Saturday, 23 January 2010

I'm a Photographer, Not a Terrorist

Attended this demo in Trafalgar Square, with Mark, Scott, Jake, Caz and Amon.  From the PHNAT website: "I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! invite all Photographers to a mass photo gathering in defence of street photography.  Following a series of high profile detentions under s44 of the terrorism act including 7 armed police detaining an award winning architectural photographer in the City of London, the arrest of a press photographer covering campaigning santas at City Airport, and the stop and search of a BBC photographer at St Paul's Cathedral and many others, PHNAT feels now is the time for a mass turnout of Photographers, professional and amateur to defend our rights and stop the abuse of the terror laws."  There was a pretty good turnout, everyone had a camera of some kind, from the humblest mobile phone variety to the biggest and heftiest DSLR, even a few medium format Bronicas and Hasselblads on tripods.  I spent a lot of time wandering about with my 70-200 lens taking candid shots of various demonstrators, who were all very peaceful and laid-back, unlike the last demo I attended here (Israel Out Of Gaza Now, January 2009) which was decidedly more lively.

Pre-demo coffee in Pret - checking out the Old Skool cameras. Mark, Scott and Jake


TV coverage of the demo



The Leica Gang

Me chatting to the Leica Gang, and admiring one of their cameras,
taken by Louis Berk (wearing black hat and taking photo in shot above)
Thanks Louis for letting me post here!
See for more on his work.

Mark, Scott and Jake


Jake (Scott in BG)

Caz and Amon

Amon, Caz, Mark, Jake and Scott

After the demo, we all took a walk over to the other side of the Thames, and then headed east along the riverbank, stopping every once in a while to observe the teenage skateboarders, and the guys making giant sand sculptures on the river bank.  Dropped in at the OXO Gallery, drawn in by the amazing photographs of Peter Caton, showing people of the Sundarbans at the mouth of the Ganges River.  "In May 2009 the region was devastated by Aila, a tropical cyclone which left hundreds dead and up to a million people homeless.  In the immediate aftermath of the storm, the low-lying Sundarbans were flooded under 20 feet of water", and these photographs showed just some of the people who were so badly affected by this disaster.  For more info see

After this, we continued back to the north side of the river again, finally stopping at McDonalds for a much needed sit (well, it was for me!) and some burgers.  Finally, we all climbed the Monument, 311 steps in total, and the tallest free-standing stone column in the world.  It was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London (1666) and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City.

Quite a climb, but the views made it worth it, although since my obscenely enormous wide-angle lens wouldn't fit through the wire mesh surround, I spent more time up there photographing the others photographing me :)



Caz and Jake

Scott and Amon

Mark (and one of his many vintage cameras - the Ilford Sporti)

Caz descending the stairs

One of the tiny windows

Mark and Caz at the base of the Monument

Amon and Jake - Mission Accomplished!

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