The obvious answer is of course a snapshot of time, a moment frozen for the future to reflect upon. Now the future is pretty well a few seconds later in this day and age of immediate capture and post to one of the many sites that cater for such activities.
However when we step back in time we can clearly see that there was not an immediacy. There was an extended process of capture and in the very early days that was in the order of many minutes, development of the negative, the rendering of the positive version and from there into production in a book or other form of print.
Clearly the process demanded a very careful attention to the art of photography. The art being another aspect of the contribution of the photographer. Sometimes denied by some areas of the art world but now generally accepted as an art form in its own right.
Harold Burdekin with his London Night clearly understood the two aspects of the photographers contribution so far mentioned. His exquisite work, sadly not continued past the second world war as he was killed in 1944 by a V1 bomb falling on his home town of Reigate, leaves a definite gap in photography from the period around the second world war. One could only imagine how he would have attempted a second version of London Night. Would he have revisited the same locations to show the contrast or would he have sought new subjects.
So in memory of Burdekin here are a few of his photographs not so commonly found on the web. In this case I will not be showing my 2018 version.