All photography by Caitlin Sinclair
A lack of geographical know-how means I arrive late, but it’s impossible not to recognise a London Photo Walk group, distinguished by a variety of pet point and shoots, DSLRs, lenses of all sizes, and a constant chattering of shutters. Scattered around the Westfield Stratford City shopping Centre and across into the area surrounding the Olympic Park are over 200 photographers who have come for a stroll and a gander.
Initially resistant to the shopping complex atmosphere, I soon realise the interest that the multicoloured lights and geometric shapes offer. It’s not often that you can snap at such abandon in a public place, but in a group you feel more comfortable, and at ease enough to ask your neighbour what they think, how you might get a better shot.
After a while some of us realise we’re not quite with the rest of the group, but it’s ok as we’re able to follow the pre-planned route and head over to the Olympic site. We aren’t actually allowed inside but an opening in the ringed barrier still affords us a great view of the Orbit tower and stadium. I discover I’m alongside some long-term photo walkers who are considering doing the Bath Photo Walk the following weekend, and another first-timer – we concur that the site looks a little unfinished, but what do we know, we’re just photographers, and there’s nothing like a sporting deadline…
Around the bend is a railway tunnel where I pause for a few moments to capture its metal underbelly, then along Stratford High Street where we take in some cityscapes, before arriving at the Lock.
Photophiles are everywhere! We take turns photographing the machinery, the ducks, and all manner of flotsam and jetsam. It’s interesting to note how people approach scenes differently, and despite there being so many of us, it’s clear that we all carry a different picture in our minds.
By the end, my fingers are too frozen to keep clicking away, but I’m feeling inspired and wondering about the next walk already.
The London Photo Walk happens every six weeks, when photographers of all levels gather to take pictures around a particular area of London. Read the website or check out the group’s Facebook page for more information.
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