I am a West Yorkshire photographer with a long standing interest in documentary photography dating back to the 1970s. This has evolved into a portfolio that documents everyday life against a backdrop of the ordinary urban landscapes of northern England over the last fifty years. Since my retirement in 2006, I have immersed myself in photography, undertaking many different projects, exhibiting work internationally, gaining several hundred acceptances and receiving numerous awards. In 2010 I was awarded a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society (LRPS). A long term project photographing Manchester’s Northern Quarter included a body of work that I gained Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) in 2018. I have self-published several books of my work including the titles ‘Shards of West Yorkshire’ volumes one & two, ‘The Northern Quarter’, ‘Various Covered Vehicles’ and ‘Empty Premises’. October 2020 saw the publication of my 2019 project ‘A Day at the Races’ through the Worcestershire-based photobook imprint ADM Publications.
A DAY AT THE RACES: Race goers are an eclectic group. At one extreme there is the serious punter, and at the other the casual race goer simply enjoying a day out. There are those that go to be seen as well as to see, the high-rollers, the young, the old and those in between, the wealthy and those less so, the country set and the townies that just go to party. The mix of attendees is endless, creating a colourful atmosphere within the spectator enclosures as people circulate between the stands, the betting ring, the bars, and the parade ring interacting and engaging with one another. I spent much of 2019 visiting race meetings in the north of England to capture a fly on the wall document of attendees enjoying a day out. Studying the odds, enjoying a drink, having a laugh, and soaking up the drama, Peter’s candid photos showcase the frivolity of pre-pandemic race days. Most elite sports now take place behind closed doors and will continue to do so in the immediate future. Even when spectators do return, numbers are likely to be substantially reduced with the spectator experience significantly altered by social distancing and other Covid-safe protocols. When starting this project in the Spring I could not have anticipated that I was documenting the carefree dynamics of pre-pandemic days that we are unlikely to witness again in the foreseeable future, or indeed, perhaps for several years.