Composite Documentary Photography

To view the pictures, click on the thumbnails below. Note that the pictures are composites and have lots of small detail. The images are copyright and must not be reproduced without permission.

Trinidad town, Cuba  
Parliament Hill  
Camden Lock, London
Sunday Morning (Tufnell Park)  
Street in Naples
Devon Beach  
Chamberlain Square, Birmingham
Pompidou Centre, Paris

Peoplescapes is a series of large composite photographic prints. Small versions of ten of these are reproduced on this website. The pictures show people in public spaces and their reactions to their environment. Each picture was made by taking numerous photographs from the same spot over a period of an hour or so. The figures are natural and unposed. The result is a form of documentary photography that records some of the minutiae of modern life.

The prints show people on bridges, in shopping streets and open spaces including pictures made in Edinburgh, Naples, Bruges and Sydney, as well as some locations closer to home. From a distance the images catch the eye but they also encourage close scrutiny as they are packed full of human detail.

Painters can control human figures in a way that is difficult for photographers. I wanted to gain some of the editorial control that painters have when they are watching a scene, see a man bend down to tie a lace, and choose whether or not he should be in the picture.

People are sometimes concerned about the issue of honesty when photographs are digitally manipulated. I attempt to work in the traditions of documentary photography and try to make a picture that accurately catches the mood of the scene in front of me. The construction of my pictures follows some self imposed rules. For example, people may be moved in time but not in space.

Richard Phillips was born in south London in 1947. He now lives in Badsey, Worcestershire and works as a freelance educational writer, photographer and multimedia designer. He has a background in education, psychology and design.

  • Ten prints were exhibited at the Number 8 Community Arts Centre, Pershore, Worcestershire from 4 to 23 January 2007.
  • A portfolio of prints were reviewed at the Rhubarb Festival, Birmingham, July 2007.
  • Prints were on show at the University of Nottingham Summer Exhibitions 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010.
  • Exhibition of 16 prints at The Courtyard, Hereford from 3 December 2009 to 9 January 2010.
  • Exhibition of 12 prints as part of the Vale Arts Trail, 28 - 30 May 2011.
  • Exhibition of 9 prints at The Showell Gallery, Civic Centre, Pershore from 14 June to 1 September 2011.
  • Prints at the Little Buckland Gallery: in June 2012 at the Broadway Arts Festival's exhibition 'In The Garden', and in June 2014 for the John Singer Sargent Open Art Competition.
  • With four other artists, at Badsey as part of Warwickshire Open Studios 28 June - 13 July 2014.
  •  An exhibition of 18 prints from 20th January to 2nd March 2015 at The Theatre, Chipping Norton. 

Peoplescapes at Number 8 in Pershore

Here are some practical details including mounting options. For more information on the pictures and prices please email

Here is Richard Phillips's homepage with contact details.

I am a member of Pershore Arts Photography Group.

Updated 4 March 2015. HR