When right wing nationalists plan a march, the Liberal left counter-marches on the same day. It creates a massive problem for the police though, and many of London’s busiest streets become closed to traffic to accommodate the protests.
I spoke with a lovely Chinese woman at a bus stop and she asked me whether the protests were legal. I’m really grateful to be able to say that in the UK we have the democratic right to protest. I’m also excited to be living in such a diverse and multicultural city.
The democratic process means that all citizens have a right to protest. I don’t agree with the nationalist movements, I consider them to be racist and discriminatory, but I believe that they have a right to protest as well. If we pick and choose which citizens and groups can demonstrate then we break away from being a democracy. However, the police must enforce the marches so that demonstrators do not participate in hate crime. There is a difference between free speech and incitement to violence and/or hate talk.
I’m not a nationalist, I believe that all people were created equal, I value diversity, and I’m in favour of asylum, immigration and economic migration. So it was a pleasure to witness the anti-fascit groups marching today.
After drinking lots of water yesterday and sleeping during the day, I didn’t need much sleep last night. I woke Richard up at 4.30 and headed straight to the city, via St Paul’s Cathedral.
(I’m back to being the star today.)
From St Paul’s it’s just a short walk to the millennium bridge, which provided me with the opportunity for a few more poses. Richard hates being photographed but I love it.
(Millennium Bridge, River Thames, Tate Modern)
(River Thames, The Shard, a glimpse of Tower Bridge.)
Sometimes life just walks you into wonderful opportunities and experiences, and this morning has been serendipitous.
As well as the dancer being photographed, a newly married couple were having their wedding photos made before the chaos of the daily grind.
After a quick visit to Starbucks (I’m sticking to water), we meandered slowly to the Shard via Borough Market. I found it to be more appealing than the Old Spitalfields Market yesterday.
The Shard viewing platform doesn’t open until ten, but Richard is meeting his friend Jonathan (going to Tate Modern) who also studies photography with the Open College of the Arts. We’ll go to the viewing platform afterwards and then Richard wants to go to Hobby Craft.
All packed and ready to go. And I’m taking a friend with me. Let me introduce you to …
Please click on any photo for a full size image
As many of you are aware, I struggle with self-image. However, I wanted to produce some self portraits get used to me being in front of the lens. So I have been making some self portraits over the past week, which I have overpainted using the edit and graffiti tools built into the Huawei P 10. Here are some of the photos that I’ve recently made. Some of these I have posted before and others are new photos, I’m enjoying this so much that I’m going to continue making self portraits in this style.
On Monday I started some new medication to reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The side effects are making me quite sleepy, and this is impacting upon my motivation and ability to complete the tasks that I wish to. I am aware that these side effects will pass within a week or two, so I’m just doing little bits and pieces as and when I can for now.
My two recent trips to the Farnborough airshow and RSPB Bempton Cliffs have been a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know my new Olympus OMD EM1 MKii. One of my favourite features is the built-in image stabilisation. Although the EM1 has five axis stabilisation you can alter the settings for this.
Photographing aeroplanes means that I needed to plan along the horizontal plane. The EM1 has the ability to alter the image stabilisation from five axis to either vertical stabilisation or horizontal stabilisation. Because I was panning along the horizontal plane I altered the image stabilisation to vertical. Why is this necessary? If you have the settings for five axis the cameras inbuilt artificial intelligence will try to stabilise the image which interferes with auto focus when planning. Setting the image stabilisation on the vertical plane stops the AI from trying to correct stabilisation when on the horizontal.
The continuous autofocus was wonderful for shooting both fast-moving aeroplanes and slower moving propeller driven aircraft. I was photographing using burst mode and it took time to get used to releasing the shutter and then pressing half down again to refocus.
The continuous autofocus is very quick to respond and this is incredibly useful when photographing moving subjects. Combining this with burst mode and far shutter speed made it possible to make some wonderful photos. When photographing small and fast-moving subjects, such as the birds at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, using the burst rate of 15 frames per second is ideal although, it was too fast for me to control the shutter and take a single photo. Photographing larger subjects which are also fast-moving, such as the aircraft at Farnborough airshow, 10 frames per second is more than adequate, and even whilst in burst mode I had enough control to take a single photo.
The OMD EM1 MKii has some wonderful features such as being able to set up all of the cameras buttons for different purposes, which makes the process of changing settings very quick and very easy.
When I attended Armed Forces Day in Scarborough, I shot the flying displays in shutter priority and trusted the cameras AI to make the rest of the judgements to set the exposure. I didn’t check the exposure as I was shooting, and underexposed many photos, so much so that when trying to develop them in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, increasing the exposure created an image which had so much noise that it was unusable. So whilst photographing the aircraft at Farnborough airshow I shot in manual mode and exposed for the underside of the aircraft where the shadow is more intense. This has meant that the sky is overexposed, which is very easy to correct in Lightroom, and the aircraft correctly exposed.
Photographing a RSPB Bempton Cliffs and Farnborough airshow has been a lot of fun for me, and I have really enjoyed myself. I am in the process of evaluating the photos from Farnborough airshow. I took way too many photos over the three days of the air displasy but I have got many great photos. I have no idea how long it will take me to evaluate and develop these, I will post some as soon as I can.
My knowledge of the OMD EM1 MK ii will develop over time, there are so many more features that I look forward to getting to learn. So far I am very impressed with the camera’s capabilities and very happy that I converted all of my cameras over to the Olympus micro 4/3 set up.
My plan was to attend Sunderland airshow this weekend, but adjusting to this new medication means that the kindest thing that I can do for myself is to stay at home and relax.
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you enjoy my self portraits.
For those of you who know me, you will understand that I struggle with street photography. It’s my least favourite genre, but as a photographer it’s important to push myself.
Here are a few photos from the previous couple of days. Click on any photo to see a full size image.
A peer on Foundations in Photography has commented that eye’s come up as a theme for me throughout my photography. I have cropped a few photos which had eye’s within them develop a test series to see if eyes have the potential to become a future project. It’s certainly something to bear in mind. If at some point I decide to take this further I will make new photos in which eyes are the point of focus.
Yesterday afternoon I had the 1,000th person follow my blog. Thank you so much for choosing to view my photography and read my posts. I’m just a guy with a camera, finding my way through the complexity of life, and as such I find it quite humbling that you want to share my journey.
I’m very grateful for your support.
The Photo Sociology “I can do better than a Turner” Photography Award (see here to enter) has had its third entrance today (see here for the gallery). The competition is open to anyone over 18, it’s free to enter, and there is a £50 amazon voucher for first place, and £25 each for two runners-up (or the equivalent currency value of Nation were the winners reside). Why not pop over and enter the competition.