The Longest Day: June 20th 2020

As a photographer I felt that I should contribute in some way to the documentation of our current era.

Others have done doorstep portraits or collections of discarded masks & gloves but I prefer to record personal impressions from my direct experience of lockdown.

I walk our dog, Rita, every evening and the streets are always fairly deserted after dark; during lockdown the evening streets looked much the same but the feeling was very different, especially at first when I remember feeling guilty just for being outside.

We pass some really interesting architecture and I love being there on my own at night. However, at some points I also look at how deserted these places are and think how ominous they could seem and how the same scene can be very different for different viewers.

These images of scenes from my dog-walking route could have been taken at any time of any year but they were all shot on the evening of June 20th 2020, the date of the summer solstice. This is the longest of what for many are already very long days, so shooting the pictures on that date anchors them in time & theme to lockdown; by definition this is also the shortest night and that seems a hopeful phrase, the opposite of the ‘long dark night of the soul’.

These pictures, all shot on that night, are really about the ambiguity of images.

As Richard Avedon said ‘All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.’