After 2 years of Covid restrictions, Europe’s largest street party, the Nottinghill Carnival made a comeback appearance on the streets of West London, over the last Bank Holiday weekend in the UK. I went around 10am on the ‘Family Day’ Sunday, walking up the parade route in reverse which I always do, so as to encounter the bands and performers as they head out from the assembly point on Kensal Rise. It was a warm sunny day, but noticeable cooler than the heatwave of a few weeks earlier, which reached 35 – 40c. It was only 23c that morning but the sun was shining and it felt hotter, due to the fast-paced dodge-walking amongst tightly packed crowds and performers.
Family Day means fewer or no big costume floats, the kind that rivals the best of Rio, those are reserved for tomorrow, Monday. Nevertheless, there are plenty of sights and sounds to saviour as well as Caribbean street food, rum punch and beer.
I don’t think I got any ‘gems’ photographically this year as I didn’t stay on long enough after a quick lunch of jerk chicken and rice, but it was good to see visitors from all over the world back in London having a good time again.
I love peering into shop windows at night when walking in the city. Last weekend, I was at the Photolux Festival in Lucca, a medieval walled city in western Tuscany, Italy, home to Giacomo Puccini, who was born in 1858. I came across this wedding dressmaker’s store in one of the many narrow cobbled streets. The illuminated dresses in a darkened store caught my eye as I peered into the shop and took this picture. Captured for posterity, these dresses might one day be walking down the aisle in one of the many tens of churches to the delight of a wedding party.
This other photo (L) is more atmospheric and was obtained because I rushed. A mistake. Not remembering I had set the exposure compensation dial to underexpose earlier, I simply took this picture and accidentally caused a blur due to the slow shutter as it was a very dark scene. I was looking back at this image on my camera and about to hit the delete button, but on closer inspection, I think I rather like it.
Finally, decided to unleash Kipper on a stretch of secluded beach for the first time. He’s a runner and won’t recall easily, even with the temptation of doggie snacks. In the parks, this is not possible unless there are enclosed free run areas.
France24 broadcast journalist reporting live from the Candlelight Vigil at Trafalgar Square for the victims of the terrorist attack at Westminster on 22 March, 2017. The last vigil I attended here at the same London landmark was on the occasion of the Paris attacks of November 2015.
This evening’s vigil was attended by thousands of local residents and visitors who filled the square, surrounded with armoured police vehicles, road closures and many armed officers.
It has been a while since I shot a keeper image. I took a series of beach images a month ago on the Isle of Wight and the files are still on the memory card. There are these decaying groynes on the beach in Shanklin, which extend out to sea for about 100 metres.
During low tide the exposed rotting timber covered by seaweed poke out like broken fingers through the silky sand lapped by the ebb and flow of the tide. In this shot it happened that a pair of greyhounds lingered about the timber-ends for a few seconds, sniffing, as dogs do, before running off to their master’s call.
I just love the muted tones of the morning sky, and how it merges and blends in with the darker foreground of the beach. The near silhouette dogs add points of interest to the timber structures, which makes the eyes wander and explore the detail.
Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park – this Victorian garden set in 40 acres of woodland is renown for the azaleas introduced from Japan in the 1920s, rhododendrons, camellias and other rare trees. There are ponds and little streams, grass openings ideal for picnics and strolls throughout the year.
Depictions of Kuan Yin, Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, Kuala Lumpur
Time to depart Kuala Lumpur after a short visit to oversee the judging of KLPA2016. What an intense week focussing on portrait photography, discussions about ethics and integrity – the unfolding McCurry saga, and great plans in the near future for photography in KL.
I can’t wait to announce the shortlisted finalists, and once all the backroom validations etc have been done, I will do so. Meanwhile, there are exhibitions and events to plan, and the groundwork for a new KL project has started following my announcement on 6 May. This new and exciting project will involve KL photographers and will begin a new chapter in visual mapping and documentation, illuminated by the myriad lights of the city.
The weather has been kind recently, rather warm by early Spring standards. Today is 1 April and we are already in Summer Time. A balmy 13C and recent low teens temperature had woken up the odd cherry blossom tree, dotted around the forests and woodland in Wimbledon Common, my hunting ground close to home for doggie walks.