A photographer has produced a striking series of portraits that focus purely on the hands of his subjects to help tell the stories behind them.

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes [Image credit: © Tim Booth Photography]

Photographer Tim Booth has spent 20 years building a collection of black & white portraits celebrating the hands of people – many famous – from all corners of British Society for a new book called A Show of Hands.

Tim, who spent no more than 30 minutes with each subject, said he was inspired by photographs of his 94-year-old grandmother and the stories they could tell.

The book, due out in October, features 110 hands dedicated to an art, job or tradition in the UK – and includes subjects from the worlds of music and sport.

Sitters included the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes (above), ‘a high priestess witch’ and an artisan glassblower.

Tim said: ‘I flick through this book and even now I feel humbled at the people I was able to meet and talk to and the memories these hands evoke.

‘What started with my grandmother has taken me on an incredible and fascinating journey and I’m delighted to be able to share the hands of these wonderful people.’

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Peter Layton, glassblower [Image credit: © Tim Booth Photography]

Each portrait was shot using only natural light and is accompanied by a short story and quote from the sitter to put the hands in context of the history behind them.

The book includes a foreword by former England Rugby player Jonny Wilkinson, who says his hands have been crucial to his success.

A Show of Hands is due to be published in October.

Signed copies can be ordered from Tim’s website at www.timbooth.com/a-show-of-hands.

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Hands of Amanda Brake, described as a ‘witch’ [Image credit: © Tim Booth Photography]