Robert Blomfield

Robert Blomfield: Edinburgh 1957 – 1966


Born in 1938, Robert Blomfield was practising street photography in the UK from the late 1950s through to the early 1970s. This pursuit ran alongside his medical studies at Edinburgh and subsequent years spent as a junior doctor in London, which technically defined him as an ‘amateur photographer’. However, his use of the camera was anything but amateur. Subtly he became an unobtrusive and fly on the wall, seeking interesting or amusing scenes in a postwar world that was changing at breakneck speed.


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ISBN 9781908457608
Duotone & colour 270 x 290mm landscape + 192pp


The term ‘amateur photographer’ is usually used dismissively, reducing that person’s work to no more than a hobby. History shows that this is often a false categorisation, as illustrated by the astonishing discovery of the lifetime’s work of Vivian Maier, a Chicago nanny. Her collection has given a new perspective to the genre of street photography, though sadly recognition came only after her death.


In Robert Blomfield, we have a similar unsung talent: a man who could not stop taking photographs wherever he lived and worked, brilliantly and compulsively capturing people and places on film. Although a medical career was his first calling, he always carried his precious Nikon camera to record whatever caught his interest. Training as a doctor in Edinburgh in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he created a substantial archive of life in the Scottish capital – from his work in the hospital to people he observed in the street, from the building of the new Forth Road Bridge to the reshaping of the city itself as streets and housing were demolished in the name of progress.

It is a rich and remarkable archive, a selection of which is published here for the first time.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg
Dimensions 29 × 27 × 2.5 cm