Croissants to watch girls by

I went for a stroll at lunch time and went into a new coffee place called CuppaJoes on Villiers Street. Ordered a coffee and was told I could have a croissant with butter and jam for only 30p more. So I ordered that and was given said items.

I then asked where the knives were.

They didn’t have any.

I’m sure I’ll be on Candid Camera soon for my attempts to get butter and jam onto a croissant using a plastic fork.

Anyway, it turned out to be a good spot for watching the world rush by so I thought I’d have a go at getting some folk with a bit of Gerhard Richter blur and contrast.

See the above result large here.

The coffee wasn’t bad at all by the way.

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The Venezuelans have landed

Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela are at Southbank Centre all this week. The formal concerts sold out just before Gustavo was born – but there’s a whole bunch of free stuff going on that I intend to take in – with camera in hand of course.

And why are the Venezuelans so damn popular – and important? Read this and see the clip below …

Bank Holiday, how sweet the sound

Ahhh, the English* Bank Holiday.

I spent a very good Good Friday chasing small children who were chasing a steam train. Thanks to the Bucks Rail Centre for an excellent Thomas Day Out. All excellent fun even in the drizzle – although I’m sure a crueller lensman than me would have turned his camera away from the trains to capture the frazzled parents calming down their progeny. Or the fathers taking more interest in the trains than their kids.

Another Bank Holiday tomorrow. As long as I avoid DFS I’ll be happy.

See the top image large here.

* By ‘English’ I mean, “English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and probably everybody else’s” obviously

James Ravilious, An English Eye

The National Theatre photo exhibitions are normally worth catching and the latest: James Ravilious: An English Eye is no exception – in fact it’s one of the best I’ve seen there.

Ravilious died in 1999 and the majority of the photographs were taken well before then. They, as the title suggests, offer a view (in beautiful and white) of English life, specifically the rural and the traditional. If the subject matter is unchallenging, the images are all beautifully composed and presented – the result of understanding the people and communities portrayed. It’s all a cut above the ‘standard’ village life shots.

A year or so again at the Host Gallery, I saw Chris Steele-Perkins’ Northern Exposures and was reminded of it by this exhibition. The key difference is that whereas there is at times a Martin Parr-esque comedy to the images of Northern Exposures, An English Eye keeps a straight face throughout.

Thoroughly recommended, it’s at the National Theatre until 16 May. Catch it and then have one of their nice glasses of wine to reflect on this capturing of a potentially vanishing England – and also the sad fact that it’s the tenth anniversary of the photographer’s death that’s prompted the exhibition.

Caribbean life

I had a couple of goes taking ‘street’ (whatever the heck that is) shots in the Caribbean.

It’s not that easy to do with a Fujifilm A850.

However, it really seems to me that the combination of weather, life and contrasts between tourists and residents is ripe for capturing and yet I can’t seem to come across anything decent on t’internet.

There must be some good stuff out there.

I shall keep looking.

In the meantime, view the above image of Road Town, Tortola large and on black here.

Shatner. Again.

Last night I entered The Twilight Zone.

Nee-ni-nee-ni and all that.

It was a radio version of The Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. All a bit preposterous but just gripping enough at midnight in that surreal world when you’re not quite asleep.

Then I google it and find that in the TV original it was Shatner who played the man who can see gremlins on the plane’s wing. That man gets everywhere.

Radio version on the iPlayer for a bit.

Congratulations Paul Graham

The blog that’s 474th with the news is happy to pass on its congratulations to Paul Graham for taking this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

My thoughts and those of the Guardian are elsewhere on this blog.

Next up at The Photographers’ Gallery is The Photographic Object. Fair to say I’m reserving judgement on that till I see it properly.

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