In the street

I’ve been taking photographs for years, mainly documenting family and friends on all the usual occasions. In that time I’ve moved from film, to compacts, to bridge cameras and DSLRs, and finally to my new passion – light weight mirrorless cameras – that have reignited a desire to capture images of the everyday and return to the street.  This ‘documentary impulse’ – has taken me back to familiar and unfamiliar places, the shorelines, market places and venues, the back rooms and backwaters of Northern England, and sometimes beyond.

I’ve always found street life fascinating, as a social scientist by training I’m generally interested in what people get up to, how they live their lives, what drives and motivates them, how they express themselves and why? Some of this I’ve taught at University level, with a particular focus on issues of conflict and violence, protest, social change and the promotion of more peaceful ways of engaging with each other. I’ve also taught about the use of images in conflict, about war photography and the ethics of creating knowledge and pictures, both with and for others

My street photography, some of which you can see here, is borne out of a fascination with the moment, and its’ contingency. The ways in which certain instances can create an opportunity for something different to unfold. The chance encounters, connections and surprises. Or inversely, those moments lost, the neglect of one’s surroundings through speed, or a selective withdrawal through technology, the screen instead of a face. All species of the moment, all immediate and then passed (past), the ghosts of other pathways lingering behind, the puzzle being how to capture the road less travelled.

To that end I’ve begun working on a number of projects that bring together my photography and writing. Alongside photographs and reflections (mostly mundane) I hope this site will eventually act as the place to communicate these projects. I also hope to reflect a little on what Stuart Franklin calls the ‘documentary impulse’, how it can become a compulsion, and what it can reveal about a society otherwise saturated in imagery.

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