busy inner city

You might laugh, you might frown

Walkin' round London town…
(Lily Allen – LDN)

I think I have accidentally stumbled on couple starts of series.
There certainly seems to be themes like this to my recent photos.

There were a lot of people carrying things around today.

I'm not sure how much shelter from the rain she was getting under there. :-)

He looked, but he didn't buy.
(Who has a summer sale on around the beginning of October anyways?)

For some reason I find this photo very pleasing to look at.
To me it looks like a blue monster trying to eat the man…

I'm always fascinated by urban loneliness and isolation, be it in photographs or in literature.
It's such a contradiction in a major city like London where there are moments of this forced (and false) intimacy e.g. in public transportation. It always surprises me too when I find people alone in quiet places around London. There is something melancholy about them, like in this woman.

Speaking of themes, here's more rubbish. :-D
I'm not sure if you can see his chef moustache in this photo.
They were impressive!

He literally walked into my shot. I was actually trying to catch the guy who is now behind him (carrying massive paper bags of paper cups), but the builder fits into to the category of more people carrying more stuff today.

And another common theme: here's more people on bicycles…

And to round this entry off, here are my three personal favourites from today:

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

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you want fries with that?

About a week ago when I was on my way home from doing some neighbourhood street photography I popped into my local kebab shop to get something for dinner. Whilst pondering what to order the guys behind the counter pointed at the camera around my neck, assembled into a pose and asked me to take a photo. Today I brought them the print. What was even better than the free chips with garlic sauce I was treated to was the reaction from the guys when I gave them this photo. They work hard, long hours and with sometimes difficult (and drunk) customers. I had forgotten how someone else's genuine smile and gratitude can make you feel. I am so glad I was reminded of that tonight. (And of course, for the free chips. ;-))

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please release me

Just having one of those weeks – and it's only Tuesday. (I can't wait until Thursday now… :-P)

Here's some photos from yesterday. Not many, and nothing fantastic I'm afraid. It was raining on and off in London yesterday afternoon and evening. I was also in a rush getting to Tate Modern after work to get to my course on time. So, it was sloppy shooting – unfortunately.

This was zooming past me on The Cut.
I love the superhero costume on the phonebox caught in this picture.
I went through an obsession with the colour yellow in my photos this summer.
Maybe this is ripples of that… :-)

The way he was wearing his coat caught my eye.
I have no idea why he had it like that, or what he was hiding! ;-)

Just around the corner from Tate Modern I spotted this.
I don't know if I took any photos on that date, but I thought the combination of these two was funny though.

For some reason this caught my eye on my way home.
Litter is part of the landscape in London. Too much so, come to think of it.

… But it reminded me of a photo I took on Friday and didn't blog:

Another series coming up? :-D

The last thing I saw was:

Her bike was in a bad shape and it was getting late.
(I think I'm currently going through a phase of snapping at people on and off their bikes!)

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Friday Street

I am so not making this up. I could not have come across a better street in the City of London today.

It's Friday. I'm doing street photography.
On a street in London called Friday Street!
Don't you just love these kinds of coincidences? :-)

Good start for the weekend was the fact that the pouring rain cleared by the time I was leaving work today. I made special effort of bringing my camera with me to work today, because even though things are going good shooting wise, I am still having to push myself. I'd give 6 out of 10 for today's street shooting. There were so many people around today. Even in London standards. So, it was hard to keep up with what was going on around me. Especially because I decided to go home via the City (Old Street, Moorgate, London Wall, Cannon Street and Blackfriars). There was this BUZZ of Friday going on today. People were so happy, in love, going away, going home, having drinks, laughing.

This couple was so happy in love and totally oblivious what was going on in the world around them.
(Everyone together now: aww!)

What else did I see today:

He's got a long month ahead of him…

I'm not sure to whom or why he was doing this, but it made me smile.

Would you trust this workman building your home? :-D

Fights over taxis. They are fun when you're not involved.

We were waiting for the bus to get home. She had time to pop in the Starbucks, I didn't.

The plan for the weekend now is some relaxing, reading, pancakes, cleaning, laundry, street photography, dinner with friends and time generally spent in pyjamas – and maybe not in this particular order. I'm still reading Geoff Dyers's Ongoing Moment. It's an interesting read. If you can get over the blind according players. ;-)

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Happy Monday!

This is what I saw today (on my way to Tate Modern and back home again):

I think he didn't quite get the idea of how to ride a bike perhaps… :-D

I love how these people aligned whilst I was composing the shot.

Little did the three friends know that their past had caught up with them…
I mean, just look at that guy catching up to them! :-D

He caught my eye. I liked the light and that huge text behind him. As I hardly ever shoot at night time this is something totally new to me. Shame about that black pilar in the foreground, but this was closest I could get to him without looking like a stalker.

This is my favourite photo from today. The combination of people, the shapes and lights really make me happy about catching this moment. It's amazing what people will do when they trust you're not taking a photo of them. She was standing there for ages writing a text message before walking down the stairs to the underground. A perfect model. :-)

As you can see, the Photography and The City workshop at Tate Modern is doing something good to me and my street photography. I can't express how glad I am to have shaken that feeling of having to get a magnificent shot every time I was out with a camera. I felt so stuffy, limited and inadequate for such a long time. Now I just go out and shoot. It feels amazing, so liberating. It's so simple, yet I'm the most productive I have been all year. Just watch out London! ;-)


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Re: Weekdays
Saturdays are my favourite ones.

I've had a really nice Saturday today wandering around London town. Before I left the house this afternoon I caught Lily Allen's LDN on the radio. What a great theme tune it was for today. There is something very special about London. Every time I go away and come back the energy of this city really hits me. Sometimes it's feels like a current going through me and other people on the streets.

Street photographywise it was a good day today, too. There were the Thames Festival as well as the London Bridges Walk going on today. However I steered away from both first and headed for a walk across Blackfriars Bridge to parts of the Square Mile and Holborn. I love getting lost in the City of London. It still amazes me that after all the years I've lived in this city I end up finding places I've never come across before. My favourite find from today was Lincoln's Inn Fields.

This guy was having a nap in the park there.

I love how people mark their territory in the urban landscape. I have been fascinated by graffiti for a long time. Just  look at the contrast in these two:


Both spotted today.

On my way home I caught the bus to the National Theatre to see some of the Thames Festival. The South Bank was full of people, and I had been out all day at this point so I just walked through a small patch before heading home. I tried to catch some photos of the atmosphere just at the tailend of my enthusiasm (and CF card). These are my three favourite ones:

I'm not sure what they were taking a break from, but they look like Blues Brother Jr.

There was a fantastic show on outside the NT when I got there.

Someone had already had enough…

In the meanwhile… my flickr photos have been getting loads of activity in the past 24 hrs. I usually get about max 30 views per photo there, but one of them is now gone over 1,000 views! I'm totally puzzled. I have no idea where the interest has come from. The few photos that are getting a lot of views only have one comment, too, so it must be outside Flickr.com.  It's quite frightening to have such views on my photos. I keep looking at them and thinking "Why these?". (If anyone knows, will you let me know please? :-))

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just another manic… Thursday?

Most of the week I have been feeling like this.

And today has been a bizarre day. People who know me know how much I hate Thursdays. I can't stand the in-between-nothing-day that Thursday is. It's not quite the week, not yet exciting as Friday is as the gateway to the weekend. On top of it all, anything that can go wrong on a Thursday it usually will. I can't really say that things have gone wrong today, they have just been… well, weird.

I was walking around the neighbourhood shooting streetphotos this afternoon. I was stopped by a guy handing out free afternoon newpapers (I blame my new hair colour) not to give me the paper, but to ask me about my Canon 20D. Turns out seven months ago he bought a Canon EOS-1D Mark II with some badass (<– used quite liberally in this context) telephoto lenses to become a London paparazzi. He's been to two premiers. His recommendation to me was to upgrade to a Canon 5D. When I said I am very happy with my 20D and I'm out doing some street photography his eyes went blank and he kept handing out his free newpaper. Only in London… ;-) Have you ever come across people who are photographers just for the sake of the gear, not actually what they do with it?

Today was a "warm up" photos only day. As I'm doing a course with Tate Modern called City & Photography we are asked to photograph during the next few weeks our "chance encouters" with the city. Because I've been in a bit of a dip with my street photography I think this course has come at a good time to inspire and to push me. As far as warm ups go it was an ok day on the street. My best photo from the day is quite possibly this one:

She was probably on her way home from work, standing at the traffic lights, yawning.

As I walked past Waterloo Arts Centre a young woman was putting up a sign about a photography workshop. When I asked her what it was about she took me in and asked me to take part. Turns out The Lomographic Society is doing a special project in Lower Marsh (a street and market behind Waterloo Station). I was given a Lomo colorsplash camera to record the market, memories and people on the street. How fantastic! The Lomo people are displaying the best photos on South Bank and I will get copies of my prints. I did have to sign the copyrights over and a model release (under Austrian law, yikes! :-D), but it's Lomo. How could I not? I took 20 photos this afternoon and I'm going back this evening to take some night shots. The colour flash (clear, red, yellow and blue) should come handy when it gets dark. We have to return the cameras tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to see what I can get up to with the rest of the roll and also what other people have snapped! I'll post some details here too when I find out when this lomo wall is going up!

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