A-list photographer Rankin selects his favourite street snaps from a beautiful new book

Anyone can be a photographer these days, and even if we can’t reach the higher echelons of A-list snappers, we all have the ability to capture a moment in time.

That was the challenge photographic community Photobox set users when they invited submissions for their This is Britain project. Published and produced by Photobox, the coffee table book features images of the colours and characters that make up our society, all taken by members of the public, with a final selection curated by celebrity photographer Rankin.


More than 300 pictures reflecting the passage of the day sit alongside essays by personalities such as Kelly Hoppen MBE, Ben Fogle, Lorraine Kelly and Denise van Outen.

We asked Rankin to tell us about some of his favourite images from the book.

1. What a waste

(Graham Russ/PA)

At first glance this just an ugly pile of rubbish. But when you discover it’s all been plucked from the river Thames it takes on a new meaning. It’s a striking representation of how the river is still used as a dumping ground for our rubbish.

2. Natural arc

(Bartle Halpin/PA)

I love this photo. The beautiful rainbow seems to perfectly span the length of the bridge. The row of local fishing boats reminds me of the thriving fishing industry of the past.

3. Special bond

(Joseph Cullen/PA)

The colours in this one are quite cold but there’s also a sense of warmness coming from the special bond between mother and daughter.

4. Wallflower

(Abbie Sampson/PA)

This is a great photo. The giant wall appears intimidating with the small child looking up at it. The beautiful apple tree growing up the wall pops out against the red brick. It’s stunning.

5. Monochrome beauty

(Katie Lupton/PA)

This photographer certainly knows what they’re doing. The viaduct fades beautifully into the background while the harsh black and white colourings on the dog are so impactful.

6. End of the day

(Alison Oughton/PA)

Wow! We’re so lucky to have an amazing coastline in the UK which provides a natural canvas for photographers to get creative. The warm light from this sunset bounces off the shoreline to create a mind-blowing photo.

7. Time for play

(Richard Streeter/PA)

Nothing says playtime better than some puddle jumping and this photo captures it perfectly. I love the rows of beach huts in the background – very British!

Rankin’s top tips for taking pictures:

1. The first and most important thing for photography is light. Whether you’re on the bus or in your kitchen, think about light and where it’s coming from all the time to help sculpt the world around you.

2. You don’t need a big expensive camera – use a smartphone. They’re perfectly good enough to take great photos. The phone is just a tool, so use your imagination, get creative and take risks!

3. There are no rules. Photography isn’t meant to be prescriptive or strict. It’s supposed to be fun, so get out there and enjoy it.

This is Britain book cover (Photobox/PA)


Most Read in #Discover