It's not often I buy photo books, but today I bought a book that I will treasure. 'Todmorden People' is a book chronicling a bygone age in the small town or Todmorden, West Yorkshire though the photographs of Roger Birch and compiled by his son Daniel.
A lecturer, Roger Birch ran the graphic design course at Hopwood Hall College when I attended in the late eighties and it was through Roger that I was first introduced to photography and taught darkroom skills. Looking back I think it was a pivotal moment in my life as photography has been an abiding passion of mine ever since.
I hadn't seen Roger since leaving college though I did often wonder what he was up to and wished I could find his whereabouts so I could have a chat and thank him personally. However this was not to be as I learnt that Roger had passed away suddenly in 2013.
So today I did the next best thing. I met his son Daniel, bought the book, and told him how Roger had inspired me. I imagine I'm not the only one.
The book itself is full of wonderful images depicting scenes from different times and very tender portraits and I would rate Roger alongside of my favourite photographers. The contains a forward by Martin Parr who also knew Roger.
The book can be bought from http://www.todmordenalbum.co.uk/