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Beyond Looking
  

We’re often too busy to really look closely at the world around us. We hurry past both the familiar and the unfamiliar without a second glance. For me photography is about curiosity. It is about going beyond simply looking and opening our eyes to the beauty that lies hidden in the everyday. In the patterns formed by a tattered and decaying shop sign, the flower-like symmetry of an arrangement of café tables or the columns and iron lacework of a pier contrasted against a perfectly uniform sea and sky.
 

Nothing is boring if you study it closely enough. I’m often drawn to a particular shot for reasons very different from what fascinates me about the photograph afterwards. Capturing a splinter of space and time in a photographic image allows us to study the detail, the shape and form, the patterns and connections that otherwise we may have been oblivious to.
 

I’m also interested in the ‘ready-made’ images that are all around us. Fragments of urban art, advertisements, neon shop signs and the colourful contours of car bodywork are all recurring themes in my photographs.
 
I don’t use Photoshop and other than some cropping I don’t manipulate my photographs in any way. I prefer to capture and print the image as it appears using natural light, distortion through reflection, unusual angles and incongruous combinations of elements to stimulate new ways of looking at the world.
 
Phil Langstaff
June 2012   
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