Lost Steps Again

If you missed my broadcast in the Lost Steps series on ResonanceFM last month, you can now listen to it any time you like on the Lost Steps web site  – or even download it from there as a podcast. And there have been a couple more programmes since mine, one about London Hauntings and the latest  with Nigel of Bermondsey and Vanessa Wolf-Hoyle from London Dreamtime which has a couple of film clips of the Old Kent Road, one from the 1970s. I photographed it at some length in the early 1980s, one of the last projects on which I used transparency film and I’ve been there occasionally since – one of my sons lived there for a year. The last time I walked a few yards along it with a camera several people asked me to take their pictures – this guy was the first:

© 2009 Peter Marshall
August 2009 – Old Kent Road

I don’t much like hearing recordings of myself, though on the programme I do sound rather more like I think I do than on some other recordings. And apart from a couple of silly slips I more or less seem to make sense. Its often hard to gather thoughts when being interviewed, and interviewer Malcolm Hopkins had only told me what his first question would be – there really was no other preparation. Actually that one was really the hardest to answer.

It’s always interesting to see what others think of you (and sometimes – like this – reasonably flattering except for the photograph.)  I was interested to see the selection of pictures and comments by producer Nick Hamilton, with three very different photographs. My favourite of them is one only labelled there Ilford High Road, June 2002:

© 2002 Peter Marshall.

This is of course part of how East London celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee (I went on from there to photograph a rather livelier street party in Mile End.)  But what strikes me particularly about this image is the rather poor colour reproduction, rather typical of images shot on film.  Of course I could probably make a better scan, but digital has so much improved colour, and made it so much easier to get good colour in the images in My London Diary– though I still occasionally manage to mess it up a little when I’m in a hurry.

At the street party I had terrible problems with flare. There is a little on this image but there might have been some water  on the lens as it was raining when I took this picture. Later it was dry and probably I’d managed to leave a fingerprint on the filter. Dirty lenses are of course still a problem with digital, but there is at least some chance to spot it in the results while you are still taking pictures.

Incidentally I’m still using a Lens Pen to clean my lenses when I’m out working – the ones I have are actually called Hama Lenspens – they cost me around £6 from 7Dayshop and last for around 6 months to a year. Very easy to carry and do the job well, though apparently there are some cheaper imitations that should be avoided. I also have a lens cloth and some cheap cleaning fluid to use if things get very messy.

Some years ago I appeared a few times on an American Internet radio programme, talking over a phone line rather than in a well-equipped studio, and every time we started getting into a conversation, one of the two presenters would interrupt with an ad for Lens Pens – and they used to give them away to people who phoned in, though I never got one!  But despite that I still recommend and use them. Lost Steps was considerably more professional, despite being non-commercial, or perhaps rather because it is non-commercial.

Nick has also used a quote from the first Blurb book I produced, 1989,  ‘real’ images and fictional text relating to walking around North East London.  Here’s a part of it:

It’s Sunday morning and on the newsagent’s board the News Of The World promises us it will “UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF SUPERSEX” just like last week and the next week, but still they remain secret.

I go in and unlock the secret of a Mars bar instead.”

(you can see the whole page here.)

Unfortunately now I have to watch my sugar levels as well, and I can no longer indulge in Mars Bars!

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