District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 2008

Sorry, not really a photo, but I was trying to give the impression of a really busy place with people coming from all directions. And a bit of the contrasting old and new.

I miss walking in Ho Chi Minh City, it has a bustling buzz. People are always doing something and there is always something to see.

Except at Tet, when the busy streets suddenly clear and the road only carries people going to visit relatives.

Grocer, London

Ragbir, Ealing, London 2003

Sometimes, life fits into phases. My London phase was marked with frequent house moves and fleeting acquaintances. But for a time, Ragbir ran my local shop and we quite often had little chats as I came in to buy odds and ends. He e was a laugh. And then one day, he said he’d had enough of early mornings and was selling up. Another family bought the place, but it wasn’t the same.

A Non-Portrait

Great Aunt Emma “Pem” – 1997

If my aunt had given me a grin, I think I would not like this so much. But her refusal here, gives a better sense of her – I think.

My aunt holds the record for being the most unintentionally blunt person I have ever met. She had no inner-monologue and a range of prejudices consistent with her age, but we were very fond of her.

I believe I took this with FP4+ using a Nikkormat and a 50mm f2 lens. How did I hold it steady? Younger hands I think. I like the tones on this – I believe I was using Aculux at the time.

Dog in the Window, Bristol

Dog in a Window, Bristol 1998

I love photographing dogs. They don’t talk or ask about licensing. Although this one looks quite amenable, moments later it was a bit cross – so I didn’t linger.

Bristol is great to wander around, I believe I took this photo quite near the harbour.

Found on the River Bed, Chiswick

Bottle, River Thames, 2003

There is an “impossible” school of photography, who always want to tell you how complicated or difficult it was to take a particular photograph. While it can be interesting, it is irrelevant, ‘cos photography is about pictures. 

The River Thames is tidal for much of its length, which means that at low tide, large stretches of bank are exposed, sometimes showing interesting details. At the time, I lived in Chiswick, so it was quite easy to find a time to wander out on to the river bed. The only snag being, that you had to keep an eye for when the tide turned, ‘cos then you could find yourself wading or possibly even swimming out of it (hard with a camera bag).

In Helsinki, 2003

Mean People Suck, Helsinki 2003

I didn’t really travel anywhere until I was in my thirties and even now (many years later), the list of places I would like to go is pretty long.

Anyway, once upon a time, I visited Helsinki over a number of months, lazing in the long, warm summer evenings and when winter came, shivering in the bitter wind that blew in from the Baltic. Helsinki is quite walkable, with clean, wide streets and friendly locals. 

Technical Details

This picture was one of those things you just catch with the corner of your eye as you walk along. I was using a Nikkormat and 50mm lens with some colour negative film (Kodak Ektapress 400 I believe), which I have changed to black and white – ‘cos I don’t think colour adds to it.