Posts Tagged “Photography”
When British Prime Minister David Cameron told the London Sun that as a 14-year-old, he, his brother, sister and pals had traveled to London and slept on The Mall so that they could see the July 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana, I remembered the kid. The kid who also came down specially to see the royal wedding but, apparently, was too tired and slept through the procession,
I was living in London at that time. In fact, the crazy bed and breakfast where I was staying in Earl’s Court was just a couple of blocks from then Lady Diana Spencer’s posh South Kensington apartment. By July, I had moved from the B&B to a (cheap) fifth floor flat also in South Kensington. The day of the royal wedding was a national holiday. My Australian flatmate and I went to see the fireworks in Hyde Park but my staunchly republican roomie was resolutely refusing to come downtown to watch the wedding.
I wanted to watch from one specific spot. Temple Bar, where The Strand meets Fleet Street (where I was working). That’s because I had once written a series of articles about Canadian journalist Kit Coleman and she had stood at Temple Bar when she covered Queen Victoria’s Jubilee procession in 1898 for the old Toronto Mail and Empire (a predecessor of The Globe and Mail).
So I left the flat at 1 a.m. and walked toward Central London. I passed Buckingham Palace and walked down the Mall passing all those people who were camping out (including somewhere in the dark, a future prime minister). The crowds were already gathering and so it took a couple of hours (longer than normally walking downtown ) to get to my chosen spot. There were already some people camping out at Temple Bar,.
As the sun came up, the crowds grew. Among them was the kid, a punky lad of about 14 (even though he looks older in the photograph), very lively and enjoying himself,
There were also several people with transistor radios and one man had a 1981 version of a portable TV set with perhaps a two inch screen and a long radio style antenna.
A couple of hours later, and still hours before the wedding procession began, the crowd control personnel arrived, with the Royal Air Force as the cordon facing the street and members of the Metropolitan Police watching the crowd.
So before the security personnel took up their duties, this young Bobby took a picture of the crowd as I was taking his picture.
Then, moments later, he was very formal, as he took up his duties,.
Now, it’s been 30 years. and if that young Bobby is still with the Metropolitan Police, he’s probably now one of those Detective Chief Inspectors, a Commander or an assistant commissioner (unless, of course,he was a “constable for life”). But it would certainly be neat to get a copy of that picture of me taking his picture.
High above the Royal Courts of Justice I shot the Goodyear Blimp, sending images back to the television networks.
Now if you’re planning to attend the royal wedding in late April between Prince William and Kate Middleton, and you’re not part of the privileged media pool, and with security much tighter than in 1981, this is most likely the type of shot you will get.
This was taken prior to the wedding and was one of the most interesting parts for me, the parade of the guests going to St. Paul’s Cathedral prior to the royal procession. I am pretty sure you didn’t see that on television but it certainly was a great warm up act. All kinds of characters, from a Labour MP in a beat up Morris Mini to people like the ones in this temporary traffic jam in their Rolls Royce.
And then there was the top hatted toff in some kind of sports car (notice the smiles on the crowd opposite)
Now that shot isn’t the best. I didn’t have enough elbow practice at that time (I never played hockey) and the camera wasn’t working that well (my crazy landlady had thrown the case across our room one day when she was cleaning). I can’t remember which type of Ektachrome I was using but it certainly wasn’t a film with a high speed. Today with digital cameras and their higher speeds, and a little elbow practice, you can get some good images from the front of the crowd.
Also the procession goes by very fast, so my only shot of Diana was a blur (and is included here for the record only). So shoot at a high ISO.
On the other hand, this little girl looked like she was really enjoying seeing a princess.
I wonder how much of it she remembers.
So we stood on the street, listening to the wedding ceremony itself on those transistor radios.The procession back to Buckingham Palace was a lot faster, it seemed, than the procession to St. Paul’s and as soon as it passed most of the crowd turned west to follow the procession to the palace.
As I turned away, that’s when I noticed the kid fast asleep in an office doorway. He must have been in very deep sleep to have not woken with all the cheering crowds. I wonder how much he missed? I hope he fell asleep after seeing the procession to St. Paul’s, but who knows?
As for me, by the time I got near Admiralty Arch and the entrance to The Mall, the crowd was huge and I was really tired, so I decided to go home. I went down a side street, avoiding the crowd and got back to my flat, climbed those five flights of stairs and went to sleep.
So my advice for those going to the current royal wedding and who plan to be among the crowds along the route to Westminster Abbey, shoot the people you are with. it will be a lot more interesting and give you some personal memories. Then you can also buy all the souvenir editions of the newspapers and magazines to get the pictures the accredited pros shot.
I wasn’t assigned to cover the Olympic torch relay on the evening of Thursday Dec. 17, 2009, but ran right into it as I was heading from work to work out at the downtown YMCA.
I got to College subway station and saw the crowd waiting for the torch.
was preparing to make my way through the crowd to the Y, I heard yelling. Then I saw that a group of demonstrators had rushed onto Yonge
Street south of College yelling slogans like “No Olympics on stolen native land” and waving signs.
I didn’t have my main photo gear but had the trusty small camera I always carry in a fanny pack, the Panasonic FZ28.
With the FZ28, as I have in the past, I pushed the Panasonic Lumix to its limit to shoot the demonstration using available light. ISO 1600, EV +1.5, shutter priority at 1/40 and 1/50 of a second.
The crowd then congregated at Yonge and
Demonstrators opposing the Olympic torch relay gather at Yonge and
College streets in Toronto on Thursday night. (Robin Rowland/CBC)
As the demonstrators moved up Yonge Street, I called the CBC news desk to tell them what was going on.
Brett Gundlock of The National Post grabbed shot of a demonstrator as I passed by talking on my cell phone to the CBC Live Desk.
Toronto police at first tried and failed to stop the demonstration at Yonge and Grovesnor Streets when the protesters ran into the first two police cruisers escorting the torch parade. (Robin Rowland/CBC)
Further up Yonge Street, a cordon of police officers with bicycles stopped the protest a block south of Wellesley Street.
The torch relay reached the blockade and waited for about half an hour. Then the organizers and police decided to reroute the relay across Wellesley and then down University Avenue to its destination of Toronto City Hall.
A few hundred demonstrators shouting “No Olympics on stolen native land” stopped the Olympic torch relay on Toronto’s Yonge Street Thursday night, forcing the relay to be rerouted. Here the lights of the lead police escort vehicle shine through a demonstrator’s banner. (Robin Rowland/CBC)
After about 20 minutes, the protest leaders called on their followers to disperse, but it was about another half hour after that they did leave and traffic resumed on Yonge Street.
More photos of the protest from Brett Gundlock on his blog
In Toronto, the place to be late on Halloween night–for adults–is Church Street, the heart of the city’s “gay village” (although most gay people who live in the neighborhood still call it “the ghetto”).
Just a few years ago, when the city began closing off Church Street for the traditional gay and lesbian celebration of drag and costume, the celebrations were largely confined to the city’s LGBT community. Now all that has changed. Like Pride weekend in the summer, the celebration of scary diversity now draws people from all over the Greater Toronto Area and this year what appeared to be many straight couples joined the parade of costumes.
(Times have changed since the days in the 1960s and early 1970s when a mob with smelly eggs and rotten tomatoes would gather to pelt the drag queens and others entering the bars on Yonge Street on Halloween. At the same time, as seen in in this 1973 report from CBC News, as shown on CBC Archives, “Drag Queens on Halloween” the gay pride movement was already growing. (Runs 8:24 and requires Windows Media Player) )
Halloween was on a weekend this year and that meant Church St. would be even more crowded. So I headed down to Church St.
With the experience of Pride in my mind, I knew that several hundred thousand people crowded into three blocks make it hard to use even the sturdiest of DSLRs.
So instead, I packed my carry with me everywhere camera, a Panasonic Lumix FZ28.
In my opinion, the FZ28 is a perfect back up point and shoot camera. I can carry it in a fanny pack, whip it out, and use the 18x optical zoom to get a good shot. Past experience has shown that I can push the FZ28 pretty far. So on Halloween night in all those crowds, I had a small camera that was fairly unobtrusive which meant I could get candids.
Most of the public would ask someone to stop, so the photographers could take their pictures. (and there were usually a crowd of photographers with everything from Iphones to DSLRs complete with flash and Fong hoods as seen in this shot as a flash goes off as photographers capture some high feathered drag performers.)
- ISO 1600
- 1/40 second, shutter priority
- Exposure value +1.5
Once I got home, I ran all the images through Noise Ninja before processing the images in PhotoShop CS4. In most cases, other than increasing the exposure value even further in CS4 Camera Raw, I made minimal adjustments (colour temperature was tweaked slightly only in a couple of the images). For those images that did not look that good in full colour, I converted to black and white in Camera Raw and those came out looking as if they could have been taken anytime from the 1950s to the present.
Shooting available light wasn’t really that scary after all and, of course, available light gives you a much better feel for the atmosphere for the night of All Hallows on the darkened streets of Toronto.