The night before I took these shots, my mate Dave Rudd and I were talking about the extreme cold which had just arrived on our doorstep.
With some free time from work, I wanted to capture something to show the weather, but not in the obvious ways like taking photos of the snow direct, or ice on the floor.
Dave and I had the smart idea of jumping into Hampstead Heath Ponds. So we set off on Tuesday morning, just before the snow fell in droves.
To my surprise, on arrival we were greeted by three or four men – all over the age of 60 – who were swimming casually.
Which of course made it not such a big deal anymore; in fact everyone there was supportive and gave Dave and my other mate Sam Way – a singer-songwriter who we also roped in – advice about getting into the cold water.
The pair were pretty calm, and excited to jump in once I’d set up my positioning. And although the temperature outside was -1°C, in the water it was a much warmer 3°C. Ha!
Dave hit the diving board first and managed to swim back to the jetty, followed by Sam. Within seconds both guys were getting dressed and ready to head inside to warmth.
As for me? I wouldn’t ever jump in unless it was for a valid reason. And no, certainly not for a photograph.
Disclaimer: we seriously wouldn’t advise you swim on the Heath at the moment unless you are a very experienced, fit swimmer. You have been warned!
If you see a homeless person sleeping rough in the cold, please contact streetlink