We all love a good picture but Paul Bridge is out to persuade us that great photographs are worth printing and putting on display. ‘Too often today people see photography as disposable,’ says Paul. ‘But the reality is that you can take a snap but you have to make a photograph.’ Paul is determined to get us all appreciating the art in photography and as he opens his Album Gallery in Albion Street, he’s ready to show us what he means!
‘As city dwellers, we are bombarded with visual images. Each day, they estimate we see 1500 photographs and we are just saturated with them. It takes time and effort to make a photograph that matters and it takes focus and attention to appreciate what the photographer has done.’ Paul opens his Album Gallery this week with an open entry competition called egalitaria. The exhibition is a selection from twelve hundred photographs Paul has been sent from every continent except Antartica (come on Antartica!) from both budding and established photographers. He has curated about fifty in groupings and by theme to show each to its best. (The photos here are all in the exhibition.) And its all free to visit.
…when you see a great photo on the wall, you see it differently!’
Rooted in Rotherhithe
Paul is a local to Rotherhithe having moved here a year ago from Hackney. His passion for photography though goes back much further. He started out in 1976 at the University of Westminster and has continued building his skills and portfolio ever since. The Gallery however has been a project of the last four years, a mixture of gallery, social space and learning centre. ‘I really want to draw in a community around photography,’ he says. ‘Giving people an opportunity to see what a print does to their photography is important; when you see a great photo on the wall, you see it differently!’
‘I’m planning about ten exhibitions a year. I hope they will be a mix of established and new photographers and each will last about six weeks. Then I want to offer three-hour classes in the evening such as Serious. Cheap. Photography. or Introduction to Lightroom. Alongside the courses I’ll be offering gallery standard photographic printing and want to work with the local schools to look at how they can use photography in the whole curriculum. The Gallery will sell limited edition prints and postcards as well as posters and catalogues of each exhibition. At times, the Gallery might be hired for meetings or perhaps for private viewings for students. The opportunities are legion and only held back by our imagination!’
It takes time and effort to make a photograph.
When the chance arose to take up the shop front in Albion Street, Paul was really surprised to find that no one had called their business Album Gallery before. ‘There are loads of pretentious professional photo labs who provide a waiting room and keep things very impersonal. I’m aiming at a simple gallery space with refreshments and looking to encourage the less confident and inexperienced to make a start in photography. There’s a lot to learn – about the technical side, how to choose a subject and what view to take as well as about software and finishing – but anyone can grab a snap. Perhaps we can turn a few more residents into great photographers worthy of display!’
For more details go to Paul’s website
The Album Gallery opens on Thursday 16 July at 44 Albion Street. It will normally be open Wednesday to Sunday 11:00-18:00.
Paul Bridge firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @AlbumLondon
T: 0207 394 8690 M: 07935 843 661