Tag Archives: ‘Street photography’

The Torch is here – time for a party!

Under 3 weeks to go, and the excitement is beginning to mount!And yesterday, the Olympic Torch arrived in Chelmsford, which must mean it’s time for a party!!!

Got my hands on it!

Ok, ok, so it wasn’t me that ran with it… but nice to get up close, and the kids loved it of course. They even had a go at making their own torches:

Athletes of the future

A cauldron was lit, speeches were made, and then we concentrated on having some fun with the locals. And wow! there were some characters about! Great for a bit of street photography.

A stilt-walker, before getting costumed up…

And now in costume!

Funny hats galore

Union Jack Bowler Hat

More tall girls (very)

She has to bend down a long way for a kiss

This was the day that it poured a whole month’s worth of rain in 24 hours. But the sun shone in the evening. Squelchy underfoot, but who cares?

The flags kept fluttering

Plenty to eat!

especially for the kids…

And lots to do and to marvel at.

The old ones are still the best

One string double bass

The Green Woman

A classic British event where fun was had by all. Bring on the Games, we can’t wait! (just stop raining….)

A scene from every jamboree in the country

All the way from Greece…

Happy kids

Happy country…

 

If you enjoyed this post, check out: Mrs P’s great day – the London Marathon or A rainy jubilee? Who Cares!?!


Even the British summer can’t stop me snapping (with my camera, that is)!

Tutor Madeleine

At last, Saturday afternoon, and a chance to get out with the camera and take some photos. Sometimes photography just needs that little push, and today I had booked myself and a friend onto a portrait course in London. Living Social – it’s a godsend… Here’s Madeleine, our tutor, and model.

Loves her patches, does Maddy

The great thing about these courses is that it forces you to take pix. No excuses (too cold, too early, too tired, too hungover). You’ve paid, so you make the effort. And you even learn a thing or two. Here’s Madeleine telling me to get off aperture priority and set manual…

I’m switching, I’m switching, NOW!

So, given that it’s the middle of the British summer, which inevitably means it’s chuffing cold, we head for a bit of shelter and some indoor shots. Here’s the arty shot of model/tutor hanging off some railings in a subway (don’t ask… we were practising technique, honestly…)

Should have seen the weird looks from the passers-by…

Now, much as I like taking photos of pretty girls, I did get the opportunity to snap some of the others on the course too. This is us trying to keep warm/practice fast shutter technique. Actually it worked well for both:

Reach for the sky

A rare one here, that’s me…

Kevin watched on impassively as I made a complete ass of myself jumping around like a madman:

You can see his wry grin, just.

I think I like ‘abstract portraits’ as much as head shots. Here’s two from the session:

Bloody hell, it was cold!

La Chevelure

Now, all but one of the photos on this blog page were taken with a Sony SLR. One however, was snapped with the Leica. We had a big debate afterwards, over a beer, about what the Leica adds to photography, if anything. Usually I argue that it’s not the final pic, but the process of taking the pic with a Leica that makes the difference. But I wonder…. when I downloaded the Sony v Leica pix, the Leica really pings right off the screen it’s so sharp. Can you see it? Which one of all these photos was taken by the Leica….?

Madeleine – can you guess which one…?


Paris – a photographer’s delight!

To be in Paris for pleasure and not for business for once,… what a delight!

Who can resist a park bench…

It is just such a photogenic city. I love wandering about and soaking up the atmosphere, even if the weather is appalling.

Which century are we in?

In my opinion though it needs to be shot in black and white, preferably on a Leica. Overtones of Doisneau, Willy Ronis and Cartier Bresson. So on my perambulations, what did I see? Cafe life, of course: 

Too early for the terrasse

Still too early…

Good to get into the warm at last

A chance to gossip

Paris, being Paris, is not shy about offering delectation for the eye…

Shop window, Place des Vosges

Delightful!

Destined for someone’s garden? I’m jealous!

On the more romantic side of Paris is the bridge for lovers just by the Louvre. These padlocks are cropping up everywhere!

Jana and Lukas, for ever

But the best with street photography is always the people. Leica at F8 and shooting from the hip. A great way to spend a weekend in Paris…

Old soldier, Arc de Triomphe

 

France today

   

France tomorrow?

Modern France, yesterday, today and tomorrow


Mrs P’s great day – the London Marathon

Yesterday was a Great Day. Why great? Because so many people fulfilled their ambition – to run the London marathon. What an achievement! 37,500 people. The largest charity fund raising event in the world. And the rain held off until the end. So British!

We were out in force to support Mrs P, for whom a marathon was on the list of top 10 things to do before she dies (she’s still got a few left, so I’m not too worried, yet…). The nerves had been jangling all week in anticipation of the big day. Finally, the off!

Nervous and ready

looking good at 6 miles

What is it about the Brits? Any excuse to get our kit off, or put some silly kit on. But of course we love a bit of zaniness! And there were a few crackers on display yesterday:

Ray's got his tools out!

Crazy...

Imagine 26.2 miles dressed as a tiger...

Having shouted our heads off in support of Mrs P at the Cutty Sark, time to dive through the Greenwich tunnel onto the Isle of Dogs for rendezvous 2:

The kids under the river

Granny & Grandad too, & Isabelle, flown in from Switzerland to support Mrs P

But where was Mrs P? Had we missed her, distracted by all the entertainment on offer?

Hula Hoop girl + Mrs Whiplash, on a ladder, of course(?)

She was really good!

The runners kept running past, and we got a bit peckish, so stopped for some chips. And of course that’s when Mrs P jogged past. She wasn’t best pleased that we were scoffing chips, and I had put down the camera, so no photo at this stage (15 miles in, ooops…)

Determination!

Luckily we caught her again at mile 18 (having finished our chips). Still looking good, and we roared her and her friends on!

The 3 (sweaty) Graces

We jumped in the tube and shot off to the Embankment for the next rendezvous. Getting there considerably quicker than the runners, we had time for a coffee and a chat, before needing to yell our support again…

Mile 24 - you're doing great! Keep it up!!!

At which point it began to rain. How typical. That give Isa, our Swiss friend, a chance to try out some new fashion ideas from Zurich

Mind you, she did keep dry!

And we looked like drowned rats anyway

So on to the last stretch. More cheering and clapping and congratulations and, frankly, amazement at the fantastic achievement of all of these runners.

Blimey, he made it! Well done!!!

Well done Ray - he'll never be parted from his tools...

And at last, our own heroes. What an achievement! A real life affirming moment! Hats off to Mrs P and all the runners! So proud of her! Well done!!!

You are STARS!

(She’s immediately started talking about doing the New York marathon next…. Bonkers!)

 

 

If you liked this try:

The Madness of a Peck Weekend in Suffolk


Tango in Argentina

Now, I have a good friend in Buenos Aires, and he sent me a facebook message the other day saying: nice blog, but where are the pictures from Argentina? And he was quite right. So Daniel, here they are for you!

Street tango

A real vibrancy to the city, epitomised of course by the street dancing. And spectacular they are too. All clickety click heels and flashing skirts. The men were men, and the women most definitely women.

Apparently I had turned up at a quiet moment…. What it must be like on a hot Saturday night! Steamy, at a guess….

(this was about 11 in the morning...)

you have to imagine the accordion in the background

Once I managed to tear myself away from the dancers I had a bit of a nose around. Very different flora and fauna in Sth America:

Street vendor

And one of the most frequented visiting spots in the city was the graveyard. Most people wanted to see Evita’s tomb. I got wrapped up in the amazing statuary.

It'll happen to us all, eventually

Soft stone hands

But enough of the morbid stuff. Take a look at some of the other statues around the city!

Make your own mind up...

And this is a giant metal flower that opens and closes for the sun.

(it's huge)

(and very dramatic)

Get back to the tango I hear you shout! Of course, if there’s a dance going then I want to have a go. And indeed we all did. Here’s Daniel, taking his first steps, tentative and nervous, with his Tango Mistress.

Come on Daniel, courage!

As the night wears on, his feet get faster and faster.

(to be honest, I don't think that's Daniel anymore)

OK, Daniel wasn’t much good. And frankly neither was I. Better leave it to the pros, who make it effortless and dreamy:

Ta Dah!


Kafka’s brides in Prague

The only way to get any free time on a business trip is to get up early. And that’s what I did today, in Prague.

Charles Bridge, Prague

Mind you, this was after a night on the beer, Czech beer at that! So I only got to the bridge at 7.30, too late for the sunrise. But what a place Prague is – very beautiful, very atmospheric, cobbles, lamps and narrow streets. To me, it felt slightly sleepy, in a surreal way. A bit Kafkaesque…

There is definitely something slightly surreal here. A juxtaposition of old and new, the quaint with the incongruous…

Souvenirs and Surrealism

The statues are heavily catholic, strict catholic. No naughty romantic Italian flesh here!

But then the surrealist element crops up again. The fantastical astro clock, baby off the bridge, a bloke asleep on the job etc. All a tinge of weirdness.

And last but not least, my very own moment of complete weirdness. 8 o’clock on a freezing morning, a gang of newly-weds, from the East, posing by the clock. The must have been absolutely shiveringly cold. Why? What were they doing? Why a whole group of them? So far from home? Kafka would have loved it.


Italian Style, on wheels…

Italians are known for their style. Now, I’m not really a clothes man, but I do like a nicely turned out car. Here in the UK heads turn for big fat protzig cars. But in Italy, well, the Fiat 500 reigns supreme. And I love it.

that's just soooooo Italy.

The 500 just has bags of character. Cheeky, funny, innocent, dinky – a hundred cute adjectives spring to mind.

wish that was my front door....

Even my daughter likes the 500, and she does 'cool'...

But it’s not just the 500. I even liked the bikes in Italy. They are made for comfort not speed, although these two have seen better days.

Everyone rides a bike, and you never forget how to. I wasn’t quick enough to catch the nun on the bike, but I got her next to her two wheeler.

Even nuns are trendy in Italy.

If you’re not a nun, then maybe you ride your bike with a mate or a girlfriend.

Groovy

Back to cars. So we all know about the expensive ones, and sure, they look fast and sleek and expensive. And red is always going to be better than yellow…

I know, boring. And of course I don't want one.

But I don’t think the Ferrari has as much character as the Fiat 500. I mean, look at the pic above. You could be anywhere, in any rich city, in any country in the world. Now look at the pic below. There is only one place in the world you could be in this picture. In an Italian city. Cortona to be exact. So my vote goes to the 500. Unsophisticated, but cool.


Milan, full of girls, on bikes!

Earlier this year I went to Milan. It was hot, full of girls, and bikes…. I liked it!

take a pic

quick bike over here...

have a chat

quick bike over there...

nice shoes (Milan...!)

back on the bike

meet the boy (watch those hands young lady!)

ride off, again

remembering loved ones

And off! On a bike, naturally....

What a city! I want to go there again, with my proper camera, and take some real shots. These are all Hipstamatic/iphone clicks. Fun though.

Il Duomo - I'm coming back!


Streetwalking, in Perugia.

Italian cities are beautiful. And in Umbria they are pretty deserted too, which makes them very photogenic. This is Perugia, and it’s very lovely.

The town hall steps

Photographers always go on about dawn light. Soft, cool, beautiful. And very few people to get in the way. This is a series of pictures I took between 6 and 7am whilst wandering around the streets of Perugia last week, almost alone. Heaven.

6am, and empty.

Occasionally someone would wander into my picture. But I quite liked that. So I fired the shutter and left them in my shots.

Early morning light

Imagine if this was your front door. Someone is lucky enough to live here. Really.

Clearing shadows.

Perugia is a student town. The lucky devils. I want to be 18 again and study here…

The daily grind

Off to work, through the arches, towards the light. Not a bad way to start the day…

The rush hour


Summer has arrived in Lisbon!

Portugal is a lovely country, and Lisbon a very beautiful city, full of charm and nostalgia.

I’ve been travelling with work again, and after a conference and a series of research groups, I’ve managed to grab a few hours in the city before my flight returns to the UK. Street wandering is a great way to kill those hours. And, although it’s only April, Lisbon is already delighting in 30 centigrade, so everyone’s got a smile on their faces. No sign of economic worries just now!

Why am I so rubbish at preparing for these business trips? I’ve come in completely the wrong clothes – everyone else is in shorts, t-shirts and flips, and I’ve got a suit, heavy jeans and long-sleeved shirts. Typical! The inevitable consequence of rushing out of the house and just chucking a load of clothes in a suitcase. Why don’t I check the forecast?!?! My colleagues: Kerri, Joanne and David are always prepared. Correct attire for every situation. I wonder how big their suitcases are… Never mind – being hot is better than being cold.

These are pics from the walk up to the Castle of St Jorge. Cobbled streets, still lived in by the locals. Cute cafes and restaurants everywhere. Grilled sardines, salad and a beer is a good way to spend a Friday lunchtime! Here in Portugal Friday also seems to be washing day…

And I love these steps everywhere. They’re not grandiose or pompous, but rather intimate with the tall colourful buildings protecting them. Very romantic.

So, back to the airport, and off to the chilly North. Next time, I’m coming back to Lisbon with my wife!!!