From 1979-1982 I spent my weekends documenting the depressed areas of the east end of London and Stoke-on-Trent – “urban photography”. My style was strongly influenced by the work of photographers like Henri Cartier Bresson.

Stoke on Trent and Tunstall

The pictures did not come from the happy chance snap of a casual photographer. I spent my weekends walking the streets looking for the most photogenic places, and the right angle. But I didn’t want pictures of empty streets, cars passing, people walking, or people who were out of place. So I had to return to the same places dozens of times, searching for the perfect moment.

See more from the industrial canals of Stoke-on-Trent, 1980-1982.

Hanley and Tunstall

See more from Hanley and Tunstall 1980-1982

Hanley Indoor Market

See more from Hanley Indoor Market

Mile End Road, London 1979

See more from Mile End Road, 1979

The era of urban photography finished when I moved to Reading. That marked the move into landscape photography.

Urban photography – the equipment

I used two Canon AE-1 cameras with 35mm, 50mm and 100mm lenses. I did the developing and printing myself.