Twice in one February I found myself wandering the streets in London with my camera when I came across a climate change protest. The first was at the British Museum, well actually inside the museum itself as somehow the organisers had managed to "sneak" a Trojan Horse in to the forecourt of the museum grounds, which wasn't as easy as it sounds as the horse was 4 meters high! The protest was organised by the BP Or Not BP theatre group aimed at ending oil sponsorship of the arts and it involved costumes, dancing and performances to raise awareness of BP's sponsorship of the Troy exhibition that was running in the British Museum at the time.
The protest was fertile grounds for reportage photography covering environmental issues with lots of people milling around and lots of photographers too so it was easy to mingle and be largely ignored which is one of the key aspects to capturing great candid photographs. It enabled me to get close up even though I was using my Fujifilm X-Series Rangefinder cameras that only had wide angle and standard lenses rather than telephoto lenses, which would have allowed me to stand back more.
The other event was the UK Student Climate Network march for a Climate Strike on Valentine's Day which started in Parliament Square, headed up Whitehall past Downing Street, finishing at Trafalgar Square. It was similarly busy but had the added bonus of many bemused, and in some cases out of place, onlookers. It was a bright sunny day that created a lot of contrast which made it challenging to expose properly whilst capturing all the detail. I was able to use the sun to backlight some of the images and it worked well for the photograph of the massive multicoloured flag that was being flown above the heads of the demonstrators.
One of the trickiest aspects of working in an environment like that is the sheer volume of people; you have to be aware of what's going on around you all the time, in front and behind, to make sure that you don't miss anything, and making sure that you don't trip or fall over someone. And occasionally you'll find another photographers lens peering over your shoulder!