Our Marketing Manager, Catherine, tells us what happened when she visited London for Photo 24.
In my spare time I love taking photos. I’m certainly no pro but I never miss an opportunity to get out and about with my camera.
At the start of the year something interesting popped up on my Twitter feed, Photo 24: A 24-hour photo marathon in London organised by Photography News and sponsored by Fuji Film UK.
I wasn’t really sure what was involved but I filled in my details for their online ballot and booked the day off work (just in case I got through). A few months later I was really pleased to see I’d been allocated a place! I quickly sorted out my train tickets, booked myself onto some available photo walks and put my name down to loan a FujiFilm XT-2 for the first 6 hours.
On 29th June I headed down to London, excited at the prospect of having nothing to do but take photographs for 24 hours!
The welcome event was held at The National Gallery and was packed full of photographers with their back packs, tripods and bags of enthusiasm for the sunny 24 hours ahead.
Our host was Photography News editor Will Cheung who welcome us all and gave an intro to the event and how to survive the full 24 hours. In addition to the photo walks, studio shoots and boat tours there was also the chance to win £1500 worth of Fujifilm equipment via the Super 24 challenge, whereby different photo themes were announced on the hour via the Photo 24 Facebook group.
The 30 degree heat was a challenge in itself but following the welcome talk I took a walk along the South Bank (lots of photo ops!) and then onto Banksy‘s tunnel on Leake St at 7pm to capture graffiti artists and some super steam punk models which were part of the event.
My next stop was St James’s Park (to try and photograph the pelicans), through Green Park and then up to Hyde Park for sunset to see the new art installation on the lake. By this time I had lost track of how many photographs I’d taken, but I was really enjoying trying to capture images for the hourly challenges and improving on my street photography.
At 10pm I had a quick pit stop at my hotel (I knew I couldn’t do this without some sleep!) and then it was back to Photo 24 HQ to return my Fujifilm camera and lenses.
It was now 11 o clock and I realised I hadn’t eaten (too much photo taking), so I stopped on South Bank for a quick bite to eat, watched the fire spinning display on the beach by the OXO tower and then made my way to St Pauls for the midnight photo walk.
Although I was traveling alone, the other photographers were very welcoming, friendly and happy to share their tips and techniques. Outside St Pauls we had lots of people stop to find out what was going on, the sight of tripods all lined up on the pavement at midnight caused quite an interest!
We then moved onto The Bank of England through to Leadhall Market and then onto the Gerkin. At 2.30am I’d reached my limit for the day. Blisters were taking over my feet, so I left the many hardcore all-nighters and I took a taxi back to my hotel.
At 9am it was time to get up and go! I decided to make my way over to Oxford Circus, where I found a nice spot opposite Liberties to take some street photos.
At 11am I headed up to Portland Place for the NHS peoples assembly March. There were lots of great photo opportunities and it was really wonderful to be part of the march and listen to so many stories from the people in attendance.
There was just time for me to grab a sandwich and make my way over Westminster Bridge (whilst still snapping) before I made it back to the Photo 24 closing event at 3pm.
There were many weary photographers back at the HQ who had managed the full 24 hours without sleep, so a nice sit down was welcomed by all.
Will (who also did the whole 24 hours) thanked everyone for taking part and then moved onto the 24-hour challenge photos. They had received over 1500 images during the 24 hours and the Photography News and Fujifilm team had whittled them down to a final 20.
There were some amazing street photos and landscapes in the final line up, and I was also really excited to see that one of my images had made it through! It was a really great ending to a brilliant 24 hours in London and it got even better when they announced my image had been chosen as the over all winner! I almost fell off my chair!
Photo 24 is open to everyone Pro’s and amateurs alike and is now in its 6th year. I can’t wait for Photo 24 2019 and I’d encourage anyone with a love of photography to apply for a place and challenge yourself for 24 hours. I’ll hopefully see you there (with my new camera!).
You can read more about Photo 24 in this months edition of Photography News
*My application and attendance was via my personal application. Photo 24 is not linked in any way to Dunns Imaging.