But life goes on, so I'm back. ("Yay!" I think I can hear someone intoning quietly in the far distance...😂)
Photographing ordinary, not-particularly-special places has been an on-and-off hobby of mine for many years. Over a decade ago I donated a CD of photographs from around my local area to the Local Studies library. Don't know if they have ever made use of them, but as far as I am concerned it's all grist to the mill of the archive.
|The Captain Cook public house, on the Broadway|
in Barking, Essex around Christmastime in 2006/7
People occasionally ask me what the point of taking mundane pictures is. It is, I am told, a bit boring. I just point to photographs from a century or more back. In general, we are fascinated by how people dressed and where they lived in the past. Who's to say that future generations won't be just as interested in our time? The rapidity and extent of change can be breathtaking and familiar scenes vanish almost in the blink of an eye. Yet, by contrast, so many places remain relatively unaltered.
I know that, every hour of every day, around the world, millions of pictures are being taken. So you might think that really, there is no need for me to be bimbling around photographing derelict pubs and rows of shops. But how many, in reality, of those millions of happy snaps, are actually of any use in recording the places where we live? And how many of them will even survive for longer than the next change of mobile phone?
The same site on 5 February 2020, now occupied by Abbey Leisure Centre.
Pretty much unrecognisable from before.
One final point. If you ever decide that you would like to do something similar DO NOT, whatever you do, assign the copyright of your images to your local authority (or anyone else)
Licence them if you have to, but retain the copyright in your name and make it clear that you are doing so. That way, you can continue to use your hard-won images yourself and, should any financial benefits come from them, you will have a legal claim to them.
My Local Studies people tried to tell me that they would not be able to use the images if they didn't own the copyright. Utter nonsense. You can give permission by creating a carefully-worded licence. And you can place whatever restrictions on their use that you feel are appropriate. If they don't like it, they don't get your images!