One Word Sunday: Movement

Travelling up from London to Scotland on the Caledonian Sleeper at the end of last month I awoke to find myself in the very last carriage of the train, so although it was still quite early in the morning so not fully daylight I was nevertheless able to take a few shots out of the grubby back window in the closed-over door that normally sits open between the carriages.

I only had my phone camera with me, but I did my best! Although they look monochrome, they are actually full colour – but what I really love most is the way the speed of the train rattling through the wintery Scottish landscape has successfully captured the motion blur at the edges of each shot, perfect contenders for Debbie’s One Word Sunday today on the topic of Movement 🙂

Unusual Perspective

Cee’s Black & White Challenge this week asks us to take a photo with a different perspective than usual.

Last summer we had a (thankfully well-contained) wildfire on our local green space here, Wanstead Flats in East London. A while afterwards I went for a walk there and took some experimental shots (in colour) of some of the blackened and burned tree trunks lying around – several large old trees had previously been cut down and the charcoal-edged logs still sat exactly where they had been sitting before the fire. The resulting photographs seemed quite disappointing, just dull and dark and boring, so sadly I’d done nothing with them.

But for this particular challenge I had the idea of resurrecting and inverting some of these shots (changing them from positive to negative) and then greyscaling the resulting abstract images – and here they are! Definitely (for me) an unusual perspective of boring old blackened and burned logs 🙂

Leytonstone Lit Up at Night

I went out for a little wander tonight to try to take some new images of Leytonstone all lit up at night – so here we have a local Moroccan cafe, the underground station, the bus station, McDonald’s, and the Walnut Tree pub 🙂

PS The reason I’ve grayscaled them all is that I had my white balance all wrong tonight so they all had a yellow tinge to them – oops!

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Lights

Onwards and Upwards…

canada-water-station

I was really pleased to capture the smooth shapes created by the lines and curves of this dynamic shot as I was coming up the escalator in Canada Water Station towards the exit the other day. And although taken in colour, it almost looks monochrome by design. I was hoping for a sharp, slick image but sadly on downloading it to my laptop I can see it’s either not properly focussed or I’ve got camera shake – or maybe both…

I’m not always very good at capturing things on the move, especially like here when I’m the one on the move in difficult lighting, without something going wrong and ending up with a slightly blurry or fuzzy photograph. I can often see what I want to take, but don’t always manage to translate that immediate vision into reality in time… oh well 😦

Still, I like the image enough to share with you all, so hopefully you like it too? Onwards and upwards, and hopefully the more I try, the better I’ll get 🙂

You Snooze, You Lose…

pedestrian-walkway

I’m just no good at taking pictures of people – not only planned portraits of people I know, but also up close and personal candid shots of strangers, too.

Photographing people in public causes me such a lot of anguish. Over they years I’ve tried to overcome my fear of intruding into some unknown someone’s privacy, of risking maybe causing offence, resulting in the risk of creating a scene, but even when I tell myself – look, just go for it, take the damned shot – my inevitable prevarication and hesitation means either the moment has gone, or I’ve completely lost my nerve, or I take a half-hearted quick snap that is poorly framed or out of focus or just plain wrong, and I immediately regret it.

A perfect example occurred yesterday – I was walking along the street, camera in hand, and as I passed by a cafe I saw just inside, beautifully framed by the window a couple sitting together chatting quite intimately, with a rectangular neon-style “Open” sign just above their heads to the right. I could have just lifted my camera up and taken a shot from where I was, but I felt so uncomfortable I just coudn’t do it. I know that with street photography it generally is a case of ‘you snooze, you lose’, but there’s something about that potential face to face, almost eyeball to eyeball encounter I really struggle with.

So instead I tend to settle for photographing people’s backs as they walk away, or if taken from in front I do try keeping my distance so they remain unrecognisably anonymous. Like this lady with her shopping trolley, crossing a pedestrian walkway over the main road and railway. I quite like this image, but I feel I would have liked the one not taken from the cafe even better…

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Snooze