Showing posts from September, 2015

street photography for the timid

I've never really had a problem approaching and starting a conversation with people randomly on the streets. Even more so, people apparently don't have any qualms starting a conversation with me. I'd be standing there for a few minutes and before you know it, someone would be talking to me - even in the mind-your-own-business metropolis of London.
I do realise, however, that a lot of people are apprehensive of talking to strangers for whatever reason. I'm not talking about that shady looking character in the dark alleyway at night, no, I mean on a regular street, say, in the middle of the day. This could be a bit of a conflict if you're interested in doing street photography.
Everyone has their own definition of what 'street photography' is to an extent, but most agree that it needs to have a 'human' element to make it truly street. Otherwise, it may well be urban photography, architecture photography or cityscape photography. Personally, I agree w…

tomorrow's classics in waiting

It's obvious that I like old things. My affinity for analogue cameras sort of gives it away. It's not just cameras, however, it's many things - cassette tapes, old mugs, classic shoes, e.t.c,. There's something about what is now 'classic' design that pleases me greatly. My all-time favourite car for instance is the Mercedes 280 SL. I will buy that car one day, that's for sure. 
The other day I found a bunch of books from decades ago. Most of them had aged gracefully - with the tanned paper and slightly faded cover. I was particularly struck by a copy of The Prince by Niccoliò Machiavelli. The grim looking illustration on the cover, the old book smell, the tanned pages and the classic fonts all together made the book feel a little, shall I say, creepy.
I was curious, so I read the first page.  Days later (I'm a slow reader), I'd finished the book. I hate to read, but the thinness of the book served as encouragement that the end was nigh with the tur…

olympus om-1

It was World Photography Day the other day. I picked the Olympus OM-1 as my camera for the day mainly because I had recently acquired it. I had also been reading a bit about some photographers of note, such as Jane Brown, that used the OM-1.
I was immediately impressed with the size of the thing - so small. I later learnt that it was indeed Olympus' intention to make an SLR smaller than all the existing ones with the giant prisms.  Sound familiar? That is almost exactly what is happening today with the Olympus OMD series. To quote the oracle in Battlestar Gallactica "All of this has happened before, and it will happen again".
My copy came with the beautiful Zuiko 50mm f1.8 MC (marcro) lens. I am familair with the Zuiko quality, but when the photos came out, I was blown away. In fact, I commented somewhere that Olympus should have named it the "Olympus OMG!". That's how good it is.

The above photo of the minibus was taken in relatively dim overcast light. W…

the inspiring and important zsuzsanna pataki

I walked right past it at first, but for whatever reason, I turned back and walked in. It was an exhibition of 'high quality but affordable art' in Shoreditch the other day. It was incredible.  The artists were there with their work displayed. There were all manner of art presented and for sale at very affordable prices.
My eyes were drawn to paintings of 'London Waterways' by the wonderful painter Zsuzsanna Pataki. We got into conversation about her art, and she handed me a postcard.  On seeing her surname 'Pataki', I commented on it's meaning in Yoruba - "Of great Importance".  She found it astonishing. 
She's Hungarian, as is the name.  She explained to me that it's derived from 'Patak', meaning 'Creek', and is given to people born near creeks, or from her town which derived its name from it as well. We noted how fascinating it was that she's drawn to water, as expressed in many of her paintings.
Having confided in …

a photo speaks a thousand words

I'm not sure if it's learnt or something you're born with, but I can't read. Obviously I can read. What I mean is, like so many people out there, I have reading difficulties. It's got any names; dyslexia is the most popular.
I envy people that can get lost in a book, apparently oblivious to the surrounding stimuli beckoning their attention. I am, nevertheless, grateful for two things: Audibooks and photobooks. Audiobooks because someone else more competent converts text to pleasant sound. Photobooks because, well, a photo speaks a thousand words.

the best camera

That moment when you're walking down a quiet alley in east London and you suddenly spot a very moody cat sitting gracefully in front of a scarlet-red door, and you left your fancy camera at home. Oh wait!, you do have a camera on you - your smartphone.  Result!
To be fair,  these days, many people now rely on their smartphones entirely for their photography needs.  With their ability to instantly share photos on social media, and great editing apps such as VSCO and Snapseed, sometimes smartphones are even more suited to some people's needs than dedicated cameras.

Personally I use a 5 year old iPhone 4 (I know, I know).  The camera on my iPhone is now considered mediocre at best, but I still manage to get satisfactory photos with them.  Satisfactory to me anyway. My favourite app right now is VSCO cam. Unfortunately after updating my iPhone to the latest firmware permitted on it, I've lost most of my VSCO presets, so I usually don't use filters anymore.  I aim to get t…