photography by Paul Hardy Carter

What makes a picture?

Selecting a few pictures from many, for a book or an exhibition, is sure to make you question what it is that you’re looking for in a picture. It cuts to the heart of your work and your vision.

There are some pictures, only a few, that stand out purely in their own right – but a grouping of pictures, be it on the wall or in the pages of a book, must be more than a collection of individual images. There must be something – a theme or a feeling – that holds the whole together. Sometimes it’s easier, or at least the decisions are less complicated – for instance with a picture story on a particular subject – but in this book I haven’t set a theme. What holds the work in this book together is, I hope, my view of the world recorded in a particular manner. The subjects are various, although humanity is always important – even by its absence.

The pictures here are from various locations in different countries around Europe, chosen simply because my eye fell on them and that they seem to go well together aesthetically. I have been my own editor – a roll I do not fit comfortably into.

From a technical standpoint, what makes a picture for me is composition, including the use of light, and timing. I’m looking for something not only unique and visually interesting, but also provocative in some way. There should be something to think about, or maybe laugh about.