#21 Gratuitous Elephant Shot

3 Elephants stand waiting for their plinths in South London, England.

I like this one as it shows the elephants free standing, without their plinths to stand on.  That is all.

(If you’re interested you can see a whole load more I posted here:  http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=169962&id=108357544596&ref=mf)

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#20 Elephant Parade and Nuns on the Run

An elephant poses in the rain with some Nuns on the Run in South London, England.

As part of the Elephant Parade campaign to raise awareness of Asian elephants I offered to help by photographing the installation of one of the sites – the More London site by the River Thames.

Was an early start – 8am – and little did I know it was going to be raining for pretty much the entire day.  I also didn’t know that Barnardos was holding a run nearby too.  Made for an great photo opportunity though :)

It’s amazing just how much work goes into taking some elephants and placing them on plinths…18 of them at this one site alone.

The elephants were slippery due to a combination of the rain and some weird coating on the surface.  It took about 3 or 4 people to lift it onto a small board with wheels (try to imagine that – an elephant on a mini skateboard).  Not to mention the 25 concrete blocks that had to be placed inside each plinth after it had been placed…

My two 5D cameras were a little splashed and I cowered under an umbrella most of the day – for the sake of the cameras, naturally.

Thankfully, those cameras worked great the entire day and are still working just fine.   And after all, it was all done for a good cause so was well worth it.

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#19 Airplane after the ban

An airplane leaves behind contrails in North London, England

During the recent flight ban no aircraft were seen above the skies where I live.  They are usually a common sight so at first I didn’t really notice they were gone.

Then one day I looked up and there they were – back again!  Was a strange sight having not seen any for a few days.

This picture was taken in the garden whilst I was at home with a cold.

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#18 Warning Anti Climb Paint

A warning sign in Canterbury, England.

Went out to Canterbury in Kent this weekend.  Walking by a building I noticed this sign alongside a drainpipe.

The drainpipe has been coated with what I can only imagine is paint that never fully dries.  This is to discourage people from attempting to climb up it (presumably to gain access to areas otherwise unreachable?)

One wonders how old the sign is.  If the anti climb paint is new.  If they plan on replacing the sign on a regular basis?

I digress.  Clearly, some people want to push the boundaries of their world.  Test the waters of life to see if they can achieve what no others have.  Prove to themselves that it’s not just a pack of lies.  Others just never learn.

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#17 Trains, Automobiles but no Planes.

A poster informs travellers of flight cancellations from all UK airports, in West London, England.

It’s April 2010 and a volcano in Iceland is spewing ash and sulphur into the air causing the cancellation of all commercial flights in and out of the UK.  Tens of thousands of people stranded across Europe and the World as a result.  Sounds like something from a movie.

Anyway, it’s real and this poster made me look twice as I headed home one evening.  I’m not sure I’ll see the like ever again.

I’ve been reading stories about people being stopped and searched in London after taking a photo.  When I took this one I kept thinking that at some point someone would walk up to me and demand that I delete the photo I had just taken.  Nobody did – I just snapped the photo and carried on through the barriers and on my way home.  That’s the way it should be.

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#16 Tree In Fog

A tree blocks the light from a street lamp on a foggy street in London, England.

During Winter the streets of London can get very cold at night.  So cold that they sometimes get covered in snow, ice and fog.

One night, I headed home after a long day and noticed that the fog made the street lamps look like UFOs hovering at evenly-spaced distances down the road. Sometimes the trees would block them and the light would shine eerily through the leaves.  I’m sure it wasn’t too fun to drive in but it was a great time for a walk!

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#15 Canon Camera Mode Decal

A Macbook Air with Canon camera mode dial decal in London, England.

My favourite travel laptop is a Macbook Air – it’s slim, light and runs Lightroom & Photoshop for on-the-go edits.

It’s as much part of my photography gear as any of my lenses.

This being the case, I decided to customise it a little with a Canon Camera Mode Decal!

Yours for $15 from Etsy.

(…and yes that’s a Mac Classic on my desk at the office and it still works! :) )

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#14 Yellow

An old woman leans in a doorway in India

Moments like this come and go in the blink of an eye, or a shutter release in this case.

This woman was curious about a commotion happening nearby and leaned out from the safety of her abode to investigate.  I noticed how the colour of her clothing matched the building and how she was framed by the doorway.

Without hesitation I raised my camera and took the shot.  A moment later, she was gone.  Just like that.

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#13 Photographers in The Pit

Photographers in The Pit at London Fashion Week 2009

The Pit – it’s a good place to be if you want to get the best shots of fashion.  It’s a bad place to be if you don’t like cramped spaces and sweaty armpits.

Whilst most photographers at London Fashion Week aim their cameras at the models I decided to aim my camera back at the guys and gals in The Pit.

The photographers get early access to get set up in a tightly marked out area. Then the show doesn’t start for maybe 30 minutes (at a good show).  As soon as the music starts the models come out and the camera shutters are non stop…click click click click click…it’s crazy!

30 minutes later this show is over.  As quick as a flash (no pun intended) they all pack up and run to get set up at the next show. This happens all day.  Yikes!

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The day I realised I’ve stopped chimping

Chimping:  The act of checking the small display on the back of your camera after every shot.

As I wrote in a previous blog entry, I went to photograph the Tweedrun.  At this event, there was a lot going on and a lot to see. The conditions were splendid – warm sunny day and plenty of light.  I enjoyed looking at the outfits and bikes.

I guess this is how photographers did it in years gone past… I trusted that the camera was going to do what I asked of it and knew what results would come out.

Granted, the conditions were great. Nevertheless, it was a nice warm feeling:  I had pre-set the ISO to 200. I could hear the shutter speed was good.  I was comfortable with the framing and I trusted the results my equipment would give me. I took some shots and enjoyed the day.  The camera was an extension of me.

Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Footnote:  I have no problem whatsoever with anyone (including myself) chimping.  In fact I fully encourage it because it helps to learn what your camera is doing.  Why make it harder than it already is?  For example, in certain extreme lighting situations I can see myself checking the rear screen once or twice – I just won’t be doing it after every shot.

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