We celebrate many anniversaries, and forget others. Some are personal and others more universal, but you can be sure that any day of the year is being commorated somewhere by someone. This post will go online on August 8th, the 74th anniversary of the dropping of the second atomic bomb, at Nagasaki, two days after the more widely remembered bomb at Hiroshima.

On 6th August this year – as on many past years – I went to a Hiroshima Day commemoration in London, and of course photographed it. It will be a few weeks before I put the pictures on My London Diary, though they went to Alamy and Facebook on the day. The first time I put pictures on-line from one of these annual events was in 2004 but that was perhaps simply because it was the first I attended with a digital camera.

The Nikon D100 was primitive by today’s standards, producing small files, only 6.1Mp on its APS-C sensor, and with a small and rather dim optical viewfinder, but the images – still on line on My London Diary – disappoint largely because of the indifferent raw processing software – and possibly my lack of skill in its use, as you can see from the rather murky examples here.

Under favorable conditions the D100 was capable of producing excellent images – and one image from it of a very different occasion was on exhibition for some years as a 2.3 metre wide print, but it was a pig to use. But I really should hunt out those old RAW files, stored on CDs which are still readable (and possibly also on old hard disks which can also still be read) and make some new conversions.

Of course the conditions in Tavistock Square are usually challenging. It almost always seems to be a sunny day, with the sun coming from the wrong direction for most photographs, and being filtered through the leaves of trees, one the Hiroshima Cherry Tree, grown from a seed from Hiroshima and planted in Tavistock Square in 1967 by the then Camden Mayor Millie Miller, whose son Bernard was one of the speakers this year. In his speech about many remarkable women involved in peace commemorations he did tell us who the other tree commemorated, but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten her name.

The association of the Mayors of Camden with the event continues, and almost every commemoration has been opened with a speech from the Mayor (or Deputy Mayor) who has then gone on to lay a wreath at the Hiroshima Cherry Tree. The only exceptions have been the fortunately rare Conservative mayors of the London borough who declined to take part, presumably not wanting to be in any way associated with peace.

Hiroshima Day in Tavistock Square back in 2004 was something of a historic event in itself, compered by Jeremy Corbyn, with speakers including Tony Wedgewood Benn and with former Labour leader Michael Foot attending. Moredecai Vananu had been invited but was not allowed to leave Israel. 

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.