Conservation Recording

 
Photo credit: Pictorial Photography

Photo credit: Pictorial Photography

 

A building goes through many changes during it's lifetime. It evolves to meet the needs of its occupants at specific moments in time. The building that we see today is the result of those changes. For a building to survive it must adapt to meet the needs of modern day life. Whether the changes are drastic or minor, recording them is invaluable.

I specialise in conservation photography, recording buildings before, during and after restoration. During a project I will visit the site regularly to create a full picture of the works carried out.  

The above images are from arecent project documenting the William Cowe & Sons buildings in Berwick upon Tweed.

In this instance, due to the historic nature of the buildings and their listed status, the images of the property prior to resoration were of utmost importance. If this 'before' stage had not been documented, a great deal of information would have been lost forever. Areas of specific interest would of course merit a greater level of recording.

As well as recording, interpretation plays a major part in understanding a building's past. Here, architectural historian Dr Adam Menuge examines a chimney breast in the main shop.

As well as recording, interpretation plays a major part in understanding a building's past. Here, architectural historian Dr Adam Menuge examines a chimney breast in the main shop.

In addition to recording the restoration of the historic fabric of the properties, I also recorded the traditional trades employed such as the sign writing of the shop front.

In addition to recording the restoration of the historic fabric of the properties, I also recorded the traditional trades employed such as the sign writing of the shop front.

Being present during the restoration allows for a great deal of insight into not only the changes currently taking place, but also those which have occurred in the past. Though demolition can be seen in a negative light, it exposes previously unseen features and subtle undiscovered details. 

The restoration work on the Cowe buildings is now complete and all of my compiled recording and research material has been deposited with Berwick Record Office, making it available for the public to view. As these buildings had been a constant feature of the lives of the people of Berwick, I felt it important to share my work with them. This led me to exhibit my images of the restoration and my research findings in the restored shop area of the property. Click here for more details.  

© Cameron Robertson 2019