Life’s a carnival (sometimes)

Have you ever been to an event and found the audience more interesting than the performance?

"oooh missis"

“oooohh missis”

If so, you probably love people photography. It’s what normally happens to me when I have a camera in my hand. Even on the rare occasions I’m without one, I find myself imagining the shots I could be taking.

A couple of weekends ago I was in the Peak District enjoying an annual “boys weekend” (or should that be “middle-aged men acting like boys” weekend?) It happened to coincide with the Bakewell Carnival, which is a big event for the small town of Bakewell.


The carnival had hundreds of local people taking part and thousands spectating. Rather than just photograph the floats I decided to concentrate on the people who were watching and, as a compulsive “people watcher”, I had a really interesting time.

I think this lady might have forgotten the carnival was taking place and had hoped to do some shopping!


At events such as carnivals, I try to look for slightly quirky images that will, hopefully, make the viewer think “What on earth is going on here?” rather than documenting the event itself.

That effect works best if you forget there is a carnival in full swing just a few feet away.

Tokyo laundry

Unfortunately – or happily, depending on how you look at it (pun intended) – because the sun was out, a lot of male flesh came out too.

semi naked

The varied spectrum of English society was on show.



red, white and blue

Peaky Blinders

Thankfully not everyone found it necessary to undress in the heat. I think these guys were dressed as the “Beaky Blinders”……

I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at these. They were all shot on my tiny Ricoh GR with its fixed 28mm equivalent lens. A camera in which everything is big, except the size (according to Ricoh).

See you soon and be happy.


words and pictures © all rights reserved Miles Pilling

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