We love this gargantuan Paul Strand retrospective – the first in 40 years – just opened at the V&A. Perhaps the original street photographer, Strand began working with a decoy lens to capture up-close the faces of Lower-Manhattan residents during the early 20th century. The small-format, black-and-white photographs on show are mesmerising in their use of contrast and this carries across to Strand’s experiments with filmmaking.

Like the holiday snaps we could never take, Strand constantly reinvented his documentary style to capture people's living under political and environmental change in France, Italy, Romania, Ghana, Morocco and Egypt. By far the most powerful photographs in the exhibition are of residents of the Scottish Outer Hebrides: the islanders are captured against wind-beaten walls and door frames while the beautiful seas, rocks and landscape are also strikingly depicted.

We stood for an embarrassingly long time admiring the portrait of a young Ghanian girl balancing books on her head. Strand’s trailblazing style and the sheer-scale of this exhibition had us completely entranced.

For more information on the exhibition, visit the V&A website.