Viral London – haunting images record our lockdown

Photographer Paul Meyler has been on a mission to record the impact COVID-19 has had on central London. He’s told us a bit more about the inspiration behind this work and picks three of his favourite shots:

“In the current situation with COVID-19 causing a lockdown, like many other photographers, all of my booked shoots have been postponed. This left me wondering what I can do to help people remember these times well in to the future. I decided I’d cycle around the heart of London hoping to capture some memorable images which will help portray the effect this is having on our capital.

I have to admit I was shocked to see just how eerie the usually packed streets of London were. It had a stillness and emptiness that you could only associate with seeing in a movie, I never expected to actually experience this in real life. Rather than seeing the usual crowds, I only saw people who were out for their daily walk or their weekly food shop and sometimes I didn’t come across anyone for a while. I never would’ve imagined England’s capital city could be this deserted, I actually had the time and space to appreciate how beautiful the architecture and landmarks are. We’re always so busy in our everyday lives, we don’t take enough time to just stop, look around, and appreciate our surroundings.

I have produced a series of images and amongst these are 3 of my favourites:

001. Regent St c Paul Meyler 
‘Regent Street’: Whilst pausing for some water outside the Molton Brown store on Regent Street, I turned and saw this VW Karmann Ghia waiting patiently at a red light. With one of London’s busiest street’s having no other traffic in sight, the image with this classic car could easily have been seen 50 years ago – also easy to identify the location with the iconic Liberty London in the background.

003. NHS c Paul Meyler

‘NHS’ : I came across this powerful piece of street art near Waterloo Station. This is a very significant message for those ’super heroes’ working for the NHS and helping the country fight this virus. As I was looking at this piece of art, two people came riding past on bicycles which can only be hired in central London, these encourage people to stay away from public transport, exercise and experience the city at ground level. 

002. Granary Sq c Paul Meyler

‘Granary Square’: I came across this gentleman in a peaceful Granary Square. He was taking time out to sit and enjoy doing a crossword in the fresh air, but was wearing a face mask which is increasingly becoming a popular accessory as we tackle this pandemic.”

Paul Meyler Photographer

Please do share your images of lockdown London adding #LondonNPC to your post.

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