Six months, 73,000 locations

Chelsea Embankment, SW3

A recent article in the Magazine section of this site explored the notion of the purposeless walk - but for photographers a walk is always a chance to grab a frame or two, you never know when chance will smile on you and present that moment you have been waiting for.

The Royal Photographic Society is about to launch a project that will appeal to those of us who pound the streets looking for that perfect, and elusive, moment. The aim is to collect at least one photograph from every street in London - all 73,000 of them - during the next six months.

The idea was proposed by London regional organiser Del Barrett, whose inspiration came from Geoff Nicholson's Whitbread short-listed novel Bleeding London, in which a character named Stuart London walks the complete length and breadth of the capital.

Start Quote

The central metaphor of Bleeding London is that the city is a living organism, it breathes, it ages, it is sometimes healthy sometimes not, it occasionally requires a bit of surgery, it has a gut and a heart and lungs and a nervous system”

End Quote Geoff Nicholson

Ms Barrett is seeking individuals or camera clubs, indeed anyone with a camera or mobile phone with the ability to take pictures and share them.

"Although it may seem a daunting task, we only need 1,000 people to do three or four streets each week," she says.

The group will be organising walks and competitions to help achieve its aim and plans to produce a book of a selection of the work next spring.

Given that Google Streetview can already provide a walkthrough of all the streets, the aim here is to capture the landscape and the people, wildlife or indeed anything that catches their eye. Good photographs in other words, a picture that captures the essence of the location.

Nicholson will be launching the project in London on 15 May and leading some photo walks over the weekend of 17 and 18 May.

"An author is always delighted when one of his novels has an ongoing life," he says.

"As someone obsessed with London, walking and photography, I'm thrilled to have my novel re-imagined in the form of contemporary images."

A few keen members have made a start. If you would like to get involved, head over to the Bleeding London website or view their images on Flickr.

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Bury Walk, SW3
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Phil Coomes Article written by Phil Coomes Phil Coomes Picture editor

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