Taking pictures on a good day

Summer Days Staten Island by Christine Osinski Image copyright Summer Days Staten Island by Christine Osinski

The role of photography has changed in recent years and, given the amount published daily to the web, you might begin to think you'd seen everything worth looking at - especially images from the past.

However, it seems that is not so as new collections of pictures continue to emerge.

Two such bodies of work stood out for me recently. Both comprise portraits of people on the street from a similar time, the late 1970s and early 80s, which are now far enough away to seem like ancient history to the generation now picking up cameras for the first time.

Christine Osinski's series, Summer Days Staten Island, was taken when she moved with her husband to what is known as New York's "forgotten borough" in 1982 after years of living in Manhattan. The move was enforced to some extent by rising rent prices and this led them to purchase an older property on the island.

Wanting to get to know the area and her new neighbours, she began exploring with her camera, later saying: "It was an adventure first and became a project much, much later."

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British life through the eyes of Colin Jones

Catholic family after the bailiffs, The Cregan Derry, Northern Ireland, 1978 Image copyright Colin Jones / Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery
Image caption Catholic family after the bailiffs, The Cregan Derry, Northern Ireland, 1978

Colin Jones's life could have been very different. He was a dancer with the Royal Ballet when he picked up a camera while on tour in Japan and began to record his colleagues' performances.

His eye for a picture brought him to the attention of one of the great photojournalists of the 1950s and 60s, Hungarian emigre Michael Peto. And with his help and guidance, Jones stepped off the stage and behind the lens.

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The Desire Project: What do you want?

There are times when it is best to keep things simple, and that's just what Les Monaghan has done for The Desire Project.

Based in Doncaster, he simply asked a bunch of strangers: "What do you want?"

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Bringing the silver screen to life

Amanda Ireland, Prince Charles Cinema, London Image copyright Richard Nicholson
Image caption Amanda Ireland, Prince Charles Cinema, London

At the start of the decade, many of Britain's cinemas made the switch from analogue projection to digital, changing forever the role of those inside the projection box, with many films now projected by a computer.

Photographer Richard Nicholson took a look inside that box, capturing those who have helped bring the silver screen to life.

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My mother's favourite flower: A life remembered

As her mobility declines Mum stays in her room more and more. Her windowsill becomes a substitute for the garden. Image copyright Celine Marchbank

Celine Marchbank is a documentary photographer whose latest work is very personal, and yet one that will resonate with many of us.

In 2009 Marchbank found out that her mother, Sue Miles, had cancer. Marchbank recalls that her mother was "amazingly optimistic" and reassuring about the outcome, but by by April the following year the cancer was confirmed as terminal.

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Immigration from a different angle

Person holding a picture of a man and a child with guitar Image copyright John Baucher
Image caption Slovakia to Northern Ireland

John Baucher has always approached his subject matter in new ways, and his latest series is no exception.

Baucher was asked to explore the theme of immigration as part of the Imagine Festival in Belfast, and so set about coming up with an idea that would open the viewer's mind to a new way of seeing.

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Newly discovered photographs by poet Edward Thomas

Nettlebridge Image copyright Edward Thomas / Little Toller Books

Edward Thomas is known for his poems written as World War One raged across Europe, including the bucolic and beguiling Adlestrop. Yet a recent discovery by photographer Rob Hudson has revealed a delightful set of photographs taken by Thomas on a 130-mile bicycle ride from London to the Quantock Hills in Somerset.

The journey was made in 1913 and recorded in Thomas's book In Pursuit of Spring, considered by some his best work of prose. The journey was his way of reconnecting with the countryside following a period living in the capital.

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Halfway mark passed in 24-year photo project

Lubiana's new year Image copyright Yvonne de Rosa

Those of you who have followed my ramblings for some time will know that at this time of year I like to catch up with the 24 photography project, which involves 24 photographers capturing the first 24 hours of a new year for 24 years.

Each photographer is assigned an hour of the day in which to shoot their picture, wherever they are in the world. The original 24 photographers met while studying at Central Saint Martin's in London, though some have now left the group and been replaced by others.

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Solitude of Ravens

Erimo Cape, 1976 © Masahisa Fukase Archives Image copyright Erimo Cape, 1976 © Masahisa Fukase Archives

Masahisa Fukase's Solitude of Ravens is at first glance a tough set of pictures to look at. The stark black and white frames pull you into a filmic world of nightmares and never-ending gloom.

Yet stick with it, and though you will find the collection packs a powerful emotional punch, it also shows how a photograph can speak about far more than what it depicts.

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Lartigue's life in colour

Sylvia Empain, Juan-les-Pins, August 1961 Image copyright Jacques Henri Lartigue © Ministere de la Culture

Jacques Henri Lartigue has been described as the best known amateur in the history of photography.

Through his black-and-white photographs, he captured the world around him, primarily in his native France, and was one of a handful of photographers who helped define what is now called street photography.

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