What makes a good photograph?

Thoughts on photography Ashley Hardman

Ashley Hardman

“Photographs bear witness to a human choice being exercised in a given situation. A photograph is a result of the photographer’s decision that it is worth recording that this particular event or this particular object has been seen. If everything that existed were continually being photographed, every photograph would become meaningless.” – John Berger

When we look at a photo, what is it that we like about what we’re looking at? Is it the composition? the exposure? Is it the colour or tonal range? could it be whats been photographed, is it the human form? male or female? a flower?


It could be a number of these elements coming together. Most people don’t know how to read a photograph, yet there a more people than ever taking photographs, how many of them understand the camera they’re using to say what it is they’re truly trying to say?

In the age of Instagram the…

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Canon AE1, 50mm lens & expired (2012) Agfa colour filmPhoto06_6-2

Always try to stay unnoticed when shooting on the street, prime lens, no big camera bags, clothes that will allow me to fit in and blend with the public, never staying for too long in one place and practically marking a path in the well worn streets that I often walk…So when I went out with the Canon last week I was scuppered!


Had forgotten the sound of the shutter was so loud, making people turn to see where the sound came from, this made candid street photography very difficult and so decided there are plenty of other things to capture in Blackpool without scaring the locals & holiday makers.

canon agfa expired

And so off I went in search of old signs,  sadempty hotels with deserted dining tables set for breakfasts and giant ice cream cones, I love the soft grain and the colours of these expired Agfa films which makes me think this could be something I do more frequently.












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Red – a colour symbolizing passion, desire, love, danger and the reason I love colour in photography. If am lucky enough to find a subject wearing red or I find red in my street images when downloaded to pc I will rarely convert to b&w. There is something so real about red, so full of life, so powerful. Often times I find myself shooting round negative space so as to capture the red object, light or shadow but have found that negative space will always emphasise the colour.



Tea in a Coffee Shop


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Sat in local coffee shop drinking tea, as one does in a coffee shop, anyway I sit near the window because the light is fabulous and often times something to see..


..and see something indeed I did, through the thick glass of the cafe window across the pavement and through another window I saw a girl sat with her mum waiting for her bus journey to begin. P1580714 Then she saw me too and squashed her face against the window and I got my shot of the day.P1580715

The bus left and I sat there happily drinking my tea knowing I had caught a great expression from the girl on the bus.


Red Brolly


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What are the chances of finding a red brolly leaning against a red and white wall in a coffee shop? A case of serendipity on a rainy day but must admit made me audibly sigh at the perfection.

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Grass verge


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Risking life and limb on grass verges to capture the wonderful wild flowers that grow on the verges.







Empty Frames


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No reason other than I like the absence of advertising..



I have a thing for chairs..


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‘Best of Blackpool’ at ‘Kosmonaut’ Manchester


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On May 4th the ‘Best Of Blackpool’ exhibition opened at the Kosmonaut in Manchester, curated by Jamie Cook and showing works from the best artists Blackpool has to offer.
The artists are promoting Blackpool as the creative hub that it is. All part of the local art community they came together to show the public the best side of their city and what it has to offer. Being a group show there are a great range of materials and styles to be viewed. If you wish to see for yourselves the breadth of the talent, then pop along, view, review and enjoy.


Jamie Cook
John Marc Allen
Will Bentham
Dawn Mander
John Tree
Carlito Juanito
Laura Thompson
Ailsa Riahnnon
Infected by Design
Brendan Dapper Bunting
Robin Ross






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On Saturday 6th May ’17, fans from all over came together to support and march in protest against the continuing ownership at Blackpool by the Oyston family and to highlight that change is needed in football governance throughout the English Football League.

The Football Supporters Federation officially endorsed this action as a Fans United Day and representatives from all 92 league clubs joined Blackpool fans to make their voices heard.

The Football Supporters Federation officially endorsed this action as a Fans United Day and representatives from all 92 league clubs joined Blackpool fans to make their voices heard.

Blackpool’s famous ‘Notarianni’s Ice Cream  company showed their support for JD3 giving out 50 FREE tubs of jelly & ice cream on Waterloo headland as the protest passed


..and the crowd continued to Bloomfield Rd, where after burning effigies of the offending parties and minor skirmishes….

Blackpool beat already relegated Leyton Orient 3-1, the crowds left quietly..and I had a great day  climbing on walls, getting on the PA truck, being in the firing line of eggs and flares and even getting shouted at by the police!  All adds to the adventures of an Old Bird!