Street Photography - Broken #1

I was heading South of the river (Thames) to Lewisham. Rather than getting public transport via the DLR, I thought I could walk and make it into a photo walk. This is an example of trying to get photography into my everyday life enabling me to take more photos. The walk would take me along Crisp Street Market, through the Isle of Dogs, under the river via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, then onto Greenwich and up the hill to Blackheath.

I thought of a theme, ‘Broken’. Could I find enough broken images? It would be a good test of my eye to see what I thought was broken and then make the relevant photo.

So as before I set my camera in P mode, using ISO400 and put the White Balance at Cloudy.

To start with it was difficult to find anything that resembled ‘broken’, where was the broken glass that I was expecting to find?

I felt some things were too easy to capture such as curbs, concrete and lettering. But the more I walked the more my eye was in the zone and ‘broken’ was all round.

After walking for an hour and a half I had reached SE13. During the walk I made 32 photos. Its not many photos at all, but I was quite happy as I kept to the theme and looked for things that I hadn’t looked for before. I think I will definitely revisit this theme to build on the images and see where it takes me. Each theme its own little project, its a case of making enough quality images that really tell the Broken story.

my destination

Shooting a theme each time I go out now is making me increasingly aware of my surroundings. My eyes are continuously scanning and looking for the next image. Its something that I’ll continue to do as I’m enjoying having a brief for each photo walk.

Street Photography - Yellow #1

This last week I’ve read through some of Thomas Leuthard’s ebooks and in one he mentions having a plan before you go out to shoot. So far on all of my previous outings I have had a loose plan but not really stuck to any of them. So this time I was keen to make a plan and stick to it. A quick word about Thomas Leuthard, he’s a street photographer based in Switzerland and shoots black and white. He also gives some really good bits of advice in his free to download ebooks.

So I thought of and made my plan, it was to shoot anything that was yellow. Some people have suggested other colours such as red and orange, but yellow is with reference to Vivian Maier who is my all time favourite street photographer. I wrote a blog a while ago about her. I also planned to shoot in P mode with my Sony A7ii. All I had to do was choose an ISO and set the White Balance. Both of which would be done on the day, as this would be relevant to the conditions - overcast, sunny etc.

Selfridge & Co

I was to meet Matt at Tottenham Court Road, central London and we planned to walk west, then at some stage turn left with the aim of completing a lap. We did indeed do that and in the end were out shooting for about 5 hours. We strolled around central London, stopping off to visit a few record shops and grab a coffee.

Getting back to photography, shooting ‘yellow’ in P mode (iso400 and white balance set to cloudy) I didn’t really have to think too much about what to shoot and what not to shoot. The plan and my guidelines had predetermined this. The photos that I have included are all quite varied in actual subjects.

I think I’ll definitely shoot this theme again and see what I can come up with. The photos are like a 5 out of 10 but its all a learning curve and the key is to get and take photos at every opportunity. As I mentioned this is an ongoing project so I will be adding further blogs with more ‘yellow’.


Whilst reading about CCTV, I found lots of different statistics none of which I expect to be accurate. I guess there's no real way of working out if they are or not. For instance, in London there are supposedly 422,000 cameras and on average you are likely to be captured on CCTV 300 times a day. When I hear this it reminds me of George Orwell's classic book 1984, wherein we are told: 'Big Brother is watching you'. This is so true that this is now a well known TV show. People then somehow make careers from that - strange again.

cctv camera.jpg

The 'telescreen' system that is mentioned in 1984 is an announcement and surveillance system. It is used by the ruling party and continuously monitored by the Thought Police. The telescreens also provide party propaganda.  The current CCTV's we have don't really give out information just take instead. There are many other ways propaganda is fed to us now so no need to worry there! With all this in mind BBC Culture wrote a great article on the way 1984 could actually be now.

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Finally the 3 images in this post are cameras that I have designed in Adobe Illustrator. From looking at photos online I created the images and added my favourite coloured gradients.

cctv - 3..jpg