Eden Valley Artistic Network Exhibitions


Eden Valley Artistic Network (EVAN), which I’ve recently joined, is a group of artists and photographers based in the Lake District and Eden Valley.

Pictured, are two of my photographs to be included in the EVAN Remembered Exhibition, 11th November – 17th November, commemorating the Armistice Day Centenary. The photographs were made with a 100-year-old Vest Pocket Kodak camera and depict Crucifix Corner and Mouquet Farm on the Somme battlefield. Some of my Lake District photos have also been included in the Autumn Open Exhibition, 18th October – 9th November.

Both will be held at the EVAN Gallery, 4 Corney Place, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 7PX. Showcasing a wide range of work from local artists the gallery and studios are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am – 4pm.

For more information about the group’s artists and future events please click on this link: Eden Valley Artistic Network

© Simon Howlett 2018. All rights reserved

Panoramic Carlisle


Panoramic photos from Carlisle made with a Fujifilm GX617 medium format film camera and Ilford Delta 100/Ilford FP4 roll film. This new project will be shot entirely in panoramic format, hopefully followed with an exhibition in Carlisle at some point.

Superb examples of panoramic photography can be found in Josef Sudek’s book Praha Panoramatická. First published in 1959 it has page after page of incredibly beautiful images of Prague. It is one of my favourite photo books. A short video (from Christies) regarding Josef Sudek and his work can be found here: Josef Sudek


© Simon Howlett 2017. All rights reserved

Beatles & Quarrymen Live


All photos shot with a 1960s Hasselblad 500C. More of this series can be seen on my website at: Beatles Live

The Quarrymen played at the Casbah Coffee Club on several occasions in 1959 and the Beatles played numerous gigs here from 1960 – 1962. The club is in the basement of this house in Hayman’s Green, Liverpool. I recently did a tour of the club which was conducted by Roag Best, brother of Pete Best, the Beatles original drummer. It was a great insight into the Beatles early days, I’ll definately be paying a return visit.

John, Paul and George painted the ceilings in this club and their work can still be seen. John painted the ‘Aztec’ ceiling, Paul painted the ‘Rainbow’ ceiling and all three painted the ‘Star’ ceiling. There’s a hole in one made by Rory Storm when he got a little too energetic during a performance. He ended up head butting the ceiling and left his skull imprint as a lasting reminder!


The Quarrymen played one gig at the Stanley Abattoir Social Club, Liverpool in 1957. The abottoir pictured above is now a market.


The final photo is the Locarno Ballroom, Liverpool. The Beatles played here on Valentine’s Day 1963. Next door in the distance is the Grafton Rooms, another Beatles’ venue.

© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

Beatles Live


A new project photographing venues the Beatles performed in. Shot with a 1960s Hasselblad 500C, Distagon f4/50 and Kodak T-MAX 100.

The first image is the Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey. The Beatles played here on many occasions in 1960 and 1961. The venue had a reputation for rival Teddy boys fighting during gigs. I believe a piano, which is still at the ballroom, was used by the band.


Above is Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. The Beatles rehearsed here in John Lennon’s flat. The terrace is directly opposite Liverpool Cathedral where Paul McCartney failed an audition to get into the choir when he was 11. In more recent times his classical work has been played at the cathedral. John Lennon’s song Imagine was played on the cathedral bells in 2009 as part of the city’s arts festival.

Below is Barnston Women’s Institute, Heswall. The Beatles played the Institute 3 times and wore their stage suits here for the first time in 1962.


© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

Magazine Publication


Four of my platinum/palladium prints of the Somme have been published in the April issue of Black + White Photography magazine.

The images were made with a vintage Vest Pocket Kodak loaded with Efke R100 film during a visit to the Somme, Arras and Ypres in 2015.

Developed eighteen rolls of film on my return; more of the images can be seen on my website at: The Great War

High Level Bridge Reflection


High Level Bridge reflected in a section of the arch ‘Rise and Fall’ by Lulu Quinn (2007). This is one of many commissioned works of art at Gateshead Quayside.

Shot with a 1968 Hasselblad 500C camera loaded with Kodak T-MAX 100 film. I’ve been getting to grips with this camera in preparation for photographing Paris later this year.

Also planning to use the Hasselblad to photograph music venues the Beatles performed in, with a view to producing platinum/palladium prints from the results. The venues’ history and the link they have with the Beatles is something I enjoy researching.

© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

The Western Front


1917 Vest Pocket Kodak

The photographs below were made on the Somme and near Messines with vintage Vest Pocket Kodaks from The Great War period. More of these images can be seen here: The Great War

Two of the locations pictured are very much associated with football.


Prowse Point Military Cemetery

In 1914 opposing armies observed a Christmas truce close to Prowse Point, gathering together in no man’s land to celebrate. It was also reported football was played. To this day, many footballs are left at the cemetery to commemorate a truly remarkable and peaceful event.


Montauban – The Somme

Montauban was the scene of an attack led by Captain Wilfred ‘Billie’ Nevill, who instructed the 8th East Surreys to kick a number of footballs out into no man’s land as they went over the top. It’s believed Captain Nevill said he would award a prize to the first man to kick a football into the opposing trenches. Sadly, he died during the attack. Two of the footballs were recovered and are held in museums.


The Quadrangle – The Somme

Lieutenant Siegfried Sassoon, the poet, was involved in action at The Quadrangle for which he was awarded the Military Cross. Sassoon described the scene a ‘sunlit picture of hell’.


Albert Basilica and Mural – The Somme

The mural depicts the statue of Mary and the infant Jesus in a precarious state, having been shelled in 1915. The statue remained in this position until 1918 when the tower was destroyed by further shelling.

© Simon Howlett 2015. All rights reserved

Vest Pocket Kodak – Tyne Bridge


Been checking out another 100 year old Vest Pocket Kodak I’ve recently bought. Wanted to make sure there were no light leaks and the camera was functional in preparation for photographing the Somme, Ypres and Arras landscape. Loaded with Efke 100 film I’m pleased to say the camera worked fine.

I have a number of walks planned for my visit to France and Belgium having done a lot of research regarding the Western Front. I’m also reading about war artists and their work, as well as studying photos from the First World War era. Hopefully this will prepare me for my trip which I’m very much looking forward to.


© Simon Howlett 2015. All rights reserved

Vest Pocket Kodak – Sycamore Gap


Sycamore Gap, Hadrian’s Wall shot with a vintage (1914) Vest Pocket Kodak loaded with Efke 100 film. Will be taking two Vest Pocket Kodaks out to France/Belgium this year to photograph the Somme, Ypres and Arras landscape. Hope to visit Paris as well and photograph the city at night with a digital SLR.

I’m very pleased with the photos this camera has produced, especially considering it has just turned 101! Film was developed with Rodinal 1+25, 6 minutes. Negatives scanned and then processed in Lightroom.


Vest Pocket Kodak.


© Simon Howlett 2015. All rights reserved

Vest Pocket Kodak


Vest Pocket Kodak cameras were manufactured between 1912 and 1926. Many were carried into battle during the First World War, becoming known as the ‘Soldier’s Camera’ due to their popularity with the troops.

The camera pictured is from 1917 (having 2 soldiers’ service numbers etched on it) and I have another from 1914. In 2015 I plan to visit the Somme and Ypres battlefields with both cameras to photograph the landscape. Having done some research I can now put names to the service numbers.

My great great grandfather’s brother, Percy Siggery, died on the first day of the Battle of Langemarck, part of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). He was 22 years old and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing.

A Vest Pocket Kodak was used by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine during their Mount Everest expedition in 1924. They did not return and the camera has never been found. If located it may provide evidence they reached the summit of Everest.

Frank Hurley also used a Vest Pocket Kodak during Ernest Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917.

More information about these fascinating cameras can be found at: http://www.vpk.staff.shef.ac.uk/

© Simon Howlett 2014. All rights reserved