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Why do people take photographs?

The Thames barrier

Photography is constantly evolving with the increasing importance of images powered by the benefits brought by better quality and capabilities of cameras, particularly with the ownership of mobiles – with selfies being a popular form of personal photography enabling people to capture a moment in time, to retain a visual memory and to share it with others, with all that entails.

Most of us have a good visual awareness of what happens around us, with some trained to see and retain those images. But our receptiveness to visual stimulation also leaves us open to the activities of advertising and the saturation that inflicts. This makes it more difficult for us to select, distinguish and appreciate what we see. Photography is one way of focussing our view on something – though it as not as good in this respect as the discipline and concentration required for drawing or painting. These photographs, and those on subsequent pages, are an indication of the way I see things.

I enjoy looking around me and take photos both to record what I see – in a sense, a visual diary – as well as that which relates to my professional training and interests.

The images here were selected from those taken over a period of many years, the oldest from over fifty years ago. They are generally representative of the photographs I take, though I have more architectural photographs than are represented here. I don’t take enough photographs of people.

The photographs were taken on Nikon SLR bodies and lenses or Nikon, Canon and Sony digital cameras. However, the camera is not the essential part of taking photographs; the eye and selection are more important.

Some of the photographs taken on the SLRs were originally transparencies and now, years later, have been scanned and small digital images produced. Generally I have preferred to take transparencies rather than prints for the quality of the stock. The rest of the photos were taken on the digital cameras.

And I don’t take selfies.

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