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Your Views: Martin Charles remembered

Peter Buchanan fondly remembers photographer, Martin Charles in this letter to the AR

In his fine obituary of Martin Charles, Peter Davey omitted to make a point about Martin’s self-imposed ambition and professional ethos. Martin did not just take beautifully composed and technically perfect photographs; they were also very informative about the building and together made up a coherent set that told as much as possible about it. When commissioned to illustrate an article or book he preferred to read the text first, if possible, and asked how many pictures were to be used. If four, he would sum up the whole building in those few; if 10 he would convey the building more completely, and most likely every photograph would be different to those he would have taken if only four were to be used.

I remember once looking at a fine image by another photographer Martin also admired. He then commented that even if he had seen that particular shot, he would not have taken it: although beautiful it told too little about the building. That sums up Martin.

Peter Buchanan, London



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