Cowley Road Carnival, Oxford.

Carnival blog

I’m always looking around for new projects to work on. At every big public event there will be thousands of pictures taken that will progress no further than the camera memory dustbin icon. They are mementos of fun on a fine summer s day. How can you set about revealing something more lasting that speaks about the society we live in?

My first attempt to photograph the carnival was in 2008. It was the first time I’d seen it and almost the first time I’d travelled the length of the Cowley road. Probably 2008 was a good year for me to photograph as as sorts of problems attacked the carnival in the few following years. I recall that I thought my most useful tool would be a set of short steps to enable to get an overview of the procession. These three three rung steps have been one of my most useful wedding photography tools for many years. When we came to this years procession the crowds were so dense that I thought it would be unwise to use them.

As the procession got under way I desperately searched for a high viewpoint. Eventually I was allowed  onto a balcony and got some useful images of the passing parade and the masses of onlookers.

In order to get a view of some of the work that goes into  the preparation for the carnival we have been photographing some of the groups preparing for the event. This has involved separate shoots at a number of different organisations that I hope will lead to shoots with some of the creative people who keep the thing going. Below is a selection of the work done so far.

In the course of the next few months I shall be trying to make contact with other groups and individual participants thinking about what they might get up to next year……..