London, September 2020
In March 2020, I bought a new street camera, the Fujifilm X100V. I used it once in Birmingham before going into something like hibernation for five months with the first Covid lockdown and restrictions. Come August and I was keen to get out again but the streets in Leeds were dead and to do street photography, you really need people, or at least you do for my take on it.
I had a voucher for a hotel stay I’d had to cancel when the Photography Show was cancelled due to the ‘rona’. I thought to myself, where would the most people be at this time so I could get out (safely) onto the streets again? The answer was London and so I booked a night in a hotel, which turned into two nights as they were doing a two for one offer and I was off.
I had three days walking the streets and it was a great experience. It is unlike anywhere else. But the bonus was that I came across the Extinction Rebellion protests. You never know what’s around the corner, good or bad, but this was good.
I’d photographed one of their protests in Leeds last year and got some good photos although it was a relatively small affair lasting a few hours. This protest, in London, was a 10 day event and I came across it on my second day. I spent half a day with them, in Parliament Square, capturing the people and mood of a good natured but concerned group of climate activists. It was brilliant.
I went there the second day also and spent most of the day with them, including going on one of their marches through the centre of London, watching a few get arrested, blocking roads and causing mayhem. The Police did a great job keeping things low key but dealing with the issues as they saw them. The protesters were a jolly bunch but with an incredibly important message to give to politicians the media and You and Me, which I believe they did very successfully.
For me, I got to photograph some interesting characters, to record some of the key moments and meet a few good souls. I also had something of an awakening about what crises this planet faces and how we are currently performing as a population. We really do need to do much better and our leaders need to take more corrective and decisive action before it is completely out of hand and we leave something quite different, problematic and dangerous for our children and future generations.
I joined a group to help promote the cause and encourage a quickening of action to counter the worst effects of our current lifestyle. If we do nothing, we may have nothing left but extinction; and it will be our own doing.
You can see the photographic results on my website and Flickr pages.
Extinction Rebellion website. Want to get involved?