Home » Exposure

Exposure. New documentary photography from the CBDP. 

News and the very latest updates, examples and features from the Centre for British Documentary Photography.

British documentary photographer, Sofia Conti has been very busy recently working on her Final Project for her M.A. This piece is centred in Glasgow and takes a close look at the cause and effect of crime in the Greater Glasgow area. The full photo set is viewable on her website and below is the video that she edited recently. Time and again Conti raises her subjects to a new point of consideration and her backdrops play an instrumental role in her compelling story telling. Hit the Play button...

It's been a busy month here at the Centre for British Documentary Photography. Along with shooting projects and putting up exhibitions - you can read about the brilliant show that Sofia Conti hosted earlier in the month soon - our members have also been editing photo sets for the start our of own and exclusive Documentary Exhibition Space, here on the internet. 
Starting this week we will be showing works by the photographers here at the CBDP. We have a dedicated page for our exhibitions, you can see the first exclusive show by Bharat Patel here. D.E.S.
Thank you.

First of all I would like to say a big "Thank You" to the 100's of supporters who have been in touch recently, it seems we are on the right road!
It gives me great pleasure to announce the arrival of Bharat Patel to our group and hope that all of you reading this will enjoy his documentary photography, I certainly do. The quality and depth of compassion is quite incredible. The link is a short cut to his gallery here with us at the CBDP.
Uploaded yesterday on the Female Lens page is a link to some exciting news for Sofia Conti, please check that out, here's a short cut.
Soon we will be launching our first online exhibition space dedicated to showing the work of documentary photographers with the CBDP, it's a surprise for the moment but pretty soon the page and first set of photographs will be up for your viewing and cultural pleasure. 
That's all for now, my Leica has a fresh roll and a project awaits...
Stay safe out there and enjoy your photography.

It's May already and the light has changed so much I've had to dust off the density filter, sadly where I am the light isn't accompanied with a lot of warmth. The photographers here continue to press on with their work and projects. On that note it gives me great pleasure to announce that Sofia Conti has had her work selected for the Finals at the Photo North Fest - brilliant stuff and well deserved. Adam Monaghan is pushing deeper into his redevelopment project in Finland and James Moverley has started a new and very interesting landscape work. Meanwhile newcomer Karl Twig has continued with his epic road trip project and bringing up the rear, I have almost completed the environment project and book. 
In other news, the CBDP has received funding from the National Union of Mineworkers for our Community exhibition that celebrates and explores the on-going narrative of coal use and its social impact. More updates on this soon.
Have a great start to the summer.

Photographers Profile: Adam Lloyd Monaghan.

Adam Monaghan, centre for british documentary photography,

We caught up with Adam for a chat and asked him about his photography and vision as a documentary photographer, here's what he had to say:

Your work, Suvilahti Redevelopment, what drew you to that?  

Out here in suburbia, there is a constant building on any piece of 'spare' land. However, the fact that individually they are on a 'domestic scale' combined with their absolute ubiquity seem to make these developments perversely invisible. They are certainly not 'newsworthy' in terms of building any protest against them. 

But Suvilahti has quite a place in local consciousness, with big events like Flow, the skate park and probably the most well-known graffiti area in Helsinki. So it feels like a good place to focus the 'discussion'. Even if many elements of the site are preserved, the redevelopment will make it unrecognisable in terms of usage from what it is now. I don't know if that's particularly special or tragic or just part of the ebb and flow of city life.  

I hadn't realised how quickly these changes were occurring, but my friend, artist and curator Clément Beraud, was updating me about the situation there and it seemed like it needed documenting right away. That it might not last much longer.

What are your thoughts on the best method(s) for presenting the public with documentary photography projects?  

Personally, I love books. I love photo books as objects. I love their history and the idea of being a part of that tradition.  I like the notion that something you make can be encountered by someone completely out of your context, geographically or culturally or temporally.   

However, like all these things, they are perhaps only preaching to the converted. I've worked in Museums for over twenty five years, and like photo books, I wonder do we really reach anyone other than museum/gallery people? I don't know.  

Consequently, in the past I've really enjoyed showing my work in 'other' spaces, cafes, hairdressers, bars. Places where non-art world people encounter your pictures. That's not to say I don't love the clean 'white' gallery wall... but just that if you inhabit that world, you have to implicitly accept that your audience is a tiny percentage of the population.

Name a photograph or two that inspired you at the start of your photography that still holds your interest today.  

I studied Art History and wrote my thesis on photography in the 1990s. It was a point where fashion and art world photography were colliding and the magazine page was often much more interesting than the gallery wall. The Face, Dazed and Confused, ID, early Vice magazine. I was really into Corinne Day, Juergen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Henry Bond...  

My tastes have wandered since then I guess... but one photo that I always have loved is Leonard Freed's Handcuffed. It's a great composition. There's so much narrative, so many questions. And Freed's position, in close, is not that of a distant safe voyeur, but someone in amongst it.  

Whatever the narrative content, I feel a photograph should still aim to be visually coherent and powerful. Otherwise, why make a photograph? I don't warm to bland photography and I don't believe claims of neutrally presenting a subject. 

Your Finland Project has already produced some great images, would you like to talk about that a little?  

I used to work more in 'blocks'. I spent a long time with the Burlesque crowd here in Helsinki. Then a prolonged period with a group of boxers. (Both groups, incidentally, who were warm, welcoming and brilliant to be around.) I think my pattern changed when I went back to shooting film from digital. I'm a bit more haphazard now. I guess the Suvilahti project is the first prolonged 35mm film work I've done.  

As a long term immigrant, you end up with a weird dual view of life, where you're no longer one thing and yet not quite the other. There's a point at which you cease to see things like a tourist. But I find it interesting to try to see what is special, visually or culturally, in the things that gradually become the norm for you and therefore invisible. I guess that's one of the reasons travel is so interesting, photographically, because there's a constant pricking of the senses. 

Your favourite photo book? 

Like most of us, photo books are an addictive luxury... I have tried to cut back a little. But as a Museum person and inevitable collector, there's books I love because they are historical objects and I'm pleased just to have one in my hands, (thinking of Ian Berry The English, Don McCullin The Destruction Business, Larry Burrows Compassionate Photographer, David Douglas Duncan I Protest!) I've always wanted a copy of Freed's Police Work, but never managed to afford one yet. 

And I absolutely love Rennie Ellis, Colin Jones, Denis Thorpe, Walker Evans, Eugene Richards.... I'll gladly flick through any of those of an evening with my feet up and coffee!   

Thank you very much Adam!


We are delighted to share with you the news that we have welcomed two new photographers to the Centre for British Documentary Photography. One is Adam Monaghan, see above, and the other is Sofia Conti. You can view their galleries on the Meet the Photographers page. Adam is currently working out of Finland and has produced an array of visually stimulating and interesting work. Sofia is an M.A Student who has already shown incredible skill and compassion, her work is outstanding and we are very proud to be supporting both of these talented photographers. We have an interview with Sofia Conti which you can read here on the Female Lens page.
It is hoped that you will enjoy viewing the work as much as I have. 

You may have seen the great work being published by F8 Documentary? No? Then worry not as here is a link to their site and some details about their latest Magazine:
I just wanted to let you know that Volume 7 of the f8 documentary magazine is on sale now. This issue is the first to have a full colour cover. It also has a brand new feature - The f8 Interview. You can use this link below:
https://fistfulofbooks.com/product/f-8-documentary-volume-seven/Also, you may be interested to know that you can now get an annual subscription of 6 issues that includes Volume 7. So no risk of missing an issue now. You can use this link:
It's a quality product with a wide range of work, please support F8 Documentary in their quest.


Dear reader...
Things are moving slowly but that's no bad thing, it has given me a chance to continue with a few documentary photo projects of my own. I've had a few months of light duties due to a painful knee but recently my Leica has been dusted off and filled with film. Having moved recently it was time to venture into the small town, and it has proved very rich in images, the type I like anyway, the colour film on the murkiest of days looks a little like the 60 a.s.a. used by Raymond Depardon in Glasgow. There is also a sense of danger here, that I hadn't expected, drugs are an obvious issue, sirens and burglaries are a constant reminder that you're still in England.   
If you feel the need to reach out and support a photographer, please do. I am personally in need of funding to complete a book relating to Climate Change. For sure there are others too who would welcome humanitarian financial support in these trying times. 

There are still opportunities to join up as one of our first PSP's.
Meanwhile, all of you who are interested in using your documentary photography skills for the Environment should take a look here; https://barnstaplemuseum.org.uk/whatson/documentary-photography-open-2022/ you don't have long as the closing date is February.

And so it begins, the journey into the unknown. 
Thank you for getting this far, we appreciate that you are using your valuable time to visit our site.
In the future we will make this page the go to place for all the new items. We will post and date so you can keep up to speed with everything that happens here at the Centre and in the sphere of British Documentary Photography.

Please contact us with any and all snippets of news, including your exhibition dates and deadlines for Competitions etc.
We hope you enjoy the experience and come back regularly. 
If you like what we are about, please share us with your friends.
Thank you.

David Cross.
Founder and web designer here at the CBDP.
Fast route back to the Home page.