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Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Richard McCor – what makes a #MyUnseenCity photographer

Richard McCor (@Paperboyo) is described as a non-destructive vandal; within the confines of a camera viewfinder he transform landmarks with bits of crafted black paper and then captures the moment in a photograph. This idea started as a way to photograph his home city of London in a new way but then the hobby got out of hand. He now travels the world, transforming skylines from New York's Statue of Liberty to Hong Kong's Harbour.

As one of the judges for the #MyUnseenCity competition he has shared his thoughts on photography and some inspiration for the competition.


Richard McCor's tips

I got into photography through a desire to see more of London rather than just the commute route, so I totally applaud Brompton’s passion to get people exploring their cities more. It was just over a year ago that I started pursuing my own style of photography and, whilst I've definitely had a lot of good fortune that has pushed me along, there’s also been some truths that I've learnt. So, I thought I’d write them down to hopefully inspire you to take part in Brompton’s MyUnseenCity photography competition:

1: Look up. Even if you've walked down a road a thousand times before, you'll start noticing new things when you look around. When you start noticing new things, you'll start having new ideas. That's how it began for me, I was wandering around London looking at landmarks I'd walked past before, but then I started looking at them in a different way.

2: Once you have an idea, pursue it. You may not really know what you're doing and, much like cycling up a steep hill, the first ten attempts may not work but don't be put off. Keep it up.

3: Meet like-minded people who share your interest. They'll inspire you, encourage you and if you're nice, they'll let you borrow their equipment.

4: Don't be afraid to look foolish in your endeavour. Imagine how I look when I take my photos - a guy holding up bits of paper in one hand, a camera in another with his face scrunched up against the viewfinder is a ridiculous sight but the results have been worth the confused looks from passers-by.

5: Enjoy it. You won't love every single moment of your pursuit, but that just makes the pay off even sweeter. Sometimes I'll have a nice idea for a photo but the reality of executing it will involve spending hours finding just the right vantage point. Then there's the wind. I've lost track of the number of times I've cursed the wind for causing the paper in my hand to flap erratically. But, if I'm lucky, the wind will die down and the sun will come out and I'll fire off some photos. When I look through them usually there will be one that works just perfectly. When that happens, I smile to myself. I love that moment.