This is one image from trips made over the winter months to photograph at the Pudding Mill Allotments. I’ve written previously that these allotments are under threat because of plans for a development of tall buildings close to the boundary that will over shadow 66% of the plots. With few plants growing at winter time, I wanted to explore light and shadow as a visual metaphor for the situation and this photograph of a cardoon head came out of that idea.
As spring turns to summer, I’ll be returning to see if photographs can be made that are more celebratory of the allotments as a place of growing and of community.
Digital Photography in the City is a new course that I am teaching this year at the Mary Ward Centre.
Over ten weeks, the Digital Photography in the City course will teach how creative ideas take shape from location to photograph, covering both technical skills and also the understanding of how to use those skills in different situations. It includes urban landscape and architecture, street and street portraiture, nature in context and close up and creative still-life photographs from found objects. This course is blended, so out on location and then online for image reviews and feedback, and will encourage learners to explore the city as well as improve their photography.
I have followed the progress of the Manor Gardening Society since 2007, when the gardens of this century old East London allotment society were demolished to make way for the London 2012 Olympic Park. That history is well-documented. When, in 2016, the Society moved to a new permanent home at Pudding Mill Allotments, I photographed soon after the sheds arrived on site in April 2016 and as one of the growers was preparing his patch.
Having established itself anew at Pudding Mill, it’s concerning that the Society is again facing an uncertain future. Proposals for nearby high-rise buildings, within the Bridgewater Triangle development, could overshadow the allotments and severely restrict the areas that can cultivate vegetables. Read this statement by the Society about the scheme.
This month, I returned to photograph the allotments at what is a quiet time of year for growers and, with the support of the Society, I will continue to do so while their campaign continues.
Some photographs from the Action for Fire Safety Justice protest at City Hall on the 30th of October. This was a much smaller gathering than that held in September at Parliament Square. With over 1000 buildings affected in London alone, I often wonder why more leaseholders aren’t yet protesting. It is a crisis that has fully exposed the feudal iniquity of leasehold, something which also needs government attention, and people are at risk of losing their homes with this scandal because of the life-changing costs being service charged.
I was particularly pleased to meet and speak with @ritustweets who has articulated the #EndOurCladdingScandal campaign so clearly and to the benefit of so many others.
As my adult education classes are all daytime, from next month, I am offering night photography workshops in London. Learn about the camera settings you need to get sharp, clear images when making long exposures and understand why colour temperature and the histogram are important when photographing at night . The workshops will involve photographing different London landmarks, such as the Shard and London Eye and will explore creating light trails through control of shutter speed. If night photography is a bit of a mystery or your images are sometimes ‘hit and miss’ then join one or more of these workshops and learn the techniques you need.
Workshops will be small groups and so have a limited number of places. The dates are November 23rd and December 7th and cost is £30 per person.
Please contact me about booking a place and I can then confirm availability and payment options.