Just imagine it – Regent Street empty at 9am on a weekday; Trafalgar Square without a tourist (or even a person) in sight; and City Hall a seemingly-deserted relic against the city’s skyline.
For essential worker Wayne Howes, these were the scenes he witnessed every day during 2020’s Covid-19 lockdown, capturing them in a series of stunning photographs that form his new book, London in Lockdown.
The book contains 50 pages of high-resolution images of the City and West End, showcasing the sights, buildings and attractions without a commuter or tourist to be found.
“The scenes were almost post-apocalyptic,” says the author. “I spent my days transiting between jobs in London and I could literally walk through the busiest parts of the city and not meet a single person, or see a car. Everything was silent, and I knew I had to capture it as a time-capsule of the pandemic.
“What shocked me was how many large, vast spaces exist in the city. Of course, the people and traffic usually fill them up. Without anyone else around, the city seemed so sprawling and dominating. That’s the feeling I wanted to capture with my photographs.”
The book was funded through a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign.
“I wanted to get 100 backers to meet my costs for initial publication and I was able to meet my monetary requirement. It seems a book like this has a natural gravity for the generation of people who lived through lockdown. Of course, I also hope my book becomes a beacon of history for generations to come,” Howes adds.
London in Lockdown is available here.