My post-graduate teaching course in 1970 included units in photo, film and media studies. Some of my work was published in magazines and books in the 1970's. Major influences have come from a number of workshops, including a series with the late Raymond Moore. Much of my work in the 1980's was concerned with form and detail in urban spaces (an area in which I still work), some of which is now in the (British) National Buildings Record collection. Having worked in a very formal way I wanted to move away from 'thought' work to 'felt' pictures. So, for the last few years, I've been working hard at working loose. The formal training of the earlier work, I hope, provides an internalised framework for a more intuitive approach.
Some people feel that you should only photograph others after asking permission. However, our behaviour in public places is public behaviour and thus, I believe, proper subject matter for the photographer.
It is - I was taught as a child - wrong to stare, but these pictures are glances rather than stares. All were taken with a wide angle lens, typically within a few feet of the subjects. Most were unaware of the camera: others choose to ignore it. Asking permission would have destroyed both the events I was trying to picture and the spontaneity of my response to them.
Many people - myself included - would generally prefer not to be asked. Just get on with it and don't make a fuss - preferably don't let me know. Daily our images are recorded unasked on security cameras on almost every city building and interior. I find the odd guy with a camera far less threatening; at least as a photographer I acknowledge a responsibilty towards those who I photograph. I hope none would consider themselves misrepresented.
Documenting the way we live is perhaps the most important role of photography.
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