canary wharf

Capture Tower Hamlets

Frame 6 - waiting

Tower Hamlets. London Borough. Home to the Tower of London, Canary Wharf, and what is traditionally regarded as the East End. Did you know that it took its name from being the shambling conglomeration of hamlets that surrounded and serviced William the Bastard’s imposing castle to the north of the Thames? (Now can’t you just tell I’m a historian by training? Don’t worry, lesson’s over.) It’s also a gem for street photography. And the council is somehow managing to encourage people to get out there and have a go at it.

Tower Hamlets council is looking for photographs that summarise the borough in a snapshot. They want people, places, life; everyday and extraordinary. It’s all part of the the Mapping the Change project that aims to document change across three London boroughs.

Anyone over the age of 18 can submit up to five images that they believe capture the essence of Tower Hamlets. The photos must’ve been taken in the borough within the past five years and you need to state exactly where they were taken. (Handy-dandy map here.) So if you happen to be in Outer Mongolia but have photo of Brick Lane that you think deserves a look, why not submit it?

Finalists’ images will be displayed at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive in November and December. There are prizes on offer for the winners, including a camera, a portfolio review, and shopping vouchers. The terms are straightforward, too, which makes a change.

The deadline’s 17 October, so you probably ought to get cracking. All the details are on the project website.

(Picture’s mine, taken on the corner of Brick Lane and Hanbury Street.)

Photographers' rights flashmob


Ever been part of a flashmob? No, neither have I. But if you fancy giving it a whirl it the name of photographers’ rights and in celebration of International Press Freedom Day, the dudes who run I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! are organising one on Tuesday 3 May, 12:30, at London’s City Hall. It’s to highlight the increasing restrictions that private management companies are flinging at photographers who want to take pictures in public spaces. We’re talking about places such as Canary Wharf and the Thames Path between Tower Bridge and City Hall, here.

Ostensibly, anti-terrorist legislation is what justifies this behaviour. Having been on the receiving end of some vile, heavy-handed treatment by a security guard, I don’t wonder if they’re not just getting off on a power trip. Anyway, before I manage to ruin my peaceful Tuesday afternoon by getting worked up that street photography is going to be consigned to the albums of history, I’ll remind you: Tuesday 3 May, 12:30, City Hall, London. In case you were wondering, the National Union of Journalists London Photographers Branch is supporting it.

If you happen to have a tripod that you can bring along, too, then do.

More information from I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!