A Post About Post

Here in the UK, our postal system livery is red – Pillar Box Red, to be exact! You post your letter in a post box, often found outside a post office, then a postman (male or female, because let’s face it postperson just sounds silly) in a van comes round at set times to empty the box and collect the post to be taken to the sorting office. After sorting all the post into individual delivery rounds, more postmen walk their rounds street by street, positioning their large lockable trolley at the end of each somewhere to keep the post secure, and delivering your post (via a heavy shoulder bag) directly through your door 🙂

Images taken in and around Leytonstone, East London 🙂

Advertisements

Urban Transport

Nancy’s Photo a Week Challenge this week has the theme of ‘urban’ – and for me, London’s Underground trains are as urban as you get. Luckily for me I found myself travelling out of town aganst the rush-hour traffic last Thursday morning, flowing outwards towards freedom instead of funneling myself with fathomless futility into the crushing confines of the train carriage. Anyway, to my surprise and delight I managed to capture some reasonably clear-of-commuters-playing-sardines shots on my smartphone, from both outside and inside of a tube train 🙂

Photographing People: Picturing Portraits

I’m a keen amateur photographer, but really struggle with the reality of taking everyday pictures of people. I love the idea of taking up-front and honest environmental portraits of people in their own domain, or just capturing off-the-cuff candid shots of strangers while out and about. But sadly to be successful that really requires a level of personal interaction I feel truly uncomfortable with, so historically it’s not something I’ve ever done.

I’d love to have the faith to just go for it with a kind of spontaneous confidence that over-rides my natural hesitation and reserve. If only I didn’t feel so uncomfortable about making contact with people I’d like to photograph, feel so afraid if rejection and of failing, there are so many informal portraits I could take, capture a real snapshot of that person at that moment in time…

Of course, living in London necessarily there are often multiple people visibly present in my images, but usually taken en masse from a distance, like a crowd on the river cruiser or in the tube, or fewer individuals closer up but taken from behind so they are unaware of my presence, like in the above images from Borough Market. I’m always sadly disappointed in the results though, as my attempts at capturing people going about their daily lives are inevitably half-hearted and lack-lustre.

But yesterday I decided to be brave and take a chance on not being rudely rejected, so I finally approached a friendly, chatty stall-holder and asked with a smile to take his picture, and here is the result!

Ok, so it’s only one simple portrait of one person I’ve never met before, but for me it’s a bit of a breakthrough. Even if only temporarily, I overcame my fear, my caution, my overwhelming reticence, and I finally did it! 🙂

Weekly Prompt: People

Fandango’s Provocative Question