Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Twitter for Gentlefolk: A 20th Century social documetary photographer

Image © and courtesy of Hulton Deutsch Collection
The Forgotten Gorbals, by Bill Brandt, 1948

There is so much to be found about and by Bill Brandt on the web that there seems little point flouting my ignorance here. This image, reproduced as a postcard sent to me last week by Alan Burnett in support of the "Twitter for Gentlefolk" movement - a revolution perhaps needs to start out with slightly more modest aims - will, I hope, speak for itself. It is a thoughtful, understated illustration of how effectively Brandt, as Alan describes it, "was able to balance an image to perfection and combine the documentary and artistic requirements of photography," and a much appreciated missive.

I see much of Brandt's influence in Alan's own photographs, many of which you'll find on his Picture Post blog. I look forward each week to the glimpses into Alan's collection, as he scans prints, slides and negatives from his personal archives, and sallies forth into the English town and country in search of new inspiration.

My own contribution to the "movement" - well, my first - is up on Alan's News from Nowhere blog. If you feel the urge to exchange postcards, and further the aims of Alan's movement, please feel free to email me.


  1. "I see much of Brandt's influence in Alan's own photographs". Thanks Brett, that's the nicest thing anyone has said about my photographs for a very long time. And thanks for helping to launch "Twitter For Gentlefolks"

  2. You realize, of course, that this may include some expectations ... of the "buttocks and boulders" variety, if you'll excuse my rather irreverent tone. ;-)


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