This energy of London offers many opportunities, but also challenges. As a primarily architectural photography, trying to get photos of buildings without people can be difficult, if not impossible, at times. Knowing times when areas were a bit quieter certainly helped, but some areas are busy all the time.
An empty street, particularly in black and white, can be powerful and interesting. In the exhibition I was in last year, I exhibited a number of street scenes that were empty as I wanted to explore how, in some areas, regeneration meant redeveloping existing buildings (like old dock buildings) into apartments or keeping existing features of a building.
It was really interesting to hear people what people saw in my photos and their narratives of them when I spoke to them. It really made me appreciate the narratives of my own photos and my journey with my creativity. What was quite striking, however, was how many people commented on how my photos didn’t have people in them – they seemed to be missing something. When selecting my photos, I was steered away from including people as it was thought my photos, but I was starting to feel uncomfortable with this approach. I had tried so hard over the years to exclude people from my photos, but I think subconsciously, I was shifting away from this.
That’s not to say that I won’t include people in my photos. However, I am starting to enjoy including people in my narrative. It gives context to my images and to my narrative as well as something altogether human. Buildings are a product of humanity, but people like to see themselves reflected in the images and narrative too.
Below are some images I have taken recently in London. While they are still very much architectural, it also shows how both people and the built environment interact with each other. It can range from something very simple and mundane like waiting for a train to being entertained in Covent Garden or Victoria train station.