A collection of articles on photography

Covid-19 and street photography

Street Photography After Coronavirus

Street photography after coronavirus Street photography has always been contentious; plenty of people have objected to it for their various reasons; privacy, the motives behind it, it’s boring, they don’t ‘get it’ and even jealousy. By its very nature, it necessitates contact with people. Some photographers are happy to stand away from the action with …

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Wearing PPE mask during lockdown

Street Photography and the Lockdown

Photographs from the lockdown Being prevented from going out hardly provides the best opportunities for street photography. Unlike many we have stuck to the guidelines, only going out for essential shopping and exercise. I use the word ‘exercise’ in its loosest sense – in our case it means walking Dylan, our border terrier. Before we …

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Street photography

I’m a photographer, please let me patronize you.

I’m a photographer, please let me patronize you.   A short while ago I posted this picture online, a candid street photo like many others. One of the comments was “He looks as though he needs money more than his picture taking. I hope you gave him some.” I think it’s useful to address some …

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Articles 15

Words about my father

Words about my father So what do I know? I have a vague memory of deep set eyes and heavy eyebrows. A slender frame with hairy arms. I may have imagined it. There were some photos now long destroyed that I remember seeing years and years ago – maybe this is where the memory comes …

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Never been to New York

I’ve never been to New York!

I’ve Never Been To New York!   A lot of people dislike street photography. A lot of photographers dislike street photography. That’s okay, I understand that. What I don’t understand is those ‘photographers’ who insist that only street photography done in large cities has anything of interest. I read a comment recently along the lines …

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Old man in Leeds

An hour in Leeds

Leeds street photography  If you look too hard for photos they probably won’t be there. Just be ready for when they are 🙂 One of the questions that seem to come up regularly when I give the lectures is ‘do you plan a photo expedition and what gear do you use?’ One of the things …

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Scarborough 1980s

The Seaside

Scarborough and Bridlington – A photographer’s paradise   I never really had holidays as a kid. No transport, no father and no money. The closest we got was the ‘club trip’. Once a year, members and their relatives from the local Working Men’s Club were bundled onto a coach that invariably smelled of disinfectant and …

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Articles 16

Photographing the Homeless

A few thoughts on photographing the homeless   I’ve often seen the argument that street photographers shouldn’t photograph the homeless. The reasoning seems to roughly come down to three things: It’s too easy. It’s exploitative. All street photography is wrong. The ‘easy option’ The ‘they’re too easy a target’ seems to come primarily from street …

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Leeds street photography

Leeds street photos – a few out-takes

Sorting through the reject pile One of the problems with street photography is there’s inevitably a lot of failures. Lots of camera shake, out of focus pictures and plenty of pictures that just aren’t very interesting. These are few ‘out-takes’ mainly taken in Leeds over the past year or two. Most aren’t strong enough as …

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Articles 17

Far right demo in Leeds 7th September

A few photos from the pro and anti Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (or Tommy Robinson as he likes to be called so that he appears to be a man of the people) demos in Leeds yesterday. Fortunately, the turn-out by the right-wing yobs was very low, far out-numbered by the counter-demonstration and the police. I don’t really …

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Photography paranoia

Photographers, Perverts and Paranoia

Photographers are the bad guys now A few days back a friend of Bridget’s was taking pictures in Bradford city centre, the City Park. Bridget’s friend is a keen amateur photographer who uses a Canon 5D DSLR. She is also in a wheelchair. She was approached by a woman who demanded to know what she …

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Leeds Pride 2019

Photographs from Leeds Pride 2019

A few pictures from Leeds Pride August 2019 I’m not the world’s greatest ‘event’ photographer. There’ll be far better pictures that capture the colour of the LGBT Pride parade and characters than I could take. My approach to Leeds Pride 2019 was that of a street photography opportunity, mingling with the crowds and grabbing a …

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Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey – coming off anti-depressants

“Cold Turkey” A photographic essay depicting the side-effects of ant-depressant withdrawal. 15 years or so ago I was prescribed a high dose anti-depressant (Dosulepin) as a muscle relaxant for a chronic spinal condition. A couple of years ago the drug was found to cause heart problems with extended use and is now being withdrawn by …

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Black and white film

Film vs Digital

Moving back to film photography?   Almost all the photographs on this site are shot on digital cameras. I haven’t shot on film for a long time but I have hundreds of negatives I’ve taken over the years a few of which I’ve scanned and appear on this page. I used to develop all my …

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Redcar

Redcar – Fashionably unfashionable

There was a recent article in the Guardian Newspaper about the effects on industrial towns when the main industries close. This tied in closely with the After the Coal Dust project Bridget and I have been undertaking for the past few years. The Guardian article used Redcar in the North of England to illustrate the …

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Articles 18

The angry mob

Over the years we’ve taken thousands of pictures, several hundred of these have been posted on social media. Facebook groups in particular have been useful in getting the photographs seen by a wider audience. In the vast majority of cases these groups have been friendly and supportive. We’ve made lots of friends through these groups. …

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Articles 19

Photo Competitions – why they’re not for me!

I get asked quite often why I don’t enter competitions, the British Journal of Photography ‘Portrait of Britain’ competition being one of them. Part of the problem is that you have to pay to entry. This is not necessarily a financial thing (it’s a tenner for one submission) it’s more the fact that the more …

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Rhyl

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside…Rhyl

A couple of hours in Rhyl, North Wales. The last time I was in Rhyl was when I was ten or eleven years old. Apart from having to spend a week with the stepdad from hell, I remember it being a nice place, lively and bustling in the typical British seaside town way. Recently we …

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What makes a good photo

Cutting the Crap

Street Photography – Cutting the Crap Think of a street photographer, one of your favourites. It could be anyone from CartierBresson to someone whose pictures you like on Facebook. Now think about their photographs, the really memorable ones. The ones that immediately spring to mind when someone mentions the photographer’s name. Chances are there won’t …

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Articles 20

The camera never lies…

….but the truth is open to interpretation! I’m always fascinated by the reactions some of the photos get and how preconceptions can influence the interpretation of the image. One of the things I aim for is to let the viewer add value to an image by creating their own stories around it. Sometimes a photograph …

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Articles 21

The backlash against street photographers

Watch out there’s a photographer about! I don’t know if it’s just here in the UK but there seems to be a growing suspicion and even open animosity towards photographers, especially street photographers. Recently someone supposedly close to us has even gone so far as equating photographers with something far more unsavoury. “You have a …

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Articles 22

Post processing…not for the purists

There are many photographers who believe that if the image has been post processed then somehow it’s not real photography. I’m not in this camp. Post processing is inevitable to a certain extent; it always has been. Back in the film days working on the print in the darkroom was par for the course; dodging …

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Articles 23

An article on street photography

From time to time I get asked to write a few pieces on photography, in particular, street photography. Whilst there are plenty of books available on the subject (although not very many good ones!) most of these concentrate on technique. This article is definitely not a ‘how to’! Street Photography – Not a “How-To” Step …

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