Southbank photo walk.

Thursday 18 July 2013 – London.

Well it has been a pretty busy week with social activities happening every day. It is a pity I cannot say the same on the job front, but I am still plugging away at it with a couple of agencies rung and jobs applied for, one day, one day.

Today I had two things on, a visit to Sydenham to see the new street art which I  wrote about in the previous post and then in the evening I met up with a fellow photographer and music lover Steve for a photo walk along South Bank – though I will say not a lot of photographer happened.

I have been waiting for the shutters to be down on these shops near my house so I could get a photo of the old Malarky paintings. The last time I saw them down I did not have my camera on me.

IMG 6983

I met Steve at the skate park and took some photos while I waited, there was not a lot of action at the time but I did manage to get a couple of good shots, I am a bit gutted I cut his hand off, otherwise this would be near perfect !

IMG 6987

The next one was a better photo, just the action wasnt as good 🙂

IMG 6989

Steve and I didn’t take any photos between the skate park and London Bridge, we walked and chatted and battled out way through the crowds taking advantage of another lovely summer evening. I stopped for a look at Hays Galleria on the far side of London Bridge and there were some people playing petanque over a glass of plonk (or more I suspect).

IMG 6992

We walked around the More London area for a while, past the Batman logo of the PWC building.

IMG 6997

We had a bit of a play with some of the angles in the buildings around here.

IMG 6999

IMG 7002

As we passed Tower Bridge I took this picture to add to my collection of skylines. You have to love that sky!

IMG 7009

I had heard that the barge I photographed earlier in the week with a new painting on it by Alice Pasquini was being painted some more so we walked up to have a look, but the new painting was hidden behind an old sailing barge so there was not much to see apart from this on a wall.

IMG 7012

We crossed over Tower bridge and took a walk around the rich kids play ground of St Katherines dock, we were looking for a decent angle to get a sunset over Tower Bridge but there was not much happening there so we decided to head back over to the south side of the Thames and grab a pint or two. As we were crossing the bridge the alarm went, the gates were closed and the bridge was raised. This was very cool, I have never seen the bridge up before – a new experience.

IMG 7016

IMG 7017

We did end up having a couple of pints, it was a good night and an end to a good day.

Long Live South Bank skate park, – BMX action

I took another trip back up to Southbank yesterday evening to see what was happening and hoping to see some of the BMXers who also use the skate park in action, and for a change I was lucky!

I will confess to being way out of touch with who is who in the biking and skating world, but this sole BMXer who was using the park was damn good, pretty much pulling off every trick seamlessly.  He was great to watch.

IMG 6805

I need to learn some leasons shooting both skaters and BMXer’s, I missed the important part of the tale whip, getting the bike 180 degrees out from the rider.

IMG 6806

But I got most of them right….

IMG 6807

IMG 6815

IMG 6818

Maybe not this one….

IMG 6822

or this whip again 🙂

IMG 6825

I will end on a positive note though.

IMG 6823

I really enjoyed watching this guy ride and aim to go back tonight and see if there is a repeat, now that I know what I need to sort out photographically. I was pretty happy with my images, pretty well in focus, pretty well exposed, as sharp as I would expect shooting a moving object without flash from sunlight into shade against a confusing backdrop. So yeah, happy.

I am enjoying my photography for a change!

If you are reading my blog for the first time, The Southbank Centre have proposed an expansion of the Southbank site to allow more space for art and music, which I do agree with…. What I do NOT agree with is the taking of the undercroft skate park to turn into it retail space to help pay for the expansion. The skate park is one of the oldest existing skate parks in the world and has existed here since 1976. Its is wrong in so many ways to close it.

To read more about it and support those fighting the change read more here. LLSB!

Art – new, old and older still

Monday 28 January 2013 – London

Today was really the first day in ages when I had absolutely nothing planned at all. The forecast was average at best and I really didn’t fancy getting soaked. However I was itching to do something so I made a quick plan with the help of Google maps, packed my camera, got dressed and walked out the door.

My first stop was to hunt down this piece of street art from Space Invader and I was surprised it was still there as it has been here a couple of years apparently. This is on a wall just off Holborn in the central city and there is almost no art or graffiti in the middle of downtown, so a rarity. Apparently there used to be a Banksy around here as well, but that is long gone.

IMG 6552

I walked down Drury Lane (muttering Monty Python sketches as I went) down to The Strand. There is an incredible amount of churches in London city.

IMG 6555

I was visiting Sommerset House and the Courtauld Gallery inside. In a stroke of good luck the gallery is free on Mondays. To balance my good fortune there was an exhibition by Cartier-Bresson that finished yesterday and I had no idea it was on ! I have yet to find a really good single spot to find good exhibitions in London and only stumbled upon the Courtauld by accident.

IMG 6558

The Courtauld is an amazing gallery, quite small but it has an incredible collection of art works, including a really good collection of early 20th century pieces from the likes of Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir, Seurat etc. Basically the period I like the best, they had some lovely Seurats.

IMG 6561

They also had a good collection of very old religious work and I really liked the altar pieces, especially this one from 1345.

The gallery is great and I highly recommend it to anyone who has not been, unlike the bigger galleries it was also quite empty!

IMG 6563

To counter-balance the work of some of the old masters I crossed the Thames and looked around for some work from more modern, and less appreciated artists! It was cold and starting rain as I crossed Waterloo Bridge and it was looking like my plan would be thwarted before I was halfway.

Like the centre of London the South Bank has few designated areas for graffiti, and someone had obviously broken a rule here as this has mostly been scrubbed off the wall.

IMG 6564

Though these were obviously in the right place.

IMG 6566

IMG 6567

I walked past the South Bank skate park and took a couple of pictures, the skaters were a bit off-putting, a bit of macho posturing so I didn’t go far into their lair and take pictures, though what was there was mainly graffiti which is not so much my style. I had lunch after and waited until the rain stopped.

IMG 6568

IMG 6571

I love the South Bank in the rain – very few tourists. On a sunny day this area is heaving.

IMG 6577

My last planned visit was the Graffiti Tunnel near Waterloo station, I walked through and took a few pictures, but again, mainly graffiti and not what I call art. At the far end there was a group of the Met’s finest standing around talking to someone so I decided to not take pictures there just in case, you never know what the police think when it comes to cameras!

IMG 6578

IMG 6579

IMG 6581

IMG 6582

IMG 6583

IMG 6584

IMG 6585

IMG 6587

IMG 6588

I then passed the interestingly shaped Plaza Hotel.

IMG 6589

Before crossing Westminster Bridge

IMG 6593

Past the Houses of Parliament and back to Tottenham Court Rd tube station for the journey home. It was a good few hours out, if a touch damp on occasion.

IMG 6597

My camera had a few hissy fits today, and had to be shutdown a couple of times. Fingers crossed it is not the start of a complete failure – though I guess I could upgrade then 🙂