I AM CHRISTOPHER LEACH THE ARTIST. I started this blog so that I can share with everyone my vast collection of transport photographs showing a personal and nostalgic view of the industry with images that span some 45 years taking in the U.K and some of Europe. I have no darkroom and so rather than being the perfectionist after tidying them up I upload the images warts and all, and even those that won't scan squarely or are scratched. In a way it adds age and character. You are all free to download these for your personal use but please remember I still own them and you are not just free to use them without prior permission for any knd of publishing. Click on images to enlarge them and if you want to see more leave your comments or visit my website for the mother-site with galleries including those Buses & Girls: PICTUREWORLD

Monday, 11 February 2008

A dusty patch called Mertola

Parts of Portugal inland away from the Atlantic Coast are very arid and dusty like the small town of Mertola high up above the Rio Gaudina River, and there didn't seem to be a lot to see there except of course some old dusty RN buses. Most of the buses in Portugal looked quite attractive or at least interesting but this truck-based Volvo seen in 1984 was a notable ugly exception.


Andy R said...

Hi Christopher,

I'd like to thank you for putting up this blog and sharing your pictures and comments with us.

Seeing you're invisting requests, do you have any more Reading pictures? I'm especially interested in seeing the VR's and Regents, but also more recently Reading Maniline Routemasters if you have any.

Artdesire said...

Hi Christopher,

This bus looks absolutely not ugly to me. It is in the remote and usually very hot regions of Algarve and Baixo Alentejo, where buses were not easily replaced by up-to-date material. While most bus spotters concentrate on still undiscovered spiffy new buses, you really hit the spot by taking a picture of a bus that was highly important to a poorer and hard working community from the countryside of Portugal. Keep those orange beauties coming!

christopher said...

Firstly thanks to Cirdan for showing your appreciation and your comments. I have a lot more more Reading pictures and yes maybe VR's including Jumbo NC examples but sadly no Regents or RM's.

Durate, I appreciate that these were very much horses for courses and no doubt very good solid vehicles, and I realise too that when I try to do colourful and witty captions no doubt someone is going to get offended. I'm sure I'll get a lot more 'boos' when I start writing about more obvious sacred cows but if I really hated it so much would I have taken that picture. Still it gets more of you putting pen to paper which is a good way to help me choose what's coming up in the near future....Don't worry I wasted a lot of film in Portugal.

Andy R said...

Any opinion is just that .. an opinion. One man's ugly duckling is another man's swan. Somtimes, the things we like most are just the ones we have got most used to and sometimes there may be real underlying reasons making them appealing or ugly. I'm glad I'm not an architect or designer because frankly you can never please anybody and sometimes criticism can hurt.

But no matter whether this is a "just right" or "could do better" design, it was there. And photography is just as much about recording what there is there as it is about passing judgement - and quite often there is a mix of both.

I very much enjoy reading your opinions and annotations, which add extra context and background to your pictures.

What I like about your style of photography is that you photograph buses in contect. Many boring photographers just go for vehicles and end up with hundreds of pictures in front of more or less the same background without actually establishing any connection to that background. Pictures only come to life when the vehicle is in context and is seen to interact with its surroundings. And after all, the purpose of buses is to provide a public service of some sort, is it not. I wonder why so many photographers ignore that fact and view any purpose such a bus service may fulfill as an undesirable element that gets in the way of a good photograph.

Unknown said...

This is a very very interesting photo. This Volvo was new in EMPRESA RODOVIARIA DO SOTAVENTO ALGARVIO" from Olhão. It was number 38. This Company was founded in 1940.

Best Regards
José Luis COVITA