suspicious Saturday

I was at Camden about lunch time today. The people there, the real Londoners, are so suspicious of anyone with a camera! Well rightly so, but not many people approach me when I am taking photos out and about London. Today I had a number of dirty and/or suspicious looks from people and someone came to ask me who I was taking photos of. I'm usually happy to talk about what I'm doing and why. Smiling helps a lot too I've come to learn since I started to do street photography. :-) However if you are an angry drunk homeless woman I'm not even shooting I'm happy to say "that building over there" pointing above you…

See what I mean? Someone was not happy at all with me holding a camera.
Oh well… Sometimes it's just not all about you. :-D

Some people on the other hand did not mind at all.
Typical Saturday traffic in Camden in the background.

He was in a world of his own. And less confrontational.
I like looks like these, people are more genuine when they are oblivious.

So, next week it is December.
I know I'm in slight denial about this,
but you won't find me eating ice cream at a cold and windy London bus stop.
She was really enjoying it, too.
(…maybe I'm just jealous? :-D)

I wonder who was walking who?
Lucky that there was another guy on his mobile phone, too.

She reminds me of that lady in that first Home Alone film.
Maybe she's not as scary, but the pidgeons certainly recognised her.
I was trying to do some artistic dusky silhoutte photos when all the pidgeons vanished from my photo…

…at least I caught this before it was dinner time.

Humbug you say?
This is the shop window of Escapade, one of the coolest shops in London.
And my favourite photo from today actually.
There's something about those heads…

A month until Christmas… Oh man!
It's finally sinking in! :-|

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don’t feel like dancing

First of all – THANK YOU everybody so much for all the visits, favourites, comments and notes. The unexpected appearance at the VOX frontpage this week was a great honour. And most of all it gave me the gift of a bigger neighbourhood and new friends here. What could be better! :-) So hello to you all. Thanks for making my week really special, too. I have been suffering from a bad cold this week, hence the lack of posts here…

I did take my camera out and about after work today though. I have been wanting to get my teeth into more nighttime street photography. Not wanting to leave it much longer meant that today was the day (or night if you prefer) of new experiments. The days in UK are getting shorter anyways, so I thought I might as well get to grips with new light conditions and make the most of it.

Here is what I saw tonight:

At least it was not raining tonight, like it was yesterday…

One of the two free London newspapers handed out to people commuting home.
They are supposed to be handed out mind you, but sometimes the people handing them out also leave them in and at bus stops and trains. These were waiting at a bus stop. Actually they are a bit of a nuisance and rarely get recycled when left like this. If it rains they get walked into a pulp on the streets which is not a nice present to carry home on your shoes either…

Someone was left behind in the office.
Sometimes I like to do the same, sometimes it just feels eerie.

She was waiting for someone opposite the Farringdon underground station.
I just liked the way she was touching her hair and how elegant her hands were.

More people on their way home.
Since the London bombings in July 2005 the number of cyclists has increased in London.
Sometimes the cycling traffic is more breakneck than the car traffic let me tell you. :-D

It wouldn't be a box standard blog entry without a photo of someone carrying something, now would it?

Night time view of St Paul's from Blackfriars Bridge.
One of my favourite views of London.

He was a happy accident that walked into my photo.
I was waiting for the woman in the phonebox to come out actually.
London Eye in the background in beautiful blue.

Reasonably priced, too.
Unfortunately I had no means of taking any of these home tonight.

My love for elderly people doesn't vanish even at night time. :-D

I also love people with animated faces.
This is typical pedestrian congestion at traffic lights.

I only had one shot at him, so it's a bit soft.
I like it though, I was lucky with the composition at least.

The excitement of waiting for the bus home can sometimes be unbareable…
He was in a world of his own, totally. And I was very happy about that.

One of my favourites from tonight.
He was looking around a lot, but concentrated enough on the paper for me to grab this shot.
Lucky that London cab pulled into the frame, too.

Ever get that feeling that someone's watching you?
She was very intuitive, even though I was aiming for that hooded guy next her. :-)
I really like it when I make a connection with people in my photos –
whether they know they are being photographed or not.

That's it for tonight. It was a good experience and I'm sure I'll be getting out more after daylight this winter. :-)

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A friend.
Pub lunch.
Good conversations.


One of the first few photos from yesterday.
He was having a very heated conversation on the mobile.

What's better on a crispy autumn day?
Walking in the middle of the crunchy leaves in a London park?
Or the warm hot dog with extra mustard?

Or playing hide and seek with your friends? :-)

On a wheel in one of those maintenancy buggies the gardeners ride around the park at 5mph.
It's great to see some people aim high…

I hope it's as interesting read as the usual Sunday papers.

I love old people. I can't wait to be like this.
These two were so enticed by a squirrel – as you can see.

This young man was enjoying feeding the pidgeons in St James's Park.
It's my favourite London park, full of gorgeous trees and a lot of water.

People have different ways of enjoying the parks in London.
Some enjoy the fresh air, some enjoy polluting it.

Not old enough to be enticed by the squirrels obviously…

This Italian man got bitten by that goose.
Suppose the pieces of bread were not as juicy as his fingers.

This was a very popular activity in the park yesterday.
Birds fondling birds…

Speaking of which…

That black bird was in every single frame I took of the pelicans.

Did you hear that story the other week of one of these pelicans eating a pidgeon?
Read all about it here!

Keeping warm by Buckingham Palace.
Romance in London is not dead yet.

Is it me or does that man in the left corner look disapproving to you, too?
Or am I just a result of the modern society of paranoia (like he might be) where it is not ok for fathers to spend some quality time with their daughters without someone being suspicious?

Yesterday was Remembrance Day in UK.
We caught part of the parade band coming up the Whitehall,
and this man going against the flow.

I love that saying: "Only dead fish go with the flow". :-)

Yes, I'm going to be boring you with pictures of people with maps looking lost now for a while I think.

Like this guy…

… and this couple by Buckingham Palace…

… and these two!
I think that's it for now…

I have saved the best till last today.

We were by the Spencer House (at least I think that's where this is from) which is just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, next to Green Park yesterday afternoon.
This couple was aiming for the ultimate tourist snap…

You're not actually allowed to step inside those guard boxes, even if they are empty.
And the guards don't really speak to anyone usually.
However this guard told the couple off for their actions, resulting in the above being caught by me.
I just love that woman's face, and the fact that they have an awesome story to tell from their trip to London now. :-)

That's it for now…

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it’s so clear now

Went out to the neighbourhood on Saturday afternoon inspired by the recent findings of the "unblogged". The loot from the day was small and variable. But the day was bright, sunny and crisp, and it did me good to get out to get some fresh air. Well, as fresh as it comes in central London.

The park by the London Eye is lovely, and rarely too busy.

It doesn't get more typical than this in London.
No parking really doesn't mean no parking… now does it?

More typical view of my recent outings.
… or I wonder if it is the case of seeing something more often when you start to concentrate on it.
You know like when you break up with someone you see a lot of couples in love around you, all the time.

Saturdays can be tough days for relationships.
It surely wasn't all sunshine and puppy dogs for these two.

I wish I'd got a better photo of this young man.
He was walking with a minder and a younger sister (also carrying a poster) down South Bank.
I really liked the message being put across by a child. It really was stopping people in their tracks.

She stood out perfectly from the mass of people around her whilst waiting for – well, whoever she was waiting for.
I love her face and the details of the tree matching her colour scheme. :-)

Someone else waiting, but enjoying the sun in a different way.

What can I say – once again from the good old book of people meet posters street photography.
But honestly, who could resist photographing such a moment and connection?
I'm going to have to sort out the colours in my photoshop as this is coming out as really flat, but it's one of favourite photos from this year. I love when you're in the right place at the right time – and you have a camera with you! :-)

And the cherry on top of the Saturday gone was bumping into a film set at the Waterloo underground station:

The people at the bus stop are all extras in the film that was shot.
I'm not sure of the purpose of the man sitting in the middle of the road.
It also took me ages to find out what they were filming and with whom, but sticking around was worth it.
Turns out it was…

Matt Damon!
Filming the new Bourne Identity 3!

I was quite glad I got this photo, as big security men and other staff were walking in the line of anyone trying to take photos all the time on purpose. I eventually got asked to put my camera away and not to take photos. Which I did, because I'd already had my first London paparazzi moment and caught this. I feel so dirty now! :-D

This is actually the first "proper" Hollywood star I have come across in London in all the time I have lived here.
I've met and bumped into some minor British TV and film stars – best one probably being Colin Firth in the same comedy show in the East End couple years ago… And no I can't remember anything else from that night. He sat only 8 feet away from us! :-D Neneh Cherry has literally bumped into me at H&M the first year I lived in London too, but that's about it. And certainly I won't be getting out there becoming your regular start spotter/shooter either. Maybe this is just another case of being in the right place at the right time. :-)

But let's finish with something really cool photography-wise.

Here's a part of the South Bank Lomo Wall!
I went to see it finally, and as you can see it looks great!

I recognised about 3-4 photos to be mine, but it's SO big and there were quite a few people having a good look at it. It has all these really cool features of being able to hear poetry, memories and stories about the local Lower Marsh area, too. I'm glad I finally got to see it myself. If you are in London go and have a look yourself. You can find it on the South Bank, at Royal Festival Hall near the entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Hall (up the stairs) until 1st December 2006.

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Recently I have been organising things on my computer and came across some unblogged photos. Some of them I didn't blog originally as they seemed to lack something, but mostly I just forgot at the time. I'm going to go through them today in here, because I don't think it's fair leaving them out to be honest.

I liked the contrast with the man's expression and bundle with the caption on the poster.

This is the same bus stop as in this…

I really like the motion vs. static and people vs. inanimate.
I know the people set up with advertising/posters is the oldest trick in the street photography book,
but I happen to like it. :-D.
And look, it's more people carrying things…

This was a moment I passed on my way home.
I thought it was a funny the man was in the phone booth, but on his own mobile phone.
At the time I didn't think I executed this in the best possible way, but it still puts a smile on my face.

More people lost. I really should start organising this series on
I have learned to be subtly confrontational with my camera this year.
Mostly I pretend blatantly that I'm not even taking a photo of the person I am photographing.
Most of the time this works. Like with this man.
I really like the connection I have caught here with me and him, and his obvious feeling of frustration.

This is from London's Chinatown. I loved the contrast of these women and their positioning.
It's a shame that the older woman closed her eyes, and this is why I didn't blog this before.

One of the moments I wish I'd caught much better, but those men in the background really ruined any possibility of making this work after I took a couple of frames. There were so many of them so that the old lady got lost in the crowd and then a moment later she'd stood up, lost the fag and I'd lost the moment. Wish this was tad bit sharper, too. But there is something about old people smoking that I find fascinating… Oh, and the title is a play with words. A fag means a cigarette in Britain. It's not to meant to be offensive in any way. ;-)

I totally forgot to post this when I was blogging the photos from 16th September 06.
It's actually one of my favourite photos from that day, so I have no excuses.
I love the connection with the couple – the things people in love do in the "honeymoon period", as well as their setting.
Too cute for words. :-D

Shooting in general has been a bit slow, because work is consuming a lot of my time and energy at the moment. One nice thing that happened this week was that I got my prints and negs from the Lomographic Society (from the South Bank Lomo wall thing). There are two pictures in there which I really adore, about 6 that are ok and the rest of it is rubbish. The case of first rolls once again proven… :-D I'm adding scanning the prints to my to-do list, so expect to see some of them in the future here. But for now, I think I'll try to go out and get some new snaps!

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