Surveillance
Aug10

Surveillance

The van had been parked out there for days, made to look as if the owner or owners were elsewhere but we noticed tiny movements. We recorded them using an HD camera and passed them through a custom piece of software that recreated a simulation of the van's interior based on them. Two people, it reckoned, seated, occasionally turning in their swivel chairs, sometimes eating a little, sometimes drinking a little, sometimes performing that action that usually follows eating and drinking into a bag of some description. The atmospheric breakdown did not make for nice reading. Sleep, it seemed, was dissuaded using pills. One of the two people was claustrophobic but fighting through his fear because he needed the money the job was paying. The second person was depressed because nobody had remembered his birthday. It was a pretty detailed simulation. We didn't know what they were after, why they had targeted us. We only knew that we didn't like being the subjects of surveillance and that inside that van it was… unpleasant. And so we decided to address both issues. Overnight we baked a special cake and had it delivered to the van. The icing read "Sorry I forgot your birthday Tony." The courier knocked on the rear of the van several times before the doors were opened enough to accept the gift. We started up the HD recording again as the courier left, clutching his hand to his nose. We stopped recording when we heard a dull thump and saw the vehicle's panel closest to us buckle outwards slightly. The simulation confirmed what we already knew: Tony was overjoyed that Graham had arranged for the cake although he admonished his junior partner for potentially ruining the surveillance. Graham hoped that Tony would favour him in any future promotion talks and so took the credit for the iced sponge. As Tony made the first slice, however, he exposed the cake's innards to the chemistry in the van's air. The reaction was intense as the cake expanded to over a thousand times its original size in the span of seconds. Every hole, every gap, every tiny crevice became clogged with cake. Tony and Graham suffered just as much as the van but they did eventually eat their way clear. Graham's claustrophobia was cured but neither man would return to the world of surveillance again. Google+: View post on...

Read More
Eastney Beam Engine House
May27

Eastney Beam Engine House

An ever-so-slightly processed (subtle, but if you look closely you can possibly tell) shot of the Eastney Beam Engine House in Portsmouth. Described on the museum's own website – http://www.portsmouthmuseums.co.uk/museum-service/Eastney-Beam-Engine-House – as "an impressive Victorian building containing a pair of classic Boulton Watt beam engines and pumps restored to their original 1887 condition." They're not wrong about the impressive part. Or the engines part. I'll have to take their word regarding the original 1887 condition part because my time machine's in the shop getting fixed. If you're in the area on the last weekend in the month and you like machinery made of brass and dials with needles turn you on and girders and walkways send a ripple of excitement up your spine then it's definitely worth a visit. Google+: View post on...

Read More
The Bear Tree
Feb01

The Bear Tree

Bears grow well in temperate climates but it's when you get greater than average rainfall – such as that currently otherwise blighting the south of England – that the crops really thrive. Over the past few months one of the largest sectors for employment growth has been for bear pickers as it's vitally important to make sure every last one is plucked from the bear tree branches at just the right time; the only drawback to bumper bear growths is that those that ripen and fall to the ground naturally often go on to terrorise neighbourhoods, savage locals, and – worst of all – steal pic-a-nic baskets. Google+: View post on...

Read More
The Mirror
Jan23

The Mirror

A mirror can add a lot to a photograph. It can add depth or light or the presence of something you wouldn't normally be able to see. It can double the appearance of something key to the composition. It can change the angle of some object. It can flip part of the image and force you to look at it in a different way. For me, though, probably the best thing a mirror brings to a photograph is evidence that you're not a few feet from a vampire. This guy in this photo: he's not a vampire. Good work mirror. Google+: View post on...

Read More
Street Photography By Tadashi Yamashita
Dec22

Street Photography By Tadashi Yamashita

Another post in my occasional series of photographers I’ve discovered on Google+, this time featuring Tokyo-based Tadashi Yamashita. There are quite a few Japanese street photographers on Google+ and there’s something about the style of street photography from Japan – and, particularly, that from the big cities such as Tokyo – that always appeals to me. And it’s not just the occasional Godzilla sighting or tentacle-related attack on schoolgirls that creeps into every series of photos (although that doesn’t hurt); rather, it’s the buzz of activity, the claustrophobia, the closeness of the shots, the prevalence of nighttime-shooting with its Blade Runner-feeling neon and rain… it’s all of that together and many more intangible things. In short: I really like Japanese street photography. So, here are some shots from one of its proponents who I happen to follow: Beautiful tones in this shot; the low contrast, subject matter, and presence of those lines make this look like Tadashi travelled back in time to the 1950s to snap the photo. And there’s every chance he did. Tokyo is still a hub of amazing, emerging technologies. You can’t engage in street photography for long in Tokyo without taking a picture of the metro system. It’s actually a law – and one of the more sensible ones in case you’re wondering – and it’s nice to see that Tadashi is no lawbreaker. Photographer in front of her, photographer behind her, and she picked this day of all days to dress up in her wampa outfit. No wonder she’s sporting an icy stare. Icy! It’s a pun! One of the great services to mankind that a street photographer can do – and there aren’t many, admittedly – is capture those aspects of society that we aren’t always comfortable being reminded of. Here, Tadashi has convinced a nose-bunger to pose for a portrait. Nose-bunging is one of those taboo activities in the far east of Asia, rarely discussed, hardly ever documented. Great, poignant shot. Street art isn’t very popular in Tokyo as most Japanese art needs to be pixellated but occasionally something different appears and the street photographer is usually on hand to illuminate it. In this case: are we our possessions or are our possessions us? And if we are our possessions and our possessions are mostly cardboard boxes will we get soggy when it rains? Thought-provoking. A not-overly-concerned citizen looks up as Mothra once again fills the sky. There’s a belief that everything is smaller and better in Japan – think of Japan as the anti-Texas if you will – and while this isn’t strictly true it does hold out for their superheroes....

Read More
Smiles
Dec21

Smiles

Miles and miles of smiles, all thanks to the Coca-Cola truck paying a visit to Chichester yesterday (http://www.flickr.com/photos/neonbubble/sets/72157638878750734/) to spread joy in the form of tiny cans of coke, photos in front of the aforementioned truck, and Christmas songs from a group of enthusiastic singers. #StreetPics #StreetPhotography +StreetPics +StreetPhotography  Google+: View post on...

Read More