As Propergander-Art, myself and Gary decided the royal wedding was a good opportunity to head London and do some street photography and capture something of the people going to the big event.
A 3:50am coach was booked, so with very little sleep, off we went.
Walking the streets proved to be harder than we’d thought. With tight security the roads were kept clear forcing people to walk only on the pavements. We soon realised that we could easily end up blocked in, so tried walking around a bit more to look for the crowds as they came into the area around Westminster. It was still hard to find good places to photograph, so thought it best to head towards St James Park near Buckingham Palace. Even that proved difficult, but the walk gave us the chance to start taking photos. Something we notices were all the flags being handed out by people from certain magazines, so everyone carrying their flags were giving them advertising, so blatant commercialisation of the royal event, and something i personally found quite tacky.
Once in St James Park there was quite a mass of the red, white, and blue of the Union Jack. Flags of various sizes, hats, shirts. Not a sight you often see in this country any more.
It was obvious that we wouldn’t get to see anything of the procession unless we chose a spot and stayed there, so we spent some time trying to relax amongst many others who were eating and drinking on the park, or just walking around taking in the atmosphere. Then the wedding party were due on the balcony, and the traditional kiss between the happy couple. All the prime positions had been taken hours earlier, so again we settled for photographing the people, especially after the balcony appearance when we chose a position on a path where perhaps a few thousand people were walking by. It was a bit crowded for photographs at times, but we still had the chance to pick people out in the crowds.
We took a walk back around the park. There was a band playing the great British music such as Jerusalem, Land Of Hope And Glory, and of course, the national anthem.
Finally we decided to move away from the park, find a cafe, and then look for more photos around the streets.
Eventually it was time to head home after a long hot day.
As a photographer this had been a good chance to take photos around a national event. From a personal view it’s something i find hard to do. I take a lot of photographs in the streets, but i tend to avoid people quite a lot. My past involves having been the victim of violence on many occasions, and only last summer, as mentioned in a previous post, i was victim of a violent mugging. I don’t like crowds, and i’m not very trusting of large groups of people. To stick a camera in front of strangers is something i find very hard to do, i guess it’s why i prefer the more candid photos. I think this has started to help me get a little more used to photographing people in public, and so that’s a good thing.
As Gary is using a particular technique he’s been working on that means getting in close to people, i have to learn how to work around that so he doesn’t get in my way too much. I like what he’s doing so can’t complain, and it’s just a part of learning to work alongside another photographer using a different style. We did realise something we can do where we work as a team, and something i don’t think anyone else is doing at the moment. It’ll mean going to large friendly events, or tourist places, but i think we’ve hit on something that will prove interesting. But more on that at a later stage as i don’t want to give anything away for now.
Something else that was good about the day was they way people wore the Union Jack. For most of my adult life people wearing it have tended to be drunken football hooligans, drunken holiday makers embarrassing our nation, or people involved in extremist groups or political parties. April 29th 2011 showed how the people can take back the flag from the thugs and extremists. I’m not a monarchist at all, and i’ll not get into the politics in this post, but for one day it was damned good to see the flag of my homeland used in a good, peaceful, and celebratory way.