This weekend the Girl and I went down to Brighton, I’ve not been since I did the London to Brighton bike ride a few years ago. The weather was kinda crappy but it was cool to have a mooch around somewhere different. I also rented a Canon 17-40mm f/4 L USM from LensLocker to take for a walk around. Now not all of the photos you will see are taken with the wide zoom but my 50mm f/1.4 USM (I never leave home without it). I still don’t know how well I get a long with zoom lenses, they are cool and they are useful but I often end up just twisting it to the one extreme or the other and leaving it there…kind of makes me just want to use a wide angle prime instead. The 17-40L is pretty cool, it behaves well, no flare and no CA…I don’t know if I love it. It’s one of those lenses that I need rather than want. What wide angle lenses do you use?
…well not really panic, more mild anxiety. Actually not even that. Saturday London was strangely subdued, Brick Lane was quiet, Spitalfields was practically empty and Shoreditch was a ghost town. To the East Londoners credit, it was about noon and I doubt they would have risen from the payday fuelled hangovers.
I met up with fellow #Fueltographers Phil (Paps) and James (Lowmileage) as well as our friend Brad in North London. We grabbed a coffee before making our way East with me acting as the clueless tour guide.
I’ll admit it had been far too long since I had shot on the streets and this was the first time with the new set-up. Feeling the benefits of group mentality I opted to shoot with a 50mm on the 5D3 instead of cowering in the long-range comfort of the 135L on a crop body. This required me to get much, much closer to my subjects. To the point where I could almost reach out and touch them. (I didn’t, I’m not weird).
And it was after warming up through Shoreditch/Brick Lane I realised something, no one gives a toss if you point a camera at them! Conclusion; East London is full of posers! I am of course kidding Eastenders, no need to take your wayfarers off and stare ironically at me.
I took the guys down to Spitalfields Market which is often bathed in soft diffused light with loads of layers and nice backgrounds. Although all three of them got distracted by a man steaming a hat.
Afterwards we headed down towards London Bridge, stopped off at a coffee shop to grab something to eat. Which incidentally was a rookie mistake as after lunch we went to Borough Market…which.is.full.of.food!
We took some photos of each other and then of some cheese…
Before marching down to South Bank to search out some skateboarders.
Found Cantona’s Dad on the way…
…and a Utd fan dreaming of former glory days. (Wow that was odd, two football references in one blog, very unlike me).
At the South Bank we found some skaters but it wasn’t exciting enough for us to stay, plus the weather looked as if it was closing in.
We started heading in towards Soho as the light was fading. We stopped off at a pub to decide where to head off to next. We decided the right thing to do was try and bully James into buying a 400mm f/2.8 lens from Nikon so we headed off to Park Cameras on Oxford Circus.
As we arrived on Oxford Circus, it pissed it down. Hardest rain I have felt in a long time! Hence no more photos. It was a good day, I think we all gained some confidence in street shooting and I learnt not to hide behind long focal lengths.
What differentiates a Supercar from a regular car? Is it exclusivity? Is it the price? Is it the sound it makes? Is it the shape? Or is it something else?
Whatever the criteria, I think that a Supercar makes you feel a certain way.
It’s hard to put your finger on how it makes you feel. It’s hard to even articulate in an adult way…
…So why bother trying to be adult about it?
Lets be honest, all of us had posters on our walls of a Supercar. When I was ten, my poster was a black Lamborghini Countach.
I loved every inch of it. It made want to explode with excitement and lust from the merest glimpse of it.
And I think it is the elusiveness of these Supercars that makes excited, makes us feel young, fills us with wonder and lust. For if you saw one every day would you feel the same way? Well maybe…
One thing for certain is they all seem to possess similar qualities. Common styling, familiar details.
They all look angry, like they are ready to pounce on the road in a shouty cloud of smoke and crease the tarmac with their infeasibly wide tyres.
These features, these characteristics make them look like living beasts, with gills and fins. They look like a cross between a Sci-Fi spaceship and a shark…
…but at the same time elegantly beautiful. I could literally sit their for hours and admire their every crease, fold, curve and bump.
I love Supercars because to the ten year old inside of me, they really are Super.
You are never really more than a few feet away from some impressive architecture.
Would I go back? You bet!
I have just this weekend got back from Nice in the South of France. It was a much needed break surrounded by stunning coastlines and gorgeous architecture. You don’t have to take my word for it, just have a look through some of these photos…
This amazing panorama, was the view from our balcony in the apartment we were staying in Menton. It was quite amazing. The drive up the apartment was equally hair raising but not for the same reasons.
Naturally I wasn’t alone on this holiday, I was with my partner in crime, Amy! As well as her Dad and sister. We were to be visiting Nice, Italy, Monte Carlo and Eze. That meant a lot of driving, something I was pretty happy with! It would also mean plenty of opportunity to photograph all kinds of scenery. It also meant taking photos for fun again. It was a lot of fun.
Who knew that the 135L would make such a good landscape lens!? Well it does. What also helps is the sun setting behind the mountains causing some crazy lighting through the clouds!
It was nice to exercise the wide-angle lens that we have too. It is not typically a lens that I use often (Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5) as I prefer the compression from longer focal lengths as well as the shallow depth of field.
It was however a nice change shooting at f/8 and getting everything into the frame. These gardens really needed to be shown in their full glory! (More on these later)
I was really interested in the use of symmetry as well as bold geometric lines to brake up the organic nature of the plants and trees. It was a nice duality.
Nice, Nice was so much nicer than I was expecting, I quickly fell in love with the place! The architecture, the people, the food…just everything!
The weather also helped. It was in the high 20’s not insanely hot but just right, especially when mixed with the sea breeze.
We went to Nice about 2 or 3 times, I forget so I have a load more pictures on this place! I grew up by the sea so it really nice to be back by the coast!
But for me the most exciting reason for holidaying in this area was obvious…MONACO. Possibly the most iconic race track in the F1 calendar! And the next race is a matter of weeks away. They had already started setting up the track, Armco was being installed, the pits were being set up, grandstands erected! It was all very exciting to me!
In fact I spent so much of the time running around and squealing with excitement. Probably why I don’t have thousands of photos from this place. I’ll do a post on this place later on for sure! You would not believe the cars there!
So from the very modern F1 circuit to the medieval town of Eze…a settlement literally on top of a mountain (or large hill). Awesome views from up there! As well as an awesome set of roads to get to it.
Oh and this was a 1 second exposure inside a church…steady hands or what? Nah actually it was rested on a reading stand that I borrowed.
So there you have it, a little teaser on what I got up. I will be doing a few more blog posts in the near future to show in more detail some of the areas that I visited. For now, I hope you enjoyed the pictures.