I was out with a friend in the City the other day, roaming around to see what interesting shots we could get, and I took these shots of a workman taking a quiet moment to have his lunch. Of course, as soon as he sat down, he was badgered by pigeons!
Of the shots I took, my friend and I disagree about which shot we prefer. She likes the shot above because it is a very wintry scene: you can see that there are very few leaves on the tree. She also likes that it is just him and the tree or him and the bicycle. I suppose it is a series of pairs: there are a pair of pigeons as well (not counting the one sitting on the bench). His sitting position mirrors the chairs above.
But I prefer the shot below because of the groups of three in it: the man, the tree and bike and the woman in the background on her phone. There are also three pigeons and there is something in each third of the frame. I also like the depth within the frame and the fact that you can see more of his face.
Does anyone else have an opinion? I would love to read them.
Even in a busy city there is always time to stand – or in this case sit – and stare. You don’t always have to be doing something and it’s good to see people lost in thought.
As I wander around London taking street photos I am never alone. There are always tourists, even on grey November days in the City of London. I’m always amused by the poses that people strike when they are having their photos taken and the contortions that some get themselves into to get that photo of their travelling companions in front of some building or other.
Of course there are always lots of tourists in the summer. I took the photos below in the space of about 20 minutes around Parliament Square in July.
The first – the good old thumbs up. And of course there is someone posing in the red telephone box behind. Thumbs-up man would have had the Elizabeth Tower (otherwise known as Big Ben) in the background.
And the ever popular red telephone box shot which, in these days of mobile phones, seems an anachronism. Still tourists love them.
And if you are going to stand on a traffic island to get that shot of your friend with the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) in the background you are going to have to bend over backwards!
Continuing with photos I have revisited and decided that I like them when I had initially thought they weren’t very good, I have one from Charing Cross Road outside Leicester Square station. I like the way the street cleaner and the cyclist are picked out by car headlights – almost like a spotlight. I’m just annoyed that the image isn’t sharper.
Would love to know what you think.
A rainy November afternoon on Trafalgar Square. Taken today (8th Nov 2013). Welcome to London, tourists!
Taken with my iPhone.
I’ve been going through photos that I have taken in the last year and on a second look I have found something that I didn’t see in them before. I often do that. I will dismiss a photo just after I’ve taken it. I think it’s all right but not good and on a second look I see something else in it.
So I will be posting a few on the blog over the next week and I would welcome your comments.
The first one was taken on London Bridge in August. The thing about summer rain is that it can catch you out even when it has been forecast and you’ve lived in Britain all your life and you really should know to carry an umbrella at all times. But somehow we seem to be either ridiculously optimistic about the weather or just deluded. Either way, the rain sometimes comes as a surprise and you have to use whatever is at hand to try to keep at least a little bit dry.
And after your newspaper has got thoroughly sodden and soggy, you can always dump it on top of a post box:
After the rain, there are the puddles. And sometimes the drains can’t cope. But if you have an enormous sink plunger (and that’s not a euphemism!), you might be able to sort it out:
So it’s back to lots of photography in the dark. When the clocks go back this weekend coming, I will only be getting daytime shots at the weekends. Well at least I will be getting to practise my lowlight photography skills… a lot.
One of the advantages of photographing a big city is the number of lights around and the fact that people gravitate towards the light so that they can see what they are doing – whether it is reading a newspaper on a platform at Charing Cross Station or checking their phones.
And the light spilling out from the station, as here at Embankment, also gives the opportunity for great silhouette photography, with the added dimension of two women lit by a streetlight they are standing under.
And in London a lot of commuters take advantage of a free Evening Standard to read or flick through on the journey home.
I do like city scapes. The trouble with most cities is that once you are in among the buildings, there isn’t a lot of room for the ‘scape’ part. But Docklands and the surrounding areas does provide some great open spaces to photograph wider vistas.
I took this first shot from the DLR platform at Canning Town Station. I wanted to capture the morning mist that sometimes surrounds Canary Wharf. And I waited to capture the red of the DLR train standing out against the misty grey.
The two photos below are of Royal Victoria Dock at sunset. In the first, a plane is coming in to land at City Airport. You can see Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome – now known as the O2 Arena – in the background.
In this photo below, you can also see Millennium Mill (or is it Mills?) on the left and the Excel Centre on the right. The Excel Centre was part of the regeneration of the old London docks while the mill is part of the history of the docks and is now derelict.
I spent an evening wandering around the City, near the Bank of England and the Lloyds building, trying to capture the essence of life in the evening. I really though I would be getting photos through windows of people working late.
But instead I found plenty of drinking and people on their way home. The first photo is a woman waiting for a bus outside the Bank of England. It is an imposing building – as are many in the City and the woman and the bus stop were perfectly placed to contrast with the imposing central bank building.
I waited a long while outside Bank Station to get a shot of one or two people being swallowed up by the station entrance. This was my favourite of all the shots I took.
Following on from my last post of the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival Parade, here are some other photos I took of other people taking part in the ceremonials outside the Guildhall in the City of London.
Many of the characters reflected the Victorian origins of the Pearly King’s and Queens.
Others, the traditions that some are trying to keep alive – such as May Pole dancing – but which only seem to put in an appearance at events like this or village fetes.
And others – such as the Young’s Brewery dray driver with his shire horses – hark back to a bygone age but are a nice spectacle when you do see them.