Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Local Photography - part 5

A couple of weeks ago, we had some sunshine at the weekend, which was a welcome break between the rainy saturdays throughout most of July.  I thought I'd make the most it, and try and do some of those eternally popular if slightly cliched 'shooting into the sun' shots.  I had no idea how the results would end up.  I had to save some of these through photoshop, and even though the end results are not exactly natural, I quite liked them. There are flares and grain all over them, which I don't mind, but I think I need more practice. The shadows on the ground worked well, which I punched up a little with photoshop.

Here are a few more images of people I caught on that day.

A little union jack bag here; it seems that this flag has finally become reasonably cool after all those years of fashion designers deparately trying to flog it.  Just shows what three weeks of olympics can do.  I'd much rather see the union jack everywhere than the St. George England flag; which is normally found on bald headed tattooed football fans, hanging out of council house windows, and on stickers on the back of white builders vans.

People waiting for buses are the next easiest photo targets after people on the phone.

Leopard skin tights, cigarette on the go, sun in her eyes. Nice bit of attitude, I think.

Some more attitude...or is that altitude?

I often find myself lining up to get side profiles of people, as the walk by.  I always try and find a certain canvas, preferably a wall with interesting decor or style. This guy really was struggling under the weight of the bag.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

an image of a cow

Sometimes, photography can get boring. Sometimes I spend so much time trying to take photos in the street, or trying my hand at architectural photography. But sometimes I just can't be bothered to do any of that.

I drive by a field of cows every day. They're always there, just mooing around and chewing cud, generally doing what cows do. Then one day I decided to just stop the car and wander over to the fence and get there attention. Curiosity lured them over to the strange guy leaning over the fence (plus the promise I gave them of a chance to be famous on my blog).

So here is a portrait of Lucinda, taken just before sunset.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Local Photography - part 4

No hanging around here... I'm on a roll. I've taken so many shots in the last couple of weeks in my neighbourhood. Not much to say about these, except that the images in yesterdays post were all colour landscape orientation (bar just one), and these are all black and white in portrait orientation. I like a little consistency in my blog.

I seem to jump from colour to B&W, landscape to portrait, every other day. I still am not sure where I am happiest. (I used to be nearly all B&W, but have started to appreciate colour in street images more and more)...  anyway.... 

My message to all of you is...   Stop reading blogs, facebook, flickr, tumbler....  Get out and take photos!

Today, just four images of local peeps, all taken on a Saturday afternoon while roaming around Colchester with my Ricoh GRD3.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Local Photography - part 3

I thought I'd post some images of people I've captured in my home town of Colchester. Local People... Normal People. All too often I am drawn to the big city with the lure of incredibly trendy and interesting people, awesome architecture, and an amazing global collection of humanity... all just for me to photograph.

My previous posts; Local Photography part 1 , and part 2 , and also Town Centre Cycle Race were all about the people on your doorstep, or at least wandering around town. The more I concentrate on this local mission, the more I am beginning to enjoy it. It is certainly less expensive than hopping on a train to London, especially now that the fare is around £30 from Colchester! For any international readers of my little blog... the UK is possibly the most expensive place on earth to travel around...  virtually the highest fuel price per litre, the most expensive bus and train fares...  and shoes are not cheap here either.  I digress....

Happy friends sharing a bottle of wine outside a restaurant. They were probably joking about the latest 8% rise in train fares...   (ohh there I go again).  

Another cafe, and hard working member of staff.  I just dig those groovy chairs. 

Incredible combinations of colour, and style. (what do I know about fashion?)

This was taken using the 'sitting down at a table and pointing the camera up as people walk by' method.

Alright mate?  yeah, alright mate?

Man studies man studies art.  I liked the way the shadow cut across the image forcing one guy into shade.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Osaka #3

Osaka.    I've posted about Osaka several times now; always as an excuse to lay down some more of my old images from my times there.  "Why Osaka?", I hear you all ask...  "What about Tokyo?", I hear you add...   The reason for my emphasis on Osaka is down to the fact that it was my wife's home town (a suburb of Osaka named Nishiosaka). Before we settled in UK, I was flying back and forth to Osaka several times a year. So, of course I know Tokyo (possibly one of the greatest cities on the planet), and I love Kyoto (for all its Japanese old world charm and calm); but it is Osaka where my camera worked the hardest.  Gritty, noisy, bustling, funny, foody, industrial, exciting, modern and diverse, sometimes dodgy Osaka.

Previous posts Osaka #1 and Osaka #2 were themed around the little back streets. Todays post is going to present some of the more interesting and sometimes strange architecture.

The first two images, both clad in shades of terracotta, caught my eye for the obvious reason that they seem to be covered in plant pots. The first with a healthy range of shrubs and trees; the second displaying a more minimal display of carefully aranged branches. This reminds me of a building which has been posted by a fellow blogger S.C Collections from Netherlands, where there also seems to be a trend for plant pot buildings.

Tower blocks all tend to taper away with natural perspective when you walk around at street level and point up to shoot. Here are some examples of some interesting towers in Osaka, with a sprinkling of perspective.  I always seem to vertically straighten the left hand side of a building when I take the shot, allowing the right hand side to angle away.  This has never been a conscious decision; my brain just seems to do this on its own.

Yes.  That elevated road DOES go straight through that office building.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Monthly Favourite - Japanese Carpark

Parking space is limited in Japanese cities. This is simply due to the high population and incredibly densely built up urban areas. Actually, you can't own a car in Japan unless you have a certified place to keep it parked overnight. Car parking in Japan is serious business!

Wandering along a back street in the small city of Tokushima, I discovered this amusing little car park.  A car parking company has made use of this tiny space between two buildings, and installed all the typical equipment you would find in a Japanese car park.

In a car parking space for just two cars, we have:

  • Two clearly marked parking boxes. Each with it's allotted number.
  •  Yellow reversing buffers, with written notice to take care while reversing.
  •  Electronically raised and lowered security beams, which operate after payment.
  •  Each space has it's own ticket machine on a white post.
  •  There an additional receipt machine on a post, with red written notice of usage.
  •  A very large notice board with highly descriptive instructions on how to use the car park.
  • For the record - 20 minutes parking = 100 yen JP = £0.80 UK = $1.25 US.
  • Two lamps above the notice board. This is a 24 hour service, of course.
  •  Two separate drinks vending machines, serving hot and cold beverages.
  •  A small litter bin with daily changed bin liner bag.
  •  A yellow barrier has been installed to protect the building wall.
  • A red cone. Maybe used to show when space is not in use.
  •  There are also some small potted plants hidden behind that little Daihatsu.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Portabello Road

I have just found some photos of Portabello Road market which I took over a year ago. This was after I had replace my old Ricoh GRD i with the new GRD iii. Of course, I was still getting to grips with the updated and uprated specs of the new model, but I was starting to get results which gave me confidence in the new camera.

There was something about the hat stall that made me smile. It's only in certain places in London where you actually see people wearing hats like this. The thing that I liked about this image was the way that some of the heads on the stall are looking up at the customer.

This shot is slightly over exposed. Such are the perils of attempting full manual on the Ricoh.  But I liked the image enough to keep it. I actually think the chopped head works in this situation.  The guy is a dude in full stride!

Hooray! It started to rain. A perfect excuse to get those umbrella shots.  I am never quite sure about using a camera in the rain, but I was under my own umbrella while shooting one handed.  I love umbrella shots.

I call this last shot 'Audrey Hepburn and The Beatles'.

Monday, 6 August 2012

My 100th Post! - Some Random Street Images

This is my 100th post! Approximately one year of blogging. I couldn't think of anything very spectacular to celebrate this massive milestone...  so...   here is another post, much like all the others.

I usually post a small set of images from a day of photography, usually all from one area. Today's post consists of the images which I have collected over recent weeks, which are not necessarily connected in any way. This is the result of always having my camera on me, and taking advantage of any photo opportunity I can.

These old fellas are fast asleep in the middle of the day, while the sun beats down. (between the rainy days). Lucky they have their baseball caps on.

 Shooting into the sun is always fun with somewhat unpredictable  results.  Thanks to Silver Efex.

Just another quick shot from the hip. I know very little about fashion, but I can sense certain style here.

Taken in London's Green Park. These guys zoom around at silly speeds. I took this shot with the camera pointing sideways from my hip. Although not very sharp, it was a fairly lucky shot.

Finally, a non street image. I sneaked a photo of this old ticket inspector on a steam train in Devon. Once again, the Ricoh GRD3 allows me to take these images due to it's stealthy silent small design. Try getting your DSLR out of your inside pocket while you are getting your ticket inspected!  ha ha.   I processed this image with a dark sepia in keeping with the vintage railway environment.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Osaka #2

Here's another set of images from various small streets in central Osaka. Once again, you can see within these images a strange mix of signage and decor, resulting in a bizarre clutter of oddness. It's as if there is a desire to camouflage what is essentially a plain building or shop front into something completely different.

Anyone who has spent some time in Japan will also recognise the vending machines, which seem to be positioned on every spare bit of space along every city street. Mostly vending cold (and hot) drinks and cigarettes; but sometimes food and other items. During my stay, I became quite addicted to cans of hot milky sweet coffee; and my plans to give up smoking took a dent at the time, especially when every 100 meters there were machines vending cigarettes at about 25% the cost in UK.  See the last image for a common site of these machines.

The final thing that always comes across to me about Japanese city streets is the cleanliness. I have been told by my wife that every shop front or business is responsible for the cleanliness outside their property, including the pavement and the gutter. Even if this is not always an actual law, the shop owners feel that they are responsible. There is a certain pride in the tidyness and lack of litter. It is quite usual to see shop owners hosing the pavement outside with water. Add this to the fact that the majority of Japanese people would not even dream of dropping any litter on the pavement, you have the result of a clean environment.  So why oh why do so many English people in UK, feel that it is perfectly okay to just drop their litter everywhere?  I get so ANGRY!!!!

Sorry...    so anyway, here are some pictures.