Peter Randall, 45 Years of Photography

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Spotlight: Seacoast Arts and Entertainment

September 24, 2009

[The following article is courtesy of Seacoast Online.]

For the first time in New Hampshire, Peter Randall, one of New Hampshire's best known publishers and photographers will present a collection of photographs to be on display at the NHAA's Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery from Sept. 30 through Oct. 30. An opening reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 2.

"I am excited about this exhibit," Randall said in a press release, "because many of these images will be appearing as prints for the first time. Most of my work has appeared in various publications, so I am pleased to have been invited by the New Hampshire Art Association to produce this retrospective."

"It has been joyful to go back through my files and search for meaningful images to prepare and print," Randall said. "But this has not been a solo journey. I met Judy Davis in 1963 and she has been with me on this photographic trail ever since. This is an exhibition for our children, Deidre, Davis and Katelyn and more recently our grandchildren, Sylvia, Kael, Ethan, Ella and Spencer."

Since 1963, photographs by Randall have been appearing in New Hampshire, regional and national publications. A native of the Seacoast, Randall spent most of his working years in Portsmouth, but his first published photographs appeared in the Manchester Free Press, then in the Hampton Union, and for 10 years in New Hampshire Profiles. After leaving the magazine in 1976, he began work on what would become the first published book of color photographs of his home state, "New Hampshire Four Seasons," published by Down East Books in 1979. Four other books followed on Portsmouth, the Isles of Shoals and Newburyport, Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts.

He started Peter Randall Publishing in 1976 and began producing books for individuals, communities, and organizations. Specializing in history, the company has produced more than 400 titles including town history, biography, memoir, poetry and fiction. Today, his daughter, Deidre Randall, operates the business.

In 1995, Peter began publishing his own books of photographs, the first being, "Out on the Shoals," selections from the 20 years he spent exploring the nine islands that make up the Isles of Shoals. "New Hampshire, A Living Landscape," produced in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, is a large format book of panoramic photographs, published in 1996. The state uses this book to promote New Hampshire during international trade missions.

Randall combined his love of photograph and history in "New Hampshire Then and Now," published in 2006 in cooperation with the New Hampshire Historical Society. Historical photographs from throughout the state were matched with his own contemporary images. Currently, an exhibit of the photographs is traveling throughout New Hampshire.

A friendship with United Nations consultant Bill Brownell resulted in an assignment to Ghana, West Africa in 1984 to document an improved method of smoking fish, a project featured at the first meeting of International Decade for Women in 1985. This experience inspired him to organize a 2006 collaborative photography project to Ghana with five other New Hampshire friends that resulted in a prize-winning book, "Ghana, An African Portrait Revisited." He has since taken subsequent trips to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Togo, Guatemala, Spain and Japan. Some of these photographs will be featured in this exhibition.

He is a co-founder and first president of the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artists and has organized and taught several photography programs on the Isles of Shoals for many years.

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