On the first day of the Occupy London protest in 2011, I was milling through the crowd, looking for photo opportunities as the protesters gathered. There were many different groups, but a common theme was the wearing of ‘V for Vendetta’ masks, widely associated with the Anonymous movement and rapidly becoming a defining image of our times.
I was trying to get a shot of a masked protester and saw this group of people on the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral. With heads and signs getting in the way, I trained the camera on this protester as he was fiddling with the mask, trying to wedge his cigarette into the mouth of the mask. As he put the mask back on and looked up, I took my shot and captured this wonderful image as he looked out over the crowd, with wisps of smoke drifting up from the lit cigarette.
I desaturated all of the image but the mask, making it stand out from the rest of the image, in quite a subtle way..
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