I’m always intrigued when celebrities or people well known for one walk of life try their hand at photography. In one way, it’s encouraging that someone famous is interested and moved by photography. In another, it’s slightly patronising towards photography and photographers, almost as though they’re saying – that looks fun and interesting and I’m sure I can pick it up pretty easily…after all I’m a great singer/designer/director/actor… so how hard can it be?
I was trying something a little different on this shoot – I was getting in close with the 50mm and attempting to get an idea of the pictures people were actually taking on the their phones, iPads and cameras. It was dusk, so the screens stood out nicely against the slightly darker landscape. Nobody seemed to mind me pushing into their groups or photographing what they were doing. Lots of people were too busy on their own pictures to take any notice of another tourist with a camera and those who did notice me, just laughed or asked what I was doing in a friendly way.
For many years I’ve been a member of an artist’s co-op called Warrior Studios: housed in a railway arch in Loughborough Junction, South London it’s home to a dozen artists. Warrior is where I keep my chemical darkroom. Although I’ve been an absentee member for several years, recently I’ve been welcomed back into the fold and invited to take part in one of the group shows organised by the co-op.
One of the areas of London that’s changed the radically during the 30 years I’ve lived here has been Bankside. When I came to London it was an area that was pretty much deserted – films like The Long Good Friday used it as a gangland setting and it was a place where artists like Derek Jarman could occupy massive waterside lofts for a few pounds a week.
Here are some more pictures from my project on the way tourists in London use photography. These were shot around Buckingham Palace on a sunny afternoon in August when nothing special was happening, no trooping of the colour or state visits. But there were still plenty of people snapping away.