kings cross

18 or Over.

Ok, I know. It’s half way through January. But i’ve been busy. Busy picking photos.

But dammit, it’s not easy to choose your best shots of the last year. I don’t mean that to sound conceited, but it’s just I took a shedload of photos last year and it takes a lot of legwork to prune them down. Oh boo hoo.

Anyway, last time around, I just went for 17 shots which I loved from the previous year, but frankly that was tortuous, so this year I’ve plumped for a collection of shots that I really like (note: subjective) wrapped up in the 3 different categories where my photography seems to inhabit: Street, Corporate & Events and Travel.

Enough yadda, hope you enjoy. Here’s the 2018 chart rundown…

Street life.

2018 was a busy street year. Whenever I got the chance, I’d get up into London - hopefully with decent light - and see what I could get. Prime spots were Soho and surrounding areas, the Tate Modern and perhaps slightly oddly, the new area around Kings Cross.

Corporate shindigs & happening Events.

From brand launches for pharma companies, to 1940’s Days to Will Young, 2018 was the year of the event. Had loads of fun out there - for clients new and old - capturing chefs cooking, beers being drunk and rugs being cut.

Big days out - travels with the family.

Got around last year. Maybe not as far or wide as the year before (actually, I went to Australia so I couldn’t have gone any further really…), but from Devon to The Isle of Wight with Brighton, France and Belgium in-between it was a year of fun for travel snaps with and without the rest of the brood.

London Lit Up - Lumiere Festival 2018.

There was no competition to the most photographic event in London this weekend because a lot of it was London. With added light.

This is the second time we've caught the Lumiere Festival, and frankly, it's snapping heaven. You could easily spend a couple of evenings walking around capturing the many different light installations and happy Londoners (sometimes very 'happy' on a Saturday evening) enjoying everything from goldfish in a phone box to glowing see-saws. 

Lumiere is split up into 6 areas of town from Kings Cross down to Southbank. We started in the former. I was going to get a couple of shots of Alice on THAT Harry Potter platform, but the popularity of the be-wanded one still means lines a mile long. We passed.

So, meeting up with our old Leytonstone mates, Cristina, Laszlo and Joel we marched up via multicoloured bird cages and oversized desk lamps up Granary Square where a full-on smoke machine and laser light show was in full swing. This - possibly due to my Pink Floyd loving, guitar playing upbringing - was a real highlight of the evening. Proper impressive.

A sea of flowers which appeared to have been hewn from a thousand bike reflectors was another cool installation but right there we needed some food and a break.

So, post better-than-expected street food (where the pizza for once, really was slightly artisan) we got the tube to Bond Street for our second area hit of the day down the West End. 

Alice and Joel loved the illuminated see-saw - I think we'll be getting a birthday request soon - and once we wrenched them off it, we walked down to a closed off Oxford Circus where a giant psychedelic lit sphere hung down making a Leaning Tower of Pisa style 'holding the world' shot pretty much required.

Via Carnaby Street, we walked to Piccadilly Circus, then onto Chinatown - where frankly I could spend an entire evening doing street work - to see giant paper flamingos wafting past shocked onlookers and racks of crispy duck. 

Finally, due to kiddie and adult fatigue, we hit our last area of the evening in Westminster. We probably left the best until last as a multicoloured lit up Abbey was really something to behold. The attention to detail was amazing.

As I said, there were loads more - we barely scratched the surface of what Lumiere had to share this year, and it's a pleasure to see something free and so accessible on a city-wide scale in London giving urbanites knee deep in January blues something to enjoy. 

Don't want to think about the electrical bill though.

Tech Corner:
The Zeiss Batis 25/85 combo got the most time out the bag, and as ever I'm impressed by the Sony A7r II in low light.


Station to Station.

It's been two whole years today since the passing of the great David Bowie, and frankly, the world has gone to pot in the meantime. 

That's not a hugely cheerful opening, but as my birthday tribute to The Dame, I thought a homage was due. So taking the title of his 10th album - Station to Station - a little too literally, I made my way up to that London town for another bout of street 'togging around the capital's rail hubs.

First port of call wasn't anything to do with rail transit (doh!), but a visit to Leadenhall, with its shoe shiners and myriad of tourists who all seemed to be performing photoshoots - honestly, what's wrong with people?

The onto the stations: a quick march down to Liverpool Street - via many vapers and city types - found me overlooking the platform looking down which was a great vantage point to capture plenty of confused travellers looking at LED boards wondering if that train would ever actually arrive.

Then a couple of stops up was my next destination: the newly swanky Kings Cross. It's a completely different place to a few years back, and that new concourse ceiling is the nuts. It really is the most photogenic in London I think. I then moved out of the station and up to the new Quarter area which is really coming alive with trendy people and new posh offices for big companies like Google. The whole area felt really buzzy and people seemed happy in the sunshine - one nice chap even wanted his portrait taken!

Going back into Kings Cross, I had the chance to get a few snaps of the underground Passage with its brilliant light wall - for full Doctor Who type action.

My final destination was back home via Paddington - station number three of the day - which was just getting busy with the early commuters of the day.

And that was it. Another fun day of capturing the capital and my own little homage to Diamond Dave. I'm pretty sure it's not up to his artistic standard, but hopefully, he'd think it was a little hunky dory.


Tech Corner:
For once, the Sony 35mm didn't get a bit of action today, and the Batis 25/85 pairing were the weapons of choice. Good old Sony 55mm got involved for a couple of shots too.