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Shooting with Idris Elba

A dull Monday morning. A free hour or so and a couple of rolls of film to shoot.

What better way to pass the time than team up with a friend and hang around your local council estate?


Mia petal

Mia portrait

And it turns out Idris Elba also had at the same idea – a film crew were setting up a shoot on the estate for a 1980s comedy called In The Long Run that’s going out on Sky next year.

We didn’t actually see Idris, but Mia has a certain star quality, I think.


The tide is low

Autumn sunshine lured me out to Richmond with a couple of old medium format film cameras*.

The Thames was exceptionally low as they had opened the weir at Teddington.

This brought the detectorists out.

This chap found a Victorian half sovereign.

Stopped off in the park on the way home.

I’ve added a couple more shots here.

*Rolleiflex and Fujica GL690


Cut through London’s Chinatown on Sunday, shooting with longer lens for a change, after I read that Saul Leiter often used a 150mm lens for his wonderful street scenes.


Sad to see an old favourite restaurant, the New World, has been closed down on health grounds. An infestation of mice. Thought that black bean sauce was a bit chewy…

Anywhere, there are a few more pics here:

A week in Brittany

A few images from Ploumanac’h, Douarnenez and the Gulf of Morbihan.

More images here

(A mix of film and digital.)

Hope you enjoy 🙂

The next Bond?

Bad boy actor Alex Donald lighting up the screen.

Well past it

I picked up an old Nikon F2 from Portobello Market today.

Like me, it used to be a workhorse of the newspaper industry but is now obsolete.

Joseph who runs the stall chucked in a roll of Kodak Tri-X for me, which also turned out to be well past it – nearly 42 years in fact.


Aout 75

I overexposed it by a stop, but it I’ve no idea how what’s going to come out of the developing tank. The enigma of decay…


Here’s a couple of shots from the roll. Joseph said it would be “soft, dreamy, very artistic.”

Frontline against fascism

Having nothing better to do with my life on a sunny Saturday morning, I attended an English Defence League (EDL) rally and counter-demo in central London with my cameras.

Actually, it was organized by Football Lads Alliance formed after the terrorist attacks in London Bridge and partly inspired by the Millwall fan who fought off some of the attackers.

Counter demonstrators organized by United Against Fascism were working themselves up in a right old state just off Trafalgar Square. Some had their faces covered by bandanas because “fascist photographers” posted pictures online so they could be traced and attacked.

From what I saw, I very much doubt their adversaries were capable of such a feat after a morning of drinking in Wetherspoons on Whitehall. An appropriately cheap, brexity pub.

They looked like elements of the England travelling support who chant about German bombers and had come from places like Chester, Sheffield, Boston and Skegness. Many sported Cross of St George tattoos, most had acute dental hygiene issues.

They were amiable and happy to pose for photos.

The black doorman at the pub laughed when I suggested this must be one of his more bizarre jobs.

Some of them were having great difficulty walking in a straight line as they were escorted to their little rally by the Thames.

They shouted “God save the Queen” and various football terrace-like chants about the “famous EDL comin’ down the road.”

Some of the football hooligan elements were obviously spoiling for a fight, but the police did a competent job of keeping both sides apart.

One of the anti-fascists fell over at one point, which excited the photographers.

A student journalist in a hijab interviewed one of them, who suggested she should be on their side as they were demonstrating against sex assault, FGM and child brides, which I thought was a fair point. She said “What? You’re insulting my religion!” And as one of the EDL was wearing a pig’s head mask, and another had a “Fuck Islam” t-shirt, I thought this was also a fair point.

“Do you think it’s going to kick off?” asked one photographer around lunchtime. Looking at the huge contingent of riot police separating about 50 or so of the EDL/FLA marchers from the anti-fascists, I shook my head.

And then one of the cops cordoning off the rally asked me if I was “with that lot”. I could see why, given I am a fairly unhealthy looking middle-aged white bloke and was wearing scruffy black motorcycle trousers and boots, but it was another blow to my self-esteem and I left to file my more dramatic images to a press picture agency.