Dan Hume's Blog


Good Old London Times
April 26, 2012, 1:52 am
Filed under: Extended Major Project

It’s just occurred to me, but maybe it would be a nice idea to compare and contrast London as it now against London back in the 1960’s. I’ve been looking at some old bits of video footage on youtube and I’ve really got a real sense of how London has dramatically changed in the last 50 years.

‘Swinging London’ is a term which often applied to the fashion and cultural scene that flourished in London, in the 1960s. A time where no-one had a mobile phone and London telephone boxes where of some actual use to the public. It’s really interesting to see the social changes that London has gone through. To me, the 60’s clearly represented the true british identity we once had, but now seem to have lost. Not only has our identity been lost, but everyone seems distant nowadays in comparison to the footage I’ve seen of people back in the past.

I’m particular drawn to the video shot on a 16mm camera. I’ve been shooting some footage using the 8mm camera app on the iPhone and it does an incredible job at replicating this raw vintage look that was distinct in the 60’s. In a way this reminds that we often enjoy looking back at the past and taking what we can from it, to bring it up-to-date or re-establish it.

Not only are the videos fascinating to watch, but also the comments underneath them make for interesting reading. One of the main topics that people have been discussing is technology. I came across this comment on the rush hour video; ‘Not a mobile Phone to be seen! How DID we manage!’. I find myself asking the same question as well.

Update!

I’ve been emailing around to see if I could obtain some old footage of London in the 1960’s, but I’ve not had much success. I found this particular video, which had some great shots of the 1960’s. It really conveys the general mood of that era and how people appeared to be more engaged with each other than they are now. However, the user who uploaded this refused my request to use any of the footage.

What I would have liked to have done is to have taken a small sample of clips from the video and then re-shot those clips in the exact same location and composition to demonstrate the radical changes of society between two eras. I would have also liked to have used the 8mm iPhone app to visually match the 16mm vintage look like the example below.

16mm Camera (Original)                  iPhone (8mm App)

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