I did a couple of photography courses at PhotoFusion in Brixton a few months ago, so I found myself hanging out in Brixton Village, part of the market, for breakfasts/lunches. This isn’t far from home for me, and I also go through Brixton whenever I’m travelling on the train to London Victoria, my normal route into town. A wonderful place to buy cheap, fresh, delicious food, mainly Caribbean/African. Needless to say, lots of wonderful loud reggae too. Quite a lot of middle class white people around Brixton these days also, it’s changed a lot from when I lived there in the early 1980′s when the riots were in full swing. I took a lot of colourful photos of the market in 2004, with my point-and-shoot camera, the place was vibrant back then too.
Brixton is also very lively in the evening, and has the wonderful independent Ritzy Picturehouse cinema. This links by membership to other Picturehouses in London: Clapham, Notting Hill Gate, Greenwich, Hackney and Stratford East. Of course here in Crystal Palace there is a campaign to re-open our old Rialto cinema, which the Picturehouse group made a bid for, but lost out to a religious foundation in 2009.
For a long time I’ve intended to take a good photo of the Railway Tavern pub clock tower, which is best seen from the high level platform on Brixton train station. The pub, below the clock at ground level, was more infamously known as Brady’s in the 1980′s. It’s been covered in this graffiti for years and together with the male bronze passenger statue on the station (out of sight here), would have made a good photograph. Sadly, I’ve missed my chance, the structure is now covered in scaffolding waiting to be cleaned and repainted. At least I got this iPhone picture. There must be a moral here.
Here you can just about see the male bronze passenger statue on the left, and if you look carefully, there’s a female bronze statue on the right – the other one on the right is a real human sitting and waiting for a train…
I did two photo projects last semester, and the first one was digital. The idea was to imitate Film Stills from the cinema, taking photos depicting a narrative, or significant moments in a film. I’m including some of the outtakes here also, photos of my son Oscar, messing around mostly!
I used a Nikon SB900 Speedlight for this project.
My final project was entitled ‘Parallel Lives’ essentially the story of twins (guess whose!) separated at birth – they didn’t know the other existed. Then one found out about the existence of the other, traced her and arranged to meet. The outcome was that they discovered they had music in common.
A simple story I know, but the point was the lighting really. That wasn’t so simple. Again, using one Nikon SB Speedlight, my main problem was preventing camera shake and blurred images. I was using a tripod, but often in awkward corners on a carpet, not so stable. They were also long exposures as it was subdued light, and as I only had one speed light to freeze the action, any slight movement they made or I made resulted in blur. Not too bad in the end though.
Around Crystal Palace and the Urban Orient Cafe…
A break… back with renewed energy and a new look to the blog. University and family seem to have been all consuming over the last six months.
I’m now half way through my second year (out of four years) at university, with deadlines for essays and photo projects looming already. A few general photos here, many taken with my iPhone. I’m hoping to use my iPhone camera more this year, to create an ongoing journal for photo and project ideas, so they may seem a little random, and not the best quality, but they may be the grain of something new. It’s an invaluable device to carry around for unexpected photo opportunities. Also a good deal of editing can now take place before the images leave the iPhone. Together with a notebook in my bag, I’m hoping to be inspired. This tangle of telephone wires was part of an exhibition at university last year.
A rare photo of my teenagers…
Experimenting with multiple images from Brompton Cemetery, in Photoshop
Lovely weather and a fabulous weekend for the annual Crystal Palace Overground Festival 2013…
Most of these were submitted for my university digital project this semester, along with the obligatory ‘workbook’ which details all the research, progression of ideas, outtakes etc… I seem to spend a lot of time doing this each project!
So I thought about this project a little more. I wondered if a ‘furtive’ approach might be more appropriate.
I’m trying to create a slightly guilty look here, leaving the scene of the crime…
…but this is still too ‘pretty’. I should have at least included a half eaten chocolate. At university, as I’m sure I’ve said before, they’re not really interested in seeing pretty pictures, they want to see ‘conceptual’ work.
This looks a little more furtive, but I was still making it look pretty by concentrating on the reflections… I can’t seem to stop myself!
I think this is getting closer to what I want to achieve. I’ve still used the shadows, but in a less pretty and more furtive way. I think I have a lot to learn from Laura Letinsky, a photographer from Chicago whose work I love. In fact this next image pays homage to her work.
Quite a learning curve I think, but I’ve also got another idea I’m working on… still enough for today!