Archives For B&W

The challenging street photography continues with London’s ongoing meltingly hot summer. I’m not complaining, well I am a little about the harsh light, people on the streets are entirely different in winter and summer. Different like wanting to be outside versus having to be!

Head Start

The Look

Uphill Battles

Incidentally, the London Suit will wear jacket and tie 46 weeks of the year. 3 weeks, at the apex of summer, they’ll remove their jacket and tie and, transversely for the remaining 3, in the most inclement cold of winter they’ll don a winter coat. Which is just a knee length suit jacket with thicker material.

Enjoy the sun and the coming weekend folks.

 

I don’t stumble through Lancaster Gate’s turnstiles by chance. When I join Ian Brumpton for spritely street photo walks I have ended up here. The one other reason is to visit the Serpentine Gallery and their new Pavilion each year. Here’s a shot from my 2013 visit.

It’s a fast 10 minute walk through the well tended gardens to the Pavilion so, in this 30 degree weather, drink plenty of water!

Serpentine Gallery Pavillion, 2014, by Smiljan Radić

Smiljan Radić is the fourteenth architect to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion outside the entrance to the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.

Occupying a footprint of some 514 square metres on the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery, plans depict a semi-translucent, cylindrical structure of fibreglass, designed to resemble a shell, which rests on large quarry stones. This work has its roots in the architect’s earlier work, particularly The Castle of the Selfish Giant, inspired by the Oscar Wilde story and the Restaurant Mestizo – part of which is supported by large boulders.

The 2014 Pavilion is designed as a flexible, multi-purpose social space with a café sited inside. Visitors will be encouraged to enter and interact with the Pavilion in different ways throughout its four month tenure in the Park.

 

From London’s Streets

July 14, 2014 — 3 Comments

All of these photos were taken last monday, July 7. Each photo walk reveals even more diversity in London than I think I’ve seen in the last. Amazing.

Step 4 For Phone Calls [Explored]

Dapper Gent

Looking Back

Tour de France Rest Stop

I’ve developed this habit, I’ve yet to decide whether it’s good or not, where I hold and point and shoot without stopping or literally stopping for a step-pause-click-continue. It has yielded a few shots I wouldn’t have got had I stopped, focused, framed and shot.

When did I get this impatient to see whether the scene would last 5 more seconds for me to take the picture properly?! Yes, these ‘new’ shots are blurrier, but the gamble for composition sometimes pays off.

The great value from this shooting on the run style is that the subject does not have time to react. I’m a well practised Ninja on the streets, but for those who feel more conspicuous this is a good trade off.

Here’s an example where I was keen to make progress to the Tour de France finish line on the Mall and I saw this guy from the back. Without pausing, I set focus to 4 metres, f/5. As I passed him I saw the magnifying glass and knew there was a good shot here. Still not pausing I held my camera portrait under my right arm, lens pointing backwards, and pressed the shutter.

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I knew I’d get something, but would the composition be slightly off or blurry… well a bit of both.

I’ve no idea why, but I can shoot a straight horizontal and vertical shot just holding the camera up. To within a degree. Not sure if it’s rangefinder ergonomics, but I’m an uncannily straight shooter with this Monochrom.

I challenge you all to try this and post links to these photos in the comments below.

 

A few from London during this most pleasant of sunny times. It’s not lost on me that the first 2 shots are underground, the next under cover and the penultimate is a guy looking guilty in the shadows. I, however, was in the baking sun between all these locations!

Baker Street

Alighting With Intent

Tango In Spitalfields

Engineering Drawing

I See You

Grasshopper's ClawHave a great weekend all!

Michael

 

The Walls Have Eyes [Explored]
The Walls Have Eyes, #34 on Flickr’s Explore as at June 26, 2014

The majority of photographers whose work I have stumbled across keep a glossy but impractical portfolio page; mine resides at michaeltoye.com. For those photos that are pretty good, but fail to make the portfolio grade, we make use of sites like Flickr and Google+.

Personally, I gravitated towards Flickr because of the community photographer spirit it engenders. In addition to following ‘friends’ whose photos and style you appreciate, you can build a catalogue of your favourite images from others. There are groups you can join to share your images with like minded shooters, for instance, I am subscribed to street photography and Leica groups.

I have been active on Flick for years now, but I do remember it didn’t take long to discover Flickr’s Explore page. Each photo that is uploaded to Flickr is assigned an ‘interestingness’ factor. How ‘interesting’ your photo is depends on numerous factors like visits to your photo and from where, how many and how frequently others comment and favourite your image, etc. Each day the 500 most ‘interesting’ photos are collated and presented as Flickr’s Explore page. I don’t think it’s just ‘interestingness’ that gets you selected for this coveted set as I do know adding your photo to numerous groups actually reduces your chances of making the cut!

Flickr guards the algorithmic secret of interestingness and Explore selection closely, but I can comment on my experiences.

I can be fairly optimistic of Explore selection if I…

  • Upload a photo relatively late in Flickr’s day. I uploaded ‘The Walls Have Eyes’ about 9:30pm GMT, giving Flickr enough time to see some nice statistics on my photo before the new Flickr day starts at Midnight GMT.
  • Don’t add to any groups
  • Get about 15+ favourites and a few comments over the course of the first hour after upload. ‘The Walls Have Eyes’ received 100 views, 20 favourites and 2 comments before the end of the Flickr day.

Obviously the third point is the biggest variable and the principal requisite is that you take a good photograph. If it’s also processed well, it will pop off your contacts’ page for new images from friends.

Time is a factor in your photo’s ‘interestingness’, so remaining on the Explore page requires some beefy stats to roll in. At 9am, ‘The Walls Have Eyes’ is at 5000+ views and 112 favourites and is still at #34. I expect it to drop before lunch, but this can be slowed by adding to numerous groups.

I also know Flickr Explore selection ignores you after a while. At the beginning of the year I managed to get 5 images in 5 consecutive days into Flickr’s Explore. Bear in mind there are only 500 spots between the millions of daily uploads, so it seems only reasonable to ‘ban’ people for a period of time.

Does anyone else have a similar or dissimilar proven pattern for Flickr’s Explore?

 

Tangents
Tangents

This was taken in January on Brick Lane. Not making my first round of public releases, I’ve only just got round to processing it. It’s a fine example of the good and prevalent street art around Shoreditch, graffiti and traveller supporting non local Japanese elements.

Konnichiwa [Explored]

Konnichiwa

The Photographer

April 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

The Photographer

Taken in Venice, last August.

From Jakarta’s Streets

April 10, 2014 — 2 Comments

This is Jakarta, Old Jakarta to be precise.

We have learned the hard way to wait 24 hours for our bags to catch up when travelling to Indonesia. This short stop allowed us to take in the local scene.

Initially the sight of such poor lives saddened me, but I quickly realised these people weren’t visibly sad. Despite the squalor and stench I saw plenty of smiles and even a few laughs.

Locals, Old Jakarta

Taxi Driver, Old Jakarta

Jakarta, Streetside

Break Time

TV Repair Guy