Winterval, Parkour Generations‘ annual training event, is always a bit of a daunting prospect: short days and bad weather can make shooting action a grainy, blurry chore. This year, London was blessed with one of those rare winter days where the sun shines, the clouds are experimenting with other, distant shores, and the ground is strangely dry.
The Wyndham Estate in Camberwell is as beautiful as it is ugly. Five brutalist towers, 21 storeys apiece, standing over concrete terraces divided by random walls and railings. Ideal terrain for both parkour and architectural photography. This combination of the body and space is what excites me; either on its own would be enough. Together, they are fascinating.
Eighty sturdy souls braved a long day of training, making discoveries about themselves along the way that were previously unrealised, unfelt, and sometimes unexpected. Boundaries were pushed, bonds were built, games were played, and a positive, inclusive atmosphere permeated the entire event.
As well as placing athletes in this grand vista of urban density, it’s a joy to get close and find expressions that reveal encounters with fear and adventure.
I’ll be back here for my Landmann Studios parkour photography workshops on 31st March and 27th May. Come and explore with me.