London mourns

France24 broadcast journalist reporting live from the Candlelight Vigil at Trafalgar Square for the victims of the terrorist attack at Westminster on 22 March, 2017.  The last vigil I attended here at the same London landmark was on the occasion of the Paris attacks of November 2015.

This evening’s vigil was attended by thousands of local residents and visitors who filled the square, surrounded with armoured police vehicles, road closures and many armed officers.

Greyhounds on beach

It has been a while since I shot a keeper image. I took a series of beach images a month ago on the Isle of Wight and the files are still on the memory card. There are these decaying groynes on the beach in Shanklin, which extend out to sea for about 100 metres.

During low tide the exposed rotting timber covered by seaweed poke out like broken fingers through the silky sand lapped by the ebb and flow of the tide. In this shot it happened that a pair of greyhounds lingered about the timber-ends for a few seconds, sniffing, as dogs do, before running off to their master’s call.

I just love the muted tones of the morning sky, and how it merges and blends in with the darker foreground of the beach. The near silhouette dogs add points of interest to the timber structures, which makes the eyes wander and explore the detail.

 

 

What is your pick?

The 2017 World Press Photo of The Year has just been announced. Again, just only 24 hours of it’s publicity, much has been written on social media and the press whether the An Assassination In Turkey image by Burhan Ozbilici was appropriate or not.

Putting it into perspective a little – personally, I have the telly on most of the time, in the background, and it’s invariably tuned onto a news channel like Sky News, BBC, or Al Jazeera.  Living in the UK, it seems that almost daily, there is a Breaking News item being live reported or televised. The rolling 24 hour news that we live by is addictive and at best numbing – especially when there is a terrorist attack happening within 100 miles of where you live. It could well be 10 miles away or even right in Piccadilly Circus.

On 7 July 2005 suicide bombers attacked 3 transport locations in London simultaneously killing 52 people. Since then, there have been several deadly attacks in the City and as we all know recently in France, Belgium, Germany amongst other places. These attacks are close and becoming closer. In addition, there are victims who suffer permanent disabilities, least death. Then there are the daily reports of civilian deaths in bombings, migrant boats capsizing, refugee exodus.

Being informed about the news is once thing, but what can we do about the situation?

Nothing.

Year in, year out, we will continue to see murders and killings amongst man, and there will be photographs from these incidents that make the cut. That is the nature of Man and this is disheartening.

Now, if you did not see the breaking news of this assassination, or read the reports in the papers the next day, or did not even know about it, what will be your reaction? Is it iconic?

In the WPPOFTY, glorifying a cold blooded murder can be seen to be acknowledging the bravery of the photographer – as one of the judges put in – “to reward the photographer, not the crime”. I suggest the photographer be given a bravery medal. I respect the jury panel decision although that would not have been my choice. I think, as consumers of the news and observers of images, we, the masses can have a say about what we think.

If you were one of the jury, which image would you have picked for the WPPOTY?

My pick would be Brent Stirton’s Dead Rhino image. I cannot bear looking at it, and that is powerful. At least, I hope that Man can do something to stop these poachers.

[Featured Image ©Brent Stirton, courtesy Getty Images for National Geographic Magazine]

InstantLondon : Back to Black

Last week, the lights went out in Piccadilly Circus. The giant multi-display screens that have lit the circus ever since the very first billboard advertising Perrier in 1908, were switched off for the dismantling and installation of a new single ‘state of the art’ digital billboard – apparently the largest in Europe.

The screens have only been turned off a handful of occasions before – for the duration of the Second World War, Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965 and Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997.

Expect something amazing in the Autumn.

 

Startled fawn

This is it! My lucky shot this morning whilst walking the doggie in Richmond Park. It was cold and frosty and the low winter sun was streaming down in between the skeletal trees.  Grabbed four shots in succession before this young deer bounced away into the woods. This was the the sharpest image, taken with an ‘unprepared’ 50mm lens. Cropped slightly.