Dump Trump

I wasn’t that surprised when Donald Trump won the US Presidency. After all a country that believes you can cut gun crimes by selling more people more guns is capable of anything. The contest was a crooked game on both sides, and Trump played it better, perhaps with of a little help from his Russian ‘friends’ (who perhaps just wanted to screw the USA) but more because he and his friends threw more money into the game, employing better guys to find largely legal ways to fix the results. Hilary had her dirty tricks, but mainly directed against Bernie, but perhaps it was a lack of any real appeal. Being the only woman in the game who would have become the first female president just wasn’t enough to attract the votes.

Trump’s actions since getting into office have only confirmed what people – both pro- and anti-) thought about him, though at least the ‘checks and balances’ built into the US system have to some extent constrained their effects. It’s rather the effects of them outside the USA that bother me, where the factional and often entirely fabricated reporting of particularly US right-wing media have come to create a strange and unholy meta-universe, while honest reporting – what little of it remains – is increasingly dismissed as ‘fake news’.

Not that even the most august of our news sources is to be trusted. I was reminded a few days ago of the deliberate misreporting of student protests about Vietnam by the New York Times, which wrote some of its stories before the actual events and failed to report the excesses of police violence, at times blaming the students for what were in fact police riots where they went in and smashed things up. And often reading reports in the UK newspapers of events I’ve myself witnessed I’ve been appalled at their disregard for the facts and the spin they have put on them. Not that there aren’t honest journalists doing their best to do a good job, but there are also others too ready to provide grist for the editorial mill. Even our better newsapapers need reading with a good pinch of salt, and by the time you get to rags like the Daily Mail, Sun or London Evening News finding the truth is more a needle in the haystack. Probably they get the football scores right.

This was a rather obvious picture, and I made the two versions shown here, the second when the woman holding the placard turned around as I talked to her.

At the time I thought that showing her face made the picture more interesting, but now I think it rather distracts from the image, though perhaps she is more interesting than that bleak embassy building with its eagle perched on top. And it would have been nice in both to have had more of a view of the US flag, just visible in the upper image.

The main interest that I could work with in making images was of course the posters and placards, and particularly those that people had made themselves, and there are quite a few on My London Diary in Stand Up to Trump.  And of course in the faces and gestures of both the protesters and speakers. There are a few people who often appear in my pictures for various reasons and two were here:

and one who makes her own placards,

Some people just make more interesting pictures – for different reasons, but while these attract my attention I do try to give an overall impression of the events I photograph. I’m not a news photographer, not trying to make one high-impact picture that hits the viewer hard, because they know only a single image is likely to be published (and paid for) but trying to tell the story through a set of images. I’ve nothing against impact, but only if it isn’t at the expense of accuracy, precision and balance. It’s more important that pictures are interesting.


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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 taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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