That there London, again

I’m basically an adopted plastic cockney now.  I know all the slang including “apples and pears”, “ruby murray”, “trouble and strife” and “i’m off for an Eartha Kitt”.  So it goes without saying that London is going to feature quite a lot in the blog, but I don’t want to tire the same places out all the time unless I find new angles or new themes.

New theme #1 that I came up with for 2018 was “the rat’s eye view”.  A simple enough concept: take photos from low down as if you were a rat.  Maybe it could give a different perspective on the world from what we usually see approximately 5 to 6 feet higher up in most cases.

I’ve only just started with this so I’ve only a few snaps to share, but here they are:

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St Paul’s Cathedral at night

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Classic Red London Bus

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More London and Shard

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On Tower Bridge

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Shad Thames

Of course, spending 2 whole evenings on your knees in London without suitable payment would be ludicrous, so I did manage to take a few shots whilst stood upright.

Maybe it’s also worth pointing out that I was apparently walking through the place that’s recently been described as a “war zone” and has “no go areas”.  What a brave soul I am, or of course I could be being fucking sarcastic as neither of these things are true.  Nowhere in London is a “no-go zone”.  It is bullshitio.  The orange man and his supporters are full of shitio.

You’re more likely to have a hipster spill a mocha-choca-gluten-free-synthetic-hazelnut-fairtrade-parrot-friendly-soya-latte-espresso-combo-hybrid over you than you are to get stabbed or attacked in any way.  If you find yourself in London and being aggressively shouted at, the chances are some one is trying to sell fruit and veg to you.

Back to real life and photographs.

I took a cracking stroll from Tower Bridge all along the river to Tate Modern and then across to St Paul’s Cathedral as you have seen in the first rat eye view pics.  The lights of London really do shine brightly once the sun has gone down, and this is when I really like to have fun with the camera.  Street photography is fairly difficult during the day and an extra challenge at night, but when the neon lights are on it’s hard to resist.

First stop in Soho was the Windmill International, which used to be a theatre.  I thought it was still a theatre, but no, it’s a table dancing club.  Look closely below and you can see the bouncer on the door giving me a huge thumbs up and welcoming smile.  Aye.

 

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Windmill Soho

Just around the corner, still in Soho, was this barber shop.  It was closed, obvz, but the neon lights at the back gave a very soft glow to the grooming chairs and were begging to be photographed.  I obliged.

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Teds Grooming Soho

Mere feet away from there was this quaint record store.  I don’t know much about the place but the design and tiling on the building suggested to me it may have been something to do with the London Underground in a previous life.  It had that Underground station feel to it.

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Soho Record Store

And if you’re going to photograph a bloke outside a record store you might as well do the same outside a book store, right?  Fifty Shades and Extra Strong Pills?  Suits you, sir.

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Soho Original

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The posh bit

If you’ve enjoyed this, you can find these snaps and a few more that didn’t make it to the blog, over on Instagram @iamtheinstadan or on facebook 

Cheers for reading.

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What to blog about next, huh?

I can be pretty useless at this but it’s not my fault.

Honest.

We need more hours in a day, and I need more energy and motivation during those hours.

It’s over a year since I set up this blog and if I’m totally honest with myself it should hold a lot more weight.  There is a hard drive here with “potential” written all over it, but I don’t think I’ve unlocked that yet. My photographic experiences go back to about 2010 I guess although every few months I learn something completely new and I feel like I’m a newbie all over again.  That new challenges really do help to keep things interesting when taking photos, but maybe I should try to keep on top of it on here too.  The main question for me is always “what do i talk about next?”.   I prefer the practical side of most things and that’s no different with photography.  In the early days a lot of what I learnt was through some great books by Scott Kelby and Bryan Peterson, both of whom just know how to speak my language.  Some textbooks are just ugh.  More recently I’m finding that reading doesn’t do a lot for me so my attention moves to Youtube.  Even then, if the tutorial video is over 20 minutes long then you can forget it.  I need bitesize.  Because of my need, I just kind of assume that everyone else operates in that way, so when it comes to blogging I find that I hit a point pretty quickly (often less than 250 words) where I just stop and tell myself to shut up and post some pics.  That’s unlikely to change, so what do I blog about next?  I have so many options!

Every time I get out and photograph something new, whether that be a cityscape, a wintery scene, a wedding, a baby shoot, some street art, street photography, whatever it may be, that short term excitement makes me want to cover the internet with what I’ve done so I go out and flood Facebook, instagram, flickr, viewbug and 500px with my favourite images, as well as sending a few through to other sites where I could potentially reach a bigger audience who would like some of my work on their wall.  The blog is the last thing that I even consider.

Currently in a non existant queue, just waiting to go on here are my rambles about the Gower Peninsula, the Brecon Beacons and Waterfall Country, Newcastle and the North East, Bristol, half of a wedding portfolio builder day, an entire actual factual wedding, 4 newborn/baby shoots, London, London, London, more London, Paris, London again, and London, more about phone photography, something about instagram, something about those who influence me, other photographers that I know and admire, Kent, Europe, and this list goes on.

If anyone reading this has any ideas or requests please do feel free to comment below or maybe contact me through my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/dandavidsonphotography

Also feel free to follow me on instagram where my handle is @dangleberrydan7

Last but not least; this is a photo blog and I’ve not posted a photo tonight so here’s a little montage of something I spotted out on my wanderings.

London Calling

From previous posts on here, and if you follow me on facebook, twitter or anywhere else you’ll probably know that I’m Welsh.  I don’t live in Wales, however.  Last year I decided to push forward on a few fronts and move to Engerland, so here I am half an hour from Central London.

One of the biggest things I miss about Wales is the scenery;  in particular the Brecon Beacons and the Gower Peninsula.  I’ll be posting loads of images from the Gower over time, and I produced a calendar for 2015 but just a limited number which have all been sold or given away.  There’s not a massive amount of Brecon photos but enough to keep the eye pleased.

So, there are no beaches around here and no fancy hills, mountains or waterfalls but there’s still plenty to capture.  Actually there is so much that I’m slightly lost.

The key to photography is to plan ahead.  That’s also the key to enjoying London!  You could head East and find some incredible street art and graffiti, as well as some of the best food in the capital.  A slight trip North takes you to Camden, absolutely buzzing with all walks of life, as well as some of the best food in the capital.  Alternatively there’s the touristy beehive hotspots along the Thames like Southbank, Tate Modern, Tower of London and The Shard, and just a few steps away from the Thames Path is Borough Market in Southwark, which has some of the best food in the capital.

Today’s photo blog post is all about the tourist trail, but I’ve tried to capture something a little different from the snapshots that every visitor to London has on instagram, or in a photo album if you’re over 35.

First up then is the Palace of Westminster and the Elizabeth Tower that houses Big Ben.  The shot below was achieved using a 10 stop neutral density filter.  Lee do them, but I’m too tight to buy them so it’s Haida for me.  If you’re looking for one check it out on ebay.  The slim one.

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Palace of Westminster and Elizabeth Tower

The weather was pretty rubbish and it wasn’t deterring the big crowds so I moved out from here pretty sharpish and headed further down stream to the Tower of London.

The amazing Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is going to feature in another blog post, but I spent about 20 minutes there before moving down towards Wapping where I continued the experiment with the neutral density filter.

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Tower Bridge and Shard Long Exposure from Wapping

The one above was about a 2 minute exposure which means the camera has to be absolutely still on a very expensive tripod.  Failing that just balance it on a bench like I clearly did.  To get the shot below I just used the railings.

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The Shard and Tower Bridge in London

The light was dropping by this point and I guess it must have been close to sunset.  Like I said earlier, it’s all about the planning, and you have to know where the light will be, and more importantly where it won’t be at certain times of the day.  Tower Bridge at sunset… that had to be planned.  I hadn’t planned that the cloud would be there but hey ho.

So night caught up soon and those clouds decided to dump their load.  As long as it’s not baltic I’m usually in shorts and a hoodie.  Waterproof jacket?  Nah.  When the heavens open I get soaked, but I also dry off quickly too.  The next shot was taken in the rain and I did my best to stop the rain drops hitting the lens but one or 2 are still visible.  I still think it’s a great shot, this time of St Paul’s Cathedral.

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St Paul’s Cathedral in the rain

Not many places to shelter on this side of the river so a quick run across Millennium Bridge took me to a FAIRLY dry spot underneath the bridge.  I say fairly, but no it was pretty horrendous there too.  I did manage to get this cool snap of the top of St Pauls Cathedral.  The only way to shelter the camera from the rain was to hover over it.  Decent result again though!

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The top dome of St Pauls Cathedral

By this point it was time to call it a day, and really time to dry out.  There were more images taken through the day and if you’d like to see them please visit my page on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/dandavidsonphotography and check out a selection of my images for sale at my etsy shop – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DanDavidsonFineArt?ref=hdr_shop_menu