Vincenzo Albano ARPS

...impermanent moments of impermanent lives...

Associate of the Royal Photographic Society in Documentary Photography (2019) 

Walking through Graffiti

The intention of my portfolio was to explore the impact of graffiti on the urban environment and the public. Born as rebellious vandalism and mostly painted stealthily at night, graffiti have, over time, evolved into elaborated artworks created in open daylight.

In recent years, entire metropolitan areas have changed their appearance for the better, thanks to ever present graffiti. Hence, I was keen to discover whether the general acceptance of graffiti as an urban art-form has led to an active relationship by us, the public, with street art: do we ignore, engage or unconsciously blend into such colourful works?

After months of living and breathing the graffiti in parts of London, I have tried to capture the fascinating tale of urban space repossession and the spontaneous symbiosis between street art and the public.

Images taken in London in 2018-2019. 

RPS SW London Group - Industrial Thames (2018)

The River Thames and surrounding water features are central to SW London life; the River is now mainly used for leisure and, to a certain extent, transport but, in the past, the Thames must have been busy with barges and boats connecting Boroughs along its banks and facilitating the movement of goods and people.

Is there any sign of such past activities? Is there an industrial or commercial use of the River nowadays? How has its use changed over time?

I have tried to provide a glimpse of the relics of the historical use of the River together with contemporary industrial features.

Hope my images would inspire some reflection on how the River’s use has evolved over time. 

RPS Project Frontiers: Photographing Edgelands (2021)

Mushrooming Urbanisation

Rapid increase in urban population and economic activities command new working and living spaces. However, space is a limited resource, with height becoming the only alternative for development. Skylines are changing dramatically; tall buildings are mushrooming in large Cities and London is not exempt. Often, new developments unfold to the detriment of natural and cultural resources, like rivers, parks and historical buildings. 

1. River Wandle (London) from Spit Island

2. River Wandle (London) diving under Southside Shopping centre in Wandsworth

3. Office block in Colliers Wood (London)

4. Urban development from Lambeth Bridge (London)

5. Canary Wharf and Docklands (London) 

RPS Project - The Magnificent 7+1

The RPS London Region Group has launched a photographic projecy covering the seven Monumental London Cemeteries. Here is my contribution, entirely photographed at West Norwood Cemetery. More details about the project are available on Eventbrite.

The Magnificent Seven Plus One Registration, Mon 1 Nov 2021 at 19:00 | Eventbrite

Most graves bear very few details about the lives of the people buried there; a name, two dates and maybe some hints on who they were. Some, more affluent people, have managed to include epitaphs with information about their achievements and personality traits, but the majority have left only the bare minimum about themselves. 

 Since the invention of photography, portraits have been used on tombstones. Often simple passport-style pictures, sometimes casual images, maybe taken on social and joyous occasions, sometimes formal portraits. In any case, photography has become a way to immortalise the features of the person and maybe share something more about their lives. As the saying goes “a picture is worth one thousand words…” 

 As a photographer, I was curious to explore how photography is used on gravestones, and whether the addition of an image makes that person alive again, even just for a brief moment that we pause in front of them in respectful reflection. 

Open College of the Arts 

The "Art of Photography" course final assignment - October 2002

The City of London is one of the most fascinating and historic areas in London. Centuries of history and commerce have shaped the City of London as the busiest financial centre in Europe. Rapidly evolving to respond to business growing demand, the City boosts modern and high-tech structures, but still features buildings of the past that have been retained and preserved carefully. The cohabitation of old and new creates interesting contrasts in the architecture and next to ‘state of the art’ buildings, old 17th Century Churches still sound their bells announcing religious services, or next to the now fully electronic Stock Exchange, 18th Century pubs welcome stockbrokers. 

 The following sequence of images aims to present the City of London cohabitation of old and new, an exemplar lesson of progress into the 21st Century, still preserving the past and its values. 

Open College of the Arts

"Social Documentary" course final assignment - September 2004

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Photography & Art Education

Open College of the Arts - The Art of Photography - 2002 

Open College of the Arts - Social Documentary Photography - 2003

Putney College of the Arts - Portrait Photography - 2018

Putney College of the Arts - Landscape Photography - 2018

National Geographic Traveller - Travel Photography - January 2020

CityLit - Documentary Photography - January 2020

Imperial College - Philosophy of Art - 2021

Photofusion London - Reading Photography with Paul Ellis - November 2021

Photofusion London - Look-See with Paul Ellis - January 2022

Royal Observatory - Greenwich - Astrophotography - January 2022

Institute of Photography - Professional Diploma in Photography - December 2022

British Academy of Photography - Postgraduate Diploma in Photography - December 2022

Rory Lewis Photographer - Portraiture Workshop - July 2023

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) - Architectural Photography - November 2023

Long Exposure Photography with Nigel Wilson (RPS) - January 2024

©Vincenzo Albano 2024