Moving home is a time-consuming, stressful and unsettling experience. But it brings the excitement and promise of a new place to live.
I’ve just resettled after eight years in the same west London flat. I had to go through the final ritual of handing over the keys and signing it over for good. Letting myself in early, I took some shots and wallowed in the sadness that an empty – and recently vacated – property always has.
There was occasional sunlight thrown on the now bare walls. The main shot focuses on the place I sat to edit photos and write posts. The others include the only two interior shots I have from my life there – a memorable old bathroom window that diffused and projected light.
But that was then. The new pastures are being happily settled while the photography continues.
London’s Hammersmith Bridge is my personal favourite. Its graceful sweep and ornate green pillars is a beautiful site. Even more so it’s part of the River Thames in my neighbourhood, easy to enjoy on a mild Spring night.
This is the obvious place to visit for some night photography, where the lights capture the water. It’s where I came for my first ever session of low light shooting.
But this time it was with a different camera, my Fuji X-E1, which behaved impeccably and didn’t pose any problems. I experimented with various film modes, with Velvia giving a vivid and colourful sheen compared to its standard soft and higher contrast settings. And some monochrome treatments were irresistible when it came to editing.
Some of these shots were taken from solid surfaces of this suspension bridge – the wobble caused by the traffic will ruin your long exposure efforts!
A train line which runs behind your house has its advantages, although it’s taken me eight years to exploit this. It’s after dark and pleasant enough to set up the camera and tripod by an open window.
The Hammersmith and City line trains are less frequent at night and tend to thunder straight past. So these are bright, fast-moving objects under low light conditions. It was very hard to catch them.
But what I did capture were numerous colourful, thick streaks of light zipping past the sky, which I discovered can be made into beautifully neat abstract frames.
I managed to see into the carriage of one train and also turned my lens on the trees when the trains were absent, finding a beautiful ink blue sky. A good and unexpected evening’s work.
The train line behind my house has become a source of wonder as my departure from this place draws very near. This elevated, open stretch of the London Underground grinds past on a regular basis. I hardly notice it after all these years.
The tube trains often halt at a red light, especially during the morning rush hour. These morning shots, on a brilliantly clear day, show the odd shadow of commuters bound for Hammersmith and work.
On Sunday, day will turn to night as I continue to say goodbye to my ever-moving neighbour.
This is a simple exercise in the power of reflection. By a large window in London’s Golden Lane on a long city walk, I take a photograph of Dermot and I.
Dermot’s frame is elongated by the break in the window, and his face looks very different to usual. When I first saw it, I thought he looked more like me. My favourite part of the entire shot is how one of his legs appears to have absorbed an illuminated light bulb from the empty office space on the floor below.
And of course I don’t escape capture. I’m there towards the back of the photograph, but the presence of the camera isn’t entirely clear.
With a high contrast monochrome treatment, there is something ethereal and ghostly about this picture. Turning the camera on the window hides the fact that this was a very sunny day with a carefree mood. It’s an act to be recommended.
See other posts from our walk: