Test topic 1 – an objective if you like

Inspire: Your essential photography reading and watch list

Near the start of every month we curate a short list of diverse reading and viewing appropriate to the current creative theme.  Each item on the list must provoke, inspire and/or be a resource we’ve returned to time and time again. We hope you find them enriching 🙂 

Book: ‘Why it does not have to be in focus‘ (Jackie Higgins, 2013)

Many photography resources speak of their intent to inspire, but few weave as creative a path as this deliciously diverse compendium!  Like most of us, you probably believe there’s a ‘right’ way to take a photo. This compact volume exists in a world where no such rules exist.  Want to float your pictures out to sea to imbibe them with the environment in which they were taken? Do it! Want to exhibit your finest photos with 3d papier mache emoji heads? That’s all good 🙂

Pioneer: Henry Cartier Bresson

No-one has found such devotion in capturing the ‘decisive moment’.  A pioneering ‘street photographer’ (before the term was coined), he found his flow in anticipating and capturing a ‘perfect’ compositional moment.  As modern digital cameras are able to rattle through tens if not hundreds of ‘frames per second’, the very idea is at risk of being lost to history.

This site has a lovely timeline and gallery of his works:


Pioneer: William Fox Talbot

We’ll be providing more information about this pioneer of photography later this month as we literally follow in his footsteps for an image editing project using the cute Polaroid camera you see at the top of this post! For now, suffice to know William pioneered the calotype process and is credited as one of only a handful of true pioneers of the art of photography. Below is a modern digital photo taken at the Oriel bay window at Lacock, England, where he took his very first image. See more of his work at https://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/william-henry-fox-talbot

Documentary: An Impossible Project

In 2008 Polaroid announced it would stop producing instant film, but thanks to ‘The man who saved the last polaroid factory’ it was brought back from the edge of extinction.  This enjoyable documentary charts his purchase of the last surviving Polaroid film factory, the release of ‘Impossible’ film and the later revival of the Polaroid brand name.  Essential viewing!

In the UK, this documentary can be found on Amazon Prime and Chili at the time of writing.  Please check your local streaming services for availability.

This photo essay includes many images from inside the restored factory


TV series: The Great British Photography Challenge


John Rankin, London based photographer,  guides flourishing photographers as they undertake challenges in street, portrait and fashion photography. This short series from 2021 manages to be less ‘TV competition’ and more ‘workshop with the experts’.  If you’ve ever wondered if you could cope with directing a fast-paced fashion shoot, you’re about to find out! (Video content may not be available outside the UK). 

Website: Fujilove.com

Few digital camera brands have a loyal, loving following that goes beyond endless discussions about the latest technical specifications. This ‘travels with my camera’ site is mana for the soul if you have ten minutes and a coffee!

Website: DPreview.com

If there’s one catch-all site for news, reviews and discussion this is it!  Despite our inherent resistance to any site owned by Amazon, it’s been a great source of information for many years, and still has an active forum.  Yes, really!

Website: Ephotozine.com

We’ve returned to this site on and off for a number of years for its healthy mix of tutorials, reviews and ‘photo of the week’ competitions:


With thanks to the longstanding photography resource that is Amateur Photographer magazine, here’s a run-down of their top picks for 2022:

We hope you’ve found something here to inspire you as we start image editing month!