Beauty and the Beach

About a year ago I went to Southend in the cold and the fog to shoot some vintage swimwear for the museum! The photographs were for a forthcoming exhibition at the Beecroft Gallery. Last week I managed to get there to see the exhibition - which runs until the 20th December - so there is still time to visit! You even get to see Sean Connory modelling swimwear - via a Pathe newsreel!!

The swimwear is certainly beautiful and the styles really interesting. As part of the editing process I was asked to digitally darn one of the woollen swimsuits as the actual darning had yet to be done.

This is not what I would normally do when processing photographs of objects for museums. In fact I have to be very strict about what I do to any photos of museum objects. You just can't airbrush history - the cracks, chips, holes and fading are all part of the character of the object and reflect it's life - giving it it's character.

However, sometimes there is a need for some enhancement - like this swimsuit which was going to be darned prior to being exhibited...

....but also sometimes a reproduction of a very faded document or photograph needs to be enhanced in order for it to be legible or used in publications etc. In these cases it is important that the original state of the object is carefully photographed and any enhancements are done on a copy so as to be distinct from the original. I also tag the photos to make it clear that such enhancement has been done.

So, if you have time - pop along to the Beecroft Gallery and see these fabulous costumes!

All details of this and other current exhibitions can be found at

#sarahstephensphotography #southendmuseums #beecroftgallery #beautyandthebeach #swimwear #itsnotjustaboutthekit

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All images © Sarah Holmes 2021 No reproduction without prior permission.