The big picture: colour, comedy and coincidence in London

Tim Adams
·2 min read

Josh Edgoose’s new book, Brilliant Parade, contains five years of his London pictures. Any spare time from his day job in merchandising he has used to walk the city with his camera, enjoying the meditative purpose of looking. He thinks of it as a form of gambling, but with time, not money - “you might put in eight hours and 20 miles and come back with nothing” - but occasionally his three graces – colour, coincidence and quiet comedy – align.

This picture was taken in Regent Street on a day when it was closed for a vintage car parade. Edgoose took the opportunity to crouch at the kerb to get the angle for the enormous shoes on the billboard to reflect in the puddle and create the ironies of perspective. Then all he had to do was wait. After an hour or two in the drizzle, in which he fielded questions from curious passers-by, the woman walked into his frame with the “right kind of silvery blue tones” and he had his picture.

When Edgoose first went to live in London, 15 years ago, he says he searched in vain for a while for the city’s sense of community. But the more time he spent out walking and talking to the people he photographed, the more he understood a collective spirit, the greyness of skies giving way to the primary colours of streets. Some of that came from the reds and blues of Transport for London: as much again, though, from people. He sees the book as a celebration of the fact that the longer you look the more colour you find and the sense that for all the black-and-white seriousness of life, there are plenty of times when the city simply requires you to smile.

Brilliant Parade is published by Setanta Books (£35)