Two more shots from my adventures with my Samyang 8mm fisheye last Saturday. A trip on London’s public transport just got a lot more fun.
f/5.6, 1/70, 8mm, ISO 400
For my 365 redux, I have had to resort to 2009 once again, the year of my original 365. I am looking forward to getting past winter so I have more images from which to choose. Anyway, the reality of 365’s demands was just settling in back in 2009 and, on the upside, it was beginning to force me to look hard for images everywhere I went, including the top of the local supermarket’s carpark, and the lights on the ceiling of my kitchen.
My Samyang 8mm fisheye lens (Fuji fit) is one of the best value for money lenses I have. It’s manual focus only, but at 8mm and f/5.6, it’s actually quite hard to make anything out of focus. Paired with my little Fuji X-E1, it’s a cracking set up for taking down into the London Underground. This shot is from Saturday, at Regent’s Park station, on the Bakerloo line. Best to see it larger to appreciate the photoshop fun I had with it after I got home (the clue is in the title).
I was scraping the bottom of the barrel a bit for my 365/12 as it appears I do not often take photos on 12th January! I had only one in the last 7 years (the extent of my digital image-making life). It is from 2009, the year of my real, as opposed to redux, 365. I can only guess that it was a day much like today, wet and miserable, that made me resort to photographing soap.
We have just returned from a visit to New York, city of thronging streets, shadowy tower-canyons and vertiginous perspectives.
View downtown from the ‘Top of the Rock’
As my description above might indicate, there are as many challenges as opportunities for the photographer in this most exciting of cities. We were on holiday, sightseeing and catching up with friends, so photography was near the bottom of the to-do list. I snapped a lot, but had little opportunity to take more considered images. Nonetheless, I can hardly resist sharing a few of my photographs here.
Balloons over Manhattan
Oh, and in case it isn’t clear, I loved New York. Yes, I know I am not really a city girl, but you’d have to have zero capacity for excitement not to thrill at this amazing, chaotic, adrenaline-fuelled place.
More from the ‘city that never sleeps’ to follow soon.
Venice is such a visual feast. Once you have done with the watery vistas, the colourful reflections, and the people, there is still delight to be had in the smaller details.
Sometimes the more crumbling parts are almost more rewarding than the well maintained. For a while you might be tempted to try to get all the verticals and horizontals in your photos just right until you realise that they were never straight anyway.
I wonder why photographers love the dilapidated so much?
“Il y a, à Venise, trois lieux magiques et secrets : l’un dans la “rue de l’amour des amis”, le deuxième près du “pont des merveilles” et le troisième dans le “sentier des marranes”, près de San Geremia, dans le vieux ghetto. Quand les Vénitiens – parfois ce sont les Maltais – sont fatigués des autorités, ils vont dans ces lieux secrets et, ouvrant les portes au fond de ces cours, ils s’en vont pour toujours vers des pays merveilleux et vers d’autres histoires…”
― Hugo Pratt, Corto Maltese: Fable De Venise
Despite the portability of the Sony NEX-7 I rented over the holidays, it was good to get back to my trusty Canon. Everything is so much more intuitive, at least to this long term Canon shooter. This is a blend of eleven 30 sec exposures taken at dusk on Saturday. Back to NEX images tomorrow.
I thought my photograph of Hampton Court on New Year’s Day 2009 might be suitable for today’s blog, as 2012 draws to a close. It has been a difficult year for me personally but a tremendous year to be British. Tonight I am celebrating in another place rich in British history, Dartmouth in Devon (of which, more another day).
A very brief potted history of New Year’s celebrations: Julius Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year. January is named after Janus, the Roman god with two faces that looked into the past and into the future. Romans celebrated New Year by making sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts, decorating their homes and throwing parties. In medieval Europe, Pope Gregory XIII established January 1 as New Year’s Day in 1582. But the celebrations today retain much of their more pagan origins. One ancient tradition that still continues, particularly in Scotland, is ‘first footing’. At midnight, the Old Year is let out through the back door and the New Year let in through the front door. The first person at the New Year to pass over the threshold should bring coal or, more likely(!), whiskey for luck in the year ahead.
Wishing all my blogging friends a very happy New Year.