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This photograph was taken 12 years ago in West Belfast. The British army regularly patrolled the streets providing security back up to the local police force the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
I was conducting a series of workshops with teenagers as they documented their area as part of celebrations for the the 25th anniversary of a local community organisation.
We were walking over a motorway and i saw the patrol in front and said to the kids that because of the ceasefire we should take photographs of the patrol as it would all be a thing of the past (as has since proved to be the case).
I had a 300mm lens and an Eos 650 loaded with 400 asa B&W.I framed the shot and took just this one photograph. It was a snap decision to take the shot and the post down the middle says something about the army/police watching each others backs. (You can see the wire over fencing as a faint grid). As soon as I took it I put the camera down and the soldier kept his rifle on me for a few seconds more. He then lowered the rifle, kept looking at me then turned and continued with the patrol.
When I looked to the kids who had been beside me they had walked away fearing the worst!!!
This was an everyday sight for people as they went about their business.
Regularly caught in the sights of the soldiers. This happened and here is my record of it.
The RUC officer in the background actually bought a copy of this photograph last year and laughed as he did so saying that i was a mad eejit for taking it.
Perhaps but i'm glad i did.
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