With rare exceptions I photograph alone, I also tend to take my time and go at my own pace. When photographing on the street I like to find my own space, to be present and engaged, but also detached. For all these reasons I very quickly decided to detach myself from the group. I did this within the first 100 metres.
There were a few suggestions of what to photograph, ‘buildings’ was one of them. There are a myriad of different approaches to taking photos on the street, two of which are: to have a list of things to look for; or not. I chose the latter, though I’ll contradict myself by saying that the photo of St Paul’s is because of the suggestion to ‘take photos of buildings’.
And so once I’d resolved not to have too many preconceived notions of what to photograph, off I wandered, and within a few metres I stopped, for about 30 minutes. It was a gloriously sunny evening, the bright sunshine cast sharp shadows, something I love observing, as I prefer photographing when there’s a sharp contrast in the light.
The areas through which the route led are well known, and I had walked them many times, though never to specifically photograph.
The bank of the Thames, from the narrow winding streets close to Borough Market to the Southbank Centre, was thronging with people and I found I could barely walk a metre without changing direction. I dawdled a bit and sought out private moments amongst the chaos. All my photos were taken along the Thames. By the time I crossed the pedestrian bridge, which runs from the Southbank to the Embankment, the light had changed, and I put my camera in my bag and hurried to the pub.
Raphael is a documentary photographer, multimedia practitioner, teacher and generally curious person. His photographic work has been exhibited and published in the UK and abroad. In 2004 he graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and completed an MA Documentary Photography and Photojournalism in 2010 at the London College of Communication. He is due to start the MA Visual Sociology course at Goldsmiths in 2014.
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