So after arriving home at 2am (don’t you just love late night ‘all-stopper’ trains!), getting 4 hours sleep and spending nearly 3 hours getting back in to London (don’t you just love Sunday engineering works trains!), I was back at Victoria meeting Scott and Dave for a spot of breakfast, ready to make our plan for the day ahead.
The first stop was to be More London, on the South side of the Thames between London and Tower bridge. There was a particular shot Scott had found that he wanted to try and capture. The shot happened to be the top of three buildings converging close together, so, naturally, we began wandering around faces skyward trying to find the spot! Much like Somerset house the previous day though, we weren’t going to let not finding it straightaway stop us from capturing some other interesting sights.
(This shot was taken by aiming the camera straight up against a plate glass window and catching the reflection of the building opposite and the building itself)
After a couple of minutes searching though, we eventually found our spot and diligently set about catching it in the best way possible. We all took a different approach to it but all came away with a cracking few shots. Here’s my effort.
and here’s how we all looked taking it!
(Photo credit: Hybrid Dave – Well, he set his iPhone on a 10 second timer anyway! #kingoftheselfie!)
After a quick scout around for all the shots we wanted, we jumped on the tube to look for some underground shots that Scott was keen to capture. Unfortunately though, Sunday lunchtime was not as quiet as we’d hoped and there ended up being too many people milling around to get what we anything workable. Having given up there then, we headed to Westminster tube station, with the aim of getting to Tate Britain. However, upon arriving at Westminster, Scott was impressed with the look of the interior and, in particular, a set of escalators leading to the exit. Having spoken to a member of staff, we started shooting (without a tripod, as stipulated!) some wide angle shots of the moving stairs. It took a while waiting for it to be devoid of people but the moment came and the shutter flickered away happily to capture it. Annoyingly though, half way through getting the shots we wanted, a booming voice came over the tannoy announcing ‘Photographers at the bottom of escalators 14 and 15, if you do not have permission to take photographs, desist immediately’! Well, as it happened, we had been given permission by the first member of staff we spoke to, so we largely ignored her and carried on!
Once we’d finished and arrived at street level, we took another quick taxi ride to the Tate and with only a short while to go before we needed to head to our only scheduled venue of the weekend, we quickly set about catching the shots we needed. Here’s just one of mine:
Dashing back to the tube, we quickly made our way to Tooting, to shoot what was going to be the pièce de résistance of the whole weekend. Our sole authorised and agreed venue was the Gala Bingo hall on Mitcham Road. Now bear with me here, because I know what you’re thinking… “a Gala Bingo hall! Really?”.
Well, if you were to give it a quick google, you’d find it to be a gothic interior styled, Art Deco building with Grade I listed status, which started life as a Granada cinema. Sounds amazing, right? Well, yes, but unfortunately, what the pictures don’t really show are the plethora of neon lit gaming machines and the rows of, ahem, esteemed customers clamouring to play them! In true photographer form though, we did our best to catch in as flattering a light as possible.
(A fair bit or post-processing went in to ‘tidying up’ this shot. Although, for ‘fair bit’ you should read ‘absolutely shed loads’!)
Having quickly caught what we needed (sort of) we headed for the door but the whole incident had left us all a little hollow to see such a glorious building being used in such a way, so we posed for one quick solemn selfie, to mourn the death of the building’s soul!
(Photo credit… you guessed it. King of the selfie, Hybrid Dave!)
With only now 2 hours before we had to catch our train to Birmingham, we hot footed it back to Central London to collect our bags and grabbed a quick bite to eat at what Scott has now decided is his favourite burger restaurant… Meat Market in Covent Garden! I highly recommend a visit!
After a very flustered dash to Euston, we literally just made the train, which pulled out of the station before we even planted ourselves in our seats!
Settling back in to the chairs, we finally had time to relax and chat about the maniacal last 32 hours we’d had! We all decided that shooting back to back weddings would have been an easier feat!
Arriving in Brum just 90 minutes later though, we were met by the Graphic Design God and newest (and best – excluding Lindsay Adler, obvs!) KelbyOne instructor, Dave Clayton (@itsdaveclayton… like you didn’t know!)
It was great to see Dave after so long (the last time being on the Photofocus photowalk during the Societies Convention about two months earlier) and having a proper catchup.
Having checked in to the beautiful 5* Genting Hotel though, we headed for dinner and put the world to rights before Scott retired for the evening (he still had his blog post to write and preparations for his super stage talk to complete, after all) and Dave, Dave and I settled down for a proper catch up and a few drinks.
(Photo credit: me! And you’ll see why I’m not King of the selfie. Can’t be doing with all this one handed, arms length shooting malarkey! BTW, yes, Hybrid Dave is drinking something pink and fruity!)
We all eventually headed for bed at 2:30am, although with Hybrid Dave and I not needing to be up before 9 the next morning, my sympathies were with Dave C, who was due to get up at 7am to start setting up the live stage! Ouch!
To be continued…..