Making it count

by Helen Hooker December. 12, 2019 427 views
Setting the scene - the Houses of Parliament, with a lone EU flag caught in a nearby tree

Setting the scene - the Houses of Parliament, with a lone EU flag caught in a nearby tree

A few weeks ago a documentary photography workshop based around the UK general election caught my eye. Sadly I missed out on a place so when I heard about a cancellation this week I leapt at the opportunity. This morning six of us met with our tutor Brian Duckett, at the photographers’ café in Millbank, just yards from the election action in Westminster.

Outside the Methodist Central Hall polling station. One of the officials had a never-ending battle keeping the signs attached to the railings in the rain.

Outside the Methodist Central Hall polling station. One of the officials had a never-ending battle keeping the signs attached to the railings in the rain.

Polling station traffic

Polling station traffic

The sign eventually landed on the pavement so I took the opportunity to juxtapose it with a protester in the background

The sign eventually landed on the pavement so I took the opportunity to juxtapose it with a protester in the background

This chap was only too happy to express his views to the nearby TV crews

This chap was only too happy to express his views to the nearby TV crews

More polling station interviews.

More polling station interviews.

Brian talked us through the tasks a photojournalist would expect on a day like today. He also gave us our remit for the day, in the shape of particular aspects of the election story we needed to illustrate. These included aspects such as the proximity to Christmas, the division in the country over Brexit, the possible election results and the potential effect of the weather on the election turnout.

We found these two men outside Conservative Party headquarters. They're part of the Extinction Rebellion global hunger strike and the Conservatives are the only people who have so far refused to speak to them. Of several thousand who started the hunger strike only a handful are still participating.

We found these two men outside Conservative Party headquarters. They're part of the Extinction Rebellion global hunger strike and the Conservatives are the only people who have so far refused to speak to them. Of several thousand who started the hunger strike only a handful are still participating.

Christmas meets the local police presence....

Christmas meets the local police presence....

Before lunch we explored the area around Westminster, taking in one of the local polling stations, Downing Street, Conservative Party headquarters and College Green, usually a hive of activity for demonstrators and TV broadcasters alike. Oddly, the whole area was remarkably quiet, with an almost complete absence of demonstrators or political characters so we were going to have our work cut out to complete Brian’s brief!

People hurrying along a rainswept Whitehall

People hurrying along a rainswept Whitehall

The are Brexit related slogans everywhere!

The are Brexit related slogans everywhere!

Setting the scene at the end of Downing Street

Setting the scene at the end of Downing Street

It may be election day, but the tourists still stop by Downing Street

It may be election day, but the tourists still stop by Downing Street

After lunch we split into two groups and went out on our own to complete our brief. Within our trio of photographers we decided to focus on the weather and Christmas aspects of the brief, all the while looking for gestures and characters who could illustrate the possibility of a hung parliament. I had some success with my weather shots, coming up with a selection of people with umbrellas in various party colours. I also happened upon one Father Christmas crossing the road by Westminster Bridge!

A little togetherness on election day

A little togetherness on election day

I love the expressions going on here!

I love the expressions going on here!

More umbrellas...

More umbrellas...

Voters of the future...

Voters of the future...

Ultimately, I found the lack of interesting characters rather disappointing, but I still learnt a lot and it made me think much more about different ways of illustrating a story.

One of the few protesters who braved the rain

One of the few protesters who braved the rain

A mobile billboard

A mobile billboard

The great Brexit divide?

The great Brexit divide?

End of the day headlines in the evening paper

End of the day headlines in the evening paper

12 December 2019

Join the conversation
2
There are 2 comments , add yours!
Antonio Gil 2 months, 1 week ago

#1 political contrast is amazing.
#4 love the perspective
#8 is a very interesting view of what people can do (being right or not)
#10 Cool effect
#16 - so funny

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
Kay Hooker 2 months, 1 week ago

A fantastic opportunity that you didn't let get away.  I feel very sorry for the 'old boys' in #8. Well done Helen.

2 months, 1 week ago Edited
Up
Copyright @Photoblog.com