Tag Archives: photography

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website - there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

Project A15 Video Mapping

Projection Mapping RotterdamThis image might look like it’s a CGI mockup or a scene from Bladerunner, but it’s actually a video still of projection mapping in Rotterdam. Below is a photograph of the OMA-designed skyscraper that the visuals were projected onto.De Rotterdam OMA Building by Raban HaaijkDe Rotterdam building, as seen from Erasmus Bridge. Photograph by Raban Haaijk.

Project A15 – the idea that this event was promoting – is an initiative that seeks to make the busy highway running from Rotterdam to Nijmegen into the most sustainable highway in the world. The projection itself can be seen in the video below, and bear in mind that the height of the De Rotterdam building is 150 metres. That’s taller than London’s Centrepoint, which stands at 117 metres!

Kate Moss In Playboy

Kate Moss Mert & MarcusThis is my favourite picture of Kate Moss from her Playboy debut, shot by Mert & Marcus. I love the way that the light doesn’t distort the shape of her body, but it shrouds her skin tone in this ethereal covering which adds a sort of subtlety to her nakedness. Her expression in this picture is also really innocent and youthful – the only thing that really gives the true nature of the shoot away is the ears.

Instagram IRL

Real Life InstagramBrazilian Street Artist InstagramInstagram Art ProjectBrazilian artist Bruno Ribeiro has been creating and placing actual Instagram-style filters in popular London spots since September 2013. The project is ongoing – see the latest ones on the Real Life Instagram Tumblr.

Review: Storms at Club NME

Image
© KOKO London / Charlotte Davidson 

Ahh, Club NME at Koko. In its heyday, this weekly guitar-fuelled orgy was a place where trilby-wearers could find a safe haven of acceptance, and spoilt girls who dressed exclusively in the Kate Moss for Topshop range could kid themselves that they were going to find their future rock star husband here. Now, Club NME is a bit stale – indie music just ain’t what it used to be, the playlist doesn’t sound too different from the Geordie Shore soundtrack (okay, that’s unfair, maybe it’s more Made In Chelsea) and the drinks are still horrendously expensive.

Not that tonight’s headliners, Storms, really give a fuck about any of that. They’re not here to relive the, err, ‘glory days’ of The Libertines, nor are they trying to peddle some chart-humping shite that sounds like a collection of rejected Owl City songs. Nope, Storms have drawn their musical influences from arguably the best genres of the ‘90s – grunge, shoegaze and Britpop. As the sound of Kanye West fades away and the band take to the stage, a wave of gratitude washes over me. Opening song ‘Special’ fills the auditorium with heartfelt lyrics, even if these sombre tales of society’s lower echelons are masked by an anthemic riff. The crowd doesn’t seem to mind much though, and they sway along happily in a Jagermeister-induced stupor. “Nobody’s special!” they wail in unison, blissfully unaware of the sad truth they seem to be confirming.

The next track, ‘Words’, with its slow, layered guitars and crunchy reverb, is a definite nod to bands like My Bloody Valentine and Spacemen 3. Launching straight into new song ‘Swell’, lead singer George Runciman showcases stronger vocals that range from high-pitched yelping to Cobain-esque roars, supported by a thumping drum beat and thunderous, guitar-backed choruses. By the time the song is over the band appear to have created a bizarre kind of festival atmosphere, as a noticeable amount of girls have actually clambered onto their boyfriends’ shoulders, hands in the air like they’re trying to clutch on to the last of the summer.

The penultimate song of the evening, ‘Plague Machine’, is easily my favourite. With just the right mix of yearning, lust and anger, it’s got a frustrating familiarity to it; the classic influences are there, but you can’t quite pinpoint what they are. Essentially though, it’s a blend that is all Storms’ own.

It’s clear that Storms already have some loyal fans who showed up especially to see them, but you can’t help but wonder if the depth of Storms’ lyrics and their range of influences might be a bit wasted on the people who also enjoy the likes of Bastille and Everything Everything. Perhaps the idiots are still winning, but the enthusiasm for tonight’s performance shows that this lot at Club NME aren’t lost causes just yet.

Polaroids by Bastian Kalous

Bastian K A Light SeductionBastian K’s ethereal analogue photographs put all your Instagram pictures and Photoshop wizardry to shame! They have such an otherworldly quality to them, and look as though they could almost be found photographs, or developed from old negatives.Where They Say GoodnightBastian Kalous PhotographyBastian K CarouselMisty MorningMore photographs are on Bastian K’s ever-expanding Flickr account, too.

Bright Lights, Big City

Having recently finished a role working in property marketing, I’ve got a newly-ignited curiosity about the city I live in, and cities in general. I’ve seen some amazing cityscapes on my travels around the, umm…Internet, so here they are! Ben Thomas LondonTilt Shift New York Ben ThomasBen Thomas San FranciscoPhotographer Ben Thomas uses tilt shift in his photographs to make the urban sprawl of London, New York and San Francisco look like mere children’s toys.

Patrick Vale NYC DrawingsThe Shard Patrick ValePatrick Vale is an architectural illustrator whose washes of colour are beautifully defined by thick black outlines. I love his combination of stylised panache and intricate detail.

East London Abigail Daker St Pauls Cathedral Abigail DakerTrafalgar Square Abigail DakerAbigail Daker keeps thing simple with her monochrome line drawings of London, which are amazingly precise. She also specialises in hand-drawn maps, which she has produced for the likes of Winkworth estate agents and Viking River Cruises.

Laura Oldfield Ford Brutalist estateWapping Laura Oldfield FordLaura Oldfield Ford‘s neon-smeared sketches aren’t so all-embracing of the city’s built environment. Her subject matter is mainly the urban squalor of council estates, or the dystopian rundown areas under threat from regeneration and new developments – which she has branded ‘yuppiedrones’.

Mak Lascelles Thornton Happiness Machine London Mak Lascelles Thornton Happiness MachineIn contrast to Oldfield Ford’s stance, Mark Lascelles Thornton‘s ‘Happiness Machines’ series focuses on the hyper futuristic London landscape that dominates The City, with more and more Manhattan-like corporate skyscrapers springing up in the financial district each year. I really like the flashes of colour in his tight pen drawings, and think that skyscrapers possess a kind of terrifying beauty.

Kinetica GIF!

Kinetica AnimationThese are some photographs I took at Kinetica Art Fair back in March. I wanted an excuse to play around with the GIF Maker on 15 Folds using my own photographs; these images were perfect because I could easily align the spheres to be the same size on Photoshop.

God’s Own Junkyard

ImageToday I headed up to Walthamstow to visit Chris Bracey’s huge studio on Vallentin Road – God’s Own Junkyard. Peeking through the locked iron gates, it really does look just like a junkyard, but once inside it’s like an Aladdin’s cave of neon treasures.Chris Bracey studioI don’t know whether it’s because of the junkyard’s location, or if it’s because not that many people know about it, but when my friend and I showed up at around 2pm on a Saturday – a peak time for visitors in most places – we were lucky enough to be the only people there.The man who works there, John, is really friendly and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of pretty much everything stored in the studio. He was happy to show us round, pointing out props and signs that had been in various films, like Tombraider, Eyes Wide Shut, and the newest installment of the Iron Man films – a huge ‘STARK’ sign. I really can’t recommend this place enough; I’ve never been anywhere else like it!Neon art

iPhotos iEverywhere

iPhone CityiPhone TaxiiPhone ChildI know that this new iPhone advert is supposed to be poignant and heartwarming, but I actually find it a little but creepy and unnerving. I’ve probably watched too many episodes of ‘Black Mirror’, because this advert just reminds me that we’re under constant surveillance.

Everyone wants to take pictures of everything! I don’t like to think about it too much, but it really freaks me out to think that there is a very real possibility that a complete stranger has taken a picture of me either passed out or wearing a badly-chosen outfit, just so they can upload it to Facebook and get a few derisive ‘Likes’ at my expense. It’s even worse when you think about how this kind of attitude can escalate – like in the recent Steubenville rape case. It’s definitely got to the point now where taking photos all the time hasn’t just become mundane and disposable – like the scenes in the iPhone ad. Gawking and voyeurism is so deeply embedded in contemporary society that it’s become quite disconcerting. Especially because, to some extent, we’re all guilty of it.

With the recent introduction of Google Glass, a campaign group called Stop The Cyborgs have called for the gadget to be banned in certain areas – something which I am definitely in favour of. The BBC article covering the story raises a lot of interesting questions. While it’s definitely true that technology and innovative design makes our lives faster and easier, these new inventions are also shaping our attitudes in ways that very few could have predicted.