Monday, February 11th, 2013

Are you lucky or do you make your luck? Brick Lane street art

Are you lucky or do you make your luck – photographing street art in Brick Lane, London

I have been going back over some images I shot in Brick Lane area in London recently. Brick Lane if you don’t know it is probably one of the best known areas in London for graffiti and street art and I spent an entire day there and didn’t cover all of it by any means. It is a fantastic area of London as it quite ethnically diverse with graffiti artists existing alongside members of the local  Bangladeshi-Sylheti community.

The art here is amazing and very diverse. It varies from stencil and sticker art to full size painted images. I met one of the local artists Stik when I was there. Someone knew him and saw me photographing his work and introduced me which was amazing. I also managed, later in the day, to get the image below of one of Stik’s pieces of work.

This is where I ponder the luck or make your luck question. This image has an element of the unusual  – there weren’t many women around the street and few in traditional clothing so that was unusual and that she walked past this particular piece of art the moment I was standing there – well that was very serendipitous. But lucky? I’m not sure. I think to an extent as photographers we make our luck when we open our eyes.

You see – cool stuff is all around but you have to see it and you have to be there with a camera in hand and that isn’t lucky – that’s work. You carry a camera through days of taking ho hum shots and getting rained on and seeing nothing that works for you and then occasionally you are rewarded with a result you’ve earned through . I think this image was, in many ways, earned. So too was the one above. I saw the art and then the bike and then I had my picture.




Helen Bradley

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Make time to Photograph – the only thing holding you back is yourself

If you think you have to ‘go’ somewhere to get great pics, you don’t – you just need to look around you and start shooting – every day

I met this guy in London recently when I was photographing around Brick Lane. That area of London is famous for its graffiti and I had the rare pleasure of meeting some of the graffiti artists there including Stik. But I digress. The reason this guy is so interesting is that he photographs – nearly every day. He works in the area and he heads out at Lunchtime to take photos.

You might be prepared to shrug off his enthusiasm for his craft because of where he lives and works. Let’s face it –  he gets to shoot some pretty awesome stuff. But so do any one of us if we look around us. Anywhere you live will give you fodder to shoot – you just have to go looking for it. Some of my best images have been shot within a mile of my house and sometimes just a few hundred feet. I know that because I walk the same route most mornings from Starbucks to my office. I carry my camera and I shoot whatever I see that captures my eye. So too does this guy.

If you feel frustrated you can’t get out to shoot often enough, I challenge you to go out during lunch time. Spend half of it eating and half photographing and you will end up with an hour or more shooting time each week. It’s not hard, it just takes commitment. So that’s why I take my hat off to this nameless London worker/photographer. He’s working a 9-5 but he’s still indulging his passion!


Helen Bradley

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Color gone wild

This is one of my UK images – it is of the lock area at Camden Town. Right in the middle of London there are waterways and locks, this is one of them. I took a trip in a long boat from here up the waterways and it was just wonderful. This photo, however is taken before the boat trip and it was just after a rain shower.

Often rainy days don’t look great for photography but they can rock like this photo shows. The fact that everything is wet helps boost the color and, with a flash of blue sky behind the buildings, it makes for a great shot of color.

Camden markets are a great place to visit, lots of cute shops selling lots of wonderful stuff. Worth putting on your “must visit” list – but while you’re there, don’t forget to add a trip on Jason’s long boats to the list. Those folk run even at off times of the year, the boats are old and cool and the trip, well, has to be experienced to be believed.

Helen Bradley