AN exhibition of photographs by Kidlington photographer Thomas Nicolaou at Blackwell's bookshop in Broad Street, presents a refreshing twist on landscape photography with engaging views from street level – some remarkably familiar.

Thomas talks about his passion for photography and what inspires his work

I'm pleased to be exhibiting my work in Blackwell’s – a location close to where some of the photographs were taken.

Like most people of a certain age, my first encounter with photography was by taking snapshots with a Kodak Instamatic camera during family holidays.

Then, these snapshots progressed slowly into photo essays (but without the captions).

I live in Gosford, went to school in Woodstock, studied printing at Manchester Polytechnic and then a diploma in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University.

Then in 2016, completed an MA in Photography Studies. A few prints from the course are displayed in this exhibition.

When I was studying in Manchester, the darkrooms and graphic reproduction equipment (as it was then called) were shared between two courses so naturally I observed and took interest in friends’ photography projects.

Returning to Oxford after a spell in London, I’d started to take amateur pictures at gigs of local bands like Ride, Supergrass and The Candyskins, but with nothing more than a compact camera.

At the same time I’d started to work as a graphic designer in publishing. Here, I encountered photography professionally within the context of book and magazine page design, their significance and meaning though controlled mostly by an editor.

At the end of 2006, I purchased my first camera phone, and found myself – like everyone else on the planet, taking pictures again. I progressed onto digital cameras before returning again to an old analogue SLR as the shutter-release button was still quicker than the DSLR I’d purchased.

The work shown in Blackwell’s is a combination of snapshots, candid and constructed or posed photographs taken on analogue and digital cameras. Subjects include, colour, light, shadows, geometry, geography, film, literature and history – or anything interesting or unexpected encountered in the everyday. There are explorations of Oxford’s 'town' rather than 'gown' life and scenes from London, Athens and Thessaloniki.

In 2008, I had my first exhibition at Oxford Town Hall, where I exhibited my picture of a Camden chip shop. The same year it was displayed at Tate Modern for two weeks after I entered it into a competition.

I’m presently working on projects involving photographic collections but am also setting aside time to create new research-based work.

* Thomas Nicolaou is a freelance graphic designer and photographer and is an associate lecturer at the School of Arts, Oxford Brookes University.

* The exhibition runs until December 3 in the Café Nero art space, Blackwell’s bookshop, Broad Street, Oxford