Without doubt Bill Brandt was the first photographer that I found. Quickly followed by David Bailey!
With Brandt it was “Shadows of light” that caught my attention in 1977. It was followed by “London in the thirties” in 1983. The grainy, contrasty black and white images do more for me than any modern attempts to make interesting ‘conceptual’ pics.
With Bailey is was borrowing the book “Beady minces” from the local library and then watching the film “Blowup”.
Two very different photographers who had profound effects on my own work.
What about the influences now? Looking at the Brandt books again I was struck by how much and how little things had changed in the UK. The social divide still exist as does the huge difference in wealth by the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
There are an ever growing number of people affected by poverty and we have a government that simply does not accept that things have deteriorated. The reappearance of hideous childhood diseases like rickets should alarm everybody. There are lots of other issues that seem to be driving us backwards, it is as if the current government wants to return to London in the thirties where every body ‘knew their place’. Maybe we are there already.
The big question! Is there a way that photography can make a difference? I think so, by using new ways of presenting photos, mixing them with other media, using new materials to make photographs and showing them in unusual places.