[ Journal 2015 // July ]
Meanwhile, in London …
There seems to be what smells like a dead rat emanating from the fridge every time I open its door. I don’t like that I cannot see from what food item it’s coming from. I also don’t like people that try and jump a queue. Whenever I am at Victoria Station, getting a coffee from the little Nero stand and patiently wait behind the customer in front, someone always comes along and cuts in. I don’t know why this happens and I am becoming terribly impatient toward those that do it. I never say anything, but my body language and the slow reclaiming of my territory for coffee, displays a war-like ready posture. This is not good. I don’t want to be at war a few minutes from having got off my train.
Wherever I visit, I get what maps and literature I can that the place provides. Normally these things are free but occasionally they ask for donations, which is fine. I drop a pound in forcibly to let those around me know I’m not skimping or stealing, as it would feel like stealing would I not donate, and also to let the security guard that was eyeing me up know the same. I don’t get on well with security guards. They seem to be attracted to me. And not in a High-school crush kind of way. They just fix their gaze upon me whenever I enter a building or float around on the street. I don’t mind it so much. But knowing someone is watching me actually makes me act oddly, thus fueling my overall shady demeanor which is followed by a slow pursuit. All my senses are then shot save for my hearing which fixates on the sound of the beep and crackle of a security walkie-talkie. I only wanted a damn map. What the fuck is going on here?!
I should have planned my visit to the Natural History Museum more carefully. Without a plan, I pretty much don’t know what I’m doing. A plan to head out, and the plan to head out to a particular place to photograph is easy. Getting myself around the place is a different matter altogether. I didn’t give myself clear enough direction and my entire visit to the museum lasted a measly ten minutes. It was pathetic. And the shot I got from there was as equally pathetic.
I wonder a little aimless and I am fine with that. The museum is crowded but I struggle. Earphones in as I hate loud noise; everyone has the soundtrack of screaming babies and kids – joy. Looking up at the giant skeleton of the dinosaur, the playing of Philip Glass seems quite fitting as I scan and survey the trauma of parenthood around me.
Outside, I take a few random shots but nothing really catches my eye. So why am I wasting film? I walk to a few parks and end up at Hyde Park corner where I manage to take a shot of Prince William. The roads emptied by police stopping traffic and people have congregated to get a glimpse of celebrity. I’ve never seen a royal in living colour before. I’m not that excited. I was more excited to see the new tiger at the zoo, but the crowds there were just as desperate for a position. I don’t jostle. I should though. I should jostle at Nero. I should make sudden loud noises so people who cut in think I’m mad. Maybe next time I’ll start barking for no reason. Jostle and bark.
The V&A – Victoria and Albert Museum.
10th – I hadn’t actually planned on visiting this location just yet. It was my intention to make amends at the Natural History Museum. I wondered out of South Kensington Tube Station as usual and headed for the NHM. However, I decided to take a quieter and more scenic route down a lovely little residential street and this led me to the front of the V&A. I’d never seen the front before. Its exit is opposite the NHM and I have always thought to go in that way. So I decided to ditch the NHM and see what the V&A could give me; It was on my list of places to visit anyway.
All these museums and locations will form the ‘Destination’ part of the ‘I Love London’ project. ‘Destination’ and the other titles that I have come up with are just temporary. I hate thinking of a title for things.
The Destination series will be more true to the traditional street photography aesthetic and closer to the way I have always chosen to shoot. I now have a big map of London that shows me all the tourist hotspots and what’s where to go visit, so it’s my plan to visit each and every one of them, one grid square at a time. However, it can get a little tiresome to photograph tourists. Tourists generally look the same, act the same and pretty much do the same things; point at things, look up at things, photograph things – the places and themselves, which, in this period in time, is the selfie and the selfie-stick, which I am trying to avoid photographing but it seems to be a part of how things are right now, and I have always seen it as my purpose and direction in photography to document how things are right now, at this very point in time.
I take my time inside the V&A. I walk and wonder and actually look at the artefacts and treasures and ancient art on display. It’s very warm inside. I’m prone to sweat. I hate sweating. I’m a big sweater. I never used to be. The sun and its heat never used to bother me at all. But now though, I am all too aware of the beads of sweat having a great time sleighing down the valley of my back.
I must remember to stay longer in places I have chosen to photograph instead of rushing through.
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24th – I don’t mind that our internet connection is down. The old router finally decided it no longer wanted to support my manic browsing and movie streaming and cut-out a week back. This has led me to realise just how lovely the silence of life is without television and the pull of the interwebs.
I don’t mind if someone wants to write an article about such-and-such to do with street photography. I don’t particularly care if the writer has raised their article from personal issues and beliefs, or personal failings and whatnot. But what I do care about, is that I am in some way, part of the community of this thing. I enjoy the craft and enjoy the work of those I have chosen to befriend and follow. However, all the noise is drowning out the things that really need to be focussed on, and so, for a week at least, although having access to it in smaller forms, I have chosen to simply stay away from the noise.
3rd – Having a pretty bad day today. I don’t know why or what it is that’s causing it, but I’m in a shitty and terrible mood. What normally happens in such moments is that I go online and start to cull ‘friends’ and those that I am following that have no real connection to my own silly ways of thinking and that are not in line with my own photographic philosophies. It’s all a bit silly really, but the best thing that I can do in such moments is to disconnect completely for a few days and hope I don’t return to the ever growing wall and feed of complete and utter garbage, self-loving, self-promoting wankery of trash that I normally have to scroll through, of which I hypocritically thrown in my own bits and pieces.
5th – Got the negatives back from the outing I made on one of the Big Bus Tours. I’m not happy with them. I had an idea that they may not come out as photographing from a moving bus was going to be difficult, if not impossible for me, and I’m okay with that. It’s the colour that the negs are coming out that is really pissing me off right now. I’m tired of trying to fix this in Lightroom. It is hard to make an entire batch look consistent with the batch before it – even getting one frame to look like the previous, is becoming a chore. So I’ll let them sit on the site and look at them again in a week and see exactly how they look to me then in the overall gallery. I hope to God my shots from walking along the Thames come out okay. Don’t get me wrong. This is not a complaint. I’m generally happy overall with how things are going with ‘I Love London’; happy to experiment and come up with new ideas and new ideas on presentation at the very end – I am happy that I even attempt to do this stuff.
I’m not happy that the smell in the fridge remains and means I will have to empty the entire thing to get to what is probably just a rotten onion.