Sunday, 24 February 2013

Farewell Subways @ Bricklayers Arms Roundabout

The four subways (north, south, east and west) under the Bricklayers Arms roundabout on the Old Kent Road are due to be closed and filled in from 25th Feb 2013. 

I first got news of this when I saw a set of photographs on flickr by London SE1

I live just up the road from the roundabout but have only taken the odd photograph there - but with the urgency of only a week to go I set out to document the tunnels, stairwells, ramps  and the roundabout itself, driven by the poignancy that very soon it would no longer be possible to ever walk through them, and before long they would no longer exist - filled full of concrete.

During my time there over the past week I saw very few people passing through the subways and the park itself was mostly empty save for an occasional gathering of Polish drinkers. The tunnels can be lonely, eerie spaces but I've come to enjoy them, the concrete architecture of the ramps and stairwells and their siting within the roundabout. 

This afternoon a few of us pitched up at the roundabout to mark the closure of the subways - here are Deirdre's photos

So now that the tunnels are set to close I have to begin to figure out what to do with the stack of photographs and video I've amassed...

And finally here's a film clip from the 70's, flying along from Tower Bridge, down Great Dover Street and at about 1:25 there's the roundabout and the concrete structure of the stairwells and ramps

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

analogue two

I haven't taken any medium format since the A303 road trip this time last year. I really enjoyed the pace of having the camera on the tripod, taking light readings and slowly considering the framing. And waiting. The colour printing was more of a struggle but it got there in the end.
So now there's no excuse - the camera's ready and the film's not even out of date.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

analogue one

I borrowed a Kodak slide projector from college and filled it full of 50 year old slides. There's something particular about watching a slide show; on the one hand there are the memories of being forced to sit through interminable shows of family holidays, but then also the dark room immersion that the projected image offers - compared to a computer screen's glare, the whirr of the fan,  the clunk of the carousel - it's an experience not unlike cinema.

The Brenizer Method

I spent a good part of the weekend working on my CV for college - something I haven't done for over a decade.  Anyhow, more excitingly here's my first attempt at using the Brenizer Method. DD kindly posed in the rain as I took about 20  shots at a wide aperture and then combined them in Photoshop to give a really shallow depth of field that would only be achievable otherwise using medium format. It's been popularised by New York wedding photographer Ryan Breizer and here's details of how to do it.

Friday, 8 February 2013

taking photographs

there is always



to take

and then

another one

after that

Monday, 4 February 2013

Farewell flickr friends – I'm taking a break

Farewell flickr friends – I'm taking a break by mdx

It's been creeping up on me for a while – tiredness, a sense of malaise around posting my photographs on flickr. Why do I continue to do it? The familiar cycle of taking photographs, editing, uploading and waiting to see what happens – will anyone 'favourite' them or leave a comment? Shall I spend some time favouriting and commenting back on photographs from my 'flickr friends' or flickr strangers whose images intrigue me? There's a lot that keeps me doing it: the joy of taking pictures nearly every day, making decisions about them and watching them change over time, the grit of practice, of mining away at ideas and having something to do with the images, the inspiration from other photographers work. But the flip side is what's become a borderline addiction, endlessly checking who's commented or favourited on what – and then doing the same back. As an activity it's starting to feel like a distraction – from what I'm not yet sure, but I hope to start to find out. So for the moment it's farewell flickr friends – I'm taking a break –