Chelsea, London

london

Time for another Sunday photowalk. This week I went to Chelsea in West London. Chelsea has the reputation of being a wealthy area. I was expecting rich ladies in 4×4 cars (known as Chelsea tractors), plastic surgery, Lamborghini’s with Qatar plates etc.

But, it was more like churches, cute houses, old buildings and classic cars.

We did see one guy in a large new Rolls Royce / Bentley and he actually asked us if we wanted a photo.. haha.. I was like, “eh, no”

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Chiltern Street

london

Today I went for a walk around Chiltern Street in Marylebone. I think it’s quite a famous spot with it’s beautiful red brick town houses.

I also spotted a couple of nice cars.

I normally take candid street photos, but I’ve been wanting to work on my confidence to ask people if I can take their photo. I saw some friendly looking people outside of ‘Trunk’ store, it was a lovely scene, so I asked if I could photograph them. They kindly agreed.













Zurich – A Hidden Gem

switzerland

This last Wednesday I had an overnight trip out to Zurich for a business workshop. It was a 4.30 am start, but totally worth it.

The reason I love travel so much is the joy of having a change every day. Even a business trip is an opportunity to meet new people, try local food and if lucky have enough time for a stroll at the end of the day.

The Zurich trip was busy, but I managed to fit in an hour long photo walk around the old town area between eight and nine pm.

I hope you enjoy the pictures:

Welcome to Fuxing Park

china, Poetry

The skies were blue
The trees were bare

French in part
Shanghai at heart

Even with the cool winter air
Warm hearts were there

Dance, play mahjong
Or take a stroll with mum

Welcome to Fuxing Park



A little practice poem inspired by this photo I took at Fuxing Park in Shanghai, China. This is a very famous park, it was originally designed by the French; being part of the French concession in Shanghai. It’s a popular spot to see people playing, dancing, exercising, or as seen here – out for a stroll with their mum.

Barbican, London – The Japanese House

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This year the Barbican centre ran an exhibition; ‘The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945’.

I was impressed by the creative layout, a large gallery was used, in the centre a life sized house and garden were installed. This was surrounded by individual galleries telling the story of evolving design in the post war decades.

What better way to celebrate the economical use of space and thoughtful design present in Japanese homes than to make it a central theme of your exhibition. 

Upon entering – the first gallery features a set of movies showing Japanese life in the 40s and 50s; a good intro to the sights and sounds, it gives you a sense of how the space at home was used.

Part of the focus of the exhibition is the identity challenge japan faced after the war. Post war – American design and culture was popular, however as confidence returned there was an increasing desire to return to Japanese values. Designers were experimenting with various aspects of traditional Japanese design and trying to figure out the best way to combine these with western design.

The videos highlight the strange mix of American hairstyles and clothing with the Japanese way of living – eating, drinking tea etc.

The central space with mock up houses surrounded by individual galleries.

The first set of photographs are from Yasuhiro Ishimoto and feature traditional Japanese architecture. I could really connect with Ishimoto’s style, his focus is on the clean geometric lines and this emphasises the beauty and simplicity of traditional palaces and temples in Japan.

These are followed further on with a couple of nice prints of a house designed by Kiyoshi Seike. In post war Japan there was a preference for western style housing, however Seike was designing modern modular homes using traditional Japanese design theory.

The exhibition featured a number of interesting books that go into detail about the different traditional styles in Japan.

One of the things you will see in Japan is extremely creative use of small plots of land. The exhibition features prints of original concrete designs built cheaply by people that held small plots.

A quick web search of Japanese architecture will show the huge volume and variety of styles of these houses. I think the exhibition could have included more variety of the modern houses, however I think the focus was more on the post war evolution.

There was one stunning print of Junzo Yoshimura’s mountain lodge.

And there is Kazunari Sakamoto’s ‘closed box’ house, where the focus is on efficient use of space. At the time I could imagine this felt ground breaking and exciting, however I personally found the concrete narrow rooms to look too cold.

Kazuo Shinoharo’s ‘House Under High Voltage Lines’ addressed a key challenge in Japanese cities; the regulations and restrictions that have to be dealt with surrounding the power lines – one of the things that make Japanese cities so recognisable.

The exhibition also featured some interesting small models.

And some sketches.

A trip to the Barbican isn’t complete without a enjoying a bit of sun in the courtyard and appreciating the rare occasions where concrete architecture works :)

 

 

 

 

I’m in Travel + Leisure Mag (June 17)

china

Good news!…

I’m in Travel + Leisure June 2017.

A couple of months ago one of their researchers contacted me about Shenzhen photos. Last year I spent a day in Shenzhen’s contemporary art centre; OCT Loft. I really love the ‘former industrial building’ becomes ‘contemporary art centre’ thing.

I think re-purposed industrial buildings hold a certain artistic commentary on life and hence provide an interesting contextual background to contemporary art.

I often enjoy art that makes surprising / interesting / thoughtful statements on life, a big part of which is work.

If you are into this kind of thing I also recommend Moganshan 50 in Shanghai. There is also Tate Modern in London, even if the art on display isn’t great, the former power station is a delight.

If you can find a copy of Travel + Leisure I recommend picking it up, the article on Shenzhen is fascinating, – I wish I had the author’s knowledge before I went.

This inspires me to research my destinations better in future, think like a journalist!

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It’s tough to be commercially successful with travel photography – I am so delighted to get into a major magazine!

It’s especially awesome to contribute photographs to an article that focuses on the development of creative and artistic culture in modern China.

Tate Modern & East London Canalside

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I had a couple of nice days out recently that I thought I might share with you.

Last year Tate Modern; a famous modern art gallery, expanded with the new ‘Switch House’ wing.

One of the lovely things about Tate Modern is the location; a former power station. It provides a massive space for art and preserves a beautiful and iconic building.

The architecture of the new Switch House wing is quite striking and impressive both inside and out.

London is so full of interesting architecture that I think it’s difficult to create something which stands out, is different, yet is not ugly. I personally like this design, what do you think?

No trip to the Tate is complete without a walk along the Southbank. If you’ve never been the former power station is on the river side in central London.

Some shots of one of my other architecture favourites – The National Gallery and riverside scenes.

I also had a couple of lovely days out in East London recently. I’m in love with the canal walk from Kingsland Road (near Shoreditch); a fashionable bar, gallery, coffee shop area, which goes along past another cool area; Broadway, then alongside the huge and beautiful Victoria Park before arriving at the Olympic Park which has a couple of unique brewery bars in former industrial buildings.

It’s so beautiful there, the next time it’s sunny I’ll go out and take more photos. It’s especially nice to see the spring blossoms and check out the people living in houseboats on the canal.