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Nottingham in Lockdown

24 March 20 photos: Lamar Francois

Here's what all those busy streets in Nottingham City Centre look like when hardly anyone is in them...

Making this set of photographs was the most surreal and intense photography experience I'd had for quite a few years. On Friday (20 March 2020) the Government formally announced the closure of pubs, bars, nightclubs and entertainment venues to slow down the spread of Coronavirus. By the following Monday, Boris Johnson had announced the closure of all non-essential businesses apart from supermarkets and pharmacies, and ordered people to stay inside their homes.

With all entertainment venues shut at the time of taking, the city centre suddenly took on a very different atmosphere. It bordered on the surreal, but I also found it strangely relaxing. With the urban fabric being stripped of people and sensory input, I was able to focus more squarely on finding images in the surreal urban landscape.

Photography for me, in a personal setting away from client work, is something I see as a solitary pursuit - a continuously unfolding dialog with me continuously interrogating the world around me and the answers coming back in terms of images. The weather and ambient conditions change the environment, which in turn changes the light and the way in which stories can be told with it.

These photos were taken between Friday 20 and Sunday 22 March 2020. See more of Lamar's work on the Pictured By Lamar website

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