carnival spirit

So, I managed to actually go to the Notting Hill Carnival this year. A small miracle indeed, as for the past eight years this has been in the plans. And there I was, with my Holga poised yesterday, and these are my memories from the first time in the biggest street carnival in Europe:

First impressions: There were a lot of people.
Mostly dressed in bright colours.

There was also a lot of rubbish, everywhere.
(…and guys too cool for school :D)

There were also a lot of people selling, and buying, rubbish.

And then there was a lot of waiting around.
We were all waiting for the main parade to come by.
When it did, I have no idea where the thousands of people appeared from.
I should have called this "the calm before the storm".

Then the parade came by! In all its colourful, heart thumping bass soca way.
The costumes, the dancing, all fabulous!
Although some people were feeling tired of having the hundreth photo taken of them. :D

Elsewhere in Notting Hill:
There were a lot of police around. Some were on these magnificent horses.

They were getting a lot of love indeed. :D
I have to say that they were the highlight of my day, too.

In the end I escaped the crush of people to Hyde Park.

I had lovely lunch near Hyde Park Corner and thought that honestly I'm not very disappointed it took me all this time to pop over to the carnival. I suppose it's one of those things that is better exprienced with someone or a group of friends. But in the end I'm glad I went, it's just been embarrasing not to have been all this time I've been in London. And it was a nice day out with my Holga, too.

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Saturday tourist

Saturdays seem to have become a bit of a routine photography days for me in the week. It's probably because it's just practical for me, but neverthless, I'm getting into a bit more of a routine to shoot, and shoot film more, after my little summer break. This new Olympus Pen EE half frame camera is bringing me so much joy as well. I had so much fun with playing the tourist with it today:

I went to Tate Britain first thing today so see the How We Are – Photographing Britain exhibition. We tried to see it couple weeks ago, since my friend Marianne has one of her photos in the special Flickr sponsored part of it, but we were too late to get in. Hence this photo being quite appropriate. And it was open today, and I saw it (and took a sneaky photo of it for Marianne). ;)

From the Tate I walked via Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. I felt like doing some touristy shots and what is a better place than heart of London by Nelson. You can catch so many great people shots there. And Nelson really is my favourite guy in London. :D

It's not legal to feed the birds at Trafalgar Square anymore. I remember the first time I stood in this spot over 15 years ago you couldn't see the ground from the pidgeons. And some people still get a bit lost in London. I had to snap him for good old time's sake.

My favourite shot(s) from the day. There is something very sweet about this, in a very London way. I'm not quite happy with the Kodal Elite 400 film I put through the camera though today. A bit too saturated for my taste, but I'm still learning what I can do with the new camera (which is part of the fun!).

So, for the rest of the weekend – I have a little plan to go and take my Holga to the Notting Hill Carnival on Monday. I've never been, which is quite embarrasing, since I've lived in London almost nine years. I kinda feel it is about time I experienced one of its institutions. I have said this same thing the past couple years though, so no guarantees.

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Soura feature

Happy weekend from London! Apart from spending my time cleaning and tidying this Saturday I've finally managed to scan the feature of me and my street photography from the July – August feature of the Soura Magazine to share with you. You'll probably recognize most of these photos, since the magazine found me through VOX. ;-)

They made a swanky intro page to my feature.

The magazine is a bit larger than my scanner, so apologies for the gaps in the middle.

It is still quite surreal to hold the magazine in my hands and see my photos in it.

I had to omit a spread between here. It's not anything you haven't seen before though. Just two single photos in the spread. I just love how they made the layout of the pages as well. It's quite incredible to see my photos this size, in a real magazine! :)

They kindly asked me to provide a self portrait with the feature. I shot one near midnight one week night with one of my Polaroid land cameras. I quite like how it turned out considering it was quite last minute.

Soura also asked me to tell a little bit about myself, my approach to photography and basically what street photography means to me. I wrote some thoughts down thinking it will get heavily edited, but to my surprise the whole text accompanied the photographs in the feature. I'm very grateful to my great friend René who was very patient with me and helped me get my thoughts straight. He provided me with a firm editorial hand and great insights of his own for my text. Without him I'd probably come across really ditzy! :D

I'm also very thankful for the interest and support Soura magazine has provided me in my photography. Special thanks goes to the editor in chief Mariam who was a great pleasure to deal with and who sent me two copies of the magazine to share with my family, too. And of course a big thanks to VOX for providing such a great and easy-to-use platform for me to be able to share my London and photographs with you all.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, there are more photos to come soon! ;-)

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half truths

I cannot believe it is August already. Where is the summer slipping away to? It only feels it's just begun here in Britain. It was actually quite ironic having to go near the arctic circle to catch some proper summer weather in July. And my, isn't this British – talking about weather! :D I should really get to the point and ta-tara-raa announce the arrival of my scanner! It is finally here courtesy of selling some stuff on eBay and photographs as prints in the past couple months. I am so excited, and to be honest such a nerd. Installing and fiddling with new gadgets is one of my favourite past times. I can now scan prints straight from negatives, but I haven't tried to do that yet, I'll save that for the weekend. But of course I couldn't resist putting something through the new toy, so I scanned some of the prints from my other new toy: Olympus Pen EE half frame camera. This little Japanese beauty takes two vertical photos in one frame and is so much fun.

I took my Olympus Pen EE out the first time on Saturday 4th August and here is what I came home with!

It was an amazing day on that Saturday on the South Bank.
I sure had a nice time… :)

The London Eye is the most popular tourist attraction in London at the moment. I think it has been so since they hoisted it up in 2000 (apparently 3,5 million people go round it in a year). It is also my favourite sign of British competency: originally planned to open on New Year's Eve 1999 to commemorate the new millennium it actually had it's first official run in March 2000 instead. Oh well…

What can I say about this one. Just things I saw and liked together.
McJob is now an official Oxford Dictionary word by the way. ;)

Two great things going around in the South Bank.
It's great fun to compose and match things together with this little camera. I really enjoyed thinking outside the box a bit when shooting the first film. It's always nice to try new things as well to refresh from the old routine.

This is my favourite photo from the day. That fountain is still up there by the Royal Festival Hall. I think it's proven a massive hit to be honest. There were so many people, old and young, running their way across it. I never come away frowning from this spot, the joy is so contageous.

I'm gutted that the photo on the left is blurry, this would have been such a perfect pair otherwise. The tricky bit is actually trying to remember where exactly you are in the film when shooting with the camera. The counter doesn't help you that much to be honest. But I am sure I'm going to go out with this camera again, I had such great fun with it. I've also bought bundles of film for it, too. Having the scanner really helps now as well. :D

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