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

Monday, 22 October 2012

Osaka #4

I think I've done enough 'people on the street' photography for a while. I don't want to get stuck in a rut by posting the same old thing too often.  So instead, I will just fall back on my other old favourite subject, urban Japan; in particular my old favourite, Osaka.

Firstly, The Tower of the Sun , an interesting remainder of Expo70 Osaka. Still standing, next to a current amusement; this intersting testament to 1970s optimism in science and nature certainly grabbed my attention.

Two images here of Tsūtenkaku, "Tower Reaching Heaven", an observation tower built in the 1950s. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Osaka, and has been a great advert for Hitachi for many decades.

Carrying on with towers; how about a towering Gundam robot? This is a huge advertising board on the side of a toy and model store, which specialises in robots. There are more robots in Japan than the rest of the world put together, and robots have been part of Japanese culture for many decades. One of the most popular robots is the Gundam series, which have sold books, magazines, toys and models by the millions.

This is the head quarters of NHK television in Osaka. NHK is the Japanese national television service. I have previously held a view that much of Japaese architecture is quite reserved and somewhat bland. This building though seems quite playful and interesting in comparison. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

City of London - Railway Passengers

My day job sometimes requires me to take a trip into London. I always manage to avoid the mad commuter rush hours by taking later or earlier trains. It is usually during these times when I have opportunity to take a few photographs of Londoners going about their daily routines. Another reason why I love my Ricoh GRD3; it's in the pocket and ready to go.

The following series of images were all taken within the last two months, but at varying times. They were all taken around the major London Railway Terminals of Liverpool Street Station and Victoria Station.

I think railway stations are great places for photography.  There is grand architecture, cafes and restaurants, shops, noise, action,  and of course an abundance of people.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Monthly Favourite - Jelly Babies

I haven't posted a monthly favourite in a while. Actually my general posting rate has slowed a little; this maybe due to the fact that I sometimes dry up on the photography front through lack of 'being bothered'. There is so much more in life than wandering around shooting everything. I've recently got back into reading literature; having worked my way through quite a few novels already. I have a small family to have fun with. My work is also always sapping all my time.

So my free time shrinks and what little I have can not possibly all be taken up with photography. (or can it?)

Well enough moaning about my ever decreasing personal freedoms...

This month's favourite ....(or a poor excuse to post a 'one off' image that doesn't fit too well into any of my themed posts).... is of some public artwork which was installed onto a stone plinth at London's famous Hyde park Corner.

Nothing traditional here (by god we already have thousands of dead heros cast in bronze or cut from stone). Nothing too arty or clever here (this is Hyde park Corner, not the Louvre or Tate). But something to catch the eye of the passing tourists and drivers. A sculpture made from highly polished coloured clear and opaque resin. Something about three meters tall.

I present to you... Giant Jelly Babies.

This isn't necessarily a fantastic photo.  This is really point and click.  But even so, I like it.  So there.

I have added this video, which should give an idea of their actual size and location.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Southbank - Part 2

Following on from my previous post, here are the rest of my images taken on my wander along the London Southbank.

I can see in my images a familiar style, which without any deliberate thought, has started to become quite regular. I like my subjects to have strong architectural and simple backgrounds.  The stone and concrete canvases in the following examples are all true to this theme.  Although I enjoy processing in black and white, I also like to see colours when they deserve to be displayed.  The following two shots are both reds/oranges on grey, which work well in my opinion.  The runner's stretched leg seemed to line so well with the wall handrail; her legs forming a pefect 90 degree square.

Sometimes colour doesn't work for me.  In this scene, even though the yellow concrete structure is rather unique and eye catching; I prefer the B&W version.  I really like the imprinted brutal concrete architecture here; forming nice diagonals and verticals.

A view of the same yellow concrete staircase now works best in full colour. Maybe because of the over-sized red painted slogan. I have to say that I had seen some amazing photos of this staircase already on flickr; and I waited and waited to try and get an interesting image. Blatant copying on my behalf but this fell way short of the images by other people.

Some more images along the southbank. The black and white images here were taken with my Ricoh GRD3, while all other images on this post were taken with Nikon D80. The last image was of a guy who was singing and playing guitar on the stony Thames beach. He managed to capture a good size audience who all watched from several meters above on the footpath.

Check out my last post on The London Southbank - part 1

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Southbank - Part 1

The Southbank must be one of the biggest tourist traps in London. During the summer months, it can be so packed with people wandering along enjoying the views of the Thames and all the places to visit along the path.  They generally stroll slowly along from the Tower of London, over Tower Bridge, passing the Golden Hind tall ship, the Tate Modern, the Millenium Bridge, Globe Theatre....    takes a long breath   ....Festival Hall, Southbank Center, County Hall, London Aquarium, and finishing off by the famous London Eye.

Its fun to see hundreds of foreign tourists all standing by the river bank wall, having photos of themselves with the Tower of London behind them. Well I hope they all enjoy themselves in London, and go back with good memories, and hopefully a good impression of British people (I seriously hope they do).  I hope they don't all feel that twenty pounds each is too expensive a price for the pleasure of queuing for forty five minutes for a fourty five minute ride on the London Eye.  I must admit that I am finding London one of the most expensive places in the world (even compared to notoriously pricey Tokyo et al).

I enjoy merging into the crowd as they amble along, taking a few shots of people as I go.  It really is a good place to take pictures of people, especially as everyone else is doing the same.

There are quite a few of these big painted concrete 'beds' along one part of the walk. They were all taken up by couples in somewhat laid back manor. People genuinely enjoying each other's company for conversation and relaxation.

A few shots alongside the London Eye. The guy on the left is drumming up interest into some kind of magical ghoulishly feindish stage show, and dressed like a bloody surgeon (literally).  The girl on the left was interested in looking cool (in a kind of tall Scandinavian way)

Working hard while everyone else sits around sipping cappuccinos or beers.

Oooh look - I seem to have created a nice monochrome set with orange highlights!

Check out my next post on The London Southbank - part 2