Lose shoes may well become a photo project in its own right next year. I am always mystified by single shoes lying derelict in public places. How did someone manage to lose it and not notice? Surely not every piece of left footwear is discarded by a drunk or drunken reveller? But if you’re not drunk, why else would you leave one shoe behind?
This particular shoe caught my eye because it’s so neat, tidy, clean and – with the lace still tied – it looks as if the person whose foot had occupied it had evaporated a few moments before.
Perhaps I’ll create the ‘Lost Shoe Bar’. Up high (where you can’t smell them!) shoes on display and every night around a wood burner, folks turn up and tell or sing the tales behind a particular half a pair. If anyone ever walks in with the matching shoe, they get free drinks in exchange for the real story.
Weaving and winding in the narrow streets of Marrakech, finding my way back to the little Riad was one of the delights of my stay. Never sure whether I had taken the correct alleyway, I meandered down narrow, dusty streets full of people.
I loved this shed – bursting open with a random collection of tyres and bike parts. I don’t create too many black and white photos but this one called for it, so that the textures and tangles became the focus rather than a mess of colours.
A shoemaker must surely be one of the oldest crafts in existence. After all, I just read on the internet that humans first started wearing footwear 40,000 years ago.
In this photo, taken in Marrakech, I feel the echoes of centuries past, as if time has stood still. Shut your eyes and those leather souls, drying in the sun, could be the base of 15th century slippers, 12th century boots, 8th century shoes. At the same time, they are a story of what is to come; who will fill these footsteps and where will they lead?
I enjoyed snapping this picture in London, solely because I immediately saw the pun. Sadly the pigeon was blinking and my wise friend, Moth, said afterwards that in that kind of situation, it’s worth shooting loads in a row, as it’s really hard on the camera screen to know whether you’ve got all the details.
I still like it but I do have a sense of regret for not rattling off a few.
I love those moments in photography when you do manage to lift the camera to your eye in that quick moment and get the shot on the hoof that really works.
I couldn’t believe my luck when this man strolled past an arched window in Marrakech. I try to keep my camera in hand, with the strap wrapped around my wrist to avoid any accidental drops, and switched on whenever I’m in a photogenic place and it really paid off here.
To me, he looks like a medieval monk on a secret mission, hunched over, hurrying and not wanting anyone to know who he is.
Possibly my favourite photo of the year but I’ll see what you all think!
I have signed up to a great street photography community. I haven’t had a chance to take any new photos in the past couple of days (a woman has to put her nose to the grindstone, don’t ya know), so I have been revisiting older photos.
I have always loved this early one in my street photography ventures. I was shy of taking people’s photos but plucked up the courage to motion my camera at this chef taking a break, next to the back entrance of Arlington Arcade in London. I love the easy smile he gave me.
This was taken long before I had a good camera and photoshop, so I had a little play to see how I could improve it. I am so pleased with the results. I selected him and adjusted the lighting, contrast and sharpness on him in a new layer. Then, in a duplicate layer I reversed the selection and darkened the background as well as reducing the saturation. Finally I created a third layer and used a mixture of the clone stamp, spot healing and copying to get rid of the steel joist distracting the eye just behind his head.
I was in London at the weekend, to go to the excellent play, Peter and Alice. I didn’t get much time for photos before meeting my friend and I was disappointed by what I did snap. To make up for the lack of good photographs, I decided to have a truly creative play with one that I did take.
I won’t claim that the end result is a great photo but it was a good foundation from which to play.
It’s a ‘spot the difference’ for amateur photographers and burgeoning Photoshop Elements editors out there.
Mandalay is a weird place. It’s not the beautiful colonial town most imagine but it is much better than the guide books would have us believe.
It’s a dusty, busy city full of motorbikes, smiles and colour. It is a street photographer’s paradise.
We started with one of the best meals of our trip. We were off to see The Moustache Brothers, a comedy act banned during the repressive era and even now only allowed to perform for tourists. We needed to eat before we saw the show and so headed off to a local restaurant. No tourists in sight, which was fantastic. The only free table was sandwiched between two guys who were undoubtedly secret police – menacing, observant – and a large group that included a very drunk young guy, who insisted on coming up and toasting our health with deep glugs of beer. It was a classic night and I’m sure it doesn’t translate well into a blog!
The next morning we were up early to catch the morning trade in the sprawling street market area of town. The photo opportunities came so thick and fast that it was hard to choose. As long as you ask permission, people in Burma are very up for having their photo taken. This woman with her cheroot was my favourite that morning.
And here’s a selection of my other photos from that walk.
On the way back, we had our best luck of the holiday. We stumbled upon a novitiate procession. Young boys and girls often go to become monks and nuns for a few years, at a very young age. It was such a surprise and such a feast for the eyes.
We spent the rest of the morning at Mandalay’s main pagoda (where we saw the novice nuns again) and looking round the wood carving and stone masons areas. It was shocking to see the conditions the stone masons worked in – no mufflers on their ears and no face masks to protect them from the heavy dust.
First, the Pagoda
And then the wood and stone-working workshops
My highlight was our trip up to Mandalay Hill but I’m going to have to wait ’til tomorrow to write about that!
By Carole Scott