Jim Barron's career started using flash powder to photograph machinery and he went on to work as a holiday photographer on the seafront at Skegness before joining the Civil Service as a photographer. His work took him around the world filming and photographing in developing countries, but he also found time to photograph motor racing and do a job or two a week for the Guardian in the 1960s and 70s.
After retirement in 1990, Barron started working on the streets of central London, using a Leica and almost infinite patience. He developed the ability to frame accurately using a wide-angle lens without raising the camera to his eye, and to work rapidly at close distances without attracting attention.
His pictures show people as they really are on the street, but they also reflect his ability to recognise opportunities and organise pictures by a careful choice of viewpoint, the ability to wait unnoticed for the right moment and capture it with perfect timing.
Barron's work on London covers many themes, including women alone on the street, families, people and their dogs, contemporary living conditions, eating out, self-portraits, smoking... - only a few of these are reflected in the pictures on show.
His sense of humour - in particular the ability to work with visual puns and found texts - shows in many areas of his work.
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