Revisiting old photos

Woman sitting waiting for a bus in Oxford Street, London

Having switched from Aperture to Lightroom some months ago, I’ve finally got round to reprocessing some photos that I’d previously attempted to process in Aperture but wasn’t happy with the results.

This is the first of those. I don’t know why I resisted Lightroom for so long. I think it was a case of better the devil you know – or rather just not wanting to learn to use yet another piece of software. But Apple forced my hand when they dropped Aperture. And I’m so glad they did.

The problem with this shot was that there was a lot of noise. Switching it to black and white in Aperture didn’t give a satisfactory result. But de-noising in Lightroom and adding a bit of grain seems to have turned this into a half decent shot.

Though, having bought a new camera in April that is much better at low light, I won’t have this problem again. You’ve got to love technology!

Knickers Forever – Soho Windows #9

Model poses in underwear in shop window at night

I don’t want you to think I make a habit of this – taking photos of women in their undies. I came across this scene in Soho one evening. I think it must have been a promotion or a pop up shop opening.

Two women were sitting on a giant turntable in the window.

People look at model posing in window

Models laughing as they pose in a window

Soho windows #8

Looking through a coloured window in Soho, London, at 2 men talking

Looking through windows in Soho again. I took this about 6 weeks ago and initially dismissed it on first review. But looking through that shoot again, I had a change of heart. I like the mystery of this shot. We can see that two men are talking to each other but both their faces are obscured by parts of the window. It think it makes for a more interesting shot than if I’d managed to get both their faces in the shot – which, incidentally, I didn’t!

Soho bikes

 A man on a motorbike chats to a woman outside Ronnie Scotts in Soho, London

 

On an all night shoot in Soho recently, I got these shots of bikes – with bikers and rickshaw cyclists taking a rest, stopping for a chat, and lining up outside Ronnie Scotts. I don’t know what the occasion was for all the bikers outside Ronnie Scotts but I liked this image for the chatting couple in the middle. The man is clearly very interested in the woman. I love the expression on his face.

A rickshaw cyclist on his phone while he rests in Soho

A rickshaw driver chats to a couple outside the Intrepid Fox, Soho, London

A hard day

A man blowing his cheeks out on the tube in London

 

I know how he feels!

Taken on the tube.

London at the seaside

Southend seafront with adventure fun fair

Indulge me here! Okay. I know it isn’t London. But it is where Londoners come to play on a sunny Saturday afternoon in August. It’s Southend. I went there with other Londoners on Saturday and bumped into yet more Londoners I knew who’d also had the same idea! It’s amazing who you meet in the fish and chip queue on Southend seafront.

This is my old stomping ground from my teens. It hasn’t changed much. And I love it. Southend seafront from the pier

 

Watching the Punch and Judy on the pier.

Watching the Punch and Judy on Southend Pier

Fishing off the end of Southend pier

 

I was leaning over the railings, trying to get a shot back down the rail tracks and I heard “Cheeeeese”. The smallest boy had spotted my camera and was posing for me!

Children fishing on Southend Pier

An elderly couple on Southend Pier

An elderly lady in a wheelchair with a handkerchief on her head on Southend Pier

 

I took the photo below at about 12.30. It was very hot. People were looking for shade. I came by again an hour or so later and she’d taken off her jacket and headscarf.

Elderly women sitting on a bench reading a newspaper, wearing headscarf and jacket

Man sunbathing on the road by the sea

 

The train back down the pier was very crowded.

Woman's back seen through the window of the train on Southend Pier

 

Southend isn’t all seafront. There’s a town centre too! I used to come to Southend to get my hair cut as a teenager because the best hairdresser in Essex was in Southend.

People sitting on benches in Southend town centre

 

This teenager was a virtuoso on the violin.

Young man busking, playing the violin in Southend town centre

 

Soho windows #7 – Barbershop

Looking through the window of a Soho barber shop

In my travels around London with my camera, I’ve been trying to get good shots of barbershops and hairdressers. I seem to see the shot when I’m too far away or at the wrong angle or with people in the way and by the time I get the shot, the moment has passed. I finally nailed one! I like this scene simply because of the amount of activity going on in it.

 

 

Knightsbridge bus stop

Man with his dry cleaning on his phone at a bus stop in Knightsbridge

This man caught my eye in Knightsbridge on Friday evening. He was very animated. And standing there with his white shirt that he’d obviously just picked up from the dry cleaners, he stood out. It wasn’t until I looked at the photos when I got home that I realised I had captured him at a moment when everyone else, including the traffic, had their backs to me. It makes him look quite isolated.

Summer’s here!

I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been concentrating on portrait photography and another project so I haven’t been out in the streets and parks with my camera. But here’s one I took earlier – well last summer.

I spotted these girls all standing in a queue outside the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and was struck by a collection of legs and how fashion dictates the footwear – either ballet pumps, ankle boots/trainers or plimsolls (I’m probably showing my age here by calling them ‘plimsolls’!). Mid-thigh length skirts and flat shoes were clearly the order of the day last sumer.

I also like the variety of skin colour on display – London in microcosm.

Young women's bare summer legs in a theatre queue

Soho Windows #6

A cleaner with a broom stops to look at his phone

 

This is what goes on in offices and shops across the world after hours. But capturing a shot of a cleaner through a window has eluded me. This is the only decent shot I’ve managed to get. They tend to flit around and work. As soon as I see the shot, they’re gone – before I can even lift my camera to my eye. So this is a rare moment – a cleaner actually stopping work. Thank goodness for smartphones!

 

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