Posts Tagged ‘streets’

London Images – May 2019

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

While travelling around London I often see things that interest me and if practicable I try to photograph them. Often these are cityscapes or particular buildings, and some of the pictures are more like entries in my notebook of areas or scenes that might be worth further investigation rather than any real attempt at a definitive image. But those which I think are worth looking at I collect in a folder for each month, linked at the bottom of that month’s page of My London Diary.

Many images don’t make the page because of technical problems. If I’m on a train or bus it is now seldom possible to photograph other than through a window, and too often these have dirt on the outside or scratches on the inner surface. Reflections are also a problem particularly in the outer pane of sealed double glazing; I do have a large floppy silicone ‘Ultimate Lens Hood’ which eliminates these, but it is too big to easily fit in my camera bag and so I never have it with me when I need it – though perhaps one day I will start a project making use of it, or cut it down to a more usable size. But for normal use it is overkill – and perhaps a penultimate lens hood would be preferable? Because of reflections, when working through windows it’s almost alway preferable to work with the front of the lens as close to the glass as practicable.

There are some pictures where you can see reflections, particularly in sky areas. I could probably remove these in Photoshop, but so far I haven’t bothered. And of course often I’m travelling on foot where there are no such problems.

Buses stop often in traffic, and occasionally at bus stops, but seldom in exactly the place you want to photograph from, but the upper deck of our double-deckers is often a splendid vantage point. Some vibrate considerably and a fast shutter speed becomes essential even when the bus is stopped. When photographing from moving trains or buses, any delay between pressing the shutter release and actual exposure can mean missing the subject, and setting manual focus in advance cuts out any delay due to focussing.

There are some places I travel past almost every day when I go to work in London, and these include one of the largest developments in recent years at Nine Elms and Vauxhall. I started taking pictures here while the US Embassy was being built; soon it will only be visible through narrow gaps between other buildings,

Among older buildings I photographed in May was the Still & Star pub in Aldgate, one of many closed pubs in London, a rare example of a small ‘slum pub’ converted from an exisiting house or shop in 1820 and continuing in the trade until 2nd October 2017. Developers wanted to knock it down, and there was a great outcry, with CAMRA, the Victorian Society and others campaigning to keep it open. They suceeded in stopping redevelopment by getting it recognised as an Asset of Community Value – and the freehold owners 4C Hotels (2) Ltd lost their legal appeal against this in November 2017 – but the pub remains closed.

More at London Images


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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Streets & people

Monday, May 27th, 2019

Thanks to PetaPixel for bringing to my attention the video 1838-2019: Street Photography – A Photo For Every Year with 182 photos — one photo for every year between 1838 when Daguerre set up his camera overlooking the Boulevard du Temple and 2019 with activists hassling an MP outside Parliament in London.

It’s a curiously hypnotic experience, with each photo appearing for around 6 seconds, with a musical soundtrack that reflects the changing decades, and a rather strange selection of images by Guy Jones, taken on streets around the world, though majoring on the USA. I found it rather annoying but I couldn’t stop watching, though I did turn the volume right down.

Almost all of the pictures certainly are taken on streets and show people, but it rather reflects the lack of any real integrity in the term ‘street photography‘. And while the pictures do reflect the changes in technology over the years, any real historical oversight is entirely prejudiced by every picture from the 20th and 21st century being presented as colour – which for most means a recently colorized version of an original black and white picture. Some colours were rather less than believable. This is faux history in the making.

You’ll probably recognise a few of the pictures, and some of the photographers, but mixed in with these are some rather anonymous postcard views, press images and amateur holiday snaps, which don’t always seem particularly appropriate to represent the year in which they are taken. It’s in a way a very uninformative video; often I found myself wanting to know more about why a particular picture was taken and what it it shows. And for those taken in more recent times I did wonder whether Jones has permission to use the images from the copyright holders. I hope so, though I saw no closing credits to indicate this.