How Many Ways

How many ways can you shoot basically the same thing is the kind of question that photographers often have to get to work on. And a couple of weeks ago it was the question I was asking myself as I walked down the road with a 12 foot high puppet of a man in a suit with a rocket in his mouth and a dozen judges.

The occasion was a protest by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade against arms manufacturer BAE Systems, who were having there AGM at the QE2 conference centre in Westminster, and the puppet represented the BAE Chairman.  As well as this activity outside the AGM, at least one CAAT activist was inside the meeting as a shareholder, asking questions about the activities of the company, which apparently didn’t get much of an answer from the chairman.

In a way you could almost sympathise with Mr Dick Olver; after all you can’t really say “my company is happy to take money from corrupt and tyrannical regimes around the world and is pleased that the UK government despite pretending to have an ethical policy is happy to assist us bringing in foreign money from almost anywhere for almost anything” which would probably be rather closer to the truth than what he felt he had to say.

© 2010, Peter Marshall

But my job was simply to produce some photographs of the event outside the meeting where Dick Olver’s effigy was being paraded along the street before, in true Alice in Wonderland fashion being found guilty and then having a trial.

© 2010, Peter Marshall

So I tried various angles, different focal length, close up and long shots, reflections and more. It was quite an unusual event in that there was plenty of time to play and very few photographers to get in my way (or me to get in theirs.)

© 2010, Peter Marshall

© 2010, Peter Marshall

And so on. You can see rather more variations on My London Diary, using focal lengths from a 10.5mmfisheye to 300mm telephoto.

Obviously some work better than others. One or two perhaps don’t really work at all, but most of them do the job.  So far I’ve not found an editor who thinks this is a story worth paying for and one of the benefits of putting work on sites like Demotix (or Indymedia) is that I get to choose which pictures get used (it just doesn’t pay the bills and you can see my choices there.

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