12th of July
Bus Passes the Parade
I found myself on a bus in Belfast during the 12th of July and luckily the bus passed this parade. I like to use window frames to frame a shot. I remember we had to change the bus coming up from the South, because the protestants would attack them if they saw southern car reg numbers on them.
Bands in the Street
I remember it wasn’t a nice day on that 12th. I like to get up high to do my establishing picture and it gives it perspective because you can see the back of the parade. 1990 was the 300th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.
There’s a lot of drinking done on the 12th of July. I had an Irish accent so I had to be very careful talking to these guys. The hated anything from the South including accents.
Band Members Rest
I love these uniforms and how they stand so out of place with other street fashion of the day. These band members would have been walking all day and by the day was finished they would have been very tired.
Adding a bit of detail and close-ups to your documentary is a good idea. It adds to the pace of the picture story. Don’t always take your shots at the same distance. This photo is the Sandy Row Volunteers LOL 1299.
The bowler hat and the umbrella was seen as the ruling classes. I hated these sort of people. When I was younger, I thought they were real scum. Now, of course things have changed, and the hatred has moved to more acceptance of differences.
Man Holds a Child
I don’t know how many frames I took of the man and the boy. I think I knew something was going to happen and then the girl in the back put up the pair of symbols. Always wait if you feel that there is something going to happen.
Pipe Band Members
I find waste ground to be an excellent area to take pictures. There is nothing to get in the way of the subject and the waste land can isolate your subjects. It’s a bit like been at the beach.
Two Old Women
So bonfires are big thing for the 12th. Usually, the bonfire would have the Irish flag on top. I remember looking up and seeing the plastic sign showing a butcher’s shop had melted from the previous years’ bonfires. The butchers had long gone.
When people point I shoot. Look for people doing dynamic gestures when looking for a photograph. It’s better if the gesture is isolated; what I mean by that is that the you can see clearly what the person is doing. I think I have too many people behind his hand for this image to work. But I like the way the guy is standing.
Before a Long Day
During the 80s there was always trouble during the 12th. The protestants were doing for years. Why should they stop? The marching was a real fuck you to the R.A and the Catholics.
I love isolating objects and people with walls and grass. It gives calmness to the whole scene. I loved those banners too. They were so well made, of course when I got back to Dublin, I didn’t mention that to the ma or the da.
Sash and Bowler Hat
I don’t think this is a great picture, but it does give photographic pace as it is a close up. This is the trade make of the protestant community in Northern Ireland. The LOL stands for Loyal Orange Lodge, and you can see the number of the lodge which is 870.
Most people would see a band marching in the rain but to the likes of me it’s a lot more than that. I suppose the crown above the harp is one. And one thing people don’t hear is the music they play which is hugely militaristic.
I took this picture because of his cap. 1990 was the 300th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne where William of Orange beat King James II who was a catholic king. I don’t know the story with these marches now because I left Ireland years ago.