Documentary & Contemporary Photography

Documentary & Contemporary Photography Group

The Documentary and Contemporary photography group is a Special Interest Group of Cambridge Camera Club. You can find more about the club by following the link. Recording what their local area looks like has been a big interest for many local camera clubs since the late 19th century and for the Cambridge Club since it started in 1904. On this website you can find images taken by Club members as part of this work. You will also find news about our plans for new projects around the town and about where else you can see our work.

What is Documentary and Contemporary Photography?

Documentary photography is the production of images that describe places, events, people and other things, showing how they illustrate social, cultural, historical and political contexts, using photographic methods.

Photography is described as Contemporary when it starts with ideas and seeks to producing images that are ‘about’ its subjects, not just ‘of’ them. 

The Documentary and Contemporary group aims to develop collections of images, by a local group of photographers, about Cambridge-related subjects. We hope these will communicate a range of perspectives about themes or topics we have identified as interesting and important to us. 

History and Scope

The current Documentary and Contemporary group started as a project to revisit the sights of the town captured by members of the club between 2001 and 2004. This project involved nn photographers and the results were stored, alongside earlier work from club members, in the local history section of the Cambridge public library in the Lion Yard shopping centre. Those pictures can be seen in the galleries linked here. Where possible, ‘then’ and ‘now’ links, showing images from the earlier survey and images showing roughly the same view from the 2023- revisiting events are shown.

As well as its physical appearance, the group is interested in recording aspects of the town’s life. The 2001-4 survey included documentation of the 2001 floods

Featured Items

Streets of Cambridge Project

The group's first project is to revisit the task of recording what the City of Cambridge looks like for the present time. This revisits and extends work done between 2001 and 2004 by Brian Jenkins, Ann Miles, Robert Jackson, Bob Lees and Jim Thompson with contributions from  Bob Arnott, Oliver Copely-Williams, Patsy Cunningham-Sands, Geoff Evans, Daphne Hamer, Lynne Howells, John and Enid Howes, Jill Jenkins, and Freda Short. Up to June 2023, there have been 5 outings:

  • Bridge Street
  • The old Cattle Market area and the Station
  • St Andrews Street
  • Grafton Centre
  • Regent Street and Hills Road

A schedule of future outings is currently being drawn up, and images from those outings will be published as they become available.

News and Information

Revisiting Regent Street & Hills Road

Photoshoot in the Regent Street and Hills Road area on 15th June 2023.

Revisiting Bridge Street & Magdalene Street

Grafton Centre

Revisiting St Andrew's Street

Revisiting Fitzroy Street and Burleigh Street