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Edwin Smith

Hailed by the poet and architectural historian Sir John Betjeman as "a genius at photography", Edwin Smith (1912-1971) was one of Britain's finest photographers, noted especially for his sensitive evocations of place. The recurrent themes of his work - a concern for the fragility of the environment; an acute appreciation of the need to combat cultural standardization by safeguarding regional diversity; and a conviction that architecture should be rooted in time and place - are as pressing today as when Smith first framed them in his elegant compositions.

Smith's archive of 60,000 images and their copyright are now held by the Robert Elwall RIBA Library Photographs Collection, with over 4,500 available to view on RIBApix.

Below are some of our picks from his collection. View all of Edwin Smith's images on RIBApix.

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Stokesay Castle, Shropshire: the gatehouse with the medieval great hall in the background

NOTES: Completed at the end of the 13th century by the wool merchant, Lawrence of Ludlow, this is an important example of one of the earliest fortified houses of England. The gatehouse was added in 1640.

St Lawrence, Didmarton, Gloucestershire: the vestry, formerly the north transept

NOTES: The style of this Medieval church is Early English while the fittings are Georgian.

Triangular Bridge, Crowland, Lincolnshire: close-up of a Romanesque statue of Christ in Majesty

NOTES: This limestone bridge was built by the masons of the Benedictine abbey of Croyland in c. 1360 to replace a wooden structure. The river once divided into two streams at this point and it was from here that travellers by water landed at the abbey.

Brighton beach