Commissioned photography is photography designed for a specific purpose, usually to tell or to sell us something. Consequently, its visual language tends toward familiar, unambiguous imagery; blue skies, smiling faces, busy city streets. By contrast, THE WORLD IS YOURS explores the unplanned, the unconventional and the unexpected. Captured over a period of ten years’ work and travel, the images in this collection combine the characteristic precision, clean lines and bold colours of Michael’s professional work with an offbeat, quirky sensibility and the spontaneity of documentary photography.

In an echo of René Magritte’s “L’Idée fixe” (1928), the images are framed and presented in groups of four. Skylines, landscapes, humans and animals, the commonplace and the surreal sit comfortably side by side, their proximity and common threads of colour suggesting an additional layer of meaning. In this way, THE WORLD IS YOURS presents a series of spontaneously captured, visually engaging images and leaves the rest as a riddle. The viewer is invited to explore photographs rather than interpret them, to uncover their stories and shared themes, and to take a fresh perspective on the everyday.

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage