Photographer Nick Hedges
Duotone 270 x 290mm landscape + 156pp
‘I chose to make this distinction between photojournalism and documentary photography at the beginning of this book Street because this volume of photographs is distinct from my normal practice that is documentary. The images in this book come from a lifetime of informed wandering around streets of towns and cities in Britain. Almost all photographers set out with a purpose in mind, very rarely do they just go and see, or just go and explore, more often than not they have something in mind when they tread the pavement. Life awaits you, but you have already filtered out distractions. The joy of this approach to image making is that you can be, and often are, frequently surprised by the theatre of the street. You have to be, to use a cliche, alive to the possibilities. In an attempt to make these street photographs have some sort of continuity, and not present them as a series of revelatory moments, or as a chronological history, I have placed the images into connected themes. This is the luxury of having an historical perspective, you can appear to possess more sense in your exploration than was often the case. The cultural background explained previously was always in my head, but I may well not have been conscious at the time the camera was raised to my eye.
The themes are: cultural customs, figures in a landscape, history lessons in concrete and brick, motion and joy, solitude, proclamations, community and collectivity, uniform and identity, and the street as theatre. To reiterate a point made earlier, in each one of these photographs the subjects, be they human or stone, are being used by me the photographer to make an observation that is out of their control. Whereas the photographs in Home and in the subsequent volume Work are documentary in that they are the result of a collaboration between the photographer and the subject.’