Archive

Tag Archives: Flinders Street Station

Here are some photos taken at the Chapel Street photobooth earlier this year. My health was more stable then than it is now. My apologies to everyone who has left a comment and not had a reply from me. Hopefully one day I will get back on top of things.

Hope you find these as amusing as I do. Happy Halloween to you all!

Photo by Donna Demaio for 3AW

Clowning about in the famous Flinders Street photobooth. 30 April 2018

“The photo booth will not be removed from Flinders Street Station. We understand the significance of this photo booth and are working closely with the owner to find a new location at the station.”

Metro, the company that owns the station, now say that they understand the significance of the photobooth yet, only last week, they gave the owner Alan Adler, ten days notice to remove it after 46 years of its presence at the station. Grrr!

Metro changed their tune after local and national media coverage. Yesterday local radio station 3AW did a piece about the saga, as did National Nine News on television.

A local photographer Pinot Nior lent a hand. His post about the booth has had 989 shares, so far. One of his photos of Alan and the booth is below.

There were website articles, most notably at Broadsheet Melbourne and a print  article in The Age newspaper this morning.

There is a new Instagram page started by Veronica Charmont @flindersphotobooth where anyone can share photos from the booth.

There is also a book proposed by Phoebe Veldhuizen to collect together as many examples from the booth as possible.

Last but not least there is the Facebook group started by Sarah Rossiter, “Save The Flinders Street Photobooth”, which I told you about in my last post on this subject. The group has kept me and many others abreast of the developing story.

So one hopes that this is a permanent stay of execution but given bureaucratic tendencies towards stupidity I won’t be holding my breath!

(In the two photos below, Alan is holding a copy of Nakki Goranin‘s book American Photobooth, which is my bible for all things photobooth related.)

Photo copyright Pinot Nior

Photo by Christopher Sutherland

In January last year the administration at Flinders Street station intended to have my favourite photobooth permanently removed from its location on Flinders Street. A booth has been at the station for 44 years. Due to the hard work of some students from Melbourne University, and others, a campaign to save the booth was launched and for some 16 months was successful.

Unfortunately the threat has reemerged, as you can see from the notes the owner, Alan, has placed on the booth. There is a new Facebook group called SAVE THE FLINDERS STREET PHOTO BOOTH. The women who have started this group have spoken with Alan and they tell me that it is not his decision to close down the booth. I hope you can all join to help swell the numbers in order to make our displeasure felt and save the booth.

I apologise to the many people who have left comments on this blog or replied to comments I have made on other blogs, that remain unanswered. My health isn’t too great at the moment. I will get back to everyone as soon as I can.

photoboothyesweareopen

The Flinders Street photobooth where I have taken hundreds of photos over the last thirty years, the photobooth that I look forward to using everytime I need to be in Melbourne, the photobooth where I have had so much fun, the photobooth that looked like I’d never see again, (yeah, that booth) has been saved!

YAY!!!

I took 23 strips to celebrate. I look forward to sharing some of them with you soon.

photobooththanksmetrorail

photobooth160120174

Above is the photobooth where the majority of my recent booth pics have been taken. I take multiple strips each time I visit, as due to my health, I am never sure when I will be able to make it there again. It is a place for me to be creative, a place where I love to play.

In 2011 Lindy Percival of The Age newspaper wrote a piece about this booth and the owner Alan Adler. In the article, Alan could not see a bright future for his business. The photographic paper was getting harder to source and he was scaling things back due to his advancing years.

For some years after the article was published, every time I’d go to the centre of Melbourne, I would hold my breath as I turned into Flinders Street. Will the booth still be there, I’d wonder? At one point, I had a gut wrenching moment when the booth was not in its usual position. That was quickly over, as a photobooth-enthusiast ticket inspector directed me to the new location. Gradually I forgot about the probably looming disappearance of this and Alan’s other booth in Chapel Street, South Yarra.

Most of my excursions to town are as a result of appointments to see specialist doctors. Having an appointment on Monday, Saturday saw me thinking about what props I might take with me for the trip to the booth and how I might use those props. Later that day, I received a comment on this blog that the booth was going to be removed on Sunday. Noooooooo!!!!!!

photobooth16012017

I googled the information to see if I could find any news reports about the booth’s imminent demise. Nothing. I tried Facebook and other social media. Nothing. How could I find out if the story was true? I messaged people who would be in the know. Nothing. Then I received confirmation that a friend’s daughter had also heard about the removal. There was nothing for it. I needed to get into the city pronto. There was no way I was well enough to make the trip there and back twice in two days, so I leaped onto Trivago in the hope that I could find a cheap hotel in which to spend Sunday night. Nothing I could afford came up, so thwarted in that plan, I decided to just hope for the best that it might still be in situ on Monday morning.

And lo and behold, when I turned into Flinders Street, there it still was, in all its dishevelled glory! My heart leapt, as subsequently did my collection of booth strips.

And yet the plot thickens. While waiting for my final strip to emerge, I was taken by a very elegant and superbly rendered tattoo of David Bowie on the calf of a young woman. As it turned out, she was waiting for a friend near the booth. I mentioned my last post on this blog about Marco Ferrari and his tattoo photos, as I thought it might interest her. As we chatted I mentioned the removal rumour. She knew all about it! Yes, the booth had been scheduled for removal on Sunday. Apparently it is not the shortage of paper or the looming retirement of the owner that were at issue. It is the station management that want the booth removed. I say “damn your eyes”* to those anonymous corporate destroyers of a much loved Melbourne icon!

photobooth16012007

My new companion knew even more. Apparently the booth has had a temporary reprieve until the end of this month. There is also a campaign to lobby for a permanent stay of execution. Unfortunately, it was a hot afternoon, I felt woeful and I was fretting about leaving the city before peak hour, so I forgot to ask who was organising the campaign and if there was anything I could do to help. Duh, double duh! I am a failure as a knight in shining armour for my beloved booth!!

Now, I am hoping that this post might be seen by the elegantly tattooed bearer of the news. I gave her my card, (Yes, I have a card for this blog. I’m obsessed, remember?) and she said she would check it out. Any comments from anyone who knows more about the Save Our Flinders Street Photobooth Campaign would be very, very welcome.

*A favourite quote from Young Frankenstein. God bless Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder.

photobooth160120172

Found 15/10/1997

This set of photos was found at Flinders Street Station on the 15th of October 1997. I was on my way to meet my school friend, Francis Flanagan. We went to see the film Chasing Amy. I have absolutely no memory of that film, whatsoever.

So who is this young woman and why was this set of pics chucked on the ground? We’ll probably never know who she was/is, yet we can tell a number of things about her and the circumstances under which she took these pictures. She definitely had a poor comprehension of our littering laws, for a start. She is certainly a beautiful girl, who had a certain idea of how she should look in a portrait.

There is a smidgen of a sleeve showing in the top two images. This suggests to me, that she was not there to get a set of fun shots. If she had been, her demeanor would be quite different and the person standing beside her would, most likely, have joined in.

Could it be that she was actually using this booth to get passport photos?? An outrageous idea to someone who sees these automata cameras as toys. If that indeed was the purpose of this sitting, then this dirty set of pictures, with roller marks obscuring parts of the face, would have been unusable. Another reason they could have been discarded is that the four identical portraits option was not chosen.

Obviously, I love it when these photos don’t work and they are rejected for whatever reason. Unfortunately, with these dip and dunk machine all but gone, the unexpected find has become rarer and rarer.

Flinders Street Station, December 1997

I found this large-format, single-shot photobooth photo at Melbourne’s, Victorian era, railway station at Flinders Street. I haven’t seen a machine with the option of choosing a large portrait photo in the city for a long time, probably since the day I found this in 1997.

I’d say this example of a booth photo is the epitome of why we call small id photos mugshots. With his unsmiling face, maple leaf ear tattoo, piercing deep blue eyes and furrowed brow it could easily have been a police identification photo. In fact a friend of mine had no trouble believing this was a picture of a wanted man. Personally, I think he has a certain rugged charm, despite his solemn demeanor.

So why was this image torn and discarded? If he was a Canadian, as suggested by the maple leaf, he may have wanted a picture to send home. A friendlier expression might have been more desirable for that purpose. Or did he really just want four identical shots for a passport or other id? He would not have been the first to have pressed the wrong button.

%d bloggers like this: