Tag Archives: photographs in london

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.

 


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.


Creativity

I am often as much impressed as I am amused in by the way we humans creatively use our environment. Quite often I see evidence of other people using what is around them to overcome the limitations of their own resources or environment. This student for example not having access to the space or clothes dryer he needs to dry his underpants. Simply takes advantage of the warm sunny weather opens a window and hangs them out to dry. Fantastic!


Waiting

These two old fellas wait patiently while their master pops in and outs of shops, they watch him dashing back and forth with some amusement I imagine. He seems to be in such a rush and not really appearing to get very far, I hope he remembers the dog food.


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.


Old year passes

Well here I am again, standing at the end of one year, peering into the birth of a new one ahead and wondering what is in store for me. This year has been a roller coaster of a journey, I’ve chosen the uncertainty of  freelancing and doing what I am passionate about over the stability of a well paying regular job that I had no interest in, but I could pay my bills and not worry about money. It’s not as easy a choice as you’d think. It’s not easy because I was brought up to believe, like many people, that having a job and paying the bills is what makes us a valuable member of society and anything other than that is not acceptable. So to walk away from that apparent certainty and into the world of not knowing where your next customer is coming from, having to justify how much I charge and having to chase people to pay me on time over and over has been really stressful.

I’ve learned a lot though. I’ve learned to appreciate the support that other people give me and I’ve learned to recognize that I have something valuable to contribute and that even though people may not take me up on what is on offer that does not mean that what I am doing is not the right thing to do. It has been a journey this year, it has taught me about integrity about what it is to be true to myself and what I believe in. I’ve been challenged and had to get creative about what I want to do and how I go about doing it. Everyday I ask myself , is this really the right thing, should I be doing this at all or should I go back to what I am ‘supposed’ to be doing? So here is what I’ve come up with and maybe putting it down for you to read will be helpful too, at least I hope it is.

If you believe in something more than this world, that we all have some sort of spiritual something within us call it a soul if you like. Then part of what we are here in this life for is to explore and develop that part of us in a physical world context, then how do we do that? Can I develop myself by watching reality TV or allowing myself to be distracted by things that take me away from being alive and in the moment. Do I avoid the things that make me feel uncomfortable and only pursue that which makes me feel good or do I allow myself to be with it all? I want to be with every moment of my life as fully as I can be, it doesn’t mean I don’t switch off or shut down I’m human, not perfect after all, but I can take a moment each time I notice I am not in the now and ask myself is that why I am here?

If you believe there is nothing but this life, that we are just biological machines that will be nothing after our clock has stopped ticking. Then would it not logically be a better use of our limited time to explore the world, it’s wonders and ourselves as fully as we can. Each moment is unrepeatable and every moment passed is one closer to our end, do I really want to spend this finite time resenting and belittling other people. Could I not be using each moment to see what it’s like to be who I really am in the world and what I can do. We seem to spend so much time avoiding our lives, avoiding other people or pretending to have a connection or purpose with something when we just think that is what is expected of us. How much of life do we give away to the perceived expectation of others at the expense of our true expression or purpose because we don’t want to disappoint or be seen as foolish or soft or silly or uncool.

My year ahead is filled with uncertainty and  I have no idea what will happen, I’m ok with that. I’m willing to put myself out in the world and every time I notice my defenses coming up to keep me from being seen by other people as stupid or uncool I’ll be willing to remember that the most courageous and powerful thing I can do is be who I really am even in the face of expectation. I am not ashamed of wanting more for myself and the world than money and stuff. I am willing to believe that we can do better, reach higher and make choices that not only benefit us but those around us and those who come after us. I’m willing to start today.


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