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

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Brick Lane - Part 5

Last time I visited Brick Lane, I noticed that there were quite a few photographers wandering around getting shots of all the cool and crazy trend setters.  Obviously, it is common knowledge now that Brick Lane and its connected streets are the hub of all things cool; whether it be fashion, art, music and publishing. I recently read that it has also recently become the centre of Britain's digital media industry.  Wow...  fascinating.

I am probably one of thousands of enthusiastic photographers then, all doing roughly the same thing. I hope though, by presenting them in a blog, I can at least try and explain why and how I got these images.

Most of the people I have captured in this series are not necesarily cool and trendy.  I just like to try and capture all kinds of people from the area, and I have generally tried to frame them with some thought and appreciation of the background.   For example, in the following image of a guy in a blue jacket, blue jeans carrying a blue shoulder bag, whilst pulling along a blue case; I have framed in on a large plain brick wall, and positioned him a third of the way in (rule of thirds zzzzzzzz).  

Here we have another person who seems to lack any cool trendyness.  He is delivering stock to one of the shops, straight from the back of his car. A well suited delivery man maybe, or actually the shop owner; he was the only guy I saw that day in a suit.  Maybe that makes him more alternative than the rest of the regular visitors.

Peeking through the glass window of a strange little boutique of expensive designer thrift and articles of fashion requiring an acquired taste; we see a member of staff (or owner) alone in the empty establishment. Nice beard and bald head combination. I don't think he is looking at me...   hard to tell with those eyes.

Brick Lane is also one of the most famous places in London for street art.  It is a constantly changing canvas of renewable art.  Some murals last a long time, some get ruined by graffiti, others get posters pasted over them.  I am not going to post many images of this art, especially as there are some web sites and flickr members who specialise documenting this art.  But here are two that I really like:

See that street photographer with a Canonette rangefinder? 

This gal's not for sale.  I am not sure if the original art was graffitied at a later date, or whether it is part of the art.  Whatever way, it seems to work.

So finally, here is a person who has got the 'cool' working properly. Or has my photo just made him cool?  Is it the cigarette and the shades?  Whatever they say...   smoking can still be cool (as long as it is done right).


George McKay said...

A good job of giving us a sense of the place with the diversity of people and styles. I know it seems like many other photographers will cover the same territory but you still have your distinctive approach and look to your work.

s.c said...

love especially number 3 with the beard and the strange lighting armature. Also the last b&w one with the diagonal placing. It gives a bit of swing to the photo.

Michael Gatton said...

Nice collection Bill. That last guy definitely has some swag, as the kids say. There's a whole discussion about why something that slowly kills you, causes premature wrinkling, makes your breath stink, stains your teeth, gives you a nasty phlegm-y cough, funds right-wing political causes, is expensive - etc. - is still cool. And I don't say that to disagree with you, just noting some disturbing aspects of our psyches :-)

Bill Wellham said...

Thanks for all the comments guys.

Mike... totally agree with you about the smoking. I guess it's a perennial belief that smoking a cigarette is rebellious; when it is possibly just an addiction to cope with personal insecurity. I guess the average joe will not associate the addiction with all the unseen issues (your list). This is from an ex-smoker LOL.