Photographer Max Barstow has produced a wonderful two-part photography series on Londoners. inspired by the William Blake poem London. Barstow says his goal was "to capture the diversity of Londoners and the sense of unease looming over their city in recent years."
Barstow is a native Londoner and knows the city and its inhabitants intimately. The photos are astonishing because of the incredible drama they create. The first half of the series was in colour and the second in black and white.
For those who aren't familiar with Blake's poem, here it is intermingled with the photos:
I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg'd manacles I hear:
How the Chimney-sweepers cry
Every blackning Church appalls,
And the hapless Soldiers sigh
Runs in blood down Palace walls.
But most thro' midnight streets I hear
How the youthful Harlots curse
Blasts the new-born Infants tear,
And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
Check out both series in full and the rest of Barstow's work on his website.