Starting Street Photography IN The UK !

I've read a number of "Street Photography For Beginners" articles recently , they appear to promote little more than a generic idea of SP , a bit of history, think like an alien , the best camera, black & white or colour, book a workshop ? , bla, bla, bla !

Is it any surprise that Street Photography in the UK  is losing its appeal and integrity as new togs are feeling confused & frustrated , "British Street" is becoming formulaic , predictable and detached from the everyday lives that it allegedly represents. British Street Photography is becoming heavily influenced by the New York Street aesthetic , the way newcomers discover SP and engage with the medium in the early days is producing togs that work hard to emulate US visual values rather than innovate a British way of seeing,  Individuality based on a authentic original approach is becoming hard to find.  You could end up producing work like the self appointed experts if your not careful ,    don't allow others to corrupt your potential, unique ideas and social vision, you do not need to know the rules , as none exist. !

How difficult can street photography be ?   Very simple if you don't get bogged down by unnecessary technique and SP propaganda  !

 New togs are confused and frustrated  !

New togs are confused and frustrated  !

My Very Quick Free Guide to Starting Street Photography In The UK .


1. Shoot your life and the subjects that interest you , shoot what you like and what you dislike , shoot with honesty and integrity.

2 Try to avoid engaging with the work of others initially , just find your own way , take some pictures , make some more and make even more. Edit, Edit and learn .

3. Try to create images that communicate life in 21st century Britain, don't be distracted by the superficial stylized bollocks that passes for SP in the minds of those who have nothing to say,  traditional aesthetics & pictorial values should be exchanged for a more irreverent, personal, alternative view  !. ,  The World Is Not Beautiful  -  But its  there !  (John Myers ) .

4. Be influenced by the books you read and the music you enjoy, don't be influenced by the Street Photography websites & social media , including mine , value your independence and photographic ignorance, your lack of experience is a opportunity to do it your way , be curious and become the photographer you want to be, slowly ,... slowly ,.. one shot at a time .

One successful special capture each month is a attainable realistic target, if you invest enough time into Street Photography.


Enjoy the journey !

Lines Of Production

Thought I would share this collection of abstract images today, that follow in the footsteps of Rothko,Johns & Duchamp , these "ready Made" views belong to a industrial environment and were created by the erosion created by production activity and the necessity of space management with no aesthetic consideration  . They are part of a larger recently completed series .

These graphic compositions were captured on my mobile phone camera .









Seeing it ,different !

 I have been test shooting various techniques recently that allow me to create abstractions of the urban environment and have settled on a simple multi-exposure in camera approach .

I have revisited a number of my favorite locations and searched out new interpretations, the scenes I have created so far are created by stacking a number of exposures on top of each other in camera.  A degree of visual pre-planning is required although the technique should not be so tight that it eliminates the little surprises that make this form of urban landscape photography so compelling.

Most of the attempted multi- exposures unsurprisingly end in failure but they are not a waste of time as these attempts leave clues to how improvements can be made for the next attempt.  Its a approach that adopts a continuous improvement ethos !


All in all its great fun and worth a try if your digital camera has a multiple exposure facility. The files I make are treated the same way as my street photography ,   relying on  Levels , Contrast and Colour post processing enhancements only.

Give it a go !

Keep it surreal !



Reclaim the future, 2018 !

The Reclaim Photography Festival Open Call deadline is approaching fast , 23rd February , 2018 . don't miss it !

This is a genuine free opportunity to share your work with like minded folk ,  no entry fees , no printing costs and no hidden agenda .  No winners, no losers , this event is all about promoting Art Photography and giving folk the chance to exhibit their photography in public places and spaces.

The event takes place in the West Midlands, England and is open to all photographers , the exhibition opens in May 2018 .

I was fortunate enough to be involved in the 2017 show for the first time and have really warm memories of the event . This year I have created 4 images especially for the show .   

The Reclaim Photography Festival is supported by Arts Council England .       

Good luck with your submission .


One of my entries from the 2017 Reclaim Photography Festival . Durham Miners Gala , 2013

Portrait Of A Modern Poet, 2018

This portrait deliberately challenges conventional photographic portraiture, it should be seen as a protest and a warning !

This image was made by reshaping and reinterpreting existing digital media ,within a digital camera , the idea grew from the realization that modern celebrities and politicians are becoming increasingly isolated and dependent on TV screen representation, they value photographic portraiture less than ever before.

The collaboration between portrait photographer & subject appears to be breaking down in the digital age as time poor subjects with selfie sticks invest less of themselves into meaningful shoots. 

Is it possible to capture the soul of a person you have never met  ?




Whats The Plan ?

As another year of Street Photography gets underway , its time to make plans for the months ahead, the flat lighting and lower temperatures might not be motivating you at the moment but its time to establish a few aims and objectives 

Review the past year , use the "WHY" question to analyse your successes, motivations and failures , establish in your mind what success is, success comes in different shapes and sizes and can only be measured on a personal level . The pictures and activities that make you happiest are the ones that you should consider to be the most successful, , my Street Photography is undertaken with a smile on my face , sometimes I actually laugh out loud at the things I see and shoot on the streets.  I hope this shows in my pictures.

Remember a bad days Street Photography is better than a good day at work !

Plan to shoot a few events this year or challenge yourself to shoot a few different cities . While on the subject of shooting cities, try to establish a street photography route in the city you shoot most , you'll be surprised by how much a established route changes once you start looking deeper on a regular basis, you will also become aware of how the light changes throughout the day, allowing you to predict and exploit the best light. 



Plan to shoot different , try long exposures, blur, flash, high view points and low view points, embrace alternative techniques, this will help you to grow and learn as a photographer.

Decide what you want to achieve this year and take action to make it happen , if you fail to get "the" shot you want, return again and again until you get what you want , the picture below might look like a casual capture however it did not give itself up easily ! Eventually (3 Years later) I got it !



I tried to shoot this scene in a rain storm without success, the bottom line is that all weather conditions can be the right conditions if you have a few ideas put aside, ready to be used on , dare I say it "a rainy day" !


I hope this piece has inspired you to set aside a few dates in your diary, to do something different this year or even revisit a location that did not deliver for you last time. 

Although most of us embrace a spontaneous photographic approach on the streets this does not exclude us from being organised and making plans, setting time aside for your street photography will help you to achieve more, it will also give you something relaxing to plan around and look forward too  , 

Persperation or Inspiration ?


Keep it real !


Hello 2018 !

Ready or not the new year is here !                                                                                                                                                                                     The fireworks have gone, so its important that your hangover from 2017 doesn't last for the next twelve months, its time to initiate new projects, bin the stuff that didn't work out in 2017 and  develop your ideas, this is not a rehearsal !  

How can you move your Street Photography forward this year ?

My search for change and progress is not based on dissatisfaction of my current practice, my search is  based on a journey of change and inquiry.  I may not be moving forward but I know I am not standing still, visual questions need to be asked and answered ?                                        Doing things how you have always done them will create the results you have always had !        Embrace and seek change, change your mindset ,  change your focal length , change the locations, change, change, change, change and don't fear failure , failure is the food of creativity, learning and progress.

Think like a student no matter how long you've been shooting "Street" !  Photographic technique is becoming easier to learn , don't spend your time pixel peeping, instead show a active interest in Art , the cubists, surrealists and impressionists have many lessons for photographers with curious minds.

Look deeper , shoot  sets of pictures . Notice I used the word set not series , I understand that many photographers feel that the idea of shooting in series is pretentious and conflicts with purest principles of the "Street Photography Moment" !   Don't get caught up with the semantics , sets of images allow the author to develop a deeper narrative that can engage viewers on a different level to the sublime one off captures we usually crave. Shoot a set this year, just five or six pix, keep shooting it until it develops a rhythm and flow that works.

Care less about what others think , these are your images, this is your journey and this is your life . Should you wish to become a sheep become a black one, better still become a wolf, the world has enough sheep !    Be cautious of wolves dressed as shepherds !!!

The best advice I can give for 2018 is to stop taking pictures when your not feeling it, too many photographers create unsustainable workloads for themselves,  a dedicated street photography commitment is a huge undertaking especially when it is  combined with work and family commitments. Remember what is important to you and yours .

Ensure your photography is created on your terms and for the best of reasons . The greatest reward a photographer can / should expect is the thrill of a meaningful capture, everything else is just window dressing. 

Taking my own advice I'm going stop writing this now as I have some other stuff to do, best wishes for the next twelve months.

Keep it real in 2018 !





Bye , Bye 2017 !

As this year draws to its end I thought I would review the year and some of the captures I made, this year started like any other , I had few expectations as is my default position, however 2017 delivered a few very welcome photographic surprises !

The year started with the acquisition of a large blue mirror from a charity shop, this was the beginning of The Blue Frames project , this project was full of visual surprises and was great fun to shoot, sadly I failed to maintain it for the full 52 weeks that I intended , I am quite proud of this set of pictures especially as one from this new series was to be selected for exhibition in a leading UK photo festival before the year was out.


 Blue Frame No 2.

Blue Frame No 2.

I was delighted to have 3 of my Durham Miners Gala pictures included in the Reclaim Photography Exhibition ,which is a free event hosted in the West Midlands annually. This show is open to all photographers, I was fortunate enough to view the 2017 festival in the company of my friends Peter Barton and Stephen Curry, it was a memorable day.     

The 2018 Reclaim Photography Festival Exhibition is open for entries now , the theme is "Reclaiming The Future" , the show welcomes entries in all styles including "Street " !


 Durham Miners Gala, part of the 2017 Reclaim Exhibition.

Durham Miners Gala, part of the 2017 Reclaim Exhibition.

As the year progressed I picked up a few shots for The State Of Britain project although I became aware that I had not really managed anything that gave me the "Buzz" that feeds my search for Street Photography. That was until June 19th when the elements aligned and conspired to confront me with a very unusual  view of a young woman carrying a head under her arm, this image went on to become a finalist in the Lensculture Street Photography awards and was exhibited in San Francisco .


 While All Around Are Losing Theirs, 2017

While All Around Are Losing Theirs, 2017

One of the Blue Frames series was selected for exhibition as part of the PhotoOxford festival open call . This selection process was done via Photo Crowd , which is the strangest photo community I have ever been part of , I won't go into how it works here, but will never forget or repeat the "experience" !

 This Blue Frame made it to the Oxford photo festival..

This Blue Frame made it to the Oxford photo festival..


My involvement in the Oxford festival earned me a invitation to Martin Parrs, Oxford opening night exhibition , sadly I was unable to attend due to other commitments, apologies to Mr Parr !

Looking back, this year has been very kind to me .I have already shot my set of images for the Reclaim Festival entitled, There Are No Launderettes In Outer Space , which could be the craziest set of pix I've ever made and have discovered a set of pix that I had created over time that appear to live well alongside each other , they were never intended to be a series  (Tomorrow Was Created Yesterday).

The take away point of all this for me is that you never know when or where your best images are going to turn up or how these pictures will be received by others , the secret is to stay optimistic and have fun with your photography, create for yourself with few expectations, this creates a win  win mentality and enhances your feelings of independence and creative freedom. 

I hope you create loads of happy memories and great pictures during the next year , best wishes for the remainder of 2017 and the new year ahead..

Keep it real in 2018 !






Merry Christmas

When the turkeys in the oven & the Christmas presents are bought and Santa's in his module he's an American Astronaut.. 


TOMORROW was created yesterday


This is the story of how a building site helped me discover a new way of seeing how times past relate to now, !

On first inspection this photographic series might appear to be the product of digital manipulation , however ,  the collisions of time & coincidence seen here are created by a unlikely serendipitous reality, which is a bi-product of numerous mundane parking, security and public safety requirements !

All of the views here are as found and captured without my intervention.

These simple photographs show how a unremarkable demolition / construction site became the subject of my photographic attentions for more than a year due to the way a historically themed fence appeared to relate, evolve and juxtapose with life today.    The more I looked at the historic photographic representations on this perimeter fence the more I noticed the surprising visual insights and contrasts that existed between modernity and nostalgia. .  

 The story starts in November 2016 when I capture a image of a modern hi-tech jogger running past what was then a demolition site, at first glance the runner appears to be in a a 100 year old street scene, however, the scene behind the runner is monochrome, while the runner enjoys full-colour representation ?   This image was the first image that suggested a form of visual time travel to me that was worthy of further investigation !

Following this capture I revisited the site over the following year, at first I thought these images were a bit of fun, but eventually it dawned  on me  that these images were offering interesting interactions that displayed elements of wit and social comment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I adopted this location as part of my Street Photography route but I did not plan for these individual captures to be seen collectively , slowly I was getting drawn into how the saturated high visibility of the 21st century looked displaced against the nostalgic monochromatic streets of earlier times. . I eventually learned that these pictures possess a deeper significance as a body of work . 

This unique perspective shows how a small part of a evolving British city can reveal a unexpected narrative of how scenes from the past maintain a surprising connection with life today !

These pictures document how our urban environments will always be unfinished work's in progress. They also reveal how the past , present and future can conspire to create a reoccuring  contradictry reality we refer to as now !