Posts Tagged ‘streets’

Back to 1986: Page 4

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020
Broadway Bakeries, Brougham Rd, Benjamin Close, Broadway Market, Hackney 86-6m-35_2400
Borough Market

Returning to my London pictures for 1986, and to page 4 of my Flickr album 1986 London Photographs.

The Oval, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets 86-6m-65_2400
The Oval, Bethnal Green

1986 was the year I began to photograph London in depth, and the album reflects this, with 1370 black and white photographs, a fraction of the number I took that year. The hundred on page 4 are from the boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets and include pictures from Dalston, Shoreditch, Hackney, Bethnal Green, Wapping, Shadwell, Limehouse, Whitechapel and other parts east of the city. There is just the odd image from elsewhere in London.

War Memorial, Cyprus St, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets86-6o-31_2400
Cyprus St, Bethnal Green

Unlike in some earlier years the routes for my walks around the area were carefully planned, with research from a number of published sources, though information was much less readily available than now before the days of the world wide web. Of course I didn’t always stick to my planned routes, but I did carry a notebook to write down where I actually went and even sometimes some details of what I was photographing.

Hessell St, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets
Hessel St, Whitechapel

One of my major resources was of course maps, both new and old, not just for the streets but also for the other information included on them. Some marked industrial areas in brown, most showed churches and public buildings and some gave names of various features. The invaluable series of reprints of old 1:2500 OS maps was begun by Alan Godfrey in 1983, but few were available in 1986. I now have a very large collection.

Kingsland Basin, Regent's Canal, Hackney 86-7c-26_2400
Kingsland Basin

My aim was to not to walk along every street (as the woman who produced the London A-Z was sometimes said to have done) but at least to look down nearly all of them, and to photograph all buildings of interest as well as other things I found on my journeys. Later when I had bought a scanner I produced enlarged versions of the A-Z pages, printing them on a black and white laser printer and used highlighter pen after I came home to mark where I had walked. These both showed me any areas I had missed and helped me, together with the notebooks, to mark on the contact sheets where the pictures were taken.

Nuttal St, Hackney 86-7c-36_2400
Nuttal St, Hackney

I mostly travelled by train or underground so often several walks started from a particular station, and perhaps along the same streets close to them. There were also some areas that particularly interested me, either for simple visual reasons or because they were obviously changing, to which I returned.

I’ve posted some of the pictures on this page previously on >Re:PHOTO and I’ve tried to find others to put on this post. You can see all of the pictures – 100 on page 4 – on Flickr – where you can view them larger than on here – by clicking on the link or the image below.

Russia Lane, Bethnal Green, Tower Hamlets 86-6l-66_2400

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

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.


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 : Flickr

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All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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.