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 August 2016

Please, do not feed the birds!


So this is the big one, this week the London Street Photography Meetup group went large, we hit Brighton, and during Pride too. Our first challenge was to all try and catch the same Southern Trains train, no mean feat! The reoccurring text from Sheena saying she was at Clapham Junction (or Clap Junc, as it's now known as) continued to haunt Polly's phone all day. Despite the impressive Pride-attending crowds everyone was located and could trek towards the the flamboyant Brighton Pavilion for our warmup.


It's been about 15 years since I've been to Brighton, I figure it was Lucy's hen weekend on that visit. I don't think we saw that much of Brighton, certainly not the beach or pier(s). There was some minor Lanes action on Sunday, but most of our time seemed to be spent helping Lucy tick off her hen weekend tasks! Enough said!

Whilst we were flexing our collective photographic muscles, Polly was being targeted (and successfully) by one of the local seagulls. After she brandished a few wet wipes, we gathered again for our next challenge and head for the front. En route, so we didn't have to go all the way round, we joined the Pride parade briefly and shimmied across the main drag(!) as a short cut.

The intrepid Pollyographers were issued with our first mission: capturing British seaside characters (channelling a bit of Martin Parr). Extra points for a knotted hanky, and Alfred actually found one!

I should know this from Lyme Regis, I struggle to decide what is the most suitable footwear for hitting the beach, and invariably get it wrong. Well, I don't really wear what others would consider to be sensible footwear. Perhaps other beach goers would favour flip-flops but for me, the triumvirate of rubber, the thing between the toes and the flatness totally preclude me from even considering such a thing. I have donned wedge sandals but I struggle to walk and remain upright on uneven ground. This was typified as I was lurching slightly across the beach looking for decisive moments, a beachball lands at my feet. I bend over to scoop it up and return it to the owners and instead end up following through the bend and falling onto the beach. I tried to style it out and pretended that I wanted to sit right there at that moment. Actually, I was able to get some nice angles on the seagulls circling ahead. Hmmmm, that probably means Polly is nearby, as undoubtedly, they do follow her.

We reconvene to dine on fish and chips, and compare notes and back of cameras. Our next challenge is to head for Brighton Pier and look for random details amongst the promenaders, funfair riders, amusement arcaders, drinkers, ice-cream waters and bathers.

After all of that we finished off with al fresco burgers whilst seagulls continued to keep their beady eyes on Polly and her burger. Our final challenge was, in deference to the glorious day, the lengthening shadows.

It was a great, long (did someone say Southern Trains?) day and we laughed, a lot! I was able to fully immerse myself in a revisit to my seagull obsession and also add a new love of stripey deckchairs!


Sunday, 31 July 2016

Don your bad boy trousers...


The latest London Street Photography Meetup had us all lurking around the London Film and Comic Con exhibition in Olympia stalking superheroes, sci-fi characters and random furries.


We had two challenges today. Firstly, we were to capture some candid shots in the steamy streets (full marks for such a copious amount of plush, latex and lycra in that heat). The hope was to grab an snap of Superman nipping out of telephone box, leaving the toilet or at repose eating a sandwich.


Our second challenge was to enquire if any of the shy and retiring convention attendees would pose for some portraits for us. I'd found a good bit of dark fence on the way to the main entrance to act as a backdrop. They leapt at the opportunity to be thoroughly papped!


I must admit there were only a couple of outfits I could immediately identify, but had to admire the commitment to their chosen theme. The lady in the elegant black and white striped dress and the awesome handbag was at pains to point out that this wasn't a costume, this was her normal day wear. Impressive!


Quite a few of our intrepid Streettogs felt the long arm of the law, or actually, high-vis jacketed security today, they didn't approve of our photography. Did I mention how enthusiastic the convention attendees were about being admired for their extreme outfit efforts and pose for us? Hmmmm, a crime indeed!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Loosing our heads

This was my 30th London Street Photography Meetup with Polly and it was a proper challenge. Firstly we are not accustomed to such fine weather at a Meetup, so were sweltering as we stalked our likely subjects.


The Anonymous in the East End Meetup consisted of two challenges (or three, if we count the fact we're on another market situated Meetup). Firstly, face-replace - where the face is substituted by another object, often with almost facial features. I loved the inspirational images Polly showed us, especially the guy with the underground station clock for a face, (Bob Mazzer) but struggled to shoot anything in a similar vein I liked. I will revisit that theme though on another day and eventually will capture a photo of that ilk I'm proud of.

The second challenge of our Anonymous in the East End, was cutting off our subjects to lose their heads, thankfully slightly less frustrating.


I'm not entirely sure I didn't lose my own head today, a demanding theme and phew, what a scorcher!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Peering up petticoats

Today's London Street Photography Meetup theme was Eye Spy in Petticoat Lane. We had to pick five themes at random from a few Polly had selected - human evidence (like the end of the world Meetups), frames within a frame, patterns, matching clothes and face in the crowd.


As mentioned previously, I can find a street market quite challenging, so of today's elements I definitely favour the street photography devoid of humans in the empty streets near the market. And then when we hit the crowded streets, the frame within a frame.


Though I do like a pattern, so will play around with that theme again.


The matching clothes was a new challenge, perhaps we could capture people passing each other in similar outfits, or someone hanging near a stall sporting a similar style to what's on display. The easiest option seemed to be stake put the jeans stall.


I flip-flopped between monochrome and colour but I decided that colour helps me make more sense of the cacophony of the street market, so abandoned my customary B&W