Buy a classic Guardian photograph: children playing in fountains, London, 2009

Children play in the fountains at the Southbank Centre, London.

Photograph: Sarah Lee/The Guardian

The Guardian photographer Sarah Lee captured this joyful scene at London’s Southbank Centre during a hot spell in August 2009. The temporary fountains bubbled low and then would shoot up high, leading to lots of squeals, she recalls. “The water formed a cage around the edge, which meant the two children in the foreground were only being sprayed; the kids in the centre, where the water was breaking, got soaked.” The abstract effect was deliberate: the spray, the jets, the silhouetted figures could be anywhere, says Lee, who was inspired by a 1930 picture by the photojournalist Martin Munkacsi: Boys Running Into the Surf at Lake Tanganyika. Lee likes to get close to her subjects which, in this case, led to a proper drenching.

Words: Hannah Booth

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