is below…
Certainly the current longest employed employee at Morgan. Great guy to talk to and when shown the images from 1999 could point out everyone and tell me if they are still employed or have moved on.
Still working on the trim for the various models… Shooting what I see and trying to tell the story through images I don’t move things around to ‘tidy’ or to make a better composition. We’ve been given two legs, use them and find the shot. After saying that I had to get the glue pot into this image as I shot, not the same pots! but tins of glue back in 1999. There was a similar pot in the original shot of Taff and you can just see the brush handle above the blurred object in the foreground.
The next shot we ended up replicating just…..because we could as they still worked in the same workshop and in the same area.
Just seeing the electrical fuse box on the back wall…the horizontal marks on the double doors are still there. Change has come with the roller door to the right (which I think is to help the flow more of the cars through the various stages)… and a few licks of paint now and then : )
Vince was another of the guys I grabbed a shot of… (the original one never made the final selection) …still putting 72 pieces (if thats still right?) of ash wood together to make the frame… Again great stories and memories from Vince when seeing the images from 1999.
Another one of them shots (above) I remembered whilst walking around was this one. Again didn’t make the final selection of images…
A project I’m pleased I made to see the place change…to see how I’ve changed or not changed in my approach. My style and vision for a shot has not really changed, yes technology has moved drastically on but you run with it and use it to your advantage.
Even the ‘fun buggies’ have evolved…
So has life in the factory moved on?…yes and no. 15 years in the Morgan Factory is not a great amount. There’s many more images right through the history of the company taken by may photographers but I’ve enjoyed completing the circle…… and I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through my eyes.
If were still here in 2029 then who knows… : )