Anyone can be a photographer these days, and even if we can’t reach the higher echelons of A-list snappers, we all have the ability to capture a moment in time.
That was the challenge photographic community Photobox set users when they invited submissions for their This is Britain project. Published and produced by Photobox, the coffee table book features images of the colours and characters that make up our society, all taken by members of the public, with a final selection curated by celebrity photographer Rankin.
More than 300 pictures reflecting the passage of the day sit alongside essays by personalities such as Kelly Hoppen MBE, Ben Fogle, Lorraine Kelly OBE and Denise van Outen. We asked Rankin to tell us about some of his favourite images from the book, which could of course be a lovely Christmas gift for someone.
1. Natural arc – I love this photo. The beautiful rainbow seems to perfectly span the length of the bridge. The row of local fishing boats reminds me of the thriving fishing industry of the past.
2. Wallflower – This is a great photo. The giant wall appears intimidating with the small child looking up at it. The beautiful apple tree growing up the wall pops out against the red brick. It’s stunning.
3. Monochrome beauty – This photographer certainly knows what they’re doing. The viaduct fades beautifully into the background while the harsh black and white colourings on the dog are so impactful.
4. End of the day – Wow! We’re so lucky to have an amazing coastline in the UK which provides a natural canvas for photographers to get creative. The warm light from this sunset bounces off the shoreline to create a mind-blowing photo.
5. Time for play – Nothing says playtime better than some puddle jumping and this photo captures it perfectly. I love the rows of beach huts in the background – very British.
Rankin’s top tips for taking pictures:
1. The first and most important thing for photography is light. Whether you’re on the bus or in your kitchen, think about light and where it’s coming from all the time to help sculpt the world around you.
2. You don’t need a big expensive camera – use a smartphone. They’re perfectly good enough to take great photos. The phone is just a tool, so use your imagination, get creative and take risks.
3. There are no rules. Photography isn’t meant to be prescriptive or strict. It’s supposed to be fun, so get out there and enjoy it.
This is Britain is produced and published by Photobox, in aid of BBC Children In Need, and available now. It’s priced at £25, with more than 40% of the sale price donated to the charity.