A busy two weeks.

One of the best things about living in what I consider to be the best city in the world is that there is always something going on and there are also plenty of interesting people around. Anyone living in London that says it is boring is surely walking around with their eyes shut.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”. Samuel Johnson

In the last two weeks I have seen the ITU world triathlon finals:
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This photo was taken on my Canon S100 compact. Small, light and convenient to carry. For a compact it has most of the settings found on my DSLR that I am yet to master. I think I had it on shutter priority. The light was fairly flat and I have had to change the exposure to improve the image a little.

The exposure triangle (ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture) is something I have looked at this week. The following three images have only slight alterations in the camera settings but yet look very different. I have asked a few people which they prefer and all selected the same one; reassuringly the one I thought they would.
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The Clash also had a pop up store & exhibition in Berwick Street, Soho, London.
I would normally call it a ‘Pop up shop’ But according to a couple of books Joe Strummer and some of the other members of The Clash had something of a fascination with things American. So today I will go with the masses and more commonly used name in the states and call it a ‘Store’. Where I managed to get a handful of pictures including this one of Paul Simonon’s smashed Fender precision bass guitar. This is the guitar that Paul Simonon smashed in 1979 onstage at the New York Palladium which was photographed by Pennie Smith and used on the Clash’s London Calling album cover and the poster seen above the cabinet.
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What else did I see? Oh yeah!!
Aurora!!! The Greenpeace Parade that passed the houses of Parliament and on to the Shell Head Office in London. A peaceful demonstration with a few hundred people following. Although I’m not sure how many were involved with the demonstration and how many where tourists scrambling to see what was going on with the giant polar bear.
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It was pulled and pushed by several people and made slow progress along our sometimes narrow roads. At least as big as a double bus it was very impressive.
I’m not going to comment on my opinion on Greenpeace or climate change. Thats a discussion for down the pub over a few cold drinks.
I will however comment on my photograph. I think it captures the scale of the actual poplar bear and by having some of the police carrier in the image it hints at either a parade or demonstration. However it doesn’t really tell the story. The image on its own does not show that the road was closed due to the mass of people, it does not show the banners that put the protest into context nor does it show that they are actually outside The Shell Building. My lesson taken from this… Think about composition.

Talking of composition; the 52 week Flickr group I belong to had symmetry for this weeks challenge and I took the chance to take this picture on the way to work.
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I think it would be safe to say it fits the brief for the challenge.

There is more but I’m going back to ‘Exposure’.

I visited an offsite ICA exhibition on fashion. I’m sure some folks got a lot out of it but for me it didn’t live up to expectations. I did however get to play around with my camera and tinker around with different settings to take this picture.
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As I was playing with ‘The Exposure Triangle’ I decided to make things difficult for myself and went to a gig. Another one of London’s characters …. Polly Pharmacy is a part time transvestite that fronts a London punk band called Seek Destroy
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This photo was taken at The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London. They don’t have the three song, no flash rule that is found at the bigger venues but in order to practice for my big day as a Rock ‘n’ Roll photographer (he said with tongue in cheek) The Water Rats is one of the many smaller venues that the would be gig photographer can practice without being harassed. This is not a great photograph and is here as a reminder to me of just how difficult gig photography can be.

Prior to the gig I went for a coffee and spotted this couple.
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Actually I’m not sure if they were a couple in the biblical sense or just two friends. In the interest of not causing any potential home disruptions for either of them I should clarify that I seen no physical contact between them so lets just call them friends. Anyway, they were chatting and looked to be enjoying each others company so I thought I would get a photo of them. We were in doors and it seemed a good opportunity to play with the ‘exposure triangle’.
I would have liked to have taken a candid shot of them to try and portray the interaction and warmth they displayed to one another but as I have friends with neck and facial tattoos I’m aware of just how intrusive people with cameras can be and opted to ask if I could take their photo. While the chap looks interesting with his tribal artwork it was their friendship and enthusiasm displayed to one another that I wanted to try and capture. I think if I had chatted a little with them before taking the photo I could have taken a better portrait.
None the less, walking up to strangers and asking to take their picture is a big step forward and just another progression as I inch my way along the learning curve that is photography.

I have my own thoughts on where I can improve as a photographer but if you have some constructive criticism please feel free to comment.

Once again, Thank you for reading my little diary.

Kind regards, Jim, Jimmy, James.

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