And now the exhibition’s over I’m allowed to show my work outside of the gallery’s hallowed halls. I’m quite proud of these two both very different shots. The first one is a fairground ride at last year’s Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park. The effect is caused by a slow shutter speed in my camera meeting a strobe light on the ride.
The second is a portrait of artist Alexandre Santacruz in his studio. He considers his artwork his diary and usually strips himself bare literally and figuratively as part of the creative process.
These’ll be for sale on the website shortly.
OK, so not one of mine but if you want to see two of mine come along to the exhibition. Some really good work on show. And then there’s mine too :p
Summer days soon behind us so here’s a little reminder of those summer sunsets in this fair city of London. Well actually I lied. This is a sunrise. A 4:30-in-the-morning-I-must-be-mad-getting-up-this-early-on-a-non-work-day sunrise. Taken from the footbridge between Embankment station and the South Bank this was about 20 minutes before the sun actually exploded from behind the city office blocks. It’s the only word for it as my eyeballs will attest. Note to self: Do not peer through your camera lens just as a ball of fire aims itself right at you. First time I’ve ever seen stars in the daytime.
St Paul’s Cathedral seen adjacent to the London Eye. The peculiar angle arises from the fact that I’mm looking across a bend in the river so the cathedral on the north bank seems to be behind the Eye which is on the south bank.
Anyhow, I don’t think I’ll be doing these early morning starts for a while now. For a start we’re nearing autumn so dawn comes when there’s rush and turmoil around you rather than quiet with a special city centre stillness, and secondly I like my lie-in. There I said it. Lazy sod.
OK, what’s 90 minutes, one tunnel and a train away from London? The answer’s not only fresh croissants and decent coffee but also Lille, the capital of the Nord-Pas de Calais region of France. I don’t know how many times I’ve shot through Lille on the Eurostar train on my way to the endlessly exciting Paris or, regrettably, to boring Brussels for a meeting or connection to somewhere more interesting. To me Lille was just a featureless concrete platform where, mystifyingly, people actually got off the train. Willingly. Without weapons pointed at them. Very odd indeed.
The reputation isn’t helped by the knowledge that Lille is an industrial centre in an area of France known for its industry, mining and mills, and that the city was overrun with Germans intent on blowing things up during both world wars. All in all you think, Lille? Why on earth does the Eurostar stop there? Well class pay attention and listen because actually Lille is a really cool place to visit and not only that, it has the most beautiful old town area which is on a par with anything in Europe. If that’s not enough, you can throw in some amazing cultural sites, several world class art galleries and a couple of open air markets that will make you wonder why you ever went into a shop.
So, now that I’ve cashed the cheque from the tourist office I can talk about the picture above. It’s hot off the presses, shot just a few days ago on my way between a glass of wine and a trip to Belgium which went slightly awry when the train broke down and I had to walk back to France but anyway that’s another story, it meant traversing the Rue de Gand, a wonderful cobbled street full of cute little bars and cafes and these brightly painted houses on the corner with the Rue Saint Jacques are pretty typical. Pretty in fact.
A quite astonishingly revealing photograph here - though there was always an eager under-the-counter trade in the truly pornographic image of sexual antics for all persuasions, this pair’s unclothed intimacy does not seem so smutty as any taken for the purpose of titillation. Nor are they a pair I recognise from any of these explicit photoshoots I’ve been gleefully gathering over the last year or so, so I do not think their stripping progressed further under photographer’s orders : it seems they simply chose to have their picture taken naked. And such a sweetly beautiful, breathtakingly erotic picture it is, the soft smile, the gentle hand on knee, the pressing of face to chest as one leans close and the other gently pulls him nearer still.
This is simply beautiful. And very, very brave for the era. What fortunate times we live in today and how wonderful that a century ago people decided to celebrate their closeness like this despite the social mores of the time? I wonder became of these two young men?
3.30-a-bloody-o’clock in the early-bloody-morning I had to get up to do this shot. Dedicated or wot? For ages I’d been saying I wanted to be up at dawn and photograph London coming to life so instead of doing something sensible like wait till October when dawn comes at a reasonable time I decided instead to do it at midsummer when dawn is about 5am and the twilight light starts at about 3.30. Madness but at least I managed to share the madness with my best friend who quite fancied getting up at what’s for him going to bed time. Well it was worth it. By 4:30 we were standing on Westminster Bridge and witnessing this amazing purple glow in the sky which gradually became a deep pink, then orange, then yellow as the sun finally rose up across the city horizon. Amazing experience to see. We were constantly running from one vantage point to another to capture the spectacle, giggling like school kids. Finally, shattered, we repaired to Soho about 7am for a well deserved breakfast in Soho.
Sweet, sweet burn of sun and summer wind, and you my friend, my new fun thing, my summer fling.
This one’s my mate’s car, affectionately known as the Red Racer. She’s a bit asthmatic these days, apt to grunt and groan and make alarming crunching sounds now and then but it’s to be expected of such a venerable old lady. She lives in the hot sun of Portugal hence the sunburn.
I’m not much of a car freak myself. If it moves mostly in a forward direction it’s enough for me. I even miss those three wheeled Reliant Robins of my childhood though I have to ask, WTF? What possible advantage could there be to missing a wheel. It’s a bit like a few of my friends I suppose. Some of them are missing the essentials too. Sorry friends <wink>
Anyhow, Paulo parked this one outside his neighbour’s house and naturally rather than go inside and be sociable I was farting about outside with the camera, at one point lying on the ground. Oh that’s good. In the road.
Still, the extreme danger of lying in the road in the middle of nowhere in a hamlet called Várzea (note the cool á), population about 14 and a half, was tempered by the fact there was homemade wine from the neighbour’s own vines and this would be my reward. One pint of the stuff later I reviewed the pictures and figured yeah, I’ve done the old lady proud.