Hackney Wick-based photographer Matt Payne (34) has captured some truly extraordinary snaps of our local area during lockdown, such as aerial photography of a deserted Victoria Park.
Working predominantly as a primary school teacher, Payne has been taking photos for the past six years.
Payne specialises in drone photography, as his haunting images of a deserted Victoria Park shown from above suggest.
‘I like to play with perspectives and find natural, raw moments when it might not be expected’, he explains.
‘The drone allows you to see areas from a very unusual perspective and it has the power to completely transform familiar places. I look for the geometry within infrastructure sometimes and the pathways in the park provided that.’
Payne’s true passion however, is natural portraiture. ‘Capturing moments that people share with one another or emotional states is difficult so I really enjoy it when a photographer brings those elements to a viewer’. He has even submitted his project, ‘Modern Britain’ to the 2020 BP Portrait Awards.
His photo of Victoria Park was the only one he planned beforehand. The others in this series were chance encounters, such as his neighbour parked on his couch outside his home. Capturing these special moments are very important for Payne.
Like lots of locals, lockdown has had its silver linings for him. Most noticeably, it has fostered a greater sense of community. Payne has appreciated the random chats and new people he’s encountered, who he would have never spoken to normally.
‘I met an interesting older man called Charlie in the queue for the post office on Roman Road and he spoke to me about old cinema and Hollywood actors and where he used to dance to jazz in the local area. When you give people time to interact and give yourself time to listen, you can learn a lot’.
If you like this article, you might also like our photo essay of lockdown created by local people.
Can you help us?
As a not-for-profit media organisation using journalism to strengthen communities, we have not put our digital content behind a paywall or membership scheme as we think the benefits of an independent, local publication should be available to everyone living in our area.
If a fraction of the local 40,000 residents donated two pounds a month to Roman Road LDN it would be enough for our editorial team to serve the area full time and be beholden only to the community. A pound at a time, we believe we can get there.