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Why do we take photographs?

The Thames barrier

Whether we know it or not, most people have a strong visual awareness of what happens around them. Some are trained to see and retain those images better than others, and most have a good understanding of what they enjoy seeing. 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 I don’t think it as good in this respect as the discipline and concentration required for drawing or painting. These, and the photos 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 diary – as well as that which relates to my professional training and interests.

The photographs here were taken on Nikon SLR bodies and lenses or Nikon and Canon 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 SLR were originally transparencies, printed as Cibachromes and then, 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.

The photographs were selected from those taken over a period of many years. The oldest ones were taken over forty-five years ago. They are generally representative of the photographs I take, though I take more architectural photographs than are represented here, and I don't take enough photographs of people.

The other photos on these pages are arranged by the country they were taken in rather than by subject.

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