Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

A transformation at the Natural History Museum

I haven’t posted any photos of flowers for a while so I thought it was about time I shared a few for you!

I recently attended an event being held at the Natural History Museum where it was transformed into a wedding reception venue. I was there just to photograph for the event florists and had to have all the photos taken before the bride and groom made their entrance, which was no mean feat considering there were around a hundred people working in there and the lighting was constantly changing!

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My next adventure will be photographing flowers before they have been arranged into beautiful centrepieces, in fact before they have even been picked from the fields as I am taking a trip to Holland next week to visit Keukenhof gardens. Have you ever been?

Posted in Photography, Uncategorized

Still life floral photography

I am currently working on my major project at university and the theme I have chosen is the importation of flowers. I am going to travel to Holland later in the month to visit the flower gardens and look more into the floral industry. In the meantime I have been researching lots of other photography projects and the way people photograph flowers.

Although I have come across some really amazing pieces of work by talented artists, I have found that in general flower photography is very generic. Flowers are normally displayed in vases to look their best so I have decided to try and create some images that break the rules and focus on the flower as a whole not just the pretty part at the top, and displaying them in an unconventional way.

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Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Fashion and Portrait in Covent Garden

I am in the process of updating my photography website and realised that my portfolio is lacking photos of people. I have photographed at events and photograph people around me all the time but as most of my projects focus on places and street photography, it is rare that I get someone to happily pose for me (it is usually my kids avoiding the camera at all costs)

So recently I have done a few shoots with fashion bloggers in and around London, the first being this shoot with Nupur in Covent Garden.

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Nupur came well prepared with lots of outfits and was a natural in front of the camera which made it really easy for me to shoot. We started at Neal’s yard which is a small yard down the road from Covent garden but is filled with colourful buildings, it is also filled with lots of people and it seemed to be a popular choice for photographers so we didn’t stick around too long and moved on to the more spacious Covent garden market.

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We ended the shoot by grabbing some lunch at the very healthy Suppa in Holborn which does a tasty chilli!

I was a bit nervous about shooting in such a public place but when you are busy taking photos you actually forget that there are people around you and in places like central London where it is so busy, nobody seems to care as they are all rushing around doing their own thing.

I was really pleased with how the pictures turned out and shooting fashion and portrait on location was much more fun than I expected. I am hoping to do a lot more shoots with bloggers in the future and I am currently offering a limited number at a reduced rate for anyone who wants to do a shoot in London. So, if you are working on a particular post or just want to update your profiles then get in touch. You don’t need to be a model or have any experience shooting outdoors, anyone is welcome!

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Gursky – Hayward Gallery

The Hayward is a newly refurbished, world renowned contemporary art gallery along the Southbank in London that has just reopened in all its brutalist glory after two years.

This was my first visit to the Hayward and I was quite excited to see the work of Andreas Gursky after seeing his work in books and online over the past few years, you really don’t get to appreciate the scale of his work until you are standing next to it looming over you.

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You may be aware of Gursky as he previously held the title for taking the most expensive photograph ever when his photo Rhine II (above) sold for $4.3 million in 2011. It was nice to see the photo up close although I must say it is not one of my favourite pieces and I wasn’t that impressed by it!

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There were a few smaller photos but it was his very large scale images that really got my attention, I loved to look at them from afar and then go up close to see all the detail. Particularly the one at the airport and the block of flats where you could actually see into the windows. (maybe I’m just nosey)

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You may notice a lot of people in my photos, the exhibition was quite busy but I could have probably photographed the pictures without onlookers, I do however enjoy seeing the way people interact with the work as much as looking at the work itself.

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Gursky is known for his spectacular large scale architecture, landscape photos that often feature crowds and global economy or contemporary life. A statement from the Southbank centre website states:

Gursky makes photographs that are not just depictions of places or situations, but reflections on the nature of image-making and the limits of human perception. Often taken from a high vantage point, these images make use of a ‘democratic’ perspective that gives equal importance to all elements of his highly detailed scenes.

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You may think from seeing this post that you don’t need to see the exhibition because I have shown it all to you but I don’t think I even photographed half of the pictures in this show, the gallery is huge and just when you think you have seen it all you turn a corner and there are more photos. The work goes right back to the 70s so it is a large collection and probably one of my favourite photography exhibitions I have seen (and I have seen a fair few)

Are you a fan of the work of Gursky or visited the exhibition?

Gursky at the Hayward runs until 22 April so there is still plenty of time to get down there. A gift aided standard ticket costs £16 with various concessions available with kids under 12 going free. Check out the website for further details.

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Travel, Uncategorized

A ghostly walk in the City of London

When I was younger I loved all things ghostly, read the books and watched the horror movies but with age I find that the littlest things can keep me awake at night so I tend to avoid anything gruesome. I have however always wanted to go on a ghost walk around London and with it being on my list of places to visit this year, I couldn’t put it off any longer.

After Googling London Ghost walks I came across tours by Richard Jones. He has been in the business since 1982 and written 18 books on London and the paranormal so seemed like the perfect person to show us around the haunted sights of the city.

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As expected, churchyards played a big role in the tour and we passed many grave stones with Richard telling us stories of the chilling encounters of the long departed. Dressed as a Victorian undertaker and with the voice of a seasoned professional storyteller he really captured the attention of the audience. I was accompanied by my 19 year old daughter and was a bit worried that we might be alone on this walk but there was a really good crowd of people and Richard’s tours are obviously very popular.

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One of the sights we learned about was The Old Bailey where many men have been sent to their deaths, as well as a court house it also used to be home to The Newgate prison and execution site. The Viaduct Tavern over the road is thought to be one of the most haunted in London, if you buy a drink when it is not busy they may show you the cellar and if you buy a few they may just lock you in there!

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Onto Cock Lane and coincidently this was one of the first roads that prostitution was legalised, it was however made famous by the Cock lane ghost who occupied one of the apartments after William Kent’s wife died in childbirth but was this all a hoax or did people really see her?

A short walk over the road and we reached the place that all Sherlock Holmes fans will be familiar with at St Bartholomew’s hospital. I am more familiar with the hospital after spending many of my teenage years visiting the orthodontists in there. At 15 I remember having an operation and waking up in a room with eight beds but I was the only person there, it was quite spooky and it wasn’t any less spooky on this trip!

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I didn’t realise that there was a museum at the hospital but with it being founded 895 years ago I imagine there is a lot of history to be learnt about it. It is also the only place where you will still find these boxes collecting for the poor. Apparently the money was used to treat the poor in the hospital when they couldn’t afford medical care so it was mostly filled by the poor who were constantly worried about getting sick and not being able to get treatment.

As you leave the hospital towards Smithfield’s market you enter a large grass area which was used as an execution site, many people including William Wallace aka Braveheart faced his death here and it was reported that Bloody Queen Mary would watch from the Tudor building in the photo as she burnt people on the stakes.

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Our tour ended at the last surviving remains of London‘s old Roman and Medieval city wall. It is quite fascinating to see this wall that was damaged in the war with a backdrop of the cities newly built glass office buildings. Reports of ghostly sightings and sounds are often reported in the area.

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I wouldn’t say our ghostly walk was particularly scary but more of a historical lesson. I am usually supportive of old spaces being regenerated but feel a lot more appreciative of the history that is held in certain locations.

I have just touched on a few things that were covered in the tour and although it was cold and tiring on your legs I would highly recommend for anyone interested in the history of the city to take one of Richard’s tours around London.

Posted in London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Photography Project – Views from the bus

I often find myself gazing out the window on long bus rides, taking in the sites and people watching. As I had my camera with me on my last bus journey I thought I would take some photos of the landmarks in London. I was surprised at how clear they came out considering how dirty the windows on the buses are so thought I would share a few on the blog.

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I didn’t actually notice a man playing the bagpipes on the bridge until I was looking at the photos and I love how the other guy is just casually taking a selfie with the London eye!

Do you see any interesting sights on your bus journey?

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Searching for Spring in Dulwich Park

On my journeys around London I have been spotting little traces of colour, including a couple of trees on my road sprouting blossom! Spring is my favourite time of year and I love to see colour appearing everywhere (and the sun occasionally making an appearance from behind the clouds) so thought I would take a stroll to nearby Dulwich park to see if there was any signs of Spring around there.

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Although it is not one of London’s biggest open spaces, Dulwich park has a lot to offer and something for everyone. Runners and dog walkers are around at all times but there are quite a lot of sporting facilities available. The tennis courts and basketball courts are free and open from 8am until closing and there is fitness equipment dotted around, mostly near the play area so no excuse for parents not to get in a quick workout while the kids are playing!

There is a pretty little boating lake which is open between April and October where we have spent many an afternoon navigating our pedal boat into the bushes.

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Next to the lake is a lovely little café with indoor and outdoor seating, which serves drinks, snacks and hot meals. I don’t think I have ever been to the park and it has not been busy inside so obviously a popular choice for visitors.

In my search for colour I only seemed to come across these plants which have quite an autumnal feel so I had to rely on the artwork to brighten up the day.

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So even though Spring was not in the air it was still nice to get out and about surrounded by greenery and getting my steps up on my Fitbit.

Have you seen any signs of Spring where you live?

Posted in Lifestyle, London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Photography project – Haymarket Hotel

You may have seen my last post Boogie bounce with My PFF app where I attended an event at the Haymarket Hotel. In between bouncing around on trampolines, eating delicious food and talking about light bladder weakness, I managed to pop out and take some photos of the swanky interior at the hotel.

I loved the mix of traditional sculptures and ornamental vases with more modern pieces and quirky décor, particularly the fish wallpaper in the toilet! I did have a look around one of the bedrooms but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time so you will have to take my word for how luscious it was.

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I really liked the way each part of the hotel had a different style and there were so many little cosy nooks where I could imagine curling up with a good book, even this chair in the toilet looks inviting! Maybe one day I will get to try out an overnight stay!

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

The Photographers Gallery – Soho

Working my way through my list of places to visit this year and I took the first trip to The Photographers Gallery in Soho.

 

The gallery is situated just off Oxford street and stands at 5 floors high, although it doesn’t seem that big when inside the building.

I wasn’t sure what exactly was on show before visiting so it was a bit of a surprise. The two exhibitions I saw were 4 Saints in 3 Acts and Instant Stories – Wim Wenders’ Polaroids.

4 Saints in 3 Acts

Described as a snapshot of the American avant-garde, 4 Saints in 3 Acts is the first exhibition to focus on the photographic dimensions of the ground-breaking American modernist opera. The show was renowned for having an all African-American cast that were recruited from the choirs and nightclubs of Harlem and offered unique glimpses of a largely unknown community. The photos capture the action on stage, behind the scenes and portraits of the classical music performers.

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Many of the photos on display were quite small and with the larger ones you could see the age of them by the wear and tear but this added to the history and story of the photos. A very simple but delightful exhibition.

Instant stories – Wim Wenders’ Polaroids

This collection of work offers a rare opportunity to see the personal and previously unseen polaroids taken by Oscar nominated filmmaker, Wim Wenders. Featuring over 200 images taken between the 1960s and 1980s of his journey across America he captures the people around him, still lives, street photography and landscapes.

 

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These images in particular caught my eye, it seems people were taking photos of their everyday food long before Instagram was around!

Again a lot of the photos were very small (obviously because they are polaroids) but there were also books so you could see Wender’s images close up. There was also a note board so visitors can share their views on the work which is a nice touch for the artists to get feedback.

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On the top floor was an opportunity to be part of the exhibition via Instagram. There was a set up studio area and rails of outfits and accessories so you could take your own photos and share online.

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As well as having work on show The Photographers gallery also has loads of workshops, talks and courses. There is a quaint café on the ground floor and a bookshop in the basement that you could spend ages browsing.

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If you visit before 12 when it is less busy there is free entrance so it is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The two shows I saw are on until 11th February so I will be looking out for future exhibitions that I can see there!

Posted in London, Photography, Uncategorized

Metro imaging and end of year show

Metro imaging is a Photographic, printing, framing and retouching service with a shop just off Clerkenwell road in London.

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Most people that want to print everyday photos will probably use an online service or high street shop but if you are looking for something special then a C type or Giclee print is the way to go, often used by professionals or photography students that are displaying work for a gallery.

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Metro imaging is very hands on, you can go in and print your own work in a variety of sizes with staff members on hand to provide assistance or you can send it over via the website. There are so many options to chose regarding printing on different media and finishes that it can seem overwhelming but it can also give your work the wow factor and make it stand out from the crowd.

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This is a selection of work printed on different materials, including wood and metal.

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We visited Metro Imaging as a class as we were preparing for our Pilot major project work to be exhibited at the end of the year. It was great to see how work can be displayed in so many different ways and a few of us from class decided to use the services of Metro imaging to print our work.

My project has been documenting the journey of the flower and you may have seen in previous posts that I have visited places such as New Covent Garden Market and Columbia road flower market. I have also been spending time with an event florist in their workshop and accompanying them to events to photograph for them.

I ended the project with a selection of nine images printed out in A3 and A4 size I then mounted them myself on mounting board using the vacuum press at uni. I didn’t chose the images that I thought looked the nicest but the ones that told the story of the process the flower goes through in its short lifespan. I am hoping to carry on this project in semester two  and hopefully visit some floral gardens in Holland and spend some time with the charity Floral angels who donate bouquets of flowers to nursing homes and refuges after they have been displayed at events.

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We were all really pleased with our exhibition which was displayed at Borough road gallery and looking forward to the final major project which should be displayed at Free Range photography festival in The Old Truman Brewery in East London in June.

Here are some of the work of other students…

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