Egyptian Embassy Protest Continues

After the rally at the US Embassy, the Stop the War Banner led off the march to the Egyptian Embassy deliberately in exactly the opposite direction, going north past the US Embassy before turning east along Brook Street.

This footsore photographer felt no need to follow them, and limped his way the 400 yards or so to the conveniently located Egyptian Embassy – far too short a route for a protest march – where Egyptians have been keeping up a more or less permanent protest in support of their compatriots back home who have so far liberated Tahrir Square but are staying there until that extends to the rest of their country.

Their protest in the mews directly opposite the embassy was a good-natured volatile crowd, people jumping up, shouting slogans, climbing on other’s shoulders and making a great deal of noise, just the kind of situation where a wide angle lens such as the Nikon 16-35 really comes into its own.  The only problem was that there were too many other people there taking pictures, and at times it was difficult to avoid them crowding into my view (and doubtless I was often very much in theirs.)

© 2011, Peter Marshall

So, as you can see, at the left of the picture a camera and flash pokes its way in (I’ve burnt in hands on the edge of the frame to make them a little less obtrusive) and less obviously,  the woman in the white jumper is also taking pictures, though the central figure’s arm almost obscures her. By now it was beginning to get dark, and my exposure was down to 1/60 f8, with the flash giving as I hoped a rather nice sharp image to those blurred the hands.

© 2011, Peter Marshall

Ten minutes later the same man supplied me with another image, and there were several others that I quite liked, including a very different mood from one young woman:

© 2011, Peter Marshall

I’d taken quite a few pictures of her before this, starting with one when I glimpsed her on the edge of the crowd, but she had immediately turned around and walked away to the barriers at the front of the protest. I’d followed her to take some more pictures, but half a dozen other photographers were crowding around there photographing her, and although I took several, I wasn’t sure that I had what I wanted. I went away and took some more pictures, then came back and said to her that I would like to take her picture with the embassy in the background.  So this is, in a way a posed, set up picture, though quite similar to that first image I made of her, which wasn’t quite as sharp as I would have liked:

© 2011, Peter Marshall

It was a picture I grabbed very quickly, and has suffered a little from camera shake. With the default sharpening I use in Lightroom it is definitely un-sharp, particularly when compared to the posed version above. But some careful sharpening  using Focalblade on the full-size jpeg has improved it greatly. (A new and apparently improved version Focalblade 2 is now available but I’ve not tried this.)

Egyptian Embassy Demonstration on My London Diary

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