Tag Archives: photo art

Photograph of Cranes – Construction Site Kings Cross

It feels like London has been one big construction site for years now a day doesn’t seem to go by without a road being dug up or a building being torn down. The pace of things seems to have picked up to almost fever pitch. With the Olympics just round the corner and I often wonder just how it’s all going to get done in time. Kings Cross is one of the hot spots for construction it seems though of all the other places I think it is seeing some progress at least. Inch by inch the scaffolding creeps its way across the station and surrounding buildings, revealing shiny new glass and steel structures (the architectural flavor of the decade). I often find myself being drawn to the sight of the huge cranes that seem to float above the city. I am often at dusk or dawn captivated by their calm heights as they bask in the sunlight and the open air. Commodities we are a bit short of down on the ground amongst the buildings and the rubble.

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Ariel Photography – A photograph of London from a plane

Coming back to London from a trip away I happened to notice that it was one of the few times I could actually see the city and not just a bank of clouds. I began to trace the trip home from the airport. I could see the road I was going to drive home on and then I started looking out at all the buildings I recognized in London like the Gherkin, Center-point, St Pauls Cathedral. Having my camera to hand I decided to take a few photographs before I had to put it away and managed to track most of my journey home from central London out to Heathrow. I wasn’t expecting that much from them but when I did finally get back and had a look at what I had captured I was very pleasantly surprised to see I had captured some interesting cityscapes. You never know what you are going to end up with in your digital camera.


USA Trip – Roller-coaster at Dusk

This photograph I took on another trip out to the West Coast of America. I didn’t actually ride this roller-coaster and I am not sure why that was. I am not normally one to pass up a cheap thrill ride in an amusement park. Instead I opted for taking this rather amusing picture of it in the dusk light before we headed home the Hotdog on a Stick sign still tickles me when I see it.


Seafood at Borough Market

 

I have a deep and meaningful relationship with food. Food and I have been entangled with each other ever since I could stick my hand into a bowl and mush it into my face ( and usually down my shirt and into my ears too). It’s a relationship which has been passed down from parent to child in my family for generations. So when we get together we will often choose a part of town (in this case London) that is famous for great food (in this case Borough Market). So my dad being very much a seafood lover could not resist buying some seafood from this lovely fishmongers, it was very very tasty and well worth the effort of negotiating the crowds. When I am not wandering around with family members or friends eating our way through London I am often found taking photographs of food. I don’t think it’s something I’m ever going to get bored of.

 


There’s a wolf on the beach

I took a trip down to Big Sur, I was working for a large IT vendor at the time whose offices were near San Francisco. Myself and a couple of other engineers (that’s what they called us though I have never studied engineering just so you know) decided to take our rental car and drive it down the coast to Big Sur. We’d all heard about the place so we though hey why not go see it. The drive was amazing such a beautiful coast line and I’d love to do it again. We did end up going a bit further on to a small but well-known town whose name escapes me now (answers on a postcard or in a comment if you want to guess) and we hung out there for a couple of hours. The sand was blindingly white and the sea amazingly blue. I noticed this guy turn up on the beach with what I first thought was two dogs, one of the dogs seemed to attract a lot of attention from other people. No one seemed to worried but I did over hear someone comment that it was not a dog but a wolf. Curious I hovered around, too shy to actually talk to the guy, I did manage to catch this shot of the wolf taking a nap in the shade. It is one of my favorite images.


Spain

I took this on my trip out Spain with some friends. It was a great trip and I do hope to return to Spain another friend and I have been talking about doing the walk across Spain together. I love to walk a country, there is something deeply connecting about exploring a country step by step at your own pace. It is humbling to have a true sense of the size of a place which I think is hard to do in a car or on a train. There is also a great sense of achievement to walk for a whole day and to see just how far one step at a time can take you.


A break in the weather

Despite the changeability of the weather at the moment plants are doing their best to keep to schedule, they keep on doing what they do which is put on their best colours to entice lots of busy insects and birds. A good thing that we are still managing to get the odd day or two in between the rain and hail storms for them to really shine. And it is so lovely when I do get a moment or two to appreciate them.


Reminder

A timely reminder from life that I am not lost, I wander.


By the water

I find something deeply soothing and powerful about just sitting and watching the water. Maybe it’s because I where I grew up I spent a great deal of my childhood either in a pool or on a beach or by a river. My mum used to jokingly refer to us as water babies. We would as children play games where we pretended we were dolphins trying to launch ourselves out of the water and arc through the air then dive back in again. I don’t think we ever quite managed to emulate them to be honest. I learnt a great deal about myself and life through my interactions with water. I learnt how to relax my body so I could float on its surface. I learnt that to get where you want to go and not be exhausted by your efforts you work with it because it does what it does. Water is a teacher of great wisdom.


London Photo -Trackside

I continue to find myself fascinated by the workmen on the rail tracks. Is it their High Viz uniform I wonder? More likely for me it is that they are one of unnoticed millions who go about their daily jobs keeping the cogs of infrastructure moving. They are one of many professions that day after day make sure that the stuff we just expect to be there, like electricity, running water and trains just keeps being there.


London Photo – The tower in the sky

Here’s a fun one the Shard to be found in London Bridge. I love taking pictures of this building it is such an imposing structure which I am sure is what they were going for. This was one of the few times I have managed to get a shot of this building where it’s tip is not in the clouds so I was very happy to catch it. I slapped a filter on it I think it was earlybird and got this effect. It kind of reminds me of one of the orc towers in Mordor, I like it.


London Photos – Blackheath Station

I am really pleased with this shot the dirty brick wall the lady walking past in a blur and the sharp sign.

I am really enjoying playing with Instagram, I have only just really started to use it and it has really been a revelation for me. I have for the last few years been not really been working with my phone  camera at all. Then I discovered Instagram and a whole new world has opened up for me. It is fantastic and I have really reconnected with my love of just taking pictures for fun and play. Now I just need a phone with a better battery life!


London Trains

Another train, another train journey into London. When they are not packed full of people, or when I don’t have to be somewhere and I’m stuck on the train, I love riding the trains. Watching the world woosh past or crawl depending on the signals is great fun. You can see all sorts of amazing things out the windows, there are fields full of horses and cows and bunnies and deer. Some of my favorite train moments have been early in the morning out in the country seeing the deer in the fields as the sun rises it is so surprising to see them and such a rush!

Today though I am coming into the city so no furry animals but there are trains and graffiti which I also love to photograph.


London Photo – Homeward Bound

On the platform of London Bridge walking up to the front of the train heading home. I looked up and saw this old gentleman wandering down the platform ahead of me. He seemed ready to head home and kick back and relax after a hard day in front of his desk. Luckily he wasn’t moving that fast so not only could I keep up with him (I’m a slow walker), I also had time to get my phone out, unlock it and take a photo before I got on the train.


Lunch Break

Another train into London, this time to Waterloo. There is a lot of construction going on in that part of the city from London Bridge Station to Waterloo East seems to be non-stop scaffolding and construction sites. As we were slowly moving by on the train I happened to catch these two guys taking a breather or lunch break (I like to imagine). I really get a kick out of catching these moments in the day when people are just taking a moment to do nothing more than be themselves. I often aim to catch people in that state when I am shooting events or parties, it can be a bit tricky because people often find it hard to relax with a camera floating around, which is completely understandable. I do my best to get people comfortable and usually after a while they forget I am even holding a camera, or even better they start to have fun with me taking their pictures.


Central London Green Tea Cheesecake

I love the bitterness of green tea and in desserts, I can enjoy that bitterness and half convince myself it both naughty and healthy at the same time. This green tea cheesecake was just the ticket after a lovely lunch in central london with friends. YUM!

We have recently found this cake and tea house on Wardour St just a few doors away from the Humming Bird Cafe. It does an impressive selection of cakes and teas and also boasts some tasty sounding breakfasts. I can’t vouch for the breakfasts as I havent had any but the cakes are good and so are the teas. It’s always busy as is to be expected in that part of London so you have to move quickly to secure a table sometimes .


He waits patiently

This very adorable old man dog waits patiently for his mistress to get her shopping (probably some dog food) and take him home so he can kick back and relax for the rest of the day until he needed again to escort her to the local shops again.


Junk Yard Cars

On the train again, I pass by this junk yard when I’m on the slow train I love the old cars on the roof of what I assume to be a junk yard. I often entertain the fantasy of taking one of them home and fixing it up to be a fancy red racer. I doubt the reality would match the fantasy though, but it is fun to dream.


Skull jacket

Skull jacket I noticed the skull patch on this guys jacket as he walked past and I was compelled to capture it. So much so I speed walked to keep him in sight while I fumbled for my phone. Thank goodness for my current obsession with Instagram or I may have well let thus moment just pass by.

http://instagr.am/p/KSoeojrypy/


Taking your photographs

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I have been putting off this post for the last few days, my mind full of things I need to do, I kept telling myself I just didn’t have anything to say. Then wandering through the shopping center buying ingredients for pizza I looked up and around at all the people in this place and thought about each and every one of them having their own perspective on the same scene I am looking at right now.

That brought me back to thinking about photography, I meet people fairly often who ask me how to take a better photograph. People who have been practising and teaching themselves to take photographs but for one reason or another feel unsatisfied with the results. So I thought maybe it would be useful to talk here about what photography means to me and how I approach it, talking about it also for me is of great benefit because I get to touch base with my purpose for doing it and remember what it does for me.

So where to start with photography?

There are lots of articles out there about the rules of photography and so I’m not really going to talk about the specifics here, but it is important to have some idea of the basics and here is why I think why.

In order to craft your image and continue to get results and improve, you need a framework of some form.

In the beginning you need that framework or structure to help you to train your eyes, mind and sense of aesthetics to focus on what you are seeing in front of you, right in the moment. In the day-to-day our eyes are capturing many images all at once and our brain takes all those bits of visual information and creates a composite for us to interact and relate to, at least this is the way I understand it. Part of being able to frame and compose an image is to recognize individual pieces of that larger composite and capture them with a camera.

To learn to really look at the whole scene and deconstruct it enough to find for yourself an image you want to capture. Then along with that what are you trying to communicate, what is its context in the larger frame and the story it is telling? Experimenting with these and other principles is how to grow and where the fun is.  How to avoid camera shake without a tripod with poor light or use it to your advantage to communicate something about your subject, experimenting with different styles of photography what you enjoy shooting, what you don’t. How to see the lines in the image you are capturing or using focus to draw the eye in, these techniques all have some basic rules that help you to learn how to use them and give you  general idea of what works so that you can train and develop your eye.

When I come across a technique I am interested in I will usually start with reading up on and looking at as many examples as I can (before I get too excited and have to go photograph something) Then with the knowledge I have as a guide and point of reference I can start to learn and then play with the technique. You have to play to really get what happens when you take a picture, when you take a picture with framing, composition or aperture in mind your directly interacting with your subject to create something you want to communicate.

Pay attention to the light.

I think of photography as more than just taking a camera pointing it and pushing the button. When I was first starting out I heard the term ‘painting with light’ used to describe the art of photography and it always stuck with me. It is very much about being aware of how the light is in the place you are photographing. In some places (a studio for example) you will have a very direct and fine control over the properties of the light around you, but there are many other times where you will have no control at all. This doesn’t mean you can’t take a good photo, you may have to tweak it in post production to get exactly what you want but if you are paying attention to the quality of light around you, you can get some really stunning shots.

Light isn’t just for making things brighter, it has temperature and texture. Light can be soft or harsh it can make your images cold or warm and you can work with that too. Some tones you will be by instinct more comfortable with, while others will make an image unsettling, experiment with it. Take a series of photographs with the same subject at different angles, zoom in and out,  notice how the light in relation to you and your subject changes the tone of the image. Take photographs at different times of day and see how the quality of the light changes and how it affects what you’re photographing.

Value your perspective.

As I mentioned before I think that part of the art pf photography is being able to find the images in that sea of visual information coming at you, that have some kind of power or resonance for you and capturing it. Sometimes you will have just a few moments to catch it before it disappears forever or you may have days or even weeks to try time and time again to get that composition right. What is most important for this image to be what you want it to be is your vision. It can sometimes be intimidating and disheartening to look out and around at the thousands of images being produced of stunning quality. If you live in a dirty part of town and don’t have much by way of mountains or sunny beaches you may wonder if anyone will pay attention to your photographs. Well they might not it’s true, but that is not a good reason to stop taking photographs.

This is the second but by no means lesser part of what I believe about photography, it’s a real privilege to have the chance to capture moments in time, never to be repeated again. To be able to create something out of that single unique moment that speaks to people in some way, is an amazing thing to be able to do. Part of creating that, is you and how you see the world, how you unpick all that visual information and create a single image, to communicate to other people with. Learn techniques by studying other people’s images that work but don’t aspire to be like anyone but yourself.

It’s what you see and how you frame it that makes it special, this may sound a bit fluffy but I have from experience found that when I have got into that trap of trying to create photographs like other photographers to be more marketable or to get more attention, I don’t. It’s not because they are bad images but, they don’t inspire me or others looking at them. It’s when I trust my vision and what I have to see in each moment and that it’s worth sharing, that is when something special happens.


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