It was an honour to photograph the “Great British Spring Clean: Battersea Community Event” on Saturday. It was great to see kids and adults alike discovering the extraordinary variety of things to see. There were crabs, tiny shrimp (or prawns?), centuries old pottery, fascinating bits of glass, massive iron nails, entire chairs and chunks of table, and of course the countless bits of harmful plastic that get washed up by the river, often coming from household waste being poorly disposed of.
The Photographic Brief
I was asked to photograph the event in my usual style: candid, unobtrusive, and showing off the best of the event, and three slightly more specific requests: 50-70 images mostly horizontal (landscape) in format, something nice with the branding banner in the background showing #OneLess (below) and then finish off the day with a group shot. I must admit, I was booked for 3 hours but stayed a bit longer so I could do some foraging myself! As an ex-potter I find the riverside fascinating.
There are always certain challenges in event photography, and this was no exception. Although it was a short stretch of river, through the lens the volunteers start to look rather thinly spread, even though there was a good turnout. I mitigated this by focussing on smaller groups of individuals and often letting the background go pleasingly blurry but still recognisable (known as shallow depth of field). I set the white balance a little warmer than neutral, to reflect the warmth of the community atmosphere (even if the air itself was a bit chilly). I used two high-end Canon DSLRs, with a few different lenses. The event was on the Saturday and I was asked to provide images some time the following week - they were ready for co-ordinator Abbi on the Monday.
Did they like the photos?
“Wowwee your photos are BRILLIANT!!!! I like them a lot - thank so you much!!!” I think that’s a yes then! Thanks Abbi!