Archive for August, 2011

Photos from Notting Hill Carnival 2011 – Day 2

August 30, 2011 3 comments

After our abridged visit to Carnival on Day 1, we walked down from Queens Park to Notting Hill on Monday psyched up for a full session at Day 2. The mood was slightly subdued by grey skies and unseasonably low temperatures (think 17C) and, I suspect, quite a few hangovers from Day 1. But you can’t stay subdued for long once you get sucked into a mas parade full of exhuberant, brightly attired dancers with ear-to-ear grins. This time we mostly hung around Kensal Road, Golborn Road, Portobello, Westbourne Park and, to finish the day off, Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues where we were treated to a somewhat ramshackle ska set by his band, The Trojans. As usual Day 2 was a bit more crowded and edgy than Day 1, but aside from a handbags-at-dawn flareup at one of the soundsystems we didn’t see any trouble to speak of. Biggest drama of the day was, as usual, where the shortest toilet queues could be found.

Mas Explosion, Golborn Road

Cheeky Mas Dancer, Golborn Road

Gaz Mayall, Gaz's Rockin' Blues

Dude and Dudette

Mas Dancer, Kensal Road

The photo below might be my favourite from Day 2 – two pirates from one of the mas crews did a double-daggering on a giggling bystander right in front of one of London’s finest – and the cop couldn’t help a fit of the giggles as well. (Generally daggering at Carnival is good-natured but I could see how it would get mightily annoying from a female perspective…)

Double-Dagger and Laughing Cop, Kensal Road

That’s enough of Carnival for now, but if you’d like to check out the rest of my photos then head on over to my Notting Hill Carnival 2011 Flickr set.

Photos from Notting Hill Carnival 2011 – Day 1

August 29, 2011 5 comments

With a late-afternoon BBQ to host (and run the grill) our usual foray into Carnival for Children’s Day was necessarily curtailed. The attendance was way down from previous years because of fears that some of the troublemakers from the riots earlier in August would kick off in Carnival. But it was trouble-free from what we could see, and the people who showed up were all on fine form – except for a couple of teenagers who had overindulged and embarrassed themselves. Still, we managed to get a bit of the vibe and got our appetites up to head back down today for some more dancing and, well, lots of eating. Can’t wait for the first jerk chicken of the day. In the meantime, here are some of my photos from Day 1…

Children's Day, Kensal Road

Dubious Wisdom, Kensal Road

Mas Dancer and Trellick Tower, Golborn Road

Mas Band at Westbourne Park

More photos undoubtably will be on their way in the next 24 hours…

A walk in the Cotswolds

August 26, 2011 3 comments

Earlier in August I had the opportunity to join some friends on a walk around the Cotswolds, a lovely area of rolling green hills and chocolate box villages over towards Gloucestershire. While it was a lovely walk, the rolling green hills were a bit of a photographic challenge, it being the middle of the day when we had our walk. But I managed to snag one or two shots I was happy with.




Photos from Barcelona and Alt Emporda

August 26, 2011 2 comments

As a once-resident of Barcelona I return from time to time to reacquaint myself with the city and with my good friends who still live there. We were able to have a small visit last month and enjoyed sauntering around the Barrio Gotico and Barceloneta, including a visit to my favourite cava bar, Can Pejano.




After a few days we moved on to the countryside, to a tiny village called Montiro in the Catalan area of Alt Emporda, where a friend’s family had a welcoming holiday home. Montiro is surrounded by lovely apple orchards and fields of straw grass, rolled up into bales.




TIME Lightbox: Tourism in Southeast Asia

August 25, 2011 1 comment

A great photo essay about the joys, heartache and hypocrisy of the Asian backpacker “scene” from Jörg Brüggemann. I am well aware of this “scene” having done a few backpacking trips in the region, but I don’t feel part of it any more. I was pretty unpleasantly surprised at how over-touristed and well-trodden Vietnam was when we went earlier this year but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

Photo by Jorg Bruggeman
(Image copyright Jörg Brüggemann)

Photographer Jörg Brüggemann joined the backpacker trail in South and Southeast Asia: a stretch of turf that has been densely charted already by Lonely Planet, that is lined with tours and scams ready to swallow up the unsuspecting, and that is trod over by millions each year. Many of these tourists are young people on gap years or study abroad, journeying ostensibly on latter day quests of self-discovery, financed on a shoestring. But, according to Brüggemann, what were once whimsical, individual explorations have turned into banal spectacles of packaged mass tourism. “Thailand,” he says, “is already like Mallorca.”

His photos from Thailand, Laos and India capture the backpacker experience in its ironies and idiosyncrasies. Young Western kids smoke hash, ape the meditation of holy men, pad around hostels, get drunk. Throughout Asia, it seems tourists are rarely engaging in the country they visit on its own terms, but rather, on the hackneyed ones manufactured by the whole backpacker tourism industry. In his seminal work Orientalism, the great, late, humanist intellectual, Edward Said, described how many Western scholars of the East—the Orient—treated it not as a real place but as a “theatrical stage affixed to Europe.” In a different context, the backpacker circuit achieves the same effect.

Read more:

One disgruntled would-be DSLR videographer’s open letter to Canon

I’ve just seen this brilliant video by Doug Bayne, an aspiring film-maker, who complains to Canon that whilst they have provided him with the technical means to make videos like Vincent Lafloret, they have forgotten to include inspiration and competence in the box with the other bits of kit. I feel Doug’s payne pain as I have taken loads of video out and about with my 7D and about 99% of it is utterly awful.

An open letter to Canon from safetyhammer on Vimeo.

Great photo report from the London riots by AFP’s Leon Neal

August 12, 2011 3 comments

I just wanted to share this post from AFP’s Leon Neal, a snapper I have been lucky enough to talk with on many occasions via Twitter (where he goes by @TabascoKid). Very scary stories (and brilliant shots) of what it was like to try and cover the London riots of August 2011 from a press photographer’s perspective:

It’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time to check this out.

All I saw was this pretty awesome rainbow…

Tonight, many neighbourhoods in London are on fire, and it seems more trouble is popping up all around, Harlesden being the closest to where I live in Queens Park. Most of the trouble seems to be in Hackney though, well east of us.

But when we looked over that way all we saw was a pretty wicked, horizon-to-horizon rainbow.

Looking East towards the Hackney Riots...

Guess there’s still stuff to be happy about in London, after all.