Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rudderless on Sunday

Today, after staying in bed till NINE THIRTY, I decided to go and shoot in the Elephant and Castle area of London and then head west-ish to the Brixton/Clapham in search of urban grit.

Well, I got to Elephant and Castle, but when I came out from the underground I was navigationally discombobulated. I couldn't tell my north from my south-south-east. Elephant and Castle is basically a huge traffic roundabout (gyratory for the Americans) and pedestrians get to cross this roundabout by a series of tunnels where no doubt, they keep muggers. Fortunately it was Sunday today so all muggers were off duty.

Weathered
Detail from a derelict shop front, Elephant and Castle

Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this image here.
Click to enlarge.

After wiggling my way round the roundabout in a roundabout fashion, I ended up roundabout where I thgought would be the best place to proceed west or thereabouts. Don't ask me the name of the road, but I can assure you that it was still a London Road and I had not stepped via the tunnels into a nether world. I think.

I proceeded in a westerly direction, guided by the aeroplanes on their approach to Heathrow. I zigged and zagged through the quiet Sunday streets looking - hunting - for photographic opportunities until I found myself by the arches supporting the railway line into Waterloo.


Stacked Boxes.
An interesting piece of architecture, Lambeth

Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this and other images here.
Click to enlarge.

I love railway arches but sadly it appears so do many other people and the once grunky arches are now all boringly refurbished with neat roller shutter doors. My quest for urban grit was quashed. Whenever I did find a smidgen of ghetto grime, I attempted to photograph it. Alas, my efforts were not spectacular. And it started raining. I'd left home not ninety minutes before with just a few well art-directed fluffy white clouds in the sky. Now my camera's almost non-existant weather sealing was being challenged by H20 droplets. Yep, its not waterproof. Or showerproof. And neither is my camera bag.


Old Pipes
Detail from a railway arch, Lambeth
Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this and other images here.
Click to enlarge.

Now, I do love London but: Why, when for many, many centuries it has rained every second day or thereabouts have they not yet passed into law that commercial buildings must have a canopy that covers the pavement? I come from Zimbabwe where senior government officials happily drive through police roadblocks carrying headless torsos. Where stealing a man's hard-built business is considered not to be a problem and where child molesters are looked upon fondly as loveable rogues. But design a building that does not offer the pedestrian shelter from the rain and all hell will break loose. And It only rains for three or four months in Zimbabwe - and even then it has the decency to rain from 4pm sharp till about 4.32pm - and that is it!

Locked
Detail from a railway arch, Lambeth
Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this and other images here.
Click to enlarge.

I got wet.

Eventually I made my way to Waterloo and got on the tube to go home.

Naturally, by the time I got home, Noah had beeen stood down and the sky was once gain blue with cute, fluffy white clouds. I had a brief look for action on Redbubble but there was not much to be had, so I decided to go on a second shoot, just walking from my house through the Mitre Bridge Industrial Estate and then back along the canal. Not very inspiring, but s usual, I did manage to find a few half opportunities, so I took them.

Linear Security
Mitre Bridge Industrial Estate
Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this and other images here.
Click to enlarge.

One shot I didn't take was of some "yout's" in silhouette crossing a bridge. They saw me and subjected me to a bit of verbal abuse. "Stop fuckin' abusing my fuckin' human rights!" one of them yelled. "Please God, give me the chance to show that kid what abusing his human rights actually is", I wished. I'll say no more, lest I end up in jail for the crime of wishing kids these days would have some mannners.

Derelict Office Block
A 1970s office block that's been abandoned by the Grand Union Canal in Harlesden
Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this and other images here.
Click to enlarge.

I had a wander around the grounds of the derelict office block I have visited before, amazed at the amount of shoes left lying around... I took a few more broken window pics and yet again chickened out of actualy entering the building. Its spooky.


Mast
Willesden, London
Copyright 2009 Paul Davey. Buy this and other images here.
Click to enlarge.

Well, as happens in this modern world, the sun lowered in the sky and I walked slowly along the canal, stopping to see whether what I thought might make a shot actually would (it seldom did). Unfortunately there wasn't much by way of quality in the evening light, thanks to a distant bank of clouds weakening the sun's rays, but the stroll along the canal towpath was good anyway as I calmed down from being yelled at by the "yout's".

Not my best day's shooting, but there are a couple of 'interesting' images...

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