China, Burma protests

In the gloom and rain of last week I photographed two protests in London connected with China, which seems to be making just about everything we use now. Wednesday was the anniversary of the confinement of Aung San Suu Kyi, 12 years under house arrest in Burma. Around a hundred people turned up opposite the Chinese embassy in Portland Place for an hour’s vigil – as the Burmese regime depends on Chinese support. Then they walked along to the Burmese Embassy for a further protest. I left them there, although they were to continue to Parliament Square for a candle-lit vigil.

It was a tough event to find ideas for photographs beyond the obvious – masks and monks. The Global Human Rights Torch Relay the following day was more promising, but the weather wasn’t – a fairly steady light rain for much of the time. This called for the 2008 Olympics to be moved from Beijing as the Chinese human rights abuse is not compatible with the Olympic ideals – as too had some of the placards – like the one above – on the previous day.

The torches certainly added a little colour and the ‘Greek Goddess’ was attractive even if she didn’t look particularly Greek. But I had problems – perhaps due to the rain – when my flash started to behave erratically. Nikon’s flash – especially with i-TTL units such as the SB800 is one reason to prefer Nikon to Canon, though the full-frame Canon 5D works so well at high ISO you might choose it and work by available light.

But even the D200 can do pretty well in low light compared to film:

This was at the candlelit vigil opposite the Chinese embassy, and I think the semi-fisheye effect works well for once.

Peter Marshall

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.