Jack captures county’s lifesavers –using Victorian photography

Sunday 11th June 2017: During a visit to Filey RNLI Lifeboat Station by Jack Lowe on The Lifeboat Station Project, Julianne Macauley and Rosalyn Rayment hold their freshly-made portrait on 12x10 inch glass.
Sunday 11th June 2017: During a visit to Filey RNLI Lifeboat Station by Jack Lowe on The Lifeboat Station Project, Julianne Macauley and Rosalyn Rayment hold their freshly-made portrait on 12x10 inch glass.

Brave crew members from four RNLI lifeboat stations in Yorkshire are the latest subjects of one of the largest photographic projects ever undertaken.

The RNLI volunteers at Staithes and Runswick, Whitby, Scarborough and Filey have been immortalised on glass by photographer Jack Lowe.

Jack has loved the RNLI since he was a little boy. He became a member of Storm Force, the charity’s club for children, aged 10 – a couple of years after he picked up his first camera.

Now he’s brought his two passions together in a unique undertaking — The Lifeboat Station Project, which began in January 2015.

It will see Jack visit all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, photographing the view from each station along with the crew and Coxswain/Senior Helm using Wet Plate Collodion, a Victorian process that allows him to record images on glass.

Jack travels in ‘Neena’ – his decommissioned NHS ambulance bought on eBay and converted into a mobile darkroom. The five-year odyssey will be the first complete photographic record of every single lifeboat station on the RNLI network. Jack, grandson of Dad’s Army star Arthur Lowe, also an avid RNLI supporter, said: “From an early age, I loved photography and lifeboats. Now I’m following my heart and uniting the two passions.”

When Jack visits a lifeboat station, he makes the portraits using a camera made in 1905, and then develops the images in his mobile darkroom.