Some photos taken on evening strolls after the work from home shift, coming up to Christmas 2020. A strange time, all round, but we’re keeping safe, staying local, and all those important things. I hope you’ve had a peaceful end of year. Here’s to going slightly further afield at some point in 2021.
This week I was lucky to see Anthony Braxton performing at a sold out Cafe OTO, the last night of a three show residence in which he performed standards with a quartet.
It was a great experience, and a treat to sit so close to the musicians and watch them interact through the songs. Not every piece worked, but even those that didn’t had something interesting going on, and those that did – particularly Eddie Harris’s Freedom Jazz Dance – were pretty sublime.
The quartet was:
Anthony Braxton – saxophone
Alexander Hawkins – piano
Neil Charles – double bass
Stephen Davies – drums
I spent a fun day on Saturday taking part in a street portraiture workshop run by Niall McDiarmid at the V&A. These are the three best shots I got when he sent us out into the street in the afternoon. Now I just need to go and shoot a load more to build up my portraits portfolio.
Blackheath fireworks are one of the highlights of the year in this corner of south-east London, with people streaming towards the heath from all the surrounding streets. This year’s display was particularly good, helped by drier, warmer weather than usual. Let’s hope it’s the last year in which Greenwich Council doesn’t pay its fair share of the costs. Thanks to Lewisham Council for organising it.
I called by Parliament Square on Wednesday having seen a few tweets about the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ protest gathering there. The sun was out, and it seemed to be a good chance to take some more portraits. It was an interesting crowd – I got the impression that there was probably a significant link back to the Occupy movement, plus the established Green Party and anti-fracking groups. My main motivation was to get some more portrait practise in, but it was interesting to see what looks like the start of a new direct action movement. The speakers I saw included TV presenter Julia Bradbury, Clive Lewis MP, and the writer George Monbiot.
More of that Saturday afternoon autumn light in Deptford, this time in Giffin Square just off the High Street. Today’s started as grey and damp as can be, and it’s almost impossible to imagine that the light looked like that yesterday.
All photos shot on a Fujifilm XT20 with XF35mm f1.4 lens, in case you’re interested in that kind of thing.
More of my Deptford pictures here.
I realised recently that I really want to add to the portraits in my portfolio, which obviously means actually taking photos of people. Taking photos of demonstrators feels a little like doing street portraiture on easy setting, but maybe I shouldn’t get so hung up. Anyway, walking through Parliament Square on my way to Westminster tube I shot these in the space of about 5 minutes. I should go there more often, really.
The Woolwich Free Ferry has been taking people across the Thames for centuries, most latterly as a key route for lorries to avoid the Blackwall tunnel. The current roll-on, roll-off boats, built in 1963, are to be taken out of service this week to be replaced by new vessels which promise hybrid diesel-electric power (check out the exhaust fumes in the picture above to see what the current boats produce), and magnetic berthing. One striking feature of the soon-to-be-redundant ferries is the large space for foot passengers under the car deck, not barely used, but a reminder of the ferry’s past role in getting dock and factory workers back and forth before containerisation and deindustrialisation arrived.
I thought I should get some pictures before these boats bow out, and went down for a trip to North Woolwich and back on a bazlingly bright late September day. See the full album ‘Last days of the old Woolwich Ferry here’.