The Lifeboat Station Project by Jack Lowe

Welcome! I’m Jack Lowe, a documentarist using photography, audio, film and words to shine a light on the greatness of others.

You’ve landed on a website that I first published in 2012. Now, in 2020, I’m dusting it off after a five year hiatus to discuss topics that interest me alongside and beyond my life’s work — The Lifeboat Station Project, my ongoing 8 year mission to photograph all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations on glass.

After 150 stations and over 5 years working on the coast, my station visits came to an abrupt pause when the Prime Minister announced the first social distancing restrictions on 16th March 2020.

The Lifeboat Station Project remains my full-time occupation and, indeed, I’ve come to consider it my life’s work.

I’m eager to return to the coast as soon as restrictions allow. In the meantime, I’ve got plenty to share — one of the reasons for rejuvenating this website — and on these pages you’ll find some of the photographs and stories that lead me to this point.

The Lifeboat Station Project: 12×10 inch Clear Glass Ambrotype by Jack Lowe of Dave Milford, Plymouth RNLI Coxswain, 10th March 2020

Over the years, I’ve worked in the photographic industry as an assistant, agent, retoucher and printmaker.

Of course, I’ve also worked as a photographer but it doesn’t feel like work — photography is a medium that’s pumping through my veins and simply a large part of who I am.

Jack Lowe, 9 years old at York
A photo by my late Mum in York, c.1985

I’ve carried a camera for as long as I can remember — at least since my grandmother gave me an old Kodak Instamatic when I was 8 years old, which you can see hanging around my neck in this photograph.

Today, I make my photographs exactly as the Victorians used to between the 1850s and 1880s using a process known as wet collodion. Unlike many contemporary photographic processes, each plate is unique, unreproducible and irreplaceable — a true one-off.

The photographs are made directly onto glass or metal. The whole procedure is carried out using a portable dark box or, over recent years, in my decommissioned NHS ambulance called Neena.

Contact Me

I hope you enjoy perusing these pages. If you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to use the contact form here.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you…

Jack Lowe

Neena in Walmer, September 2018

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