Londonist Behind The Lens: Chris Beckett

Lindsey
By Lindsey Last edited 81 months ago
Londonist Behind The Lens: Chris Beckett

From time to time we take a look at the people behind the pictures in the Londonist Flickrpool and ask them about their London and their photography. Today, some powerful street photography in a gallery featuring protests, police, flashmobs and more from Chris Beckett:

One & Other, by Antony Gormley: Sikh man launches paper aeroplane from the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London
One & Other, by Antony Gormley: Sikh man launches paper aeroplane from the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London
Police reception for Swansea football supporters, London Victoria Station, 31 March 2007
Police reception for Swansea football supporters, London Victoria Station, 31 March 2007
Chaired aloft a sea of dancers. Mobile Clubbing, London Victoria Station concourse, 4 April 2007.
Chaired aloft a sea of dancers. Mobile Clubbing, London Victoria Station concourse, 4 April 2007.
James Cauty, "Dead Dad 2" billboard in Shoreditch, with musical pedestrians
James Cauty, "Dead Dad 2" billboard in Shoreditch, with musical pedestrians
St Paul's Cathedral, London - text projection ("The Question Mark Inside" by Martin Firrell): "NEW"
St Paul's Cathedral, London - text projection ("The Question Mark Inside" by Martin Firrell): "NEW"
Co-existence - only 1 in 10 of our cells is human
Co-existence - only 1 in 10 of our cells is human
Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Coca-Cola and cocaine - 'guerrilla billboard' by dr.d
Amy Winehouse, Duffy, Coca-Cola and cocaine - 'guerrilla billboard' by dr.d
Piccadilly Circus, London
Piccadilly Circus, London
G20 protesters, City of London (1 April, 2009)
G20 protesters, City of London (1 April, 2009)
G20 protest, Threadneedle Street, City of London (1 April, 2009)
G20 protest, Threadneedle Street, City of London (1 April, 2009)
Whitehall, London students protest against fees and cuts, 24 November 2010
Whitehall, London students protest against fees and cuts, 24 November 2010
Standing on the Police van - London students protest against fees and cuts, 24 November 2010
Standing on the Police van - London students protest against fees and cuts, 24 November 2010

I work in London but live elsewhere (Canterbury). Consequently, I don’t have a local London neighbourhood to shoot, although there are parts of London, such as Shoreditch, that seem to be in a permanent state of visual renewal and I find myself returning there again and again.

Like many photographers I shoot a variety of images, but most of the ones I’ve selected here are of people in a street context. They include photojournalism: the G20 protest, the recent student demonstrations, and a dance flash mob at Victoria Station. And there are observations of passersby against striking backgrounds, the sort of shot where you’ve chosen your setting – a James Cauty guerrilla billboard in Shoreditch, a Wellcome Trust window in Euston Road – and wait patiently in position for the unsuspecting unifying subject to walk across your London pavement screen.

Fitting my London photography around work, I will sometimes go out on a lunch time mission. Getting into the midst of what’s going on isn’t difficult, but getting out and back to work can sometimes be a challenge: it took a while to get back from the G20 demonstration (on reflection, it was an ambitious mission), and a Whitehall kettle is always best entered with a day’s annual leave at your disposal.

I want to take photographs that are, paradoxically, both spontaneous and composed. I don’t shoot for historical record, so unless a photograph works as a composition I don’t use it.

Browse more of Chris' Flickrstream and more Londonist Behind the Lens.

Tag your photos londonist and put them in the Londonist Flickrpool and you could see your work illustrating our site.

Last Updated 26 February 2011