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Bolton Town Hall lit up for Black Lives Matter

By philtaylorphoto  
5 June 2020. Victoria Square, Bolton, Lancs. Bolton Town Hall was illuminated in purple to signify the town council's support of Black Lives Matter.

An innocuous enough shot. Our Town Hall is often lit up in support of various causes, using LED lighting, so nobody has to rush around with gels etc. We've had red, white and blue for Brexit, green for various health charities, and this month, pyrple for Black Lives Matter.

OK, for those of you who are busy getting your dog whistles ready to comment, (yes, I can hear those people who commented this week with, I would like to say what I feel, but I cant), Bolton council isn't a snowflake lefty one, in fact the Conservative leader said that it was important in a town as diverse as Bolton to highlight the need for equality.

Whern this shot was published in the Bolton News,it caused well over 100 comments, mostly racist, most didn't use their dog whistles, before comments were turned off.

Over the weekend, a war memorial and a statue of a national leader witj a dubious past were damaged by protesters, and a statue of a slave trader was ceremonially dunked in Bristol harbour before being retrieved for a local museum. That caused a panic amongst the 'patriotic' community who rushed to 'defend' statues against removal.

The following weekend, BLM had planned a small protest, and show of solidarity with George Floyd, and highlighting racism in the town. This time the council leader chose to highlight the fence that he had requested to be put round the cenotaph as a precaution against any damage. For the record, novody had damaged any statues or war memorials since London. The picture above was used to illustrate the announcement in the Boltonn News.

140 or so comments later, the comments were running wild, with speculation that 'antifa' planned to riot,, that the town would be trashed/go up in flames. That energised the far right, who turned up in their hundreds to hurl abuse and racist taunts. PS, there's a pandemic going on, max asembly size 6.

Tags: Photo journalism Bolton Town hall Black Lives Matter

Voters: Edcat55, sawsengee, pdunstan_Greymoon and 13 more

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philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
20 Jun 2020 9:07AM
It's a rubbish shot, it needs the verticals fully correcting, and a tripod would have helped.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.3k 2274 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2020 9:37AM
The lighting is a sober, respectful, totally positive statement, good for Bolton.
Verticals... Converging verticals convey height, dignity. 'Correct' them too far and the result looks lumpen and top-heavy. I quite like the effect as this stands.
dudler Plus
17 1.3k 1715 England
20 Jun 2020 4:40PM
I'll speak up for the verticals that aren't, too. The Town Hall rising majestic above everything. More convergence - up to a point - speaks of more solidity and majesty. And, in the present context, I think I see it as important that the stodgy processes of local government are solid, stable and followed.
Owdman Plus
4 6 15 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2020 3:41PM
I actually like the photo, but I'm still not convinced this is a site which requires the politicised commentary. I'm sure that the vast majority of us on this site are fully aware of what is happening in the outside world and I rather liked the fact that this was one site I could come to to actually get away from the constant negativity in the press and enjoy the photography on show. As it is, I actually like your photography, I just don't think it needs the essay.
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
21 Jun 2020 4:07PM
Owdman, my genre is news photography. That means that it is usually accompanied by text.

In this case, it comes at the end of a week of discussion about selective editing, and picture choice in that context. On Monday, the town hall will be lit up in red, white and blue for Armed For Forces Week, and I don't expect it will need any explanatory text.

A lot of my recent work might be seen as 'political' even though what is pictured may not obviously be so. Hot weather encouraged frustrated young people to break lockdown, once a special advisor blatantly did it, was caught out, and faced no action, it became harder for the police to enforce. OK, ask yourself why we had two huge moorland fires probably caused by barbecues, hundreds of people congregating together to either soak up the sun or protest and riot. Behind much of my recent photos, there are politics.

I'm not above admiring a nice still life, use, landscape, bird on a twig; all the usual camera club stuff, but it has very little to say about the world around us, unless it's how to sell to the greetings card market for men over 40.

I hope that what people see on my page is an insight into my mission to speak out for the underdog, explain how reportage is done, and to give an insight into how local andnatio6nal news images are created. Often my work will challenge people or even upset them, see the mock Princess Diana mock funeral pictures, not my idea of good taste, but it reflected what happened.

Owdman Plus
4 6 15 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2020 5:54PM
'I'm not above admiring a nice still life, use, landscape, bird on a twig; all the usual camera club stuff, but it has very little to say about the world around us, unless it's how to sell to the greetings card market for men over 40.'
Only Men over 40?' Isn't that ageist and sexist? Smile
Well if we get rid of all those categories of pictures you'd have the site to yourself! Smile
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
21 Jun 2020 6:14PM
OK, what is perceived as the tastes of men over 40. I'll be 60 in a few months, and I dread the cards with vintage cars and yachts. Are there any Bob Carlos Clarke birthday cards?

What is it that makes epz so full of these stereotypes? Is it gender, accessibility, the artists other interests? I'll admit to.photographing birds and hedgehogs this weekend due to a lack of chaos.

I've done a few camera club talks, and it's been interesting to see how my work has been received.

The image above illustrates a good definition of a photojournalist. Someone who owns a tripod, knows how to use it, but doesn't.
Owdman Plus
4 6 15 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2020 6:25PM
No birthday cards, but I seem to remember having some Athena cards of Bob Carlos Clarke's work. My wife even bought me a signed edition of Shooting Sex for a birthday present some years ago. (You make sure you keep hold of wives like that!) Smile
I'm a Wiganer, 70 later this year and could see the fires on the moors.
Take care.
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
21 Jun 2020 6:38PM
So, did you know Maurice Jones?
philtaylorphoto 19 334 2
21 Jun 2020 6:44PM
My ex also bought me a Bob Carlos Clarke Illustrated book. Marco Pierre White's White Heat. Since I had a weekly food column to shoot in the Manchester Evening News doing the food pages. Not quite as interesting.

So, if you are a pie eater, you will know that Bickershaw was bit with the same stupidity as Rivington, and the same silvery trail of litter.
Owdman Plus
4 6 15 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2020 7:18PM
as was Formby sand dunes.

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