Camera/Cake Exchange

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On a market stall in a tudor village I met a photographer selling cakes.

We chatted about our interest and camera collection before I asked for a portrait in exchange for a chocolate cake.

Funny how a camera around your neck will start the most innocent conversations.

Yashica 635
Kodak Tri-x 400 120mm
F8
1/125 sec

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Freedom to Speak

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Look up and you meet interesting spies looking down.

Shot in the town of Granada, Spain.

Fujifilm X20 (RAW) App Priority.

Chester Swing

Chester Swing, Unamused Shopper

I love the age old tradition of street performers. There is something magical about a person making a living entering you whilst you shop.

I went to Chester to pick up a few items. (If you are unfamiliar with the city. It dates back to Roman times and still has the outer walls standing. It was developed in the Tudor times and the city has been almost untouched since. It is a fantastic historical wonderland and well worth a visit).

I have recently been shooting street only on film with my Yashica 635 TLR. It’s an amazing camera that seems to attract a lot of attention. It’s been fun working out how to shoot quickly and silently.

Getting back to the image. As I walked through the busy streets there was the sound of 1920’s Jazz floating through the crowds that drew me in. A women in her 20’s, dressed in period fashion was delighting the passers by with her Charleston.

She captured the moment brilliantly and keep me in gaze for two or three songs.

I took the opportunity to kneel down and wait for her to pass my viewfinder before passing her hand with silver coin and exchanging our love for all thing vintage.

Her performance made my day and I know (because she told me) being photographed by my camera made hers.

Turn any street in old England and town and you will find interesting people eager to entertain.

Calling In A Favour

Calling In A Favour

You all know I love photography but I have an even greater love for old Film Noir movies. The grit and grim of a classic like The Big Combo makes for a great night in.

I have been away from my camera for a while (that is a lie, I have been concentrating on photography on the street) and have missed getting into a project.

For some time now the idea of creating another Low Key image has been mulling around my mind.

I wanted to create an image of dread and despair. A moment of uncontrolled emotion and a dislike. I hope I have achieved that.

The set up was easy. Strobe with a grid 45 degrees left of the camera. Speed light with a snoot (amazing what you can make with a piece of packing paper) behind me and to my left. A cookie (blind) made from a box from work (We had so many left over I thought no one would mind).

A cheap white shirt and tie that has been destroyed with food colouring. (Not a splash on the bed, very proud of myself).

And lastly…… my 1970’s phone. Which still works perfectly.

There has been some dodging and burning around eyes and skin. I really enjoyed myself and fancy doing some more. Though not tonight. My face is a pink colour due to the food colouring.

Let me know what you think. I appreciate all comments and opinions.

Salford (Rex) Cinema & a Pin Hole Kodak

Salford Cinema

Beginning life as a church (1864) The church closed and the building was radically altered and a cinema license was obtained in 1912.

The exterior is quite ornate for such a small cinema with the front and part of the side tiled in decorative terracotta tiling with ornate round windows with carved laurel leaves and swags. There is an ornate balustrade along the top with a cupola temple structure above a corner entrance. The words “Salford Cinema” are carved on a half circle ornate pedement at the middle top of the frontage.

The cinema changed hands in 1921 and again in 1937 when the name was changed to the Rex Cinema (even though “Salford Cinema” was clearly carved in the pediment.

The cinema suffered from the advent of television and the slum clearances which had taken most of the customers form the area. The Rex Cinema closed as a cinema in 1958 and lay empty for some time until 1967 when it opened as a bingo hall.

The opening ceremony was performed by actress “Violet Carson” better known as “Ena Sharples” from the soap opera “Coronation Street” who was also a one-time cinema pianist in the silent days.

The bingo stopped in 1985 and the building has come full circle and reopened as the New Harvest Christian Fellowship, a Gospel Church. The Rex has been designated as a Grade II Listed building.
I came across this cinema whilst driving around trying to find a car park for the hotel we was staying at a year ago. Being on a cross road it popped out and the Salford Sign had me hooked. I wanted to capture the building in a retro form and decided to come back with a vintage camera. Shooting through an inch of glass that is reflecting upside down is hard work yet very rewarding. I love how this old camera still takes pin sharp pin hole shots even to this day. Taken using a 1924 Kodak Brownie and Fomapan 100 ASA 120mm Film.

Keeping a watchful eye on the Competition

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Working Men’s Club

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Turn a corner in old London Town and you are reminded of the past and present.

Down a dusty old London side street, leading into a busy open market stands a grand image of working life of yesteryear. It took me by surprise at the time. This wonderful moment on a massive board and no-one had noticed it.

I was drawn to it straight away (I love anything to do with how we used to live), when I noticed this guy on the phone just sitting there.

It struck me just how powerful the moment was. Here was a guy, sitting on a chair, using a mobile phone. A classic scene of 21st Century lifestyle with the back drop of 1930’s living perfectly in line with each other.

I had to get in close to take the picture and for the guy to notice me. I hoped he would become a little annoyed. I wanted him to look at me in the same way the gentlemen where in the picture. After standing there for a few minutes just looking at him he gave the look you see.

For me this is a perfect example of old and new and how technology, fashion and attitude may have changed over time, our personal living has stayed the same.

This was my favourite photo from a day shooting in London and probably one of the small handful of images I am really proud of.

Taken with FijiFilm X20 in Green Market London.