American Warewolf in London

I’ve been to Europe 3 times now and every time, I’m reminded of my first photography hero, the late Henri Cartier-Bresson who is considered the father of modern journalism and a master of candid photography. He was the author of The Decisive Moment and helped start the “street photography” movement.

Back when I started getting my portfolio together with the idea of applying to art school in mind, I found myself trying to make images like Cartier-Bresson and a slew of other bystander photography or street photography greats like Brassai, Robert Doisneau, Joel Meyerowitz, and Gary Winogrand just to name a few. My all time favorite photographer in this category is Robert Frank, originally from Switzerland. He took an outsider’s point of view on post-war America with his famous photo book, The Americans. The book was initially refused publication in the US because of it’s skeptical depiction of Americans.

On this trip, I was the outsider, and I couldn’t resist the urge to try my hand at street photography again. Travel always brings that out in me. Here are some of my results from Lancaster and London.

No Smoking, London

No Smoking, London

Brewer Street, London

Brewer Street, London

Diamond Jubilee Weekend Old El Paso Style

Diamond Jubilee Weekend Old El Paso Style

Shortcut to Kings Cross

Shortcut to Kings Cross

Tate Modern

Tate Modern

Windows, Lancaster

Windows, Lancaster

Bargain Book Time / Closed, Lancaster

Bargain Book Time / Closed, Lancaster

Passageway Glimpse, Lancaster

Passageway Glimpse, Lancaster

Downtown Lancaster: A Few Shots

At one point near the end of a long day, I left Allen to his lecturing activities at Lancaster University and stole away, back to downtown Lancaster with the hopes of getting some good shooting in.  I didn’t have a lot of time, because I had to take the bus back and meet up with the group again so we could drive into the countryside for dinner.  Here are some of the more picturesque shots I took as I walked somewhat aimlessly.  I’m not drawn to picture postcards, but I did get one or two in there.  I’ll be posting some more shots soon.

Chorlton Allotments

One of the many cool things we saw in Manchester was the allotment that Graeme and Bernadette are members of along with a small group of other people.  It’s less than a block from their home and situated right on the edge of beautiful Chorlton Park.  One evening we walked through the park, watched a group of young men playing cricket for a while, then stopped at their Allotment before heading back.

In the UK, allotments are small sections of land often owned by local government and rented to individuals usually for the purpose of growing food crops.   They can also be self managed and owned by the allotment holders through an association. Some allotments are even owned by the Church of England.

– Original Allotments:
The history of allotments can be said to go back over a thousand years to when the Saxons would clear a field from woodland which would be held in common. Following the Norman conquest, land ownership became more concentrated in the hands of the manorial lords, monasteries and church. The reformation in the 1540s confiscated much of the church lands but they were transferred via the crown to the lords.

In the late 1500s under Elizabeth I common lands used by the poor for growing food and keeping animals began to be enclosed dispossessing the poor. In compensation allotments of land were attached to tenant cottages. This is the first mention of allotments. – from  www.allotment.org.uk

These days, growing concerns throughout the UK about genetic modification, chemical pollution and contamination of food as well as the desire for the freshest possible local, seasonal food have caused a rise in the demand for allotment spaces, empty plots are filling fast and waiting lists are no longer a thing of the past.

– Some things in season now:
artichoke, asparagus, aubergine, broad beans, broccoli, carrots, courgette, fennel, lettuces & salad leaves, mangetout, new potatoes, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, rocket, runner beans, spinach, spring onions, turnips, watercress, cherries, elderflowers, gooseberries, kiwi fruit, strawberries, basil, chives, dill, elderflowers, mint, nasturtium, parsley (curly), parsley (flat-leaf), rosemary, sorrel

Ain’t No Surer Way: Travel

There is nothing like the feeling you get looking out the window when you’re about to land in a far off place you’ve dreamed about visiting since you were a kid.  This was the view just before landing in Manchester when we took our recent trip to England.  In the next few posts, I’ll chronicle some of those adventures.  There is almost nothing I enjoy more than traveling and photographing.   Allen and I have taken a few trips together and I am delighted to say that we do very well as travel companions.

I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.  ~Mark Twain

Landing in Manchester

Landing in Manchester