The paper examines how visual representations of urban ‘regeneration’ contribute to the gentrification process. It asks can alternative photographic and textual strategies provide a meaningful counter narrative to resist persuasive corporate discourses on ‘urban revitalization’? Focusing on the gentrification of social housing in Pendleton, Salford (Greater Manchester) the paper debates the role of visual imagery in fostering perceptions about urban change by evaluating fieldwork undertaken by the authors in the site since 2004. The paper will question whether such an in-depth longitudinal project and its consequent archive can be utilized as a political tool to highlight the wider processes involved in such regimes of disinvestment and accumulation. Through the combination of photography and site writing in the environment can certain economic and political processes be made legible if not fully visible to highlight causation and effect?