My London Diary

Peter Marshall 

I started My London Diary around the time I first got a digital camera and realised it would be easy to put current work on line more or less as I took it. This made a diary of my photography possible. I also put on some of the black and white work I had printed to send to photo libraries, starting with some from the millenium year (1999.)

I wasn’t clear at the time how an online photo diary would work, and certainly it has evolved over the years. Some 6 years later it now has over 23,000 files (mainly images) and occupies over 1.3Gb of web space, and is a significant library of pictures of events in London, chosen and seen from my personal viewpoint.

It is also intended as more than that. ‘My London Diary’ was started as a deliberate attempt to explore what a photographic work of art on the Internet might be. This is a question I am still asking – and the diary has changed over the years as my answer – and the web – have evolved. As a photographer, I’ve been actively involved on the web since 1995, and this is just one of the ways of using it that I’m exploring.

The work reflects my conviction that photography is a cooperative enterprise in which I can only work because of the people that I photograph, and the pages and pictures are very much for them as well as a more general public. Many of those I’ve photographed print out their pictures for their own personal use. A considerable number have been used in leaflets and magazines, although the income from this is relatively small.

My London Dairy documents many events, people and places that would otherwise go unrecorded, creating a unique historical resource. Deliberately it isn’t tightly selected,  although usually only a small fraction of my work from any particular event goes up on the site; it is more like the pictures I might ring round on a contact sheer for a further look at than just those selected for an exhibition.

You can find particular events and images on the site most easily if you know the date, as the work is generally arranged chronologically – as a diary. Links at the top of the front page  (and most other main pages) take you to the various years, and on each year page to each  month in the year. The monthly page or pages contain text and links to particular events.

Also on the site front page are three columns listing work on the site in broad categories, but giving a name, date and link to the month page for each event. These lists are now rather long, and it is often easiest to use the browser search (Ctrl+F) on the page to locate a particular event. Some smaller and more recent events may not be listed. The front page also provides a ‘site search’ for text (unfortunately only captioned images can be found) and a ‘Latest’ button which should take you to the most recent work.

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