11th plus for Alan

Alan Burke
Alan Burke
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THERE’S a storm blowing in Australia, dawn rising over Yorkshire, and a group of friends acting, well, American in America. There’s sport being played in India, fish being sold in Croatia and a family settling down to dinner in Brighton.

Ah, welcome to a day in the life of planet Earth.

Dinner in Brighton by Nathan Gregg from A Day In The Life Of The World

Dinner in Brighton by Nathan Gregg from A Day In The Life Of The World

These are just some of the pictures sent from across the world to Sheffielder Alan Burke for a very global yet somehow very unique project - to capture ordinary people on an extraordinary date.

The 58-year-old, of Marsh Close, Mosborough, launched an international appeal for amateur photographers to send him a snap of what they were doing on the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century.

And the results are an astonishing collection of nearly 100 pictures stretching from the eastern hemisphere to the west, taking in five continents, 16 countries, more time zones than you could shake a clock at and at least one poppy-wearing veteran settling down for a pint.

“I don’t really know why I did it,” laughs Alan, who launched the appeal by creating a Facebook group and who is now set to turn the 74 images into a 10 minute YouTube video. “It was a personal project more than anything. I wanted to do it for myself. I liked the idea of sitting at my computer and watching these pictures coming in from around the world.

The Queen at Mosborough by Alan Burke for A Day In The Life Of Planet Earth.

The Queen at Mosborough by Alan Burke for A Day In The Life Of Planet Earth.

“The date - 11/11/11 - seemed poignant, and I hoped that would help attract other enthusiasts. I’m not sure if anything like this has been attempted before but I was delighted by the response.”

That response included nearly 500 members signing up for the project in the fortnight before the date itself.

And although not all ended up submitting snaps, pictures were sent in by togs in Australia, India, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Argentina, USA, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the four countries of the UK.

The shots themselves include everything from self-portraits to cityscapes; from remembrance services honouring the dead to a hospital’s new born baby unit; from empty railway stations to busy pubs.

Drax Power Station, Selby, by Gay Chatterton from A Day In The Life Of Planet Earth.

Drax Power Station, Selby, by Gay Chatterton from A Day In The Life Of Planet Earth.

“My favourite, though, is one of a family having dinner in Brighton (pictured),” says Alan, a retired painter and decorator. “It’s an incredible photograph and it just somehow seems so universal.”

Now, he plans to do something similar on December 12 2012. “I’ll start the planning for that a bit earlier, though,” he notes.