Notting Hill Carnival 2011

The second day of the Carnival is far better, the colours are brighter and the atmosphere is more electric. I headed up to Westbourne Park to start the day.

Police presence was clearly heavy but came across as much more muted than the Sunday because the number of revellers was much higher. The police also gave a very relaxed and friendly vibe and seemed to be spending a lot of there time giving people directions to the right parts of the carnival.

Also unlike the previous day, drinks were everywhere, it was wonderfully easy to pick up a nice cold beer to take your mind of the pressing crowds.

The thing to really take away from the carnival as a photographer is the Colours. Colours; colours of fabric, colours of outfits, of vans, of banners and feathers. It is a riot of colour and noise and gleeful mayhem to a persistent beat. To capture a good photo of the Notting Hill Carnival is to try and capture some of that movement and sense of fun, its not about a posed profile picture or a shot of the crowds its about the feeling of the day.

If you've caught a picture of a dancer who isn't smiling, then you are missing the point.

Once again, I was using the 24-105mm lens, its a useful one and means I am carrying as little as possible. With more than a million people on the streets of Notting Hill your experience will be a lot better if you are carrying little and so are less in the way. In addition, in a press of crowds having a backpack on with expensive gear in it is in invitation to thieves, who can get close and open it up easily.

You will also be in peoples way on the parade route, so it is worth trying to find somewhere a little quieter to take photos than one of the main intersections because people can and will complain that your camera is in the way of their view.

But the biggest lesson here is to have fun! Don't spend all your time with your eye through the view finder, feel the beat and dance!