26 May 11
Posted at 1:19
As I said in my last post, I will try to use this blog to write about my experiences shooting on a monthly basis.
I'm going to stretch it a bit for this last month as it's the first post, so I'll start with late April, and one of the biggest news stories of the year- The Royal Wedding. As thousands of journalists from around the world flocked to London to capture every angle of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, I was left in a difficult position, try and get a shot of the wedding party (Which will inevitably be worse than someone with better kit/position than me) or try to capture a different angle of the big day. I voted to photograph the crowds in London for the day.
So after heading into town for about nice and early to shoot the early birds on Whitehall and near the Abbey, I headed towards Trafalgar Square, where thousands of people had gathered to watch the wedding on big screens. The mood was electric hours before Kate got to the abbey, the voice of Huw Edwards apparently just got everyone excited. By the time the wedding had started I was beginning to struggle to get any interesting shots, and it was driving me insane, the best I could muster was the shot below. Although saying that, It's one of my favourite photographs in a long time, the juxtaposition of the sleeping girl and the overly excited royal fan. I think I managed to capture a unique perspective on the whole experience which I was pretty happy about.
Then of course, some people got married and the crowd got excited, and went on to get suitably drunk for the rest of the day
Then to May. It's been an interesting one, I started the month covering a few 'Yes to AV' events, and ended it in Le Havre covering a G8 demo.
May 5th was the day that some people hoped to chance the voting system to the Alternative Vote, these people included people such as Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and most importantly Eddie Izzard. As one of my favourite comics, I jumped at the opportunity to shoot him at the AV events. It made watching endless video messages from random celebs worth it to spend a few minutes photographing one of my favourite people. Does that make me weird? Maybe it does.
Then, a few weeks ago, I found an event online which made my heart leap. The London Pet show. I am a massive animal fan, so spending a day taking photos of adorable kittens, dogs, rabbits, a couple of (not so adorable) rats, and some other things was pretty super.
There's not a massive amount to say about the day. It's all pretty self explanatory, cute animal=photo op. A
nimal with adorable child looking on in awe=also a photo op.
Last weekend I went on a short trip over the channel to Le Havre where 10,000 angry europeans were expected to protest the G8 which is happening in nearby Deauville this week, but as it turned out there were about 4-5000 relatively peaceful people (despite the best efforts of the megaphone weilding anarchists who repeatedly chanted 'we're the anarchists, where is the riot?').
so I spent a couple of hours touring the streets of Le Havre shadowing a suspicious looking bunch of anarchists waiting casually for the first stone to be thrown. It wasn't until the protest had completely looped round the city and returned to the street where it began did the anarchists notice some high street banks, which they decided to smash up a bit. After doing a fair bit of research on previous G8 demonstrations and other assorted French demonstrations. I was expecting overturned cars, mass hysteria and a scene of general messiness, but it wasn't to be.
Once the group had passed the nice looking shops and burnt out a few wheely bins they calmed down, until a group of undercover officers attempted to arrest one of the trouble makers. This resulted in a fairly violent scuffle which prompted the French police to load their tear gas launchers and bring out the long shields.
This is where I thought it would turn into what I'd seen on youtube, but, at the last minute the french police decided to hold off and let the protesters calm themselves down, which they did. The protesters went home, and then, so did the police, and finally, so did the photographers.
This week brought the state visit of President Obama, cue another media/security frenzy around London. I decided to cover a 'Muslims against Crusades' demonstration being held opposite Downing St on Whitehall.
After 15 minutes of watching them chanting 'Long live Osama' and 'Freedom, go to hell!' I decided to take a walk around Whitehall and see what else was going on. It was as I was walking back to the protest when I noticed a car at the side of the road with its hazard lights on, almost at the same moment a passing policeman noticed it aswell, I took a quick glance in the back seat, saw a backpack, and with the recent Irish bomb threat, the MAC chanting death to the UK, and that the leader of the free world was due to drive 100 yards away in 20 minutes I made the assumption it could have been a bomb. I could tell the officer made the same assumption as me, as he noticed the bag he took a few steps back before radioing it in.
Fortunately for everyone, the car owner turned up about five minutes later and started pleading with the officer, who proceeded to spend the next ten minutes rightfully bollocking him.
I then went off and took some photos of Obama's never ending motorcade arriving at Buckingham Palace, unfortunately I didn't get a chance to get any shots of him in person this time round, but there's always next time!
On to June!