Notting Hill Colour – 1993

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-007-positive_2400

Although almost all the pictures I took at Notting Hill Carnival in 1993 were in black and white, I did make a few colour images, and here are a small selection.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-008-positive_2400

Almost all of them were of the procession, and I think taken in a fairly short period of time, mainly on Ladbroke Grove.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-019-positive_2400

I tried to cut my equipment to a minimum for carnival, partly to make it easier to move through the crowds, but also because I was just a little worried about taking what looked like camera bags full of expensive equipment to the event. And I wanted to be able to dance as I took pictures.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-022-positive_2400

Instead of a normal camera bag, I took a small khaki canvas ex-army shoulder bag which I still use today when I want to travel light, issued in 1942 possibly for a gas mask, large enough to take a camera, one or two spare lenses, a decent supply of film, notebook, water bottle and a few oddments, which back in those days would usually include a Mars Bar for when my energy lagged, and sometimes a sandwich or two.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-027-positive_2400

Probably when I saw some particularly attractive and colourful costumes and had finished a black and white film I picked a colour one to reload the camera – probably my Minolta CLE, a rather superior second version of the Leica CL which for some obscure reason Leitz decided not to put their name on, ending their collaboration with Minolta. I then took pictures quickly to finish the film so I could get back to my real work using black and white. I think that happened a couple of times on Children’s Day, but on the Monday I concentrated on more serious black and white work.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-034-positive_2400

In crowds I always made sure to put the shoulder strap over my head and on one shoulder and hold the bag on my stomach so as not to get caught up behind me. I always kept the camera on a strap around my neck too. But generally the crowds were good-natured and in high spirits and I had no trouble taking pictures.

Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1993 93c8-nh-031-positive_2400

Just once, in the centre of a heaving crowd of dancers in front of a sound system I suddenly realised that someone had put their hand into my left trouser pocket. I grabbed it and held it there protesting, and slowly pulled it out to reveal it holding a wallet. But it wasn’t mine (I’d left that at home) and of course it had no money in it. I’m not sure why he was planting it on me, but pushed it back into the hand I was still firmly holding and told the guy to eff off and he ran off pushing through the crowd. It didn’t seem the place to investigate further.

More pictures on page 6 of my Notting Hill Carnival – the 1990s on Flickr.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage : Flickr

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


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