Wandering around Covent Garden on a spring day, there was something about this couple that caught my eye. The sun was helpfully highlighting them. But it was the way they were interacting: the woman seemed self-assured, the man a little agitated.
I was following Japanese tourists around – I had spotted a group of three and I wanted to get that classic composition of three people doing the same thing but completely unaware of each other.
Then I spotted these two men standing behind one another in the same pose and moved around to get the right angle and the man on the left put his camera up to his eye. I pressed the shutter. And as luck would have it, nobody walked in front of me at that moment. That is a hazard of shooting in busy places – you get the perfect shot and someone walks in front at the wrong moment and partially or completely obscures it. When they’ve gone, the moment has passed and the perfect shot is no more.
There are a lot of performers in Covent Garden which can be lucrative for some while others get ignored as the crowds gather round someone else. These Storm Troopers were mocking the cheering crowd that had gathered around another performer. I don’t know what their act was – they seemed to be waiting for people to gather or to come up to have their photos taken with them.
I particularly like the footwear – the white shoes just about blend in but the trainers don’t really finish off the outfit! I can’t think what Storm Troopers actually wear on their feet. I can’t remember seeing their feet in a Star Wars film.
Continuing my theme of looking through windows – I have been back in Soho. (My last post was Covent Garden.) I was experimenting with juxtaposing what was outside with the inside of these cafes. I’d love to know your thoughts
I also took this one in colour. I don’t know which I prefer. The black and white has more atmosphere but I like the colours in the colour version – I like the splashes of green against the mostly yellow-toned background and I like the sepia tone of the reflection.
The condensation on the window of a cafe blurs the outline of the two women inside. But it also gives a nice reflection of the windows of the building opposite.
I took two shots of this cafe window. The second shows two other women, one of whom’s face can be seen while the other’s face is obscured by a reflection of a bright light. I like the symmetry of the two tables, the two pairs of women and the way the faces are obscured.
I don’t know which I prefer. Any thoughts?
My New Year’s resolution to post at least twice a week went to pot in the first week of January! As Mark Twain said: “New Year’s Day: now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving Hell with them as usual.”
It seems I did just that. I blame it on the lurgy. But now that I am fit and well again and ready to post, this is a photo that I took at the end of 2013 that I have been wanting to share for a while. I caught this couple on Villiers Street (down the side of Charing Cross Station). I love that she still has her cigarette in her hand and he will be back on his phone in a moment.
Is it romantic? Or is it a comment on the state of romance these days?
I knew that a West End full of Christmas shoppers on a very overcast and rainy day was going to be a challenge for street photography – not least because of the poor light and the crowds – but I hadn’t expected it to be so boring! No crazy shoppers battling each other for the last of whatever is the latest thing to have; no-one collapsing under the weight of their shopping; no pushing and shoving on the pavements: it was all very civilised. I suppose that’s what the age of online shopping has brought about. Most people seemed to be out for a bit of a Sunday mooch about the shops – even with the rain.
So I turned my camera on the interesting characters I spotted.
The weather might be getting colder but that doesn’t stop people sitting outside to eat and drink. And we’re not talking outside with heaters either. Those are clearly for wimps. The truly British way is to keep your coat on and brave it!
I took the top image at the end of October, so it wasn’t as cold then as it is now but it still wasn’t balmy. Barmy yes, balmy no.
What caught my eye is the way each table is spotlighted. It is outside the Royal Festival Hall, also known as the South Bank Centre – or is it now known as the South Bank Centre and not the Royal Festival Hall? I lose track.
But now it’s December and people are still at it! I was surprised to find some outside restaurant booths in Covent Garden and people happily using them despite the cold. Still they have lovely lighting which highlights people’s faces beautifully.
And under the covered part of Covent Garden where it is possibly a little warmer, people are lit by spots of light shining off a giant mirror ball above them – part of the Christmas decorations.
What I liked about this group is how all they are all watching the waiter pour the wine, like hawks. They were obviously in need of a drink! Judging by the bags, it must be Christmas shopping exhaustion.
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!