P1000053P1000066I was in London on Saturday and taking my camera for a walk. That’s what I usually do when attempting street photography – take my camera for a long walk and come back with a handful of photos. Well, a handful would actually be a good haul – more often than not the camera stays in the bag, or at best around my neck.

Street photography, I may have to finally concede, is not my thing. I’d love to be good at it, I’d love to be one of those photographers who has the confidence to even do it, but I just find it hard to get past the self conscious stage. It’s a vicious circle, I know. The more you look self conscious about taking pictures, the more likely you are to be noticed. The confident street photographers snap away as if it was the most natural thing in the world and are probably never noticed.

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I will┬ápersevere and maybe one day I’ll master it. In the meantime I was a bit lucky on Saturday. I got to Trafalgar Square to find a very heavy police presence which meant something was about to happen. I asked one of the police, and was told a protest was expected, coming from Westminster to set up in the square.

I didn’t have to wait long. I couldn’t look this gift horse in the mouth – something to photograph! There were any number of photographers, and it was an obvious subject – I had a good reason to be taking pictures. The problem with classic street photography is that it attempts to capture a slice of real life so there is no immediate reason to be taking the pictures. There’s no need to explain why you’re taking pictures of Big Ben, the Grand Canyon, a sporting event, a news event, animals or people posing for the camera. It can be harder to explain why you thought a shot of someone walking along the street made a good picture.

As for the protest itself, the police had told me that it was about the bedroom tax but in practice it seemed to be rather generic anti government and big corporation. This isn’t a political blog, so I’ll offer no comment other than to note that the protesters seemed to come from a wider cross section of the public than the usual “students and lefties” group.

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