Seeing a major city almost entirely deserted is normally only made possible by CGI and the latest zombie horror film, but Genaro Bardy is changing all that.
The France-based photographer undertook the incredible project to capture London free of its usual claustrophobic hustle and bustle on Christmas Eve 2015.
But it meant a long and lonely evening on the city’s streets.
I asked myself – how could I shoot an empty city? Without people, without cars, without tourists, and still magnify the city of love. It turns out there is a moment in the year when streets are totally empty, when people are home or away, when nobody is partying all night long – that moment is Christmas.
I walked 20km between December 24 and 25 from 11pm to 6.30am to shoot ‘long exposure’ images of some of the most iconic places of London. Most of the pictures are shot from the middle of the streets and bridges, where cars would ruin the final images.
Every single shot was scouted, it took one week of preparation in order to produce all the pics in one single night. A few shots could probably be done any Sunday night, but 50 of them is a challenge.
Very long exposure could erase people walking, although imperfectly, but car lights would ruin any picture. Between 11pm and 4am, it’s pretty hard to find 20 to 30 seconds slots without any car. But starting at 4am, it’s truly magical, almost no one is in the streets.
#DesertInLondon is the second installment of the project with part one taking in the streets of Paris on Christmas Eve 2014, and Bardy is hoping the project won’t end with London.
To that end, he has started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds which would make it possible to publish the Paris and London images in a book, but also enable him to venture to new destinations.
Bardy said of the campaign:
The kickstarter campaign aims at financing a book for both projects and an exhibition in Paris and London. Should the main goal be reached, new cities will follow.
The pictures speak for themselves and it would be awesome to see even more additions to the #DesertIn series.
An NCTJ Journalist with an MA in Sports Journalism, Kieron is an experienced social media journalist who has worked in the industry since 2015. His experience includes work with ITN, the MEN, WISH/WIRE/TOWER FM, and 8:50 Sports Digest… not forgetting his time at ASDA.