Some thoughts from Stuart on his approach when selecting photos from both the Flickr National Maritime Museum photostream and the digitalised Historic Photographs collection:

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stumayhew  Pro User  says:

Here is where I am approaching this project from.

My initial remit was to tag only images I feel would hang in a contemporary photographic gallery , but this has broadened somewhat to include images that are simply very strong photographically , either graphically or compositionally . The images I have tagged so far are all based on this principle.

My whole approach to this project is solely from within a photographic frame work , I know very little about shipping or naval history and frankly no huge interest in the subject . I absolutely believe that an exhibition based on photography should primarily be driven by just that.

As part of my involvement with Aperture Woolwich Photographic Society it is one of my tasks to review and ‘judge’ other members images that then go forward into larger camera club competitions. In my 5 years of doing this I have developed a good understanding of what ‘makes’ a strong composition , based on attending and listening to a multitude photographic judges and lecturers.

Such is the diversity of images within this collection I started to form other idea’s that could work as part of this project so its very hard to stay focused on a single theme !

Other idea’s that i have had are images that depict streets and buildings and views local to the museum , of which there are quite a few in the collection. It would be possible to ‘geo-tag’ these and visitors could then , via a smartphone ‘app’ perhaps with the images on their phone or accessing via flickr , go outside into the surrounding area and find the exact spot the original image was taken from and perhaps take their own of what is there now – this could be as geographically far reaching as central London perhaps and would keep visitors involved with the exhibition beyond their physical visit to the museum. Of wider value locally it keeps visitors with-in the area , using local shops and restaurants perhaps.

I also liked the idea of presenting a series of portraits, which in my mind i have split into 2 themes. One which would work well with unidentified people within the image , where the viewer of the image would be asked to imagine what kind of life the person within the image led , ‘an imagined life’ if you will. I dont know if it would be possible for peoples ideas and thoughts to appear on some of the smaller screens as text , or perhaps some of us could write what we imagine.

Secondly , with the high influx of international tourists that will be even more concentrated during the Olympics , portraits of as many different nationalities / cultures as possible – where visitors can make a connection not only with their past but also their home.

Rebecca had an interesting idea of the images of women in the collection , there are several really strong portraits of women in the collection , the portrait of Elisabeth Jacobsen in the Villiers Collection is really striking.