When Dylan Scalet inherited a collection of photos from his grandfather Jack Sharp, he wasn’t exactly thrilled. In fact, it was only during the Covid-19 lockdown that he got around to digitalizing the film, and he was in for a surprise! What he found was a treasure trove. The incredible photos of Sharp vividly depict the street life of Europe, more than half a century ago.
Scalet, who was born after his grandfather had passed away, felt like the process of going through the photos was also a process of getting to know the man who took them. Jack Sharp was a British engineer by trade, working in Geneva, Switzerland. In his free time, however, he was a street photographer and a talented one at that. These images were all taken between 1950-1970. Scalet was told that his grandfather fully embraced everything he took an interest in. When he started photography, he researched a lot, understood the mechanics of the camera, how to catch the perfect lighting, and the science of the darkroom.
The photos were taken everywhere around Switzerland, but mostly in Geneva, Lausanne, and the western regions. As for the camera, it was an Agfa Super Silette Apotar 45mm f/1:3.5 and an Asahi Pentax K Auto-Takumar 55mm f/1.8, according to Scalet.
The excitement about the revelation and the desire to share his Grandfather’s work comes from the fact that the photographs are really are something special. "As I had come to learn about the great photographers like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier, I simply could not believe the images I was seeing as I dived into the archive. I knew instantly that these photos were special. Not just because they were my grandfather’s, but because I was able to recognize the beauty of these photographs objectively. I knew that it was going to be a lot of work, but getting this out seemed like the right thing to do,” Scalet said in a statement to Bored Panda.
To see more of Jack Sharp's photography, visit the Instagram page Scalet runs for his grandfather.
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