As ’tis the season to be jolly, I bring to you “SantaCon London 2012“, a job that was designed purely by camera testers, with the aim of seeing just how far you can blow the red channel of your camera.
Having started the day with a much more serious story, it was quite an about-turn to end my shift dodging incoming sprouts from a herd of Santi in Trafalgar Square.
SantaCon is an annual mass gathering of people dressed in Father Christmas costumes, getting hammered in cities around the world. While it’s essentially a giant pub crawl, many of those involved like to get in the spirit and carry bags of sweets around to dish out to the confused kids that they pass in the streets. It’s not that hard to see why some of the kids were confused with beardless, pimp, orthodox jew, semi-naked and even chicken Santas taking part.
On the day itself, three twitter accounts went live, directing three separate groups of Santas to various locations and pubs throughout the day. The downside to this is that while the idea is to be spontaneous, as more alcohol is consumed, the tweets become more sporadic and less informative. This makes life a little harder for the sober photographer who’s trying to track these elusive scarlet pimpernels. The best bet seems to be to loiter in Trafalgar Square, and wait for them to descend on you.
While scurrying between groups, I also found the Santa schism. It seems the hardcore FCs that have been doing the SantaCon for years look down on the sprout hurling newbies that gather in Trafalgar Square. To be fair, it wasn’t that much fun covering the Trafalgar sprout onslaught as, uncooked, they’re essentially as hard as stones. It was like being back in the West Bank!
So all that leaves me to say is Happy Christmas! I hope 2013 brings you all accurate light readings, dust-free sensors and top-notch personal projects!