Archive for August, 2009

To Flash or Not to Flash…

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

That is often the question for photographers.  And last Thursday evening I wasn’t sure whether to shoot with flash or without. But in the end I turned on the SB800, set it to my usual-2/3 stop and got on with it.

It was pretty dim light, but the D700 can cope with that, giving fine results even at ISO 3200 if you get the exposure right. It was also raining, and  and that can certainly be a problem with flash in several ways. More equipment to keep wiping dry, but you can get also odd effects from the flash illuminating rain drops. There were half a dozen other photographers taking pictures and none were using flash – I seemed to be the odd one out. It didn’t worry me – I’m rather used to that, but I was a little surprised.

I’ve just checked up on the EXIF data in the files – always a better bet than my memory – and find I was shooting at ISO 1250 most of the time. The pictures with flash were at 1/60 f8, while a few without were at 1/160 f4.5, which are more or less equivalent apertures. Both were made with a -1 stop exposure adjustment as otherwise the sky was excessively burnt out when it was in frame.

I was using iTTL balanced fill-flash which automatically adjusts the flash to give a balance with the ambient lighting. The 1/60 speed with flash appears to be a result of using P mode and setting the custom setting e2 for the slowest flash sync speed to the default value (1/60.)  With flash, I like the effect of a little shake on the ambient part of the exposure – which at 1/60 you certainly get if the subject makes a gesture.

For the non-flash exposures I’d chosen a minimum shutter speed of 1/160 as I was working with a 24-70mm lens, and although I could work at 1/125 or even 1/60, the faster speed more or less eliminates the chance of camera shake. With the high ISO and a fast f2.8 lens there is seldom a need to use slow shutter speeds in any case. The lens, a fairly new Sigma HSM f2.8 24-70mm, is sharp enough wide open for most purposes, but stopping down to around f4 does sharpen it a little. You only need to stop down further if you need the depth of field.

Of course I didn’t spend a long time working things out, just took a test frame with and without flash and then decided I’d use flash. Later, while I was photographing Michael Meacher MP  more or less head on, his glasses were giving some annoying reflections, so I turned the flash off for a few frames.

© 2009 Peter Marshall
Michael Meacher MP calls for action to save Vestas jobs – No flash

But then I moved around to one side and took a frame without flash before remembering to turn it back on. The result isn’t bad – though it took quite a lot of work in Lightroom to get it like this.

Below is an picture taken using the flash, which was rather easier to sort out in Lightroom, although I’ve perhaps dramatised it a little too much.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.
Michael Meacher MP calls for action to save Vestas jobs – With flash

As well as added flash, this image also has added water, a drop on the very large filter on the front of this lens which gives a slight smearing to the letters on the banner. You can also see the greater depth of field in the foreground hand – Phil Thornhill of the Campaign Against Climate Change holding the  megaphone – both were taken with focal length of 40mm. It’s perhaps a matter of taste which is better, though I prefer the flash version.

Of course what is important is what Meacher and the other speakers were talking about – supporting the Vestas workers in their fight for jobs. You can see more pictures – almost all taken using flash  – and read more about the event on My London Diary.

Welcome to Hell

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

© 2009 Peter Marshall

Welcome to Hell’ says the graffiti on the bridge over the Lea Navigation at Hackney Wick, at the side of the path which takes site workers onto the Olympic park there, and the rest of us across to the tow path. It’s perhaps a little of an overstatement, although the pit of photographers in the image on the blue fence at left is surely  one of Satan’s finest torments.

The walk along the top of the Northern Outfall Sewer through the site is also no longer the delight it used to be, with bored security men stationed every few yards along it and a fence restricting access to a fairly narrow path along it.  Here and there are a few bushes or small trees surrounded by plastic fencing and announcing they are to be preserved while the rest of the greenery on the ‘Greenway‘ is doubtless to be razed and replace by something much more domesticated – perhaps neatly trimmed grass. At the moment it still has the old sickly-sweet sewage smell, but doubtless there are plans to deal with that (perhaps with tons of those highly noxious air fresheners that make my eyes sting!)

The glory of the Greenway, and of the Bow Back Rivers to which we no longer have access, lay in their wildness and disorder, a little bit of nature reclaiming the polluted urban space in the gaps between productive industries with some remarkable degree of success.  After 2012 we can expect a similar process  to occur – but perhaps more slowly – around the acres of concrete white elephants that will be left.

At the moment the whole stretch of Greenway south of the railway to Stratford High Street is closed for the next few months, with a diversion around by Pudding Mill Lane DLR  station, and further closures are planned for other sections and the navigation tow path.

I was sorry to miss Hackney Wick’s great art events recently, but perhaps its most vital art is visible at any time, though I suspect it may at some point disappear under Olympic whitewash. Here’s a small sample:

© 2009 Peter Marshall

You can see it larger, and some more examples and other pictures from the Olympic area in August 2009 on My London Diary, where you can also find pictures of the area from around 2003 on – and in particular something most months since Jan 2007. There are more pictures from 1983 to around 2005 on my Lea Valley – River Lea site (urgently in need of updating – I have so much more which should be on it.)

© 2005 Peter Marshall
Channelsea River and Manor Gardens Allotments, 2005


Most images on this blog are links to larger images elsewhere on the web. You can show them larger in Firefox by right-clicking and selecting ‘View Image’ from the menu. This is particularly useful for panoramic images, as the maximum width of 450 pixels makes them look rather small.]

DISARM DSEi at Clarion

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

The above scene seemed to me one of the most bizarre I’ve photographed for quite a while, although so much so that it needs explanation.

A man is being escorted by an armed policeman into his offices past smiling demonstrators whose sole weapon is a plastic boomerang (not visible in this image) being wielded by a small child. It’s hard to penetrate the mindset that finds such an escort necessary.

But then it’s also hard to understand how people can live with themselves and arrange arms fairs to sell the weapons that kill so many around the world – including two million children  in the ten years from 1986-96 (according to UNICEF.) Armed police may make him feel safe against people holding banners, but surely do little to salve the conscience.  Probably this man goes home after work to his own children.  But of course the children who die aren’t like the child in this picture, or his own kids, but are largely black and in strife-torn countries a long way away.

The protest was against Clarion Events, organisers of many events including the world’s largest arms fair, DSEi, which is taking place at the ExCeL centre in East London next month. The 2007 show boasted over 1300 companies from 40 countries exhibiting weapons and related equipment to over 26,000 visitors, although the Space Hijackers were denied entry when they wanted to sell their tank there.

The many people who work in the area and stopped to talk to the demonstrators were surprised to find the connection with the arms fair. But then why should they, as the three companies named in large type on the signs beside the door are all diamond companies – and there is no mention of Clarion Events. If Clarion really feel they are doing nothing below board why do they hide?

More about the picket and a few more pictures on My London Diary, where I comment:

Only a few years ago we prided ourselves that our police were not armed; now they seem to want guns even to help old ladies across the road.

Rotherhithe Photographs

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

One of the more intriguing features to appear in the British Journal of Photography for a while was on Geoff Howard‘s Rotherhithe Photographs.

You can buy the book and see a preview (including the first 9 photographs taken in Rotherhithe pubs) on Blurb, where it states :

Images from “Rotherhithe Photographs” were first published in the legendary “Creative Camera” magazine in 1975, when the project ran as a cover and major portfolio, described as “a report from someone who is unquestionably one of the major talents among British photographers”.

Unseen for many years, the photographs are a personal documentation of the south London docklands, a cut-off, self-sufficient, largely working-class society; seen between the closure of the docks which had been the area’s raison d’etre, and the consumerist redevelopment of the later Thatcher years.

I don’t remember seeing his work when it was first printed in Creative Camera, though by then I was a subscriber, and the issue will be somewhere hidden under piles of papers in the shelves behind me.

Some of the more interesting images were taken inside working-class pubs in the area using a Leica, but abandoning the available light approach – because there just wasn’t any that film could capture, Howard used a big flash, moved into the right place and took a single image. Rather similar to the way that a few years later, Martin Parr started to do with a bigger camera and colour film. But Howard needed to get to know his subjects so he could get away with working like this.

Howard’s work has a particular interest for me because I was also photographing Rotherhithe – along with other areas of London – at around the same time.  You can see some of my pictures on the site ‘London’s Industrial Heritage‘.

© Peter Marshall
Rotherhithe – ©  1982, Peter Marshall

My work in Rotherhithe was more varied than the site suggests, but did mainly concentrate on the urban landscape. The better pictures on my site are probably from other riverside areas of London, such as Wapping, Southwark and Greenwich.

© Peter Marshall
Greenwich, © 1983, Peter Marshall

Hiroshima Day

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Although the dropping of atomic bombs by the USA on Japan was surely one of the most significant events of the 20th century, in many respects changing our view of the world, the anniversaries of the two events that destroyed the cities and many of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki pass almost without notice so far as the commercial mass media are concerned.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.
Flowers were laid during a short silence

Sixty-three years ago, at 8.15 am on August 6, 1946, the USAF B-29 Enola Gay dropped the first atomic weapon to be used in war, code-named “Little Boy” on the Japanese town of Hiroshima. It took almost a minute to fall from over 30,000 feet to a height of 2000 ft where it was detonated. Around 75,0000 people – almost one in three of the population of the city – were killed immediately and roughly the same number were seriously injured. Two days later, on 8 August, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, resulting in at least 40,000 being killed immediately and possibly twice as many dying by the end of the year. Many more in both cities suffered from the effects of radiation and died later.

Around 200 people met in London at Thursday lunchtime, 6th August to remember the anniversary of the first use of atomic bombs. Similar ceremonies were also held in other cities around the world. The London Memorial Ceremony, organised by London CND, took place in Tavistock Square, next to the cherry tree planted there by the Mayor of Camden in 1967 to remember the victims of Hiroshima.

More about the London memorial event and more pictures on My London Diary.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Milton Rogovin Speaks

Monday, August 10th, 2009

You can hear one of my favourite photographers (and I’ve written about him on various occasions) Milton Rogovin talking briefly in the Lens blog on the New York Times about his attitude to photographing people.

It also links to a feature about him in the paper, with photographs of Rogovin, his house (exterior and interior) taken by  Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times, although I don’t really see the point of 5 photographs of Rogovin’s files as he looks through pictures, some showing his hands, but all with his images seen at an angle.  One rather better image of the man showing his hands and the work might have been worthwhile, but really it would have been far better simply to have shown more images of some of his fine work.

You can read some of my own earlier pieces on Rogovin on this site:, in particular two different posts not too cleverly titled identically Milton Rogovin and Milton Rogovin. The second link is to a longer biographical article.

I don’t follow Rogovin’s prescription on photographing people, but like him very much regard it as a mutual or cooperative endeavour. Sometimes I use flash simply to make sure people are aware I’m photographing them, but I don’t think it is the only acceptable way to take pictures. Hard to believe so if you are also a fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson. But even when I photograph people without their knowledge, respect for them is still vital for me.

Maisie’s Night – The Ian Parry Scholarship 2009

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

I’ve written in several previous years about the Ian Parry Scholarship award, particularly when I was writing virtually from New York but actually from Staines for, not least because I wanted to remind our friends in the USA that there is photographic life outside their borders. But this is the first year that I’ve attended the awards ceremony – and the large party that accompanied it in the gallery and on the street outside.

Ian Parry was a 24 year old photojournalist shot while working for the Sunday Times covering the Romanian revolution in 1989, and family and friends set up an annual scholarship in his memory open to those attending a full-time photography course or under the age of 24.

As the exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery in Eastcastle St (near Oxford Circus) in London for the next week (so don’t delay in going to see it) shows, it attracts a high standard of work from around the world – including many from the USA.

Even more important than the prize is the prestige and exposure that the award attracts, with the exhibition and publication of work by the finalists in the Sunday Times magazine (2 Aug 2009 issue), a place on the final list of nominees for the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass and this year, an international assignment for one of the finalists from Save The Children.

The value of the award can be seen in the careers of those who have been awarded it in previous years. Last year’s winner was Vicente Jaime Villafranca and on his web site you can see some of his fine black and white work on the Gangs of BASECO.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Maisie Crow is currently working as an intern for The Boston Globe and is a graduate student in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. Previously she studied Spanish at the Universidad de Veritas  in Costa Rica and Spanish and Art History in Seville before a BJ in Photojournalism at the University of Texas and further studies at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies, and also worked as a freelance from 2006-8.

Her winning project on Autumn, a 17 year old Ohian girl growing up in a poor and dysfunctional family environment contains some powerful and intimate images – a selection of six were in the BJP feature on the award  (BJP 22/07/2009 p10). One of the captions which sets the scene reads “Autumn sits between a relative’s legs. She alleges he tried to rape her when she was 13 years old but says her parents do not believe her.”

Surprising the 12-page Sunday Times feature uses only one of her pictures, tightly cropped on the front cover. It is a highly charged scene with Autumn being attacked by her boyfriend, pushed down over the kitchen sink (the caption notes that within half an hour they had kissed and made up) printed much more harshly than the original and gaining drama at the expense of sensitivity.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Ed Ou’s Highly Commended work on the horrible deformities suffered by people living in the area of Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union carried out over 450 nuclear tests is extremely strong, and hard to view. Too much so for the Sunday Times, who use only a picture of a nurse cradling a small child; the BJP too shies away from publishing the more horrific of these powerful images from ‘Under a nuclear cloud’. Ou doesn’t dwell unduly on these aspects but they are an important part of the story, as you can see in the images on his web site (rather slow to load – but it does eventually appear.)

Some of the other work is better served in publication than on the gallery wall. The two pictures of Dennis, a sufferer from dementia and Ruby his wife, married for 61 years and now forced apart in the Sunday Times are far stronger than the sentimental portrait of the couple on the gallery wall, and made me want to see more of this project by Dan Giannopoulos.

Similarly, the two pictures by Giuseppe Moccia of an American teenager suffering from Down’s syndrome on the wall failed to grab my interest, but the Sunday Times has a far stronger image.  Other photographers whose work seemed more interesting in publication included Alinka Echeverria with images of veterans of the Cuban revolution and Masud Alam Liton’s project Bangladesh: Requiem For Freedom (he has a blog – Liton Photo) and a second set of images from the same country by Mohammad Rashed Kibria.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Of course the magazine page (or now the web page) is where this work really belongs, rather than the gallery wall and its perhaps not surprising that some at least works better there. The black and white work in particular seemed better suited to print than frame, perhaps reflecting the difficulties in making good black and white inkjet prints, but occasionally also the hanging. Ruben Joachim‘s Afghan child clinging to her father so intense on the printed page was lost in reflections and weaker contrast on the wall.

It is perhaps more a sign of the times rather than a reflection on the quality of the work that all of the winning and commended work this year was in colour. Personally I would have made some different choices, although the work of Crow and Ou did I think stand out among the rest.

We were sorry to hear that Don McCullin was unable to attend, but Tom Stoddart was there to hand over the awards to the winners. This is one of the more interesting of photographic awards, and deservedly gets sponsorship from the Sunday Times, Getty Images, Canon and Save The Children, as well as Touch Digital, Frontline Club, British Journal of Photography and, last but certainly not least, Eminent Wines.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Since I was there, I took some pictures – though using a Nikon D700 with Nikon SB800 flash and a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 HSM lens (sorry Canon!) Given all that excellent wine it is a powerful testimony to Nikon’s intelligent electronics that everything came out.  The gallery was crowded for the opening, and the food and drink was still flowing freely when I left around 10 pm to scurry back to Staines.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

I’ll put a few more pictures from the opening on My London Diary shortly.

Demo at Press TV

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Press TV gets its funding from the Iranian government and despite its claims of independence has towed the Iran government line closely over events since the election there, ignoring or misreporting them.  Ofcom have just given it a rap on the knuckles for two programmes hosted by George Galloway which they ruled that Press TV breached the broadcasting code on impartiality over the Palestinian issue, and I hope will at some time also respond to complaints over their coverage of the Iranian elections and their aftermath.  But even more I hope for a change in Iran and the replacement of the Islamic republic by “a society where all human beings are free & equal without exploitation” as one of the banners at Sunday’s demonstration demanded.

I was glad I’d taken the underground out to Hanger Lane for this demonstration by UK and Iranian socialists and trade unionists outside the Press TV studio on Sunday afternoon, not least because there were very few photographers there. It isn’t the kind of event likely to interest the commercial press, and several of the other photographers who might have otherwise covered it were camping on the Isle of Wight for the Vestas occupation there.

Events like this – you can see more pictures and read more about it on My London Diary – are simply “not news” for the mainstream press, and so I was particularly pleased to see that my report and pictures was one of the four stories that made the front page on Demotix (the full story is here) and was still featured there over a day later. And of course I put it on Indymedia too.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

I rather liked being able to show Neda Agha-Soltan holding a placard! Though her hand is just a little on the large side. Here is another example of the t-shirt:

© 2009 Peter Marshall

(If you need a clue about the 8 March, this page from 2004 will help. )

Carnaval del Pueblo

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

There are those who turn up their noses at South London and apparently taxi drivers who refuse to go there late at night – though that’s not a problem I’ve ever had since I virtually never use taxis.    But south of the river has many charms and I’ve photographed many parts of it, as well as events such as the Carnaval del Pueblo,  described as “the largest Latin American out-door festival in Europe” which began with the support of Southwark Council in 1999.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

I’m not sure if the first time I photographed the parade which forms a part of it was in 2004, but certainly this was the first set of pictures from it I put on My London Diary (about halfway down a long page) and in some respects I think it was rather easier then than last Sunday.  The big difference is simply the number of photographers. Since 2004 we’ve seen an enormous growth in the ownership of digital cameras, and in particular of amateurs getting digital SLRs capable of professional results.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

And once people have got digital cameras, of course they want to go out and use them, and what better opportunity than a festival such as this. Not only are there more photographers, but while film had a restraining influence on the number of pictures that people took – many amateurs might well have thought 36 exposures more than enough for a single event, and for the more serious of us perhaps half a dozen cassettes would have seemed fairly extravagant given the likely return – with digital the marginal cost of an exposure is essentially zero.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that digital photography is cheap – my annual accounts would immediately prove me wrong. Just that taking more pictures doesn’t add to the costs. It adds a little in the cost of storage – but a one terabyte external hard disk costing around £70 will hold perhaps 80,000 of my RAW images  – under 1p per image. And probably more importantly it each adds a few seconds to the time I take to go through a set of images and select the relatively small proportion that I will take further. But once you’ve got the gear, then photography becomes more or less free.

The event has also gained a higher profile and the festival in particular has grown, although the procession – despite some lottery funding – doesn’t seem to be much different. Perhaps it does now have a little less of a ‘grass-roots’ feel to it than it did in the early years, but this doesn’t yet appear as an event that seems to have been commercialised and organised out of existence like some others. It is still an event where anyone can turn up and take pictures, and I think probably the kind of thing that is listed as a ‘photo-opportunity’ in Amateur Magazines. Hence the swarm of photographers, and the problems that brings for both other photographers and those taking part in the event.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

In general working with a crowd of amateurs is harder than working with pros, who tend to be rather more aware of what they are doing and less likely to walk in front of other photographers etc. And I’m sure that my way of photographing things – using my feet to get in what I think is the right place to take pictures whenever I can – infuriates many of those who like to stand well back and press the button from a distance.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Of course these other guys have just the same rights to be there and take pictures as I do, and I wouldn’t want that generally restricted, though there are times when I think a press card should get you places that others can’t go. But perhaps I might find other things to do another year.

More about the event and more pictures on My London Diary.

Not Natasha – Dana Popa

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Apologies for the late posting about the opening of on this show 23 July – but it does continue at Photofusion in Brixton until  18 Sept 2009, so you still have plenty of time to go and see it. I’ve been away for a week with no computer in a remote corner of Essex, and didn’t manage to complete it before I left home.

Thursday I wasn’t feeling great. I’d tweeted and put yesterday’s protest – a rather dull affair visually about something rather important – green jobs disappearing at Vestas Blades UK  – on to Indymedia and Demotix and improvised a shortish piece on this blog about some of my frustrations in particular the kind of photo-op that just isn’t photographable, but then hadn’t been able to get down to serious work, getting tied up with Googling about the Poet’s Tree, Josephine Avenue and the Effra, some fascinating stuff, ancient maps, Lord Loughborough of the junction and more, but then I get a call on my mobile and have to rush to find the trousers I was wearing yesterday on the floor in the bedroom where my phone is still hiding and it’s Paul reminding me we are meeting at Photofusion, get there early he says, six fifteen, and I think its a very good idea as I can see the show before everyone arrives as its supposed to start at six thirty, people don’t really look at the pictures at openings, but stand around talking in groups so that other people can’t see them, but more importantly he says the bar will be open and drinks are free until seven thirty, he’s bought a new (secondhand) car today and I say that’s bad, but see you there then, and I get on the train to Clapham Junction, not feeling to well, partly because I’ve eaten too much for lunch but I still eat some sandwiches on the train and then get a 35 to Brixton, I like travelling by bus, looking out the windows on London and people and it saves me buying a Travelcard which costs another three quid.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

And its good to walk round Brixton a little soaking up the atmosphere on my way to Photofusion and I get there around six fifteen which does give me a good chance to look at the work before the gallery starts to fill up. And I’m pleased I’ve come because this is one of the better shows at Photofusion, its an important subject – trafficking of women – and treated in a distinctive and interesting manner. There is a longish text by Mark Sealy on a couple of panels in the gallery, largely similar to his essay ‘Dana Popa Beyond The Lens’ published in Foam Magazine earlier this year. To me it reads as very much kind of thing written to gain grants that only connects peripherally with the images and ideas behind the work. But then I haven’t done a course on writing stuff like that, which seems to be what some photographic courses spend most time teaching their students.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

In ‘Not Natasha ‘ (the show gets its name from the generic used for female sex workers from Eastern Europe – which they mostly resent) Dana Popa appears to illustrate and dramatise the story from three different viewpoints; her images about her view of the women themselves, her pictures of their families – both parents and children, and, another section which is more about the women’s own perceptions and feelings.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Although I occasionally found myself wishing that small details had been different, I think that overall this is powerful work on an important subject and is certainly worth a trip to see, although it may possibly work better in the more intimate setting of a book than on a gallery wall (and there is a small book available.)  But Dana is certainly also a colourist, which is no bad thing.

Mark Sealy writes “Her use of colour is a deliberate turn away from the gritty and distant realism associated with black-and-white documentary photography.” This statement might have been worth making thirty or ten or perhaps even five years ago, but the situation has changed dramatically and I wonder where he has been. Documentary photographers have certainly been working increasingly in colour since the 1980s and with the almost universal switch to digital it is surely now the norm. Although some photographers still work at least occasionally in black and white to great effect, most of what I see now in black and white is simply an affectation among a few who think it somehow makes their work more authentic but have usually failed to master the different syntax of monochrome. You have now to have a reason to work in black and white – and also unless you grew up with film you need to study how to do it. Learning to convert your images in camera or Photoshop isn’t enough. The fact that Popa uses colour as most documentary photographers do today hardly merits a mention, though she does use it well.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Popa’s work was largely taken in Moldova, formerly part of the Soviet Union and now the poorest country in Europe, where around a quarter of the population live on less than 2 US dollars a day. She worked there in 2006 with the International Organization for Migration Shelters and Winlock International and was given access to 17 women who had been trafficked. In 2008 she got a commission from Autograph ABP to return to Moldova and photograph “the families, the homes and in some cases the children who have been left behind.”

Reeturning to the UK she was also able to photograph some of the Soho brothels where trafficked women from Moldova work. Trafficking is currently being used as a reason for reforming UK law on prostitution to criminalise paying for sex. It’s a move which is opposed by the English Collective of Prostitutes who say that it will drive the sex trade underground, making it more dangerous for sex workers, and was one of the reasons for their recent Masked Parade in Soho which I photographed a few days before going to see this show.

© 2009 Peter Marshall.

Dana was one of the five winners of the Jerwood Photography Awards 2007 for her work on trafficked women in Moldova in 2006. You can see some of  her other work on Gallery4Arts.

As always, openings are good for the people you meet as well as the work that you see, and as well as Paul (who made sure I always had a full glass) it was good to meet a few old and new friends, although many are away on holiday at this time of year. Among those who did make it were Crispin HughesErmiyas Mekonnen and Vanessa Winship and if there were others I’ve forgotten, blame Paul and the wine – also responsible for the even more rambling than usual second paragraph above!

My photographs from the opening at Photofusion, with Dana Popa in yellow. Now I’m rushing to watch a film.