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I tried to write a blog about our last trip into London of 2018, but I just couldn’t find the time, what with Christmas and New Year and being struck down by the Plague (it might have just been the flu, but it felt like a near-death experience).
In the end, after several failed starts, I decided that it didn’t matter if the world never knew fully about what we did that day. In summary, it was a Wednesday trip into the capital, starting in Shoreditch and ending in the West End. We met up with two other Instagrammers briefly at lunchtime (@ashsmithone and @martynlphotography), saw a man wearing a giraffe onesie in the middle of the City, and had a generally nice time.
I also took three photographs that day which ended up featuring in my Official Instagram Top Nine of 2018, which either means I was totally on fire, or more people were bored on Instagram in the run up to Christmas, just blindly liking any old crap on their feed. I’m telling myself it’s the former. And you will agree with me, because you’re nice like that.
Back to today.
I’ve been a little… depressed (?) since January started, and I’m not really sure why, except maybe having the Plague had something to do with it. I also impulsively announced on my Instagram that I wouldn’t be posting any of my archives from 2018 this year, and obviously because announcements on Instagram are sacred, I couldn’t possibly go back on that. Even though I was frustrated beyond belief that I worked so hard during December to build my Instagram engagement up, and now I was having to let it stagnate and lose momentum. Eurgh, I don’t know why I care. But I do.
So the first London street shoot of 2019 could not come quick enough.
PJ and I decided that we would bring along a teenaged daughter each today. Like apprentices, but with facial expressions of Claude and Karen. The day didn’t get off to the best start when what I thought was my alarm clock tone turned out to be Paula calling me to say she was outside my house, and I’d totally overslept.
Eventually we got to the train station, and I was finally going to take some photographs! One flat white and twenty minutes later, we arrived at London Paddington, and headed straight down to the Underground to head over to the East End.
The tone was set for the day almost instantly, when another Tube train pulled up alongside ours, and I joked that I wasn’t even going to be subtle about photographing this guy on the other train, because what could he do? It turned out he was pretty pleased about having his photograph taken, and suddenly I felt all hyper-inspired. Today, I was going to photograph EVERYBODY.
I took 455 RAW photographs over about a four hour period, and kept and edited 368 of them on Lightroom Classic CC when I got home. I was shooting RAW + ACROS JPEGs, but I decided not to keep any of the JPEGs. I wanted colour photographs, and I wanted them to look exactly how I chose.
Obviously I’ll not be uploading all the photographs here, because load times. Plus that would be insane. I’ve split this blog into two parts – the East End and the West End – because we did cover a lot of ground today.
Petticoat Lane Market
Petticoat Lane Market used to be awesome. I remember my dad taking me there several times when I was younger, but nowadays, it’s very “rough and ready”. I’m sure if you have time to rummage through the racks, there’s bargains to be had, but there’s nothing special at surface level. I don’t normally take many photographs there, but this time I came home with about 40 images. The normal vibe of “WTF are you doing with that camera out?” that I normally feel emanating from the stallholders and customers was completely absent today. Was it my mindset, or a new 2019 thing? I’m guessing my mindset, because when I reviewed my images, there were a lot of scowls going on.
Trying to find Brick Lane
A bit of wandering around Whitechapel because I’m too stubborn to resort to Google Maps. Seems completely sensible, right?
We reached Brick Lane eventually. It was far less crowded than it’d been on previous Sundays – without the familiar buskers, and with probably only half the food stalls that are normally there. The vintage camera stall was there though, so I was happy. The bakery had sold out of their famous Rainbow Beigels, despite the fact that it was still early. The girls really enjoyed photographing all the street art, and there were plenty of interesting people around for PJ and I to photograph.
But the best surprise of the day was when we rounded a corner and stumbled upon…
London Fashion Week Men’s 2019
I’ve never seen so many fashionistas in one place before. I was like a kid in a candy store – totally spoiled for choice as far as subjects went. I’ve never thought to look up when fashion events are going on in the capital, but I’d really like to have the opportunity to shoot another one. So many beautiful people! Pretty much every other photographer that was hanging around was carrying a Canon EOS 5D. I had no idea they were so popular.
And with that, we headed back to Liverpool Street Underground Station to travel over to the West End. We were halfway through our allotted time, and there was a very important shortcut that we’d recently realised existed, and we needed to check it out. And obviously, China Town awaited.
I’ll endeavour to get Part 2 completed and uploaded ASAP. There are some sweet shots in there 😉
Love from London xx