Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Where have I been?

I am so utterly and dreadfully behind with my blogging…not with my photography; there is always an abundance of that. And I’m on top of most of the processing, well most, as New York still needs a final pass, or and the time in Bordentown the week before, and yes, Seville. Correct that, I still have a whole lot of processing to do, but Spain aside, I am on top of my London Street Photography Meetup post-processing. So instead of trying to catch up absolutely everything day-by-day I will post all 34 (yep, count them) of the Meetups, several forays to Kew, Christmas in the Isle of Wight, various Leica adventures and no doubt miscellaneous sunsets, plus my continued obsession with the pointy Shard building. That’ll keep me busy before I head to Poland, Barcelona and Photokina next month, phew! Firstly, here are my top 116 Polly Meetup images, yes, including my possible 10 from the elusive Seville. Watch this space for a whole lot more!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Man vs Architecture and breezy balconies!

On an extraordinary windswept Saturday morning congregating in More London, I joined a hardy band of Polly's London Street Photography Meetup photogs shooting the theme Man vs Architecture. We were looking for reflections, scale, isolating lone individuals, "picking off the weak!" And then of course, shooting them.

We were wondering if we should take it in turns to sit in the auditorium space to add the 'man' element, but luckily three boys decided to entertain themselves by running hither and thither and leaping from each level. Perfect for us to train our lenses on them.

I pointed out the possibilities of 'the dark star' and a reflection to produce a giant bat, and somehow we managed to photograph it without annoying the PwC security.

This is a monochrome challenge for me but there's a wonderful red wall and flashes of yellow that I'd like to revisit. It's not as if I'd have too far to travel for future forays. So watch this space!

To warm up our cold bones and grab some hot food, we retired to the begrudging hospitality of The News Building. Our officious security wanted to make it a 'special' welcome, assuring us that they'd be watching. After a late lunch we braved the even breezier 14th floor balcony performing our own Man vs Wind.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The bright lights and windows...

This time a f-f-freezing London Street Photography Meetup on a school night, we're set lurking and mingling in Chinatown and the bright lights of Soho. We were looking for artificial light, windows - through, framed by, or reflected in.

We start in Chinatown, peering through the glass at Peking ducks and the amusement arcade lights reflected in the restaurant opposite.

We head to the slightly sleazier side and I am drawn to the lurid neon colours, the rainbow lights in Snog, and am looking for reflections and silhouette opportunities everywhere I turn.

I was skulking in front of a vibrantly lit sex shop hoping someone would stride past at exactly the perfect distance for my shot but instead I caught a customer just leaving...and perhaps serendipitously (see what I did there, Polly?) sporting a neon halo! The perfect moment, though I'm not sure he agreed!

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Two by two and seeing double

My sixth foray out with the London Street Photography Meetup group, the venue was the South Bank and theme was two - groups of two, mirroring, pairs, twins(!) and splitting the scene into two halves - either physically or by scene.

Firstly I was transfixed with pairs of shadows walking down the ramp or along the river. Then when the (all too brief) sun disappeared again, I became slightly stalkerish closely trailing two sets of twins, luckily I wasn't confronted by any angry parents. The resultant photos were not sadly worth the possible injunction.

There were some possibilities visible whilst hanging around the mural of the stick figures (by artist Stik) under the ramp, I just needed a likely pair to stride by the yellow wall to complete the picture. And similarly, the gap in the Rankin portraits was just waiting to be filled.

Then, wandering over towards the next bridge, the book stalls and browsing shoppers caught my eye. As I meandered about looking for scenarios using the bollards to bisect the scene, I received a message about Iceland. Our hopes that the Lapland gang might reunite and head off seeking the Northern Lights in yet another country seems like it will come to fruition next year. It looks like J is going to Iceland!

Back in the present, there was time for some more lurking and seeing double before we headed off for a couple of drinks...just to continue the theme of course.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Let there be more light!

I wanted to try and photograph the Winter Lights at Canary Wharf before they're switched off on Friday. I particularly wanted to see the light butterflies, "wings of freedom", though they look more like flowers to me. And I'm always a sucker for flowers and colours.

I started at the butterflies in their rainbow mode but realising you could interact by mobile phone, it was irresistible. The best was watching others taking pictures of them and registering shock when the exhibit was suddenly flashing red (my favourite, as they were reminiscent of poppies). The flashing red was supposed to symbolise a beating heart.
And of course, I liked the pink with the Thomson Reuters building in the background, though I believe TR are planning to up sticks and move into the old Bank of America building in Canary Wharf, not so picturesque or such a commanding profile.

Further into Jubilee Gardens is the neon sculptures representing Syrian refugees; and the large touch sensitive pads people were running and jumping on to change the hues.

Finally I went to see the newstream rendered in water droplets. I saw this at the Olympics but my then camera found it really tricky to capture. Because it was taking general words from the press, there were some curious ones. Kardashian and ISIS, for example, so sometimes you let them fall and thought that's okay, I'll wait for the next.

The lights were supposed to stay on until 9pm, but I was still shooting them at 11pm. There was more to see but I presumed they'd disappear any moment, so headed for the tube home. Certainly more enjoyable without the Lumiere crowds!


Saturday, 16 January 2016

Leica there be light...and crowds!

I'd been keen to check out Lumiere, as the images have been well splashed on social media, however, I have an abhorrence to crowds. But bravely after today's Meetup five of us, with some trepidation, thought we'd check out what was happening at King's Cross. And apparently, most of London seemed to have the very same idea.

En route I tried to capture the children light painting by holding my camera above my head, but it was very far from ideal.
We had to make do with cage structure that normally lives outside King's Cross colour changing with the seething mass of visitors surrounding it.
We couldn't get anywhere near Granary Square proper, which apparently would have yielded intriguing floor level lights (excellent for a large crowd to view, not!) I saw the edge of one of the walls but the surging spectators whisked you past it all.

We gave up and headed back to the station, and then had to suffer a drawn-out evacuation due to dangerous overcrowding. I heard later that lights we'd been attempting to view were switched off too, in an effort to facilitate crowd dispersal. So that would have been a major disappointment.

In a moment of madness, I said goodbye to everyone else when the station reopened and thought I'd venture to Oxford Circus for the flying from should thing. And I was glad I did, I thought it was beautiful, and rather awe-inspiring. Having the exhibit in the sky helped everyone who wanted to photograph it plenty of opportunity to do such that. The ones who wanted to look up and stare or photograph were led to the middle of the closed road, and those who just wanted to get elsewhere, were confined to the pavement.

I think it worked well. I would have liked to explore more exhibits but the horrible crowds at King's Cross had put me off venturing further, so I quit whilst I was ahead. Maybe next year...