David Cook

FdA Photojournalism 2008

London College of Communication


I've been taking photos for as long as I can remember, and through my Fda Photojournalism course at the LCC, I have come to love press photography. I am currently working on freelance projects as well as preparing my end-of-year exhibition on the 11th June at the LCC. I hope you enjoy my work! Please read below for an extended caption to the available images, a Photo Essay on Guided Walks:

Guided Walks

Through my upbringing in an active family, and lengthy subscription as a Boy Scout, I have always enjoyed going for a walk. In my time I have walked in various places in the United Kingdom, in all kinds of weather, with all kinds of people.
Remembering my enjoyment of leisurely walking whilst running for a train, I was triggered to explore, as a photojournalist, the people and places involved in guided walks in my local area.
For my project I researched on the internet, finding the Ramblers Association website very helpful. It was easy to find future walks happening in my area, and it gave me contact details for the walk leaders.
I did three walks with the Ramblers, the first of which was a short health walk with the Sutton / Wandle Valley Ramblers, aimed at heart disease and diabetes sufferers. According to the walk leader, Melanie, we had a strong turn-out, with 15 elderly people taking part. Being a short walk I treated it more like a warm-up to the other walks I was going to undertake, but I got a couple of usable shots from it.
The second outing was a much longer morning walk across the Epsom and Ashtead Commons. A mix of Sutton / WV and Kingston Ramblers took part, lead by Sue. Around twenty people came on the walk, with a wide age range from early 20s to late 60s. These were much more serious walkers, and came fully equipped with hiking boots and walking spikes for the mud and rough terrain.
The last Ramblers walk I took part in was in conjunction with the Global Dawn Chorus day. The walk began at 6am, and even with the early rise the participants numbered nearly thirty. Again the age range was wide; even a couple of kids were roused by their eager bird-watching parents to come along. As well as Melanie as a route guide, there were also two ornithologists providing information about the different birds we could see and hear. Like the first walk, we all ended up at the local church for a cup of coffee and cake to rejuvenate ourselves.
The walks didnt cost anything to go on, as the Ramblers allow guests to come on up to four walks before asking that you join one of their groups, costing from 15 annually. The coffee and cakes were provided by the church, with a suggested donation of 1.50.
The other walk I took part in was a Jack the Ripper walk in central London. Starting at Tower Hill, the tour took the group through the places in Whitechapel connected to the Jack the Ripper inquiry, led by the worlds leading expert Donald Rumbelow. He was written several books on the subject, as has been internationally recognised as the leading authority on Jack the Ripper, according to the Jack the Ripper A to Z. The guided tour attracted almost fifty people - a usual number I later found out and were predominantly young adult and middle-aged tourists.
There were also a few Londoners on the tour, and after chatting to them, they saw the tour as a good night out, as well as a fun way of exploring their native city. A number of journalists were also on the walk, writing articles for their travel editors. For one American woman it was her third time of going on the walk, as she: just [had] to do it whenever Im in London.
The walk starts every night (except December 24& 25) at 7.30pm from Tower Hill tube station, and costs 6 (5 concessions). It also runs on Saturdays at 3pm.Donald leads the group on Monday, Tuesday, Sunday and alternate Friday nights.



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