Friday, 22 November 2013

Capturing Time in Space

Despite the increased ubiquity and accessibility of video images in the media, the arts, business and education, there has nevertheless never been a greater demand for still images.  One of the great challenges photographers enjoy is capaturing movement in pictures – either simulating motion or freezing it.  I was able to go out shooting with my art student daughter last weekend along the Edgeware Road as well as Oxford and Regent Streets.  She encouraged me to experiment more freely with the shutter speed and focus; the results are more interesting than had I just been out snapping for the Christmas atmosphere.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Having Nothing to Hold

I’ve turned my attention from the changing leaves on the trees to those that have fallen to the pavement.  I find a particular beauty in the contrast between those that have decayed in colour and have been tread upon and those which are newly down.  Only a few days more before they’ve all been shed and actually that will be the time when the beauty of branch structure becomes apparent.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Kew Shoot

The other day I had the great privilege of spending some hours in Kew Gardens shooting with a very gifted and accomplished photographer, Micky Thompson.  We focused most of our time along the path between the Palm House and Orangerie, just by the pumpkin patches and giant mushroom sculptures.  He gave me some great tips, not just for taking pictures, but for seeing what’s there – what's there in the detail – and bringing this into view.  I’m so pleased with the results from the shoot, despite the dull and damp conditions.

Whilst wondering near the Sackler Crossing, a couple were feeding the geese and gulls.  So we were able to capture several in flight.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Mosaic Shock Therapy

I’d planned to run some mundane errands today in Chiswick and Hammersmith.  The weather was horrible and I wasn’t packing any equipment, not even my little Sony.  I got on the first train I could and instead of getting off at Gunnersbury, I did so at South Acton, thinking this might have been closer to Turnham Green.  On my way through a residential area, I noticed firstly that the houses were a bit bigger and architecturally nicer than my street (terrace envy) and then secondly, an unusual break in the Victorian-themed backdrop.  There was a huge mosaic on the back wall of a garden as well as painting and mixed media up the entire rear elevation of the mid-terrace house.  Quite arresting: colourful, funny and shouting to be noticed.  I learned later from the Londonist that this is The Treatment Rooms, apparently owned by a Baroness Von Reichardt and this is her “ongoing self-contained conceptual piece of mosaic art.” How cool is that? And how great is the iphone camera?

Experimenting with light and time

Inspired by some of the fantastic work being produced right now by my older daughter at Art College in Falmouth, I dialled down my shutter speed whilst taking pictures of the fireworks on Bonfire Night which were being launched in Lawn Crescent, two streets from ours.  Like I dialled it way down, and am so glad I did.  Also very glad that I didn’t know what to expect, really, from the results.  Some look like neon hanging in the sky; others like coloured spun sugar. 

Perhaps next year I'll actually leave my bedroom to change perspective.  Having said that....if it happens to be as damp and cold, I might just stay put and fiddle some other dials.

The Personal is Political

Several weeks ago one of my daughters moaned over my enthusiasm for Downton Abbey, flatly stating that she loathed costume drama.  Well perhaps those weren’t her exact words, but that was the gist of her sentiments.  I replied in a way I often do (which some find enlightening, others annoying), that though set in the 1920s, the characters, their emotions and choices are as relevant today as ever, just like Shakespeare.  

And that rape and servitude aren’t an act and a situation that humans have moved on from, but which are very much part and parcel of everyday life for tens of thousands around the world today. Whether in a domestic setting among family members or complete strangers on the internet, abuse takes its toll on the spirit of the victim and often emboldens the perpetrator.  At least in Downton, the servants appear to be paid a decent wage and are treated with a degree of respect and courtesy.  And though there has been tremendous progress in terms of poverty alleviation around the globe, there is nonetheless  considerable economic exploitation and exclusion in both developing and developed countries, with accompanying social and political unrest.

The following is my photographic protest of personal, economic and social injustice.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Kew Village Community Market

On the 3rd of November I was given the chance by the Kew Village Market organisers to take pictures of the stallholders as well as punters.  This is like no other outdoor market I’ve ever been to as the fare and crafts for sale are of such high quality and it’s clear that the owners of all these small businesses care deeply about their products, how they’re presented and the relationship they have with their customers.  It’s inspiring and clear that this market is something the community looks forward to every month. 

Am very pleased with the look of this collage:

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Merry Doors of Windsor

I’ve shared my pictures with many people over the course of the past year, especially via social media and my local newspaper, the excellent Richmond & Twickenham Times, to whom I owe a debt of gratitude for all the pics of mine that they’ve published.  The one picture that I received the most kudos for is a collage I made of every door on my street.  Taking the renowned Doors of Dublin as inspiration, I carried out this project in the spring of this year.  It appeared in the R&TT and also on the Facebook page I manage for our street.  I really love the results that a collage gives when done well.  Will hopefully be making more when I discover the best software to do this with.

Autumn in London

Despite the temperature dropping and evening closing in earlier, what defines this time of year for me is the richness of colour and warmth of wool and interiors, though tinged with a slight melancholia – knowing that it’s a very long time until warmer temps return.

I’ve recently applied to the Kew Village market committee for a pitch at their February market day.  Really hoping this comes about as it would be a great chance to see if there is any demand for my cards and mounted photos, not to mention an opportunity to meet other local crafts-people and neighbours.