Visiting the old neighbourhood – why having a camera is like having a dog.

I had the opportunity last week to go up to my parents house in Manchester. I have been up there off and on but on most occasions I had been to busy to find time to walk the old neighbourhood. One thing that i have realised since I really started getting passionate about photography is photography is like having a dog. Replace dog with camera or I’m my case dog and camera and I can’t wait to get out of the armchair and explore. How many of us need to have a reason before we leave the house and get out from in front of the TV. Like dog owners photographers always have a reason to get out there. We are always looking for the next image and in doing so become more aware and more alive to the environment we are in.  Dorothea Lange once said “the camera is an instrument that helps people to see without a camera”.  I am sure that without my camera I would have never spent several hours walking the old neighbourhood and not only walking it but seeing it with new eyes. Although a deeply personal journey for me as I looked at the run down barbers shop. I remembered fondly my dad taking me to get a haircut at Vic’s, me a toddler sat perched on a wooden board resting on the arms of the barbers chair. To see that same place 40 years on and Vic still there plying his trade, to see the old streets I played on, the pubs I had my first drinks in and to be able to see it all through the lens of my OMD and relive those memories was a morning well spent as mornings go.

Finding a camera for me was like putting a pair of prescription glasses on for the first time and realising that what you thought you could see was just the surface. All of a sudden there was so much detail that you didn’t realise was there waiting to be discovered. When you look at the fine detail, you can’t help but find the story beneath. So here’s my story written in images the story of a few hundred metres of Manchester Suburb where I grew up. Ye ok, Its may not be the prettiest of places, but to me it will always be home.

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