In The City: Manchester Photographer's Up Close Look At Urban Life

100 things we love right now #50
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100 things we love right now #50
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Robert Cappa once said "If your pictures aren't good enough, you weren't close enough", a sentiment that's obviously never troubled Manchester based street photographer David Gleave. 

Gleave's commanding monochrome snapshots form the basis of his debut publication In The City, taking a look at the characters that form urban communities from his native Manchester to New York and London.

With his intimate, candid style, Gleave puts our living cities under a microscope and sheds light on the people who make them tick, each picture full of stories of city life. We caught a quick five minutes with David to chat about his love of photography and his home town.

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What's your relationship to Manchester?

I was born in Old Trafford and have lived in Manchester ever since. I've always been involved in the music scene here, which was handy when photography grabbed me.

How long have you been taking photos and what made you start?

I started seriously in 2013. I'd seen an exhibition at the Lowry. Photographs by Samuel Coulthurst, who was a candid street photographer capturing people going about their everyday business at the street markets of Ancoats and Salford between 1880 - 1900. I was looking at people although long since dead, who were somehow still alive and frozen for ever. From then on that's what I wanted to do.

I was at Vini Relly's house, also a keen photographer, and i asked could i photograph him. He's got the best face and he just sat there playing his guitar cross legged on a cushion and he let me experiment with aperture & shutter speed on him. The photos came out great and that was it, i was hooked.

What is it about a subject that draws you to them? 

I'm really not sure. It's such an instinctive thing. I mean obviously they must have some kind of look, or sometimes it's just something compositionally that looks interesting. It can be very knee jerk, you see it and you shoot sometimes without knowing why, if that makes any sense ?

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What do you think the North's place will be in the Britain of the future?

The North has always been important, whether that's been industrially or culturally. People from the North are very special and unique and the North can only be more important to Britain's future.

Who was your favourite person to photograph?

It's so hard to answer that. I won't be the first photographer that's answered that question by saying it's like being asked which one's your favourite child. My favourite photo is usually the most recent good one I've taken. Anything i feel is any good i usually post on Instagram so my greatest "hits" collection can be found @northernfacephoto

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In The City is available from the gallery shops at Home, Manchester and Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool and can also be ordered direct from Gleave’s website www.norhernfacephoto.com

Or you can see David's work in Paris next month at Street Sans Frontières