#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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#12 Tweedrun

Riders take part in the Tweedrun in West London, England.

I like the shot above because of the great confused expressions on the faces of the onlookers.  It’s 2010 and there’s a penny farthing and a guy holding a cup of tea and eating cake.  And lots of people in tweed.  Simply wonderful.

A little background…

It was Friday night and I read a blog entry on Boing Boing which simply read:

“If you’re in London this Saturday, you’re in luck! You have an opportunity to witness 400 people dressed in Edwardian attire riding their bicycles about town.”

Well I was in London and it did sound intriguing so the next day I packed my gear and off I went…

The little research I carried out yielded another blog that said they would go past Trafalgar Square at about 1PM and end up at Kensington Gardens at 1.30PM.  I didn’t manage to find a map route so I figured I’d just look out for the 400 or so cyclists in tweed.

I headed for Trafalgar Square first and I walked around trying desperately to get my bearings so I could predict where they would come from.  Not a sign of them.  I asked a nearby policeman if he had seen the Tweedrun.  Luckily he knew what I meant.  Unluckily he said they had come and gone and pointed me in the direction they had gone.

On foot, I had no chance of catching up with them so I headed back underground to the next location on my list.

I walked around Kensington Gardens a bit to try and guess where they might appear.  I just walked and walked until I noticed in the distance a few bicycles turning up.  I couldn’t make out if they were in tweed but who else could it be?  I headed towards the slowly growing group of bicycles.  Thankfully, it was the Tweedrun group!

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#11 Women Welding

Two women weld a solar cooker in Rajasthan, India

One of the greatest things I love about travelling is that I get to witness and experience things that are very different to my daily life.  Like what it’s like to live with no electricity.  Or limited water supply. Or observe women in traditional Indian clothing welding a solar cooker.

I had travelled 350km from Delhi to reach this location by road, which took about 7 hours.

In temperatures way above 30 degrees C the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan use large solar reflectors designed to cook food by concentrating the power of the sun into a small area (important in a place where electricity is a rare commodity).

The construction and maintenance of these cookers is carried out by a group of women empowered by the college to learn skills traditionally assigned to men.

For me, this shot is interesting due to the way it jumbles up my own conventional thinking.  Men vs Women.  Delicate dresses vs Tough work clothes.  Maybe I’ve just been brainwashed by years of marketing to think that metal work is carried out by men in overalls wearing large masks.

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#10 Fisherman

A fisherman crosses a river on a bamboo raft in Guilin, China.

Sometimes I take photos without thinking about why – like a force of habit.  This happens to be one of those photos and I don’t recall exactly what I was doing at the time.

This being the case, I’ll keep this short and sweet:

This was taken in Guilin where a great many fishermen make a living from the River Li.  This guy wasn’t fishing though so I assume he was just transporting himself around on his bamboo raft – looks like it could take a few passengers too! Whatever his reason, it’s better than sitting in traffic or being stuck on an overcrowded bus or train.

The Li River crosses the city of
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