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:
Londonist Behind The Lens: Chris Beckett
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.
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Last Updated 26 February 2011