Today was the second day of the Mayors Thames Festival by the South Bank in London. It's quite funny, but I seem to only shoot at festivals at the moment, but it's really not my fault! It just seems that there is one every weekend in London! (For anyone who wants to get into street photography public events are great for people watching and taking photos at. You're surrounded with thousand of people with cameras anyways so you won't stick out!)

I went to the Thames Festival last year, too.
This time I stayed a bit longer, but it all came to me in a flash why I didn't stay that long last summer…

The place was packed! I really hate when things get this busy in London.

At least the air was filled with the scents of all kinds of delicious foods.

People seemed to be having a great time despite the crush.
These people were showing off their amazing jive skills by one of the live music stages.

There were all kinds of stalls selling the usual stuff, but some were very… interesting.
This is from the life mask stall near the OXO Tower. I wasn't the only one who couldn't quite believe what they were selling! :D

If you didn't want to suffocate under liquid latex you could enjoy things more pleasurable, like a massage from a group of very attractive women. They took their work very seriously, and concentrated very very hard. :D

And if you were lucky and not lifted and carried along the South Bank by the crush of people, you might have caught some of the live acts entertaining people like these acrobats. I think they were from Czech Republic.

There were also lovely pockets to the festival along the way. One of my favourites were the huge pile of flowers made out of plastic bags to raise awareness of recycling in one of the parks by the South Bank. The mound of plastic bag flowers was decorated with these cute map of London butterflies.

Under the dome of flowers was a small crawl space very popular with kids. They scared the living daylights our of me when they peeked out for the first time from underneath though. I wasn't expecting it at all. :D

The kids had lots of things to do and try out actually this year. I don't know if this was the case last year as I didn't stay that long, but it seemed the organisers really thought about what to do and made a great effort this year to take care of people of all ages.

Even the men were entertained… ;)
This is one of my favourite photos from the day. The light hitting these men literally stopped me in my tracks. Doesn't the guy on the right look like some awesome character from a vintage 50's Italian movie?!

And this scene made me laugh.
The little girl was throwing a right old strop about not being in the photo.
So I think this shot is very appropriately named… Kids these days, eh? ;)

Speaking of children… I had no idea they start this young…
I found this amusing, but it made me think about how we actually start to pass judgement from a very young age, or are we taught to?

Before I get into any deeper debates about these things… let's just conclude my days journey:

Things got busier and busier longer I stayed in the afternoon. As I write this I am sure there are still plenty people ebbing and flowing by the Thames (see what I did there?! :D), especially as there is a huge fireworks display in about an hour's time to finish the festivities. But I had to escape…

Unfortunately I couldn't float home like this balloon (how I envied him), but had to elbow my way home by foot.
This photo is another personal favourite from today. A bit surreal and lovely in the way that I caught a plane crossing the sky on the bottom left by pure accident.

I was trying out a few new and old tricks today when I could. I really like how this flare came out above the London Eye. I only wish I could've used a flash to make this look all ambient, but I'm no Diane Arbus and I'm sure the kids and their parents would have mobbed me if they thought that even for a second I was taking photos of them. Oh well, the perils of being a street photographer… You sometimes have to compromise on some technical aspects in the circumstances you are in.

But yes, until next time!
And yes, I don't know of any festivals coming up in the next couple of weeks so maybe,
just maybe, I'll be doing some normal London stuff! ;)

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4 Comments on “Overcrowded”

  1. Crush-Monkey says:

    Looked like a GORGEOUS day in London. All your photos are just AWESOME!!!! : )

  2. dearbarbz says:

    Awww…I love 'em all!

  3. Great photos PB! I always love how you capture the moment!

  4. Stephanie-j says:

    these photos are so vibrant. I love your blog, and I have since discovered that my camera (Olympus C760, yes just a little camera, they don't even have them anymore I think) I also have the 2 photos in 1 function. So I've been having a lot of fun with it.

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