Another Pride

There are some events I wonder each year if it is worth photographing them yet again. But I do enjoy photographing Pride, even if it isn’t like it used to be, and it’s interesting to be able to look back at my record of it over the years since I first went, I think 21 years ago. Since then I think I’ve been pretty well every year to take pictures.

I hope my view of Pride is a little different from some. Of course there are the spectacular and sometimes ridiculous costumes, and I photograph some of these, but I also try to look for the more serious aspects of the parade. There are still serious political issues around gay rights, here and abroad, and there are communities in this country where homophobia is still rife.

I’ve photographed Peter Tatchell many times, and he is certainly someone who has fought to keep the issues at the forefront in Pride, marching at or near the front of the parade with his posters.  I started photographing him with some others as they were preparing for the parade, to try and get something a little different from just a man carrying a placard, and was just getting to work with the image above when he said to me “We’re not ready yet”.  A pity because I hadn’t quite got the picture I wanted, though the one above comes close. It needed cropping to the different aspect ratio you see above.

Later I caught up with him again, posing at the front of the march for photographs, holding up the placard, and took the same rather boring picture as most of the other photographers there of him holding the Putin placard. But I wasn’t happy with it. Sometimes people are just too concerned about putting across a particular image, too much wanting to control how they are seen. It seldom makes for good pictures.

Then a couple of people came to talk to him and he relaxed a little and I found a different angle which I think works, working from low down and putting Putin at the centre with the balloons to his left and the rainbow flags and Tatchell on the right.  It took a little work in post processing to bring Putin’s face out more – it was rather weakly printed, and I’ve also burn down the head and green glasses frame on the bottom edge, and done a litle work on Tatchell’s face where the lighting was too contrasty etc.  When the parade actually started I took some more pictures of him with a crowd of other placard carrying activists from the Peter Tatchell Foundation, but it didn’t really work too well.

Several of the pictures I liked most from the parade came from the ‘Queer Friends of Bradley Manning’, helped by the strong graphics of their posters and banner.

But one of the strengths of Pride is that almost anything can happen, and there isn’t always time to get things framed exactly how I would like. So when I saw a couple of #aggresive bisexuals kissing I just had time to take two frames, and I think again it’s an image that benefits from cropping to – for me – an unusual format.

You can see the other frame of this kiss, as well as many other pictures from the day at Pride Celebrates Love and Marriage on My London Diary.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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

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