Contextual Studies 6: Guest Lecture 1, Richard Peregrine- Ten Reasons why I am a Photographer

Today a lecture was given by Richard Peregrine who is a photography artist who teaches at Blackburn University Centre. He showed us what is was that interests him in photography through his own work, and experiences.

Ten Reasons Why I chose Photography

  1. Seeing is fun
  2. Allows us to share our unique personal vision
  3. Recording light allows infinite, unique, and possibilities
  4. Framing a small section of reality can transform the mundane
  5. The unexpected or unplanned can be beautiful
  6. Photographs can teach the knowledge of the world
  7. A still image asks what proceeded and succeeded in that moment
  8. A photograph is a time capsule, preserving history
  9. Images develop a poignancy with time, and can become mysterious
  10. Being a photographer opens doors to a world of opportunities


‘A photograph provides an opportunity to see life through another humans eyes’.

If you have an amazing sense of humour like Matt Stuart, the viewer gets to see what Matt sees, and think what Matt thinks.

‘All people have a different capacity to see, photographs allow all people to see well’.


  • Lighting is more complex than one thinks. There appears to be only one source of light. But there were actually reflectors and other spotlights. I really don’t know how I did it. I would not be able to repeat it. (On his 1939 photograph “Mainbocher Corset”)
  • I don’t think photography has anything remotely to do with the brain. It has to do with eye appeal.


Henri Cartier-Bresson used the phrase ‘decisive moment’ in order to highlight the importance of timing.

‘What fascinates me about photography is not what one intends to capture in an image, but what can appear by accident. If you spend enough time seeing through the viewfinder of a camera, you can start to orchestrate timing as well as the arrangement of visual elements’.


Sebastiao Salgado

Photographers can change the world.

Salgado is a social documentary photographer who has spent his life recording projects that highlight the diversity of mankind and the state of social conditions relating to work.

He is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.

Projects such as Workers and Migrations have influenced world attitudes to work, and ethics.



  • When a narrative is frozen, the viewer has no alternative but to consider meaning and engage with a thought process that is deeper.
  • Photographs allow me to think far deeper that when I am watching a movie.
  • Gregory Crewdson could be considered as much a cinematographer or artist as a photographer. Hitchcock and Hopper are as significant influences as any photographer.
  • The production scale of Crewdsons work is huge.
  • His work sells for six figure sums.


When is a photograph not a photograph?

  • The envelope in the last photograph may have sat on a mantle-piece for eighty years
  • The photograph I made using a Canon 5D DSLR. If I had not printed that photograph, would it have existed?
  • Photographs are only future-proofed by printing or transferring to film
  • All digital images are in a state of semi-existence. Most digital images will not survive. They will become landfill.
  • 1995 and thereafter to a point we cannot say will be come and photographic ‘dark age’. Just like pre-1839.





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