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ShareMondays2019 – Tunnel Vision

Lost In Translation

ShareMondays2019 – Tunnel Vision

I often shy away from portraiture in street photography. As much as I have always loved portraits as a subject, I feel uncomfortable trying to capture candid images of people in public. Daft really, as it’s not so different from the music events I cover! There’s something about the Leake Street Tunnel and Arches that makes me feel more at home though.

So Much To See

Immersive Art

Perhaps it’s because almost everyone there is consumed by the art in one way or another. Urban artists, apprentices, viewers, photographers, party-goers and skaters. It’s a hub of activity, vibrant and constantly evolving. I rarely see the same pieces of wall art twice on my visits!

Tunnel Vision

Pink Panther

On this particular visit I wanted to try to explore the relationship between the people and the art. My lead image is an in-camera double exposure of a man who seemed to be just hanging out in the space. There was something about the lines of his face and his posture that really drew me to him as a subject. He was like a ghost passing through the space, not fully engaging, not quite there.

Eyes

Captivating

I tried to speak to him after having taken a few images, just to be polite and ask how he felt about me sharing his portrait online. Well, something really got lost in translation. He seemed to think that I was asking him to pose nude for me, right there in the tunnel!!!! AWKWARD! I hastily retreated and went to speak to one of the artists. That led to a much more insightful conversation. He was training an apprentice and they’d spent 7 hours working on their pieces that day.

The Artist In His Work

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ShareMondays2019 – The Witness

The Witness

ShareMondays2019 – The Witness

I’ve witnessed some incredible artwork in London’s Leake Street Arches over the last couple of weeks! A couple of weeks ago I joined a photowalk with Skylum Software and PhotoHound that took in the Arches, The London Eye, Southbank Skate Park and the view to St Paul’s from the Millennium Bridge. Utterly thrilled to have had one of my Leake Street images chosen as one of three winners for the challenge!

Look Up

Last Friday I went up to the SheClicksNet exhibition at the After Nyne Gallery and got chatting with a number of other relatively local female photographers. What a great event it was and many congratulations to all the photographers who had their work exhibited! Feeling inspired, fellow SheClicker, Liz and headed back to Leake Street along with my lovely hubby.

The urban art is constantly evolving on the walls and I soon spotted a striking composition of a wide-eyed face, with clasping hands. It really struck me! What had this person seen through slatted fingers? It spoke to me of fear, horror, the inability to look away from something devastating. I would love to know what the original artist’s concept was! My own take on it is an in-camera double exposure, zooming out for the inverted, second exposure. The eye is just so haunting! I wanted my image to feel like fear that was spiralling out of control.

So, a huge thank you to the artists of Leake Street for this incredible, public art gallery and for providing so much inspiration with your thought-provoking pieces.

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ShareMondays2019 – Walk This Way

Walk This Way

ShareMondays2019 – Walk This Way

I managed to get a few images of this wonderful robin family in the Florence Nightingale Garden, at St Thomas’s Hospital. It was absolutely tipping it down with rain most of the time! Of course that brought up plenty of worms in the flower beds. The two juveniles that I saw were loudly calling for food under the roses! I have processed my main image as a birthday gift for my brother, Robin. He and my sister-in-law, Morwenna, are expecting their first little bundle of joy, a baby boy, in September! I am one very excited auntie already and so very happy for them 🙂

Feed Me!

This one is a fair representation of my brother a child!!

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Branching Out At St James’s Park

Tawny Owl juvenile in St James's Park

Branching Out At St James’s Park

When tawny owlets are only about five weeks old they leave the nest. They’re not fledging yet, they’re branching! The staff at St James’s Park discovered that tawny’s had returned to the park after an absence of twelve years, when they discovered one of the branched owlets in the back of a tractor. It’s not unusual for branching owlets to fall off their perch. Most of the time they will be absolutely fine and the advice is to leave them where they are unless they are lying down, showing other signs of distress or are in immediate danger. They will sit still on the ground until nightfall when they are known to use their strong talons to climb back into the tree! Even if they don’t return quickly, the parents will carry on feeding the owlet on the ground. Gardeners at the park were actually able to return this little owlet to it’s mother in the tree!

It was quite incredible to be able to watch this owlet and one of its’ parents last Friday. They were high up in the trees and it had started raining. I was captivated though! Fortunately I had my raincoat so I was able to observe them for a while despite the weather. It did make it hard to photograph them though. I was using a Fujinon 100-400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter to watch and photograph. You really do need a long lens or powerful binoculars to see them closely! The owlet has some good adult feathers coming through on the tail and wings but still plenty of downy fluff too. It was stretching the wings a lot and jumping between branches really well. The other wonderful behaviour I was able to watch was the circling off the head as the owlet builds up a full picture of it’s surroundings.

There are also Tawny Owls in Regents Park and these sighting are brilliant news for the species! It’s also a good sign that wildlife conservation and habitat management in The Royal Parks is working well. There must be a good amount of prey species available for these wonderful owls and this owlet certainly seems to be thriving! If you do go to St James’s or anywhere else to watch tawny owls and owlets, please keep a reasonable distance from their tree so you don’t disturb them. They are a protected species and these London owlets are very precious!

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ShareMondays2019 – Punk Pelican

Punk Pelican

ShareMondays2019 – Punk Pelican

I went to St James’s Park in London on Friday after a morning appointment at Guy’s Hospital. I went for the wildlife and I wasn’t disappointed! The pelicans were gathered ready for their afternoon feed, showing off for the public. It’s a lovely opportunity to study them up close. Absolutely stunning birds! When the breeze lifted this pelican’s crest, I couldn’t help but be reminded off the sad loss of Prodigy front-man, Keith Flint, last week. He would have rocked this hairdo too!

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Hyde Park Heron At Sunset

Hyde Park Heron At Sunset

Hyde Park Heron At Sunset

Thanks to Fotospeed’s new competition rules, I can now enter an image taken at any time in the last week, so here’s one from last Monday in London. I had been at Guy’s Hospital and got out in time to get over to Hyde Park to enjoy some afternoon sunshine before heading home.

I wasn’t actually planning to stay for sunset but a text from my hubby informed me that the trains were completely mucked up! There was no point in going back to Waterloo and hanging around in rush hour chaos with delayed and cancelled trains so I decided to stay put for a while.

I’m so glad that I did! Watching the sunset turn the waters of The Serpentine gold and red was magical. The birds were calling as they gathered and headed off to their roosts. The herons came to perch on the pilings by the island, silhouetted by red skies and golden water. It was really peaceful!

When I got to Waterloo, chaos still reigned as South Western Trains tried to get services running around a broken down train at Surbiton. The train I got took three times the usual journey time, but I didn’t mind as I had some lovely images to look through on the camera.