Take My Picture, Athens

Take My Picture, Athens, Georgia, USA 2000

Most of the time, people don’t want you to take their picture – or would rather you didn’t- but sometimes they do.

As I remember it, I had gone to Athens to watch a Georgia Bulldogs football game (I think it was against Ole Miss) and when I took this picture, I was trying to sniff out some tickets. Anyway, I was wandering around downtown Athens (which looked very nice) when this guy shouted,”Hey! Take my picture!”. So I did. And I quite like it.

For the technically curious, I was using a Holga camera (a lo-fi camera) and Tri-X.

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.

Butcher, London

Butcher, London 2004

My wife has just asked me why I took this picture. Slow intake of breath. Because I did!

At the time, I was very interested in “Working London”, particularly places which worked unusual hours, Smithfield Market (which is nearby) for example. London can be a fascinating place.

Anyway, so I liked the colours on the sign and the wear on the shutters, and yes being British was amused by the public toilet sign which seems almost on top of the shop. Handy!

Technical Details. 80mm lens on a Bronica SQA. Provia 100 slide film. Yes, on a tripod.

Fire Station No.11, Atlanta

Fire Station N.11, Atlanta, USA 2000

Two views of the same subject.

When you first move to new area, you make a real effort to explore and take in where you live. So when I moved to Georgia, I spent quite a while exploring downtown Atlanta.

It turns out, Fire Station No11 is quite a famous building, which is on the National Historical Buildings Register. You can see, even when I took this picture almost 20 years ago, it hadn’t been used as a fire station for sometime. Now, it is a restaurant. I remember when I took the picture, the contrast with the other buildings in Mid-town, which towered over it. I believe the Bell South office behind the fire station still exists and is now AT&T.

Fire Station No.11, Atlanta, USA, 2000

Twilight, Shanghai

Florist, Shanghai November 2019

I like twilight, the time of day, not the overwrought movie. photographically, it mutes colours, but the deeper shadows help to subdue annoying street clutter. The snag of twilight, is that there is less sunlight to work with. As you can see in this picture, here I was mostly working with light coming from the shop itself. On this occasion, I was using film, so another concern was colour temperature. But here, because of the white outside, I was able to correct it fairly easily. In days of yore, photographers had to use filters to correct for this sort of thing.

How do you feel about twilight?

Outside a Cafe, Ho Chi Minh City

Restaurant, Ho Chi Minh City 2009

Vietnam is an extraordinary place, full of vibrant colour and drama. I used to love just wandering around and seeing what was going on. They have a strong craft tradition, with many things which we might buy off the peg, being made individually there.

I’m trying to remember where this place is – I think it is close to the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. It is another place I found by walking by. As you can see in the photo, the pavement is often a place for leaving a scooter or for peddlers to sell things, not so much a palce for walking.

One of the things I miss, being away for South East Asia, is the abundance of coconuts being sold on the street.

Alice’s, London

Alice’s , Portobello Road, 2004

Years ago, I used to live in west London and favourite thing to do on a Saturday, was to get up very early and slowly walk east and see how far I could get.

Despite what people tell you, London isn’t a huge place and I regularly made it to St Paul’s.

This photo comes from one of these walks, I don’t think I ever walked any closer to the shop to find out what it sold. I like how rich the red came out (no I didn’t tweak it). As I recall, I was using a Bronica SQA and an 80mm lens on FujiFilm Provia 100. I wonder if the shop looks as grand when it is open?