Tom Wood is a street photographer from Ireland, who has been photographing everyday life on the streets of Merseyside. In an interview transcript posted on www.ideastap.com Wood reveals how he's not one to hide behind his camera at distance. His images are personal occurrences that allow the viewer to be close to the action.
I never used a long lens and hid behind a tree; I always used a wide-angle lens and went close to people and looked them in the eye.
[Source: Ideas Tap]
Instead of thinking of, and completing a series of photographic projects, Tom Wood takes photographs everyday of his surrounding community. It is because of this repetitive style/habit that Tom Wood has accumulated hundreds of similar photographs that could be grouped into 'projects'.
The regularity with which he would be seen out and about with a camera, in his locality, eventually led to him being affectionately named the 'Photie Man'.
Bus Odyssey is Tom Wood's social documentation of life on the buses and bus stops of Merseyside's passengers. This book illustrates the changing fashions and people of the 1980s and 1990s. Also the continuity of the same bus routes provides a firm idea of place. Taking a bus ride is usually the time when people 'switch off' and patiently wait until it's time to get off at their stop. Nowadays they may be connected to their smart phones unaware of what is going on around them. This is a reminder to me that whilst I have my mobile with me, it is also a camera, and it provides me with opportunities to take more photographs. I tend to forget this, and I must make more of an effort to look. Whilst I don't travel on a bus as regularly as Wood, I do drive a lot and so maybe this could provide me with some new opportunities.
Maybe Tom Wood listened to the advice of Dorothy Lange who believed that:
to know ahead of time what you're looking for means you're then only photographing your own preconceptions, which is very limiting
Recently Tom Wood's work was exhibited at the National Media Museum.