Showing posts from December, 2014

2014, it's a wrap

There's going to be an epic fireworks display at this location at midnight London time. We all know it's not New Year until it's New Year in London right? I'm not going to be there, but thanks to the power of TV and the Internet, I'll be able to watch the whole thing over and over again from different angles.  I was there in the year 2000 for the big one - right in the middle of it all.  Isn't it crazy how quickly time has flown by?
Anyhow, 2014 has been pivotal for me.  It's been a great year for so many reasons.  I look forward now to 2015 with so many plans.  I'm fired up.  Lets go!
Happy New Year everyone.

just around the corner

When I was a kid, I was told to always make sure I start a new year on as new a slate as possible. The tradition was to ensure to pay back any debts, fix any broken friendships, settle any disputes, in order to make the following year as successful as it could be.  I remember rushing around on the last two days of each year saying 'sorry for this, sorry for that' to my siblings and cousins.  I even admitted to some porkies I may have told my parents at the time.
Looking back, that was actually quite a healthy tradition.  One that I am determined to resurrect now as an adult.  It wouldn't hurt to go through all my bills, credit cards, subscriptions and all that to ensure I'm not owing anything.  It would be great to reach out to friends and associates to ensure we're all on a positive standing towards each other.  
These are they days. Peace, love and friendship to all.

the old church


getting focused and looking ahead

2015 is almost here.  I'm determined to make it the most successful year yet. This takes quite a bit of focus and planning.  You know what they say 'if you fail to plan...'

Talking of focus, I'm always astonished by how St. Paul's Cathedral continues to be the gem of the London skyline despite being surrounded by much larger buidlings. Especially at 'golden hour', there's no match for the this majestic structure.

xmas ghost town part 2

Pigeons get a bad rep as flying rats.  Yes, they do exhibit vermin behaviour, but really they're quite awesome little creatures.  They are not very different from their closest relatives - the highly esteemed doves.  They are peaceful and very friendly.
One thing pigeons do well is clean up a lot of the mess we leave around.  On Christmas day, there sure is a lot of mess for them to clean up for sure.  This one seemed to be suffering from a sugar crash after consuming too many marshmallows.  It basically stood there motionless while I took this closeup photo.  
The east Westfield is said to be the largest indoor shopping complex in Europe.  You can imagine how many thousands of people cross this bridge every hour.  It was quite surreal to cross it without a single person in sight. 
From the bridge I could see Stratford International, Stratford Overground, Stratford London Underground, Stratford DLR, Stratford British Rail and Stratford Bus Station.  All empty.
Everything shut, cl…

xmas ghost town part 1

It's boxing day.  People have descended in their thousands onto the shopping areas of the city.  It's the sales!  Less than half price.  Quick, grab what you can.  It is also the time to return those Christmas gifts that were not quite 'right' for the receiver.
Yesterday though, just like last Christmas before it, the shopping centres were ghost towns.  I remember taking a walk through a popular shopping area in east London.  The only people I saw were the homeless, emergency services personnel, and of course people in Starbucks.  

Having said that, every year now, more and more places are staying open through Christmas.  It's only a matter of time before it's just another day.

merry christmas

Wishing you all the best Christmas ever.  Hope you're with your loved ones.

'twas the night before christmas

It's Christmas in most of Europe today.  The rest of us, we're holding out till tomorrow.  If you think about it, it's all about the Eve of Christmas isn't it?
Either way, have a merry Christmas, or whatever else you are celebrating.  Hope you are spending it with family and friends.

the most good looking man in the world

The Zenit-E is quite the conversation starter I find.  It was a normal late-summers day in a normal London park when this gentleman spotted my camera as I walked past him.
"Are you a photographer?" He had a melodic caribbean accent.  Jamaican I believe, or maybe Bajan.  I can't tell them apart sometimes.
"Me? ah, oh, no, well, sort of I guess."
I wasn't sure what his definition of 'photographer' was, so I wasn't quite sure what answer to give.
"Go on, take a photo of me."  He struck the coolest pose ever.  
"I'd love to!" Of course!
"You've never seen a better looking man anywhere in the world have you?"  He jested as I snapped his photo.
"Most definitely not!" I agreed with him.  We laughed, I shook his hand, and carried on having a nice day.

suffolk skies

I'm dreaming of a wet Christmas.  Or at least a mild one anyway.  We are getting Centigrade temperatures in the teens this Christmas week.  This is great for haters of the cold, but certainly terrible for the environment.
It's sort of the reverse of when I took these photos.  The skies in Suffolk, England, were almost completely blue, the sun was shining, it was summer, but the temperature was in the low teens in Centigrade terms.  Given a choice of the two, I'd pick summer.

merry solstice

So today is most probably the shortest day of the year.  I say that because it doesn't always occur on the 21st.  It is a pretty significant day as you can imagine.  It's one of the major turning points in our natural calendar.  
I have always wondered why this isn't considered the last day of the year, tomorrow being the first day of the new year.  After all, the days start getting longer again from tomorrow.

understanding light

Disclaimer! This post contains sponsored links to Craftsy.  I am an affiliate of theirs which means if you click one of the sponsored links below and buy anything on their site, I may get a small referral from them.
Film shooters are often reminded, when the above happens, what indeed the 'photo' in photography means.  Digital photography at times takes our mind away from this fact.  We can shoot RAW and correct for exposure and white balance later.  I'm not quite sure you can fix a light leak in post though :)
Having said that, sometimes you are lucky the light leak ads a certain beauty to the photo.  I kind of like what happened in the above photo.
Back to photo, or shall I say 'light'; Digital or Analog, a better understanding of light is bound to improve anyone's photography.  And I am one of those people that keeps learning from others, professionals and amateurs alike.  I took this great course "The Essentials for Understanding Light" by Alan Th…

making do

Ok, so I'm not enjoying the calm walks along the lakes and streams these days, being back in the big city.  I do however enjoy the totally random insanity of our street artists.

take me back to nature

I yearn for the peace and quiet of nature.  I look forward to my next visit to the streams, bush, lakes and birds.  Soon, very soon.

ah, forgot one

To the glorious memory of the people of Dover who gave their lives for their country......

that confused feeling

..when you return to the big city from the countryside.

do you see what I see?

Our eyes are simply incredible.  As far as I can see [ahem!] we are not able to zoom with them, but we are able to focus across a staggering distance if you think about it.  
Using a fixed prime lens camera like the Olympus 35 RC, you really come to appreciate that. Especially when you are unable to 'zoom with your legs' for whatever reason.  Interestingly enough, I find that looking at a photo that I took, I can still see what I saw on the day, but other people may not see the same thing obviously.
For example in the photo above, one might see the subject as the group of trees and their reflection in the lake whereas I was trying to shoot the two birds racing across the water like speedboats.  Thats what my eyes are drawn to every time I look at this photo because I was there on the day, and that's what inspired me to take the photo.
Now tell me, in the following photo, a more extreme case, do you see a field of bell flowers or like me, do you see a man on a white horse …

trees of christmas

I love trees.  No, I'm obsessed with trees.  Talking of which, I selected my Christmas tree today, so I suppose that's the rest of Sunday planned :)

lone horse

I love lonesome animal moments like this.  It reminds me so much of myself.

glamp fire

There is something calming and meditative about fire.

glamping like a boss

Reluctantly contemplating going outdoors I slide the window blinds to one side to see what I was headed into.  There it is; the usual cacophony of the rowdy urban streets.  People hurriedly getting on with their day, seemingly resigned to that fate.  The streets are littered with all manner of man-made debris.

Litter is one thing that really gets to me.  So much so that I made a video ranting about it on YouTube.  As I stand wondering why its so filthy outside two men  interrupt my thought stream with their loud voices as they greet each other.  They exchange pleasantries and shortly head their respective ways BUT without leaving a trail of litter in their wake.  One sprinkles the streets with sweet wrappers and what looks like shopping receipts while the other casually tosses an empty cigarette pack across the street.  All this within 2 metres of a public bin.  There's my answer.

The above is a common scenario for me living in this city.  I get so frustrated and at times angry t…