click to enlarge

Shirley Baker experimented with Kodachrome colour slide film in the mid 60s, while working in Salford and Blackpool. Many of the resulting images were published in her first book Street Photographs published by Bloodaxe in 1989.

 

What is evident in the colour work is that Shirley began to see her surroundings differently. All the traits of the black and white photographs are there: close observations of bodily gestures, definition of personal and relational space, everyday absurdities, and acute recognition of urban form in street perspectives, roof tops and alleyways. Added to this is a new found awareness of colour as it livens up the otherwise darkened dusty street scenes. Shirley is drawn to the bright cleanliness of a group of children playing in colourful clothes. The sunshine makes the dusty air sparkle softly. 

 
In British post-war photography, this series of photographs represents an early use of colour, prior to its full exploration in the new colour supplement magazines and advertising in the 1970s.
 
 
 
The original prints of many of the images featured on this page can be purchased from the Shirley Baker estate. Please refer to the Contact Us page for further details.