Ref No770 ECH/1/1/0001
TitleThe Birth of the Ark Royal
DescriptionPhotograph of the HMS Ark Royal, taken from the top of Holt Hill in Birkenhead. The ship had just been painted white, as part of preparations for its launch from the Cammell Laird shipyard by the Queen Mother. This is one of Hardman's most famous photographs, which was retouched in order to create such an impressive picture. For example; the white washed gable end nearest the camera was eliminated by the application of coccine nouvelle (a red dye) to the positive transparency, as it detracted from the contrast of the ship -
"I was trying to recreate what I had seen, to produce an effect, and anything that goes against the effect I want, I rule out." E. Chambré Hardman, 1983.
In 1958 the image was acquired by the trustees of the American Stephen Tyng Collection. In 1959 it was published in the British Journal of Photography under the title "Where Great Ships are Built" rather than "The Birth of the Ark Royal".
The photograph was taken using a 3½ x 4¼ " revolving back Auto Graflex with a Teleros 13" focal length lens on Kodak XX film. (Rob Powell, Photographers Gallery Exhibition 'Photographs in Context' 1983)
Exhibited at the Open Eye Gallery in 1980. Displayed in the "Behind the Lens" Exhibition at the Picton Library, Central Library, Liverpool March-May 2004.
CopyrightCopyright of the photograph belongs to The National Trust. Permission to reproduce the photograph must be obtained from The National Trust.


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NA2260Dock Area/City Centre/Liverpool/Lancashire/England
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