Mike Steel Photography mail@mikesteel.co.uk 
   © Mike Steel  

London 2012 Olympics site: These images have been taken around the area which will become the Olympic Park for London's 2012 Olympics. I began taking photos in this area in 2004 as I live locally and was aware that major redevelopment was likely whether or not the Olympic bid was successful - so I saw this as an opportunity for some interesting social documentary photography.

I've taken pictures of the typical urban landscape, but also of interesting local people and places, trying to capture the wide range of uses and activities, and show that the area isn't just an urban wilderness. I've tried not to present an argument for or against the Olympics, but to document what is currently there before most of it changes (as some already has). Perhaps it will illustrate that there was a lot here before the redevelopment that it would be a shame to forget.

Below are a sample of scanned images from this work in progress. When the page has completely loaded, use the arrows to scroll or select a thumbnail below.

      Football on Hackney Marshes, a famous venue for lower league teams; classic grass-roots football
      The urban wasteland which is often assumed to cover the whole site
      There are a number of waterways, dominated by the River Lee and the Lee Navigation canal, major assets to the area
      Many vehicles end their lives in the area as scrap and parts
      Eastway cycle circuit is an excellent local venue for cyclists
      Flytipping and illegal dumping are commonplace
      The Allotments near Waterden Road, and their committee
      Car mechanics workshops and used car sales are common
      There are permanent and temporary travellers sites in the area
      Old disused railway lands cover a large area
      Overhead power cables and knotweed are all over the site, which also housed a fridge mountain
        Local graffiti and comment for and against the Olympics
        Major bus depots located on Waterden Road
        Light industry is common across the site
        The Greenway is a green strip across the site; with a wide range of users
        Dirt and rundown areas, prime for regeneration