The Lifeboat Station Project
(@lordlowe)

3,027 posts

10,524 followers

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Jack Lowe's diary of one of the largest photographic projects ever undertaken. Scheduled to finish in 2020. ⚓️⛽️ Fuelling the Project, The LSP Shop:

Stories and Highlights posted by lordlowe

Photos and Videos posted by lordlowe

The joy in some of the old photographs of the herring women I’ve seen today has put me in mind of the people I’ve met on my journey. It strikes me that there might well be a similar core ethos — it’s not an easy job, but just get on with it and make time to smile when you can! Pictured: Gil and Elaine, Buckie @rnli lifeboat volunteers, June 2018 #lifeboatstationproject #lsp19 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #scotland #buckie #womeninsar #sarwomen #rnliwomen

Speaking of #herring here’s a happy memory from June with my hosts in The Kingdom of Fife. Listen to that sizzle! And there’s Inchkeith, the island I kayaked to the previous day... 😊💭

I don’t know very much about the herring boom of the 1900s but it regularly piques my interest, particularly the role women had to play. There’s a kinda wartime feel to it, of women uniting yet again to form an unshakeable foundation and fulcrum to proceedings, their role just as vital as that of the over-sung men. I love the culture that surrounds it all — the words, photographs and sound recordings. Now my mind has quietened a little, I’ve dipped back into ‘The Frayed Atlantic Edge’ by David Gange and the topic’s come up again as he discusses the hubbub of the Orkney herring fleet. David chatted to an islander. “After a summer of singing and accordion-playing the women were gone: ‘it felt flat as a flounder when they went’.” It’s the subject of one of my favourite albums too — ‘Singing the Fishing’ by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. If you’ve heard my own sound recordings, you’ll understand why I love it so much. You can find it on YouTube, worth looking up! #scotland #orkney #wick #herring #fishing #silverdarlings #davidgange #thefrayedatlanticedge

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

1 Day 8 Hours Ago

Always love to see somebody else’s perspective on the day’s proceedings. I was particularly grateful to Todd Watson for these photographs at Bangor. I was so run off my feet all day long that I barely got a chance to take any behind the scenes photographs myself! As an aside, I was pretty devastated when I lost the rubber eye cup from my @sinarswiss loupe last year. I’ve owned this item for nearly two decades! I scoured the shore but couldn’t find it. Must look for a replacement some time. It looks like my @redwingshoes need resoling again too. More jobs for the winter list! Todd also photographed me adopting a new strategy when it came to conveying some instructions during a private commission. I shared that particular story on my Patreon page in a post called ‘The Speaking Cap’. You can find it over at patreon.com/jacklowe — links also available via my homepage. #lifeboatstationproject #lsp19 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #sinarswiss #gitzoinspires #redwingboots #redwingironranger #labourandwait #northernireland #bangor

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

2 Days 10 Hours Ago

Next in line for scanning? @portrushrnli. Hoping the first photographs from Northern Ireland will be online next week. Just need to build the web pages and navigation first! #lifeboatstationproject #lsp19 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #northernireland #portrush

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

2 Days 14 Hours Ago

The five women of @burnhamonsearnli have made the cover of @rnli’s Lifeboat magazine. There’s a poignant story behind this portrait, which I’d like to share with you here. I made a special stop on 11th September 2016, breaking the journey between RNLI Headquarters and South Wales — a second visit to the station with the specific aim of making a portrait of the volunteer women. You see, Vashti (centre) had been pretty ill during the first visit back in July 2015 and wasn't able to get into her drysuit. So, I made a promise to return. Vashti struggled on the day but remained stoic. Ultimately, she only had the energy for one plate with her crewmates. No chance for a second attempt. So, this is it. The only one. Thankfully, Vashti loved it. She generously bought a print for the lifeboat station and also requested print No.29, her crew number. Vashti told me that she would be gifting it to her son, as this photograph is how she would like to be remembered by him. Vashti died a few months later on 28th January 2017. Rest in peace, Vashti. It was a pleasure to meet you, a hero indeed. Five women of Burnham-on-Sea RNLI 11th September 2016 12x10 inch Clear Glass Ambrotype #lifeboatstationproject #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #wetplate #wetplatecollodion #somerset #burnhamonsea #rnliwomen #womeninsar #sarwomen #rnlifamily

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

3 Days 8 Hours Ago

‪This year, @weymouthlifeboat have been celebrating their 150th anniversary and they’ve made this great film to mark the occasion. I’m so proud that the station have included the crew photograph we made together in 2018 — in such a splendid way too! Unfortunately, I can’t fit the whole film in here, so this is the second half — keep watching to the end. #lifeboatstationproject #lsp16 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #weymouth

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

3 Days 18 Hours Ago

The portrait I made in March with Brendan Copeland, @rnli_wicklow Station Mechanic — the gentleman who’s listening to the sound recording in my previous post. Here you see Brendan pictured at the transom of the station’s beloved 30 year old Tyne class lifeboat, Annie Blaker. She was decommissioned just a few weeks after making this photograph, so it really is a moment in time. #lifeboatstationproject #lsp17 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #portrait #ireland #wicklow #annieblaker #tyneclass

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

4 Days 9 Hours Ago

Did you know I make sound recordings to complement my photographs? They add a rich, emotional dimension to the story of the @rnli lifeboat volunteers around our shores. In the fullness of time, the recordings will be available in all kinds of ways. In the meantime, I publish previews of them as podcasts on my Patreon page. Find out how you can listen to them via the Podcast page on my site, helping to fund the project in the process. Head to my profile or here to learn more: lifeboatstationproject.com/podcast Pictured: The moment I handed Brendan Copeland, @wicklowlifeboat mechanic, the headphones so that he could hear the recording I made of Annie Blaker’s legendary Detroit engines. At the end, Brendan says: “Beautiful isn’t it? How would you get better than that? The little growl on her. Lovely.” #lifeboatstationproject #lsp17 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #maritime #nautical #heritage #wicklow #ireland #tyneclass #soundrecording #powerofsound

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

4 Days 15 Hours Ago

Small steps: A wondrous day in the land of possibility. I’ll share more news in due course as it unfurls. #lifeboatstationproject

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

5 Days 18 Hours Ago

Good morning from Fair Londinium. #london #ldn #londonbridge #towerbridge #thatlondon

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

6 Days 10 Hours Ago

On the river one moment, above it the next! Heading south to that London for a meeting or two. Going to have to wait a little longer for my first #azuma experience, though. Keeping my fingers crossed that @lner might have one lined up for my return journey tomorrow... 🤞🏻

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

7 Days 16 Hours Ago

I’ve been really hoping that a Severn class lifeboat crew would do the #tetrischallenge and now they have! Congratulations @newhavenlifeboat — this is incredible! #rnli #lifeboat #sar #imperioussevern

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

8 Days 7 Hours Ago

Settling into winter routines. #tynemouth 👌🏻

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

8 Days 11 Hours Ago

When I’m working on the coast, I use two cameras: my 114 year old 12x10 inch Thornton Pickard to make the glass plates and my iPhone to tell the story of the journey. Barely a day goes by without somebody asking, “Lovely old camera! Does it still work?” Tongue-in-cheek, I usually reply along the lines of, “I hope so!” Of course, the truth is that there’s very little to go wrong, so it “works” very well indeed — like any camera, it’s just a black box and a lens. Physics, chemistry and raw talent take care of the rest. The irony is that people should be asking about the iPhone rather than my plate camera! As I tap this, I’m in the throes of decommissioning my iPhone 7 Plus, which has sadly come to the end of its useful working life after nearly three years’ hard use. When Apple announced last year that they’d sold over 6 billion iPhones, I wasn’t impressed, I was appalled. I really wrestle with the fact that I’m one of “those people” who has now owned five iPhones over the last decade. But I don’t see a way round it other than to make sure I use the device as long as the battery — and Apple — will allow. I’ve recycled them all, so I hope they haven’t entirely gone to waste. And I hope the fact that we’ve had our car for over 17 years and that I’ve up-cycled an ambulance goes some way to restoring the balance. I know the iPhone is a lot more than “just a camera”, but isn’t it great that the 1905 plate camera just keeps on trucking after all these years and you’ll never need compatible software to view the photographs I make with it? #lifeboatstationproject #lsp19 #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #scotland #stranraer

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

9 Days 4 Hours Ago

I’ve set some new #patrongoals to carry me into 2020, the 6th year of The Lifeboat Station Project. My first goal? 238 patrons pledging their support, equivalent to the number of lifeboat stations I’m photographing. 180+ supporters are behind me so far. If you’re enjoying the journey and want to contribute to its future, please pledge whatever you’re comfortable with via my profile link. Photograph by @jasonhedgesphotos / Press & Journal #lifeboatstationproject #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #scotland #buckie #keepartalive

Jack Lowe
(@lordlowe)

9 Days 18 Hours Ago

Aside: If my 2019 calendar’s adorning your wall, happy October! And it’s utterly fortuitous that the photograph of @st_davids_rnli coincides with 150 years of saving lives at sea for this special station. Happy anniversary, St Davids! #lifeboatstationproject #rnli #rnliheritage #sar #lifeboat #wetplate #ambrotype #maritime #nautical #heritage #wales #stdavids #visitwales #findyourepic #architecture