Archive for June, 2008

Partying on the Tube

Friday, June 13th, 2008

One of the downsides of living out on the edge of the city is that it can be hard to travel home very late at night. My last train leaves shortly before midnight on a Saturday and it’s then seven hours until the next. The hourly all-night bus service which used to serve us now drops me around 4 miles away.

So I tend not to photograph things that happen very late at night, and missed the Circle Line tube party on 31 May to mark Boris’s alcohol ban starting the next day.

I’m not a fan of the ban, though I would like the Underground to be safer for both passengers and staff. The ban will inconvenience tourists and others who occasionally like a cool beer as an antidote to the often stifling heat on the tube as they go from one of London’s attractions to another, or who like to relax a little on the way home from work, while I suspect that travel police will continue to largely turn a blind eye at large drunken groups of football supports and others who can be a real nuisance, whether or not they are actually drinking on the train. There are simply not enough police around to control them and adding an extra area of friction between them and the police is hardly likely to improve matters or manners.

Tube Party

I was reminded about the ban yesterday, as I was at last getting some of my pictures from another Tube party earlier this year ready to go into the stock libraries, something that tends to get on top of me (adding the captions, keywords and so on is a really tedious chore.)

Unless you are a New Zealander you will probably not know about the Treaty of Waitangi, a rather curious agreement signed by some Maori chiefs and British representatives in 1840. We used it to legitimise a takeover of the country, although in more recent years the Maoris have found it a way to claim some limited and belated reparation, and Waitangi Day is now celebrated as the New Zealand national Day.

Circle Line Pub Crawl - Waitangi Day

The main celebration in London over the past few years had been the Circle Line Pub Crawl, starting early at a pub near Paddington and leaving the train at every station along the line for another beer or two, arriving at Westminster and Parliament Square around tea-time (though little tea is in evidence.) There the square is packed with a heaving mass of Kiwis, some of whom strip to the waist and perform a noisy Haka before making for the station and the next stop and pub, although relatively few make it to the official end of the party at Temple station, having mostly by then dispersed to other pubs around Whitehall and Strand.

Despite approaching 10,000 distinctly unsober participants, it all seemed very good-natured, and although a slight inconvenience to some travellers (who might be advised to change to the District line services serving the same stations but totally ignored by the party-goers) does little or no harm while giving a little free entertainment to Londoners. Much of the inconvenience seems to be caused by official over-reaction including the temporary closing of some stations and stopping (or non-stopping) of some Circle line services, when a more intelligent response would be to put on extra trains and work the participants through the system as rapidly as possible. “We’ve got a crowd on the platform, so lets stop the trains and close the station” really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Circle Line Pub Crawl - Waitangi Day

It’s an event that already waves a digit to numerous by-laws, including those on drinking in public places such as Parliament Square, and I wonder if Boris’s tube ban will have any impact on it, other than perhaps to add brown paper bags to the already quite impressive dress code.

Circle Line PUb Crawl

By the time you read this, you should be able to buy some of the pictures through Alamy, as well of course as directly from me – and there is a wider range of pictures on My London Diary which takes you through the day telling the whole story of the event as I saw it.

More on Metadata

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Thanks to a friend for pointing me at the presentations now on-line from the 2nd annual Photo Metadata Conference, held in Malta on 5 June 2008, which included the first public presentation of the refurbished IPTC Core and a new IPTC Extension set of photo metadata.

If you feel you missed out on a jolly trip to Malta (and last year’s event was in Florence) then at least you can console yourself at having missed all of the Powerpoint presentations that are now available for download. Most of them actually seem to be saying more or less the same things and at times it seems as if the main interest during the sessions will have been in the colour of the shirts or dresses worn by the presenters.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. If you did get there it meant you could have spent your time in the bar and not missed a lot, and it’s good for all of us that there does seem to be considerable agreement over the necessity of metadata and its future direction.

Actually there are a few points of interest, especially for me in a presentation (download it from the programme page) by David Riecks that shows just the pig’s ear that major stock distributors make of it at the moment.

And that is really the root of the problem at the moment. There isn’t a great deal of point in a campaign to get photographers to put the meta-data in if libraries and others shake it all about and remove all or most of it.

Lightroom (and some other programs – but I use Lightroom) has made it relatively easy for photographers to add some essential metadata as a matter of routine when processing their raw files (or even jpegs if you have to shoot jpeg) although I’d like the process to start even earlier with camera manufacturers getting more into the act.

Every picture we shoot digitally now has EXIF data recorded, including the date and time. No photographer should ever find themselves having to enter this data into software manually (though if – as I’ve done at times – we manage to set the wrong year or the wrong time zone, we need to be able to correct it.) Software can pick it up automatically and rewrite it wherever it’s needed.

My camera also allows me to add some user-input data to every picture. It would only add a few bytes to firmware to allow the entry of some specified fields – such as copyright (what my data always contains), e-mail address and perhaps ‘Headline’ which would then be available to software. Which could then, for example copy the files to an appropriately located and named folder when you upload these to your computer, and perhaps also choose appropriate pre-sets for other purposes.

Several of the presentations address some of the real basics that make metadata useful, such as:

  • data should never need to be entered twice
  • it should be and offence to remove metadata or edit it without permission

(Some copyright lawyers claim removal is already is an offence under copyright law.)

Keywording
Perhaps the discussion that I would have found of most interest was “Keywording versus Controlled Vocabularies” which rather strikes me as a false dichotomy. To make keywording really useful you need a controlled vocabulary, and a controlled vocabulary seems to require some way to use it, which is by keywording. This was a ‘panel discussion’, and what you can download certainly throws little light on the topic.

Perhaps one of the problems is that the same keyword needs to be able to sit in several different hierarchical trees. Yesterday I was adding the keyword ‘Haka’ to some of my images to go in a library (actually I was adding it for a second time, because it was a keyword in the file I was uploading, but the system doesn’t read most of the metadata in the files – so I spend hours and hours re-keying.)

Haka in Parliament Square
Haka in Parliament Square for Waitangi Day

If I was setting up a keywording system using a controlled vocabulary I might want to include Haka in a heirachy part of which would look like this:

>Country>New Zealand>Maori>Culture>Haka

but I might also want to include it in a hierarchy that was cross-cultural and looked at various types of dance and their function, part of which would look like this:

>dance>war dance>Haka

or perhaps we might want to look at it in yet other ways.

How we make such links is important both in keywording and also even more so in developing smart methods of searching – which is really the important end of the process.

PLUS
Something that I think we will hear more about is PLUS, the Picture Licensing Universal System, which will provide a single world-wide system for describing licences and to embed licensing information as metadata in images. It won’t replace IPTC, but provides only licence-related information – including of course address and copyright details. It seems it will be free to use, although I’m not sure whether non-members of PLUS will be included in their seachable creator data-base when this is up and running. Widespread adoption of PLUS would give added protection to image creators and clarify conditions for those wanting to use images.

Of course the success of such a system depends in part on national laws. If the US does decide to do its own coach and horses over so-called “Orphan Rights” (as to some extent it has always done on copyright) it will almost certainly severely weaken the utility of PLUS. But intellectual property rights are increasingly an important part of world trade, and perhaps the age when the US can run the world is coming to an end?

Tour of Religions

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I’d taken things a bit easy on Saturday, only walking from Trafalgar Square at the top of Whitehall to Parliament Square at the bottom. On Sunday I made up for this, starting down in the deep south at Thornton Heath, with a chariot festival by Hindus from the temple in Thornton Road, originating from the Tamil areas in south-east India and Sri Lanka.

They were dragging a chariot containing a statue of the Lord Muruga and people were coming up with offerings of fruit on trays, which were blessed by the god and returned with flames licking around them.

When the procession turned off the main road I jumped on a bus that had been held up behind it, hoping for a rapid journey to Brixton. Unfortunately we crawled slowly until after we had cleared some minor roadworks on Streatham Hill. From Brixton, the next bus took me to the Oval and Kennington Park.

Catholic Mass, Portugal Day

The area around here has the largest Portuguese population outside of Portugal, and most of them would be along here later in the day to eat, drink and celebrate being Portuguese and the greatest of Portuguese poets, Luís de Camões, who died on 10 June, 1580. The event started with an open-air Catholic mass, and I left as this was drawing to a close to catch a 436 ‘bendy bus’ to Marble Arch.

Although a possible danger to cyclists – such as the new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, these really offer a fast and efficient service on routes such as this. A major plank of Boris’s election manifesto was the scrapping of these and their replacement by some mythical updated Routemaster, but I think on suitable routes this would be a loss.

At Marble Arch, Sikhs were holding a rally before a march to remember the Indian massacres of 1984, and to call for the establishment of an independent Sikh state of Khalistan.

Sikhs on the march

I finally ended up at some kind of Korean festival in Trafalgar Square, which seemed to simply be a rather boring sell of Korea as a tourist destination. I’d hoped it might be a festival for the many Koreans who live in London, particularly around New Malden.

Sikhs on the march

Sikhs on the march

Saturday in Westminster

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Knife crime has been this year’s big news story so far as our inner cities are concerned, with every incident involving a youth and a knife being front-page. Of course there are too many people being killed and injured, but that’s been the case for some time. Last year I went to two community-based marches, one in Brent and the other on ‘murder mile’ in Clapton, against gun and knife crime, both largely organised and supported by families who had suffered the loss of one of their own sons. Most of those cases hadn’t made the national news.

So its good news that more attention is being paid – so long as it leads to measures that will really have some impact on the problem, and not just a knee-jerk upping of penalties and policing.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church has a great following in black communities where the problem is most severe, and on Saturday I photographed a march that was organised by their youth movements. The most visible part of these were the Pathfinders in their military-style uniforms, but there were many others.


A grim equation: Drugs, Knives, Guns, Gangs = Death

One of the placards some marchers carried was just the message for Brian Haw, standing in Parliament Square as the march passed on its way to Kennington Park.

I stopped off there to join the Peace Strike, and listen to the singer/songwriter Harry Loco who had come from Holland to perform there.

Earlier in the day while waiting for the Adventist march to start I’d also taken a few pictures of the Rock Against the Blockade activists leafleting and collecting signatures in support of the ‘Miami Five’, Cubans imprisoned by the USA for infiltrating right wing terrorist groups among the Cuban exiles in Florida who carry out illegal terrorist attacks on Cuba. These prisoners have just lost an appeal against their conviction.

Leica M8 – Michael Kamber’s Iraq Field Test

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

I’ve always liked to use rangefinder cameras, particularly when photographing people and events. Of course they had their drawbacks, particularly some of the cheaper Soviet Leica copies I started with in the early 70s, where viewfinders sometimes seemed to bear little relation to the image.

But once I’d bought my Leica M2 things were fine, and then I added a Minolta CLE, perhaps my favourite ‘Leica’ of all. Eventually I was moved by the need for a slightly more modern design, and along came Konica with a design that actually had auto exposure that worked.

Of course I also needed SLRs for their extra flexibility and the ability to use longer lenses. Although in extremis I’d use the excellent 90mm f2.8, Leica’s forte was at 35mm and below, with my favourite (but often maligned) Summilux 35 f1.4 a superb tool in low light, and Voigtlander providing some excellent and cheap super wide angles.

Then came digital, and for various reasons I had to switch to using an SLR system, Nikon or Canon. At the time the Nikon D100 had just arrived and seemed the best of the reasonably affordable cameras – though it’s poky dim viewfinder was a real pain. Later came the D200 – the first digital I liked using – and now the improved D300, but all along I’d been hoping for a digital rangefinder I could warm to and use.

Epson were the first, and it wasn’t bad, but I felt sure that Leica would come up with something better, and waited for the M8. Eventually it came, got some good write-ups – though there were a few minor problems noted, and after a while someone noticed its problems with IR and we had the filter fiasco, but the problem didn’t seem insurmountable.

So finally, feeling a little rich after a few good months I bought one in Spring 2007. Ten days later I lost the contract that had provided more than 50% of my income for the past few years.

It was a bad start, but I was actually more worried by the problems I was having with the M8, particularly since none of my lenses were coded so the camera could recognise them. I made the mistake of using the M8 on a job and then spent hours in Photoshop selecting parts of the image and removing the purple.

In time I worked out how to get usable results from the camera most of the time. I’ve taken a few decent pictures with it, mainly with the Summilux, which, according to Leica is not compatible with the camera. Using the free ‘Cornerfix‘ I can even get reasonable colour with the Voigtlander 21mm (with the IR filter in place.)

I’ve not yet come to like using the M8. Compared to the Minolta/Konica cameras it seems an imprecise and blunt instrument, unreliable and with inaccurate framing. Colour balance and exposure control are hit and miss, and processing the RAW files is a real pain compared to those from the Nikon. It seems hardly usable above ISO 640 due to noise, although to be fair the results at ISO 320 can be exceptionally sharp and detailed – certainly a little superior to the D200 in that respectg.

I have other problems with the camera, even using it for my relatively undemanding needs. It is good not to have to carry a camera bag when I take it out – a spare lens tucked in a pocket and the camera – at least when not in use – hanging around my neck are all I need, but more often I’m deciding to pick up the bag with the Nikon gear when I have to choose, even if it can be a pain to carry it around all day.

What prompted me to write this was reading the warts and all thoughts of a photojournalist trying to work in Iraq with an M8, Michael Kamber’s Leica M8 Field Test, Iraq.

This is an honest and detailed account of his experiences with the camera – and illustrated by the results. On the opening page he says it is “a detailed look at my experiences with the M8, most of which have been negative. Please keep in mind that there are many other photographers who like the M8.”

You can also see Kamber‘s work on his web site, and on the Digital Journalist site

I’d love to find out how to really like my M8, but it’s proving rather hard work.

McCullin Interview

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

I think that the interview between John Tusa and Don McCullin was first broadcast on Radio 3 in August 2002, so I’m not sure why it should surface again as a news item on Photo District News last week – or why they should write “John Tusa recently interviewed McCullin about his work, his anger, the public nature of grief and more.”

That said, it’s worth listening to – or reading the transcript – again, as McCullin has a few things to say and talks very honestly about his feelings and how vital they are to his photography.

There are several other interviews with McCullin on the web, including one in 1987 with photographer Frank Horvat, which has the advantage of including some of his pictures, and another from 1995 on Zeugma.

His pictures are not particularly well shown on line, though you can see a miserly few at the V&A and a small and relatively recent set from Darfur where he went for Oxfam on the BBC, first shown in 2007 – and there is also a short video on which he talks about them. Otherwise, a Google Image search is perhaps the best way to see more of his work online.

McCullin talks to Tusa about his liking to travel light: “I’m not like Father Christmas, from Dixons, standing there, covered from head to foot in equipment.

Press Photography 2008

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

The results of the UK 2008 Press Photographers Year were announced on June 6, rather early when for the rest of us 2008 still has 7 months to run. Looking at the chosen pictures for the it is hard to reconcile this fine selection of work with the kind of visually illiterate trash that fills most of the papers that I pick up. Based on them, something over 90% of the pictures should really be of models falling out of their dresses or TV actresses looking even more boring than they do on the box.

The failure of photography in most of our press isn’t a failure of photographers, but a failure of editors – and often a failure to be willing to pay for better pictures when the crap comes cheap or even free. Scratch almost any freelance and you will find stories of editors and journalists saying how great the work is, then not hearing anything when you mention money, and finding that the publication has used a cheap image from an agency contract or even sent in free by a reader.

There is plenty of good photography here, and quite a few photographers I know (as well as those I don’t) are to be congratulated for getting their pictures among the 146 here, whether or not as winners of the 13 awards.

At risk of upsetting those I know who I don’t mention, there are two photographers here whose work I find outstanding. One is the Guardian’s Sean Smith, who gets the first prize for multimedia, and the other is Brian David Stevens, (also see his web site) who has some intriguing black and white work, including some of the best portraits in the selection and some interesting reflections that remind me slightly of the best work of Trent Parke, but are all his own.

This year a decision was made to enlarge the Sports photography sections, and the result is disappointing. There are a few fine sports pictures here, but rather too much that is simply very well done but perhaps rather uninspired. Some of my first published work was sports photography, but I soon saw the error of my ways. It is an area that tends to reward the retaking of similar images and to reject or sideline creativity – although there have been some fine exceptions over the years – and I can think of some fine work in World Press Photo.

It happens…

Monday, June 9th, 2008

One day it’s going to happen to you, if it hasn’t already. You turn on your computer and try to access your image files, but all you get is an error message.

My turn came on Saturday. One of the large external hard drives on which I store images had given up the will to live, taking with it around 60Gb of RAW files.

I tried all of the simple (and free) ways to restore the disk and retrieve the data, which I’m sure is still there on the disk, but in the end I gave up. Fortunately I think I have a backup of everything (or almost all) that was on it, and as I type I’m copying the files in the background to be sure I’ll be protected in the case of another failure.

Few things in life are sure – but there is a moral in this. One thing you can be sure of is that all systems will fail – in time.

I’m fortunate – or well prepared – thanks to an accident in the first few weeks after I switched to digital, which made me embrace the idea of redundancy.

Earlier in the week I was reading a sorry series of messages for help on an on line forum from a photographer who had suffered a similar catastrophe following the failure of his RAID backup system. He’d relied on the limited redundancy built into this, which meant the data could recover from a hard drive failure, but something else – probably a controller failure – had gone wrong and the array was now unreadable.

I hope there will be a happy ending for him, but it may require the four-figure assistance of a specialised data retrieval service to get his work back.

Off-Line Storage

For some years many people were telling me that external hard-disk storage was the safest way to store my files. As I’d already had a problem with it, I wasn’t entirely convinced. Now all the experts tell me that on-line storage is the way to go, with services offered by various companies at various prices. Some of these companies have been very keen to tell me of all the safeguards that are in place to ensure my data is safe, and it sometimes seems convincing.

I think they provide a useful service, but I don’t feel I want to rely on them. Conditions change, companies go out of business, and of course at some point their services may become too expensive for me.

So although I will increasingly be storing work on line – if only on various agency web sites – my main storage will continue to be on a do-it-yourself basis.

Redundancy the Key

There is much to be said for keeping things as simple as possible, but always bearing in mind the principle of redundancy. As soon as my images leave the card or camera I want to have at least TWO copies on fully independent media.

Lightroom has a useful option to make a backup as it imports your images, and I make use of this, with one going to one of the drives on my second hard disk and the other to an external USB hard drive.

Write Once Media

There is also a great deal to be said for using media that can be written to once only and do not allow deletion, such as CD and DVD. Much has been written about the problems of using these media, but they still seem a good medium-term solution.

The only CDs I’ve had a problem with are early ones written using UDF. The good-quality disks I use are, according the manufacturer, good for a hundred years, though that doesn’t necessarily mean the data will be, but nor will the photographer last that long. I write them disk at once, finalise the disks, verify every bit, label with a permanent CD marker pen and store them in hanging inert plastic files in cases in the dark.

CDs don’t hold enough files, so I’ve now moved to using DVD in the same way. I’ve been writing these for several years now and have yet to have a problem in accessing a single file. But of course it will happen one day.

Once I have a copy of my files on DVD (as well as on the external hard drive) I can delete the copy of the raw file on my computer hard disk, making space for new work.

At the moment I keep all of the developed files (anything from 1 in 3 to 1 in 20 of what I shoot) as full size ‘quality 11’ jpegs on another hard drive in my computer system, but as this fills up I’ll need to transfer older work to DVD and external drive.

External Hard Drives

Apart from this, I also use USB hard drives, which can easily be attached to any computer I want to use. Currently I’m using Western Digital 500Gb drives which cost around £60. Its a simpler (and cheaper) solution than many, but one that gives a reasonable level of security – and would be even better if I could keep those DVDs at another location.

While writing about this, The EPUK newsletter arrived, pointing me to a useful detailed article by AP photographer Ben Curtis on his SnapperTalk blog on his equipment for archiving. Its a good example of a rather more involved (and expensive) approach than mine, at the centre of which, attaching to his Mac is a very nice looking SilverSATA II running a RAID 1 two disk mirroring array, while he also makes backups on another hard disk.

Key Points Of Possible Failure

However you decide to look after the future of your images, there are some key points of possible failure to consider:

  • hard disk and controller access
  • power failures (which can damage hardware and corrupt files)
  • human failure
  • theft, fire, flood
  • obsolescence

Notes
UPS
We should all be using uninterruptible power supplies to let our systems shut down gracefully in the event of a power cut. Its something I’ve never quite got around to doing on my home systems, though I implemented them at work. One of the few advantages of notebook computers is that they keep on working when the power goes.

Obsolescence
There are so many CDs and DVDs in existence that readers for these media are likely still to be in production for quite a few years after these stop being a standard – in much the same way as we can now buy decks to play our EPs and LPs and record those to current media.

So although at some point it may be necessary to move data away from these media. Hard disk standards are also changing, and USB or Firewire will become technologies of the past – just as few computers now have serial ports.

Smash EDO

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Brighton residents who had marched against the war in Iraq formed ‘Smash EDO‘ in 2004 when they learnt that a factory in their city, EDO (since taken over by ITT and now known as EDO/ITT) was responsible for making guidance systems and other components that made the bombing of Iraq possible. They began a continuing series of regular demonstrations against the company that was profiting from killing people there.

As well as regular weekly ‘noise’ demonstrations, they have organised other events and meetings around the country, and made a film, ‘On The Verge’ about the campaign. They successfully fought an injunction by EDO that would have prevented demonstrations and got the local council to pass a motion upholding their right to peaceful and lawful protest following some very questionable police activity and arrests during demonstrations.

On the Lewes Road
Around 600 marchers walked and danced along the main road towards EDO

On Wednesday I went to Brighton to photograph the ‘Carnival Against the Arms Trade‘ which Smash EDO had organised. It started as a lively fun event, but got a little out of hand when police tried to stop the marchers before they had reached the EDO factory.

Police tried to stop marchers

The marchers pushed over the police barriers and past the police who made only token attempts to stop them at that point. At two other points in the remaining two hundred yards or so the police again made a rather half-hearted line across the road, delaying the march slightly until people again pushed through to the factory gates.

Batons were used

Although there had been a little pushing and shoving, and police had certainly extended and used their batons, I only saw banners rather the demonstrators being hit and in general tempers had remained fairly cool and behaviour relatively restrained, rather as if in a slightly unruly rugby scrum, although with rather more shouting. There were a lot of police, but most were just standing and watching their colleagues getting pushed back

Eventually around 300 of the marchers reached the gates (others had waited further down the hill or gone home), which were protected by a triple line of police, with more in reserve. I went back and up the hill to get an overall view and discussed the situation with some of the others around.

It looked like stalemate
It looked like stalemate – but how wrong could I be!

The general opinion was that little further was likely to happen. The factory was surrounded by a high and secure fence and there were more than enough police to hold the demonstrators at bay, with now quite a few taking a rest further down the hill.

So I thought I’d more or less done all I could and walked down the hill to catch a bus. Maybe get home and file some pictures…

But apparently as soon as my back was turned, someone mysteriously opened a gate and demonstrators rushed in, soon followed by police. A few windows were broken and there was considerable violence, with police using batons and pepper spray as well as bringing in police dogs. It seems just a matter of good fortune that nobody appears to have been seriously injured.

Ten people were arrested, mainly for minor offences, though they were all held for 30 hours before being released on police bail without charges being laid, to return to the custody centre in early August. While they were being held, police raided a number of their homes and seized several computers, mobile phones and clothes.

You can see more of my view of the events on My London Dairy, and reports mainly about what happened after I left the scene early on Indymedia. I should have stayed until things were more obviously over, but it was a nice day and I had other things I wanted to do!

Seven Years in Parliament Square

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Brian Haw started his one man protest in Parliament Square on 2 June, 2001. Despite police harassment and vigilante attacks (ignored or even encouraged by police) not to mention an Act of Parliament designed to get rid of him, he is still there seven years later.

I can’t remember when I first saw him there, or when I first photographed him, but I have many pictures from over the years. You can of course read more about him and the Parliament Square Peace Campaign on the Parliament Square web site.

I was among those who went along on Sunday afternoon to mark the occasion, joining him and his regular supporters in the square. Brian himself was marking it by fasting and praying until Monday 2nd.

You can see a few more pictures on My London Diary. It was a dull, drab day with not a lot happening – as must have so often have been the case over the 2561 (and counting) days that Brian has been there.

This was at the 5th anniversary in 2006:

2006 Parliament Square

And one from the 6th anniversary:

Over the years Brian has seen and taken part in many of the political protests in Parliament Square and around:


With peace protesters at the Cenotaph in 2004. Brian holds a placard “War Kills the Innocent” in front of Cenotaph in Whitehall, where the Code Pink wreath reads, “How Many Will Die in Iraq Today?”.

My favourite picture of him was taken during the rally against the replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles in March 2007.

Brian Haw

Brian’s T-shirt in this picture carries the message “Find Your Courage; Share Your Vision; Change Your World” which seems so appropriate. It – and the quote – was produced by US disablement activist Dan Wilkins, who was delighted to see Brian wearing it when I sent him a copy of the picture.