The John Hinde Butlins photographs are a glorious moment in the story of British photography. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the John Hinde Studio, based in Dublin, produced a series of postcards to be sold at Butlins holiday camps throughout the British Isles. Famous for their hi-de-hi catchphrase, redcoat hosts, and bargain packages with all entertainment included, this was Butlins heyday. Throughout the 1970s, over a million Britons had a holiday at Butlins each year. With innovative use of colour and elaborate staging (the trademarks of a John Hinde postcard), it was the challenging job of two German (Elmar Ludwig and Edmund Nagele) and one British photographer (David Noble) to execute the photographs to Hindes rigorous formula and standards. Each photograph is elaborately stage managed, with often large casts of real holidaymakers acting their allocated roles in these narrative tableaux of the Butlins quiet lounges, ballrooms and Beachomber bars. Shot with large format cameras, and lit like a film set, the production of these photographs were an extraordinary undertaking. The images helped John Hinde become one of the most successful postcard publishers in the world.
Most of the John Hinde Butlins photographs have only ever been published as postcards. This book and exhibition photographs are reproduced from the original large format Ektachromes. They prove to be some of the strongest images of their era.
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