35mm · Film photography · Photography

A man walks down Portobello Road

Sounds like the start of a joke, doesn’t it? Sadly, it’s just the thread title, but if I come up with some sort of funny punchline before I finish typing, I’ll drop it in.

Today’s picture depicts a stall on London’s Portobello Road market, this one selling a curious combination of vintage football equipment, plus a selection of silverware. The chap walking by is wearing his facemask in that off-the-nose style that I’ve noticed many people adopting. Given that he’s outdoors, and that wearing a mask in this way is unlikely to be effective in preventing the spread of covid (or other respiratory disease), he’d probably be better off removing it altogether. I suspect (being a spectacles-wearer myself) that he probably pulled it down below his nose to prevent his glasses from steaming up with condensation. Given that I’ve forgotten to put on or remove my own mask on quite a number of occasions, I shall reserve criticism.

No punchline was forthcoming. Sorry to disappoint any comedy fans – my stand-up career remains stalled. You can have a rubbish haiku though…

Walk past a stall of
Strange memorabillia
A mask at half-mast

Partially masked

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

One thousand days

Today marks the one-thousandth consecutive daily post on my blog, having posted every day since the 1st January 2019. It feels like a milestone although, as I’ve said before back when the blog hit it’s first 1k mark (albeit non-continuous), perhaps a somewhat arbitrary one. I think the daily posting – originally intended to improve my frequency of posting by writing shorter, snappier posts, rather than infrequent but lengthier ones – has become something of a compulsion, especially as the one-thousand mark got closer.

Obscured
Largely unrelated picture #1

I never started the blog to gain likes, followers, or for any sort of commercial gain – which is good as, despite having a few gundred followers (although how many of them regularly read my posts is open to question), it’s rare that I get more than a handful of like for each post, and the number of comments is similarly low – although I always try to respond when they arise. Indeed, glancing at the blog stats today, September 2021 marks one of the lowest visitor and views counts in the last three years – possibly even the lowest depending on the next few days.

Jewellry
Largely unrelated picture #2

Instead this blog was just for me to make some sort of small scratch on the surface of the world. It’s not particularly focused, more a case of me blurting out whatever is on my mind on any given day and showing a recent photo. This probably doesn’t help build an audience, but I doubt it will change. It will probably continue as it has – in a semi-autobiographical spew of whatever I want to talk about. Mostly regarding the pictures I made, maybe the circumstances in which they were made, and occasionally as longer-form pieces.

New guitar-
Largely unrelated picture #3

In some attempt to link to the set of pictures included in today’s post, I guess this place is like a marketplace for my work. But a marketplace where nothing is actually up for sale, and where there are few buyers for my own brand of whatever-it-is I do.

Let’s see if I make it to two-thousand…

One-thousand blog posts
Farting out my thoughts each day
To all who listen

Time for a new tie-
Largely unrelated picture #4

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

T-shirt on a market stall

“… are the flowers in your dustbin”

So reads the text on this t-shirt. It’s a fragment of lyric from the Sex Pistol’s 1977 track, God Save the Queen.

The image on the t-shirt is of a young man named Tuinol Barry, photographed in Chelsea, London, in 1981 by Derek Ridgers. There’s an article on the BBC website giving some background to the photograph here.

Interesting where a photograph of an image on a single t-shirt can lead.

Face of a skinhead
On a t-shirt in London
Forty years passed

T-shirt

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Trellick Tower

Trellick Tower is an apartment complex built back in the early 1970s, designed in the brutalist style by Ernő Goldfinger as it was falling out of fashion. Like many similar housing complexes, it became a site of crime, drug use and other misdemeanours. Over time however it found favour and crime was reduced by a number of measures, including the formation of a resident’s association, and it became a desireable place to live. The tower was given Grade II listing status in 1998.

The building has featured on TV and in movies on many occasions and is a structure I instantly recognise due to its distict shape and “outrigger” design. Despite this, other than it being in London, I didn’t really know where it was so I was pleasantly surprised when I turned a corner while visiting Portobello Road market and it appeared right before my eyes.

Brutalist buildings
A design for the future
Or so people thought

Trellick

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Hats

It’s one of those days again where it comes around to blog writing time and I find I either don’t have much to say, or am uninspired by my recent crop of pictures. I take my hat off to anyone who can produce interesting pieces of writing at, well, the drop of a hat… 🙂

Not a hirsute man?
Then use the cover of hats
To hide the sun roof

Hats

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Cabmen’s shelter

The shed-like structure in the middle of the street in this photograph is a cabmen’s shelter, one of thirteen remaining in London. The shelters were originally constructed in the late 19th century to provide drivers of hansom carriages, and later taxicabs, with a place to take shelter and get food and drink. Laws at the time forbade taxi drivers from leaving their vehicles unatended at taxi-stands, meaning they could find it difficult to eat hot meals or shelter from unpleasant weather. Parking elsewhere would mean having to pay someone to look after their cab while they were away from it for fear it may be stolen.

The Cabmen’s Shelter Fund was set up to construct shelters at major cab stands, with the buildings containing an attendant who would serve food and drinks from a kitchen (which could also be used by the drivers themselves). There were also seats and tables to accommodate drivers inside the shelters.

Drivers can enter
And find sustenance within
These cabmen’s shelters

Cabmen's shelter

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

West End scenes

A few pictures from the West End of London today, all made with the little Olympus XA3. Nothing especially planned or carefully composed as I was there for a couple of days with my wife, so most pictures made were grabbed whenever the opportunity arose.

Sounds of Pet Shop Boys
Might be evoked by a walk
In a West End town

In Chinatown
Chinatown

To Leicester Square
Towards Leicester Square
Carnaby Street
Carnaby Street
Picadilly Circus
Picadilly Circus

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Las Vegas

Not that one.

This is an arcade in London’s Soho district. It’s been there for quite a long time – it was certainly there in the early 90s, and I expect it was there for quite a while before then. The ground floor is filled with gamblimg machines and is for over-18s only, but the entrance on the left leads downstairs to the videogame goodness for all ages.

Follow the noises
The sound of the underground
Of pixels and sprites

Las Vegas

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021

35mm · Film photography · Photography

Backstreets

I find that I’m often drawn to photograph scenes like the one in today’s post. I’ve not tagged them in such a way as to be able to find them easily, but I’m sure that if I look through my archive of photos that there will be many that bear close resembalnce. It’s not an original composition – looming walls on either side of the frame drawing and leading your eye towards the vanishing point between – but it’s one that always appeals to me.

In urban canyons
This photographer sets out
In hunt of pictures

Backstreets in London

Olympus XA3 & Ilford HP5+. Lab developed in Xtol.

Taken on 19 August 2021