Dear Streethunters.net Readers,
On the 18th of August I visited the city of London, UK for the 2nd Annual Street Hunters Meeting. This time round we held two official events thanks to our sponsor COSYSPEED. I had an amazing time meeting new street hunters and taking photos in one of the most amazing cities on this earth. There are so many things to do and experience in London. I think it is perfect for street shooting and if you live there you should know that you are very, very lucky! I was shooting non stop from Friday morning the 19th of August all the way until I flew home Sunday night the 21st. I covered over 60 km of walking distance during that time and I think I drunk more pints of beer than I can remember. Some of you might know I am into fitness and stuff, so all this walking gave me the perfect excuse to enjoy my favourite English Beers & Ales and Irish Stouts. I mean, I was in the UK after all. If I didn’t have plenty of beer in various pubs I would be missing out on half the fun right?
So What Is This Post About?
In a few weeks time we will be publishing the Street Hunt video from London. Even though we have another Street Hunt video from Athens currently in the making, we thought it would be better to share that one later on, after London’s. The reason for this is because everyone has been waiting for the 2nd London Street Hunt video and it would be a shame to keep you all waiting.
Moving on, I will be sharing my experiences from this trip with you and sharing my perspective about shooting street in London for the 2nd time. I will not bore you with crazy details, I will just mention the events as they happened and maybe comment on a few things. If you feel that I have left something out or if you would like me to elaborate more on something, please let me know in the comments and I will gladly reply.
Day 1 – Arrival
I arrived to the UK quite late on the 18th of August so I really didn’t have all that much time on my hands. I barely managed to grab something to eat before all the restaurants and pubs closed for the evening. So, I got to my hotel at 22:30, hooked up with Thomas Ludwig of COSYSPEED and went out in search of food. Luckily I found a nice Italian place open and I got a chance to enjoy a lovely healthy meal. I hadn’t eaten since lunch time and that was making me cranky. After our meal, Thomas and myself went back to the hotel to get some rest. I prepared for the workshop while in bed but fell asleep before I knew it.
Day 2 – FREE Street Photography workshop sponsored by COSYSPEED
I woke up at 06:30 and got ready to meet Thomas for breakfast downstairs at 07:30. In the breakfast lounge I found a good selection of foods to start my day with and I am happy to say I stuffed my face accordingly. Once breakfast was done, at about 08:00 both Thomas and myself got our gear and headed out to grab the Underground from Queensway. I was excited about the workshop and because I was about to give the new Streethunters.net Camslinger Streetomatic a good test. I was waiting for a chance to use it thoroughly and see how it felt and I was very pleased I have to say. Anyway, we had an appointment with the Workshop group at 09:00 at Leicester Square Underground Hippodrome station. Once there we met up with everyone: Gail Ritter, Villy Devlioti, Alex Ks and Xavier El Javo Buendia. We hit the closest cafe to begin with the introductions and theory of the workshop. This part didn’t last long since the whole point of this workshop was to have hands-on practice in the streets. So, about 30 minutes later we left the cafe and headed back to the Hippodrome and split into pairs. Every hour we would meet at the same point, change pairs and missions and continue. During the 4 times we switched pairs we got to shoot the following missions:
- Shots with the widest possible Aperture in Aperture Priority (Av) mode.
- Shots at 1/30th shutter speed and less.
- Shots at 1/500th shutter speed and higher and
- Shots with zone focus / hyperfocal instead of AF.
Everything turned out great! We got to experience different styles of shooting, we got out of an awkward situation that we stumbled into and had plenty of fun! Once the workshop was over we looked for a cool place to eat. Here we all are enjoying our meal!
I am lucky to say that I made some new friends and enjoyed shooting in London that first day very much. I was glad I got to see my old friend Villy again which I hadn’t see in years and of course to spend time with such a creative bunch of people. Thank you Thomas and COSYSPEED for sponsoring this workshop!
But the 2nd day didn’t end there. After lunch and a few hours of relaxing at the hotel, Xavi and myself headed over to Tottenham Court Road station to meet up with a friend of mine for some drinks. We met Marianna my mate at her work at around 18:30 and then went out for a slice of pizza and some beer. We then moved on to another pub where we continued sampling British Ales and did a lot of catching up! It was a really great night full of laughter and fun! Cheers to both of you Marianna and Xavi!
Day 3 – 2nd Annual Street Hunters Meeting
I woke up on my own at 05:30 1 hour before the alarm was set to go off! My excitement for the meeting was building up and I couldn’t wait for the time to pass until I finally met the rest of the Street Hunters at Victoria station. Before that I had to get ready and enjoy my breakfast with Thomas and Xavi who was staying at the same hotel. So, I met the guys at 07:30 in the breakfast lounge, had my breakfast and then we all headed out for Victoria station. We arrived on time and met up with everyone there. All in all 8 Street Hunters showed up and we made a nice group of 10 photographers including Thomas and myself. At this point I would like to say thank you to Tom Jeavons, Jeffrey Efremis Sofroniou, Kobe Ikram, Brian Boyce, Alexey Ks, Forrest Walker, Andy Wasley, Xavier El Javo Buendia for attending and joining me and Thomas for the 2nd Annuals Street Hunters Meeting. I am sorry that many friends couldn’t make it due to personal reasons. My thoughts were with them. John, Dan, Klaus and Jordi I hope to see you next year guys! It was time for us to start, but before that we had a giveaway. Thomas from COSYSPEED gave out a Streethunters.net Special Limited Edition Camslinger Streetomatic bag. Everyone put their names on a piece of paper and I chose one name. The lucky winner this year was
Tom Jeavons! Congrats Tom!
So, now it was time for us to get going. We exited the Victoria station and followed the planned route but after about 20 minutes guess what happened in London? It started raining and it wouldn’t stop! We ended up soaking wet heading to St. James station so we could pick up the tube and head to Waterloo. Luckily when we got to Waterloo it wasn’t raining as much and we managed to get out and try doing some street photography! We visited a rather interesting tunnel with graffiti in the area then we went on to the embankment and followed it all the way up to Borough Market. Along the way the weather kept on changing which wasn’t the best thing but we managed to make the most of it. Just before we reached Borough Market Alex Ks departed because he had friends visiting.
It was time for a pit stop. So we took a 30 minute break to refuel and then met in the centre of Borough market to discuss our next move. Forrest and myself had a breakfast beer to get things started. Yummy! Anyway, when we met up again the sun had also made an appearance and it was poking through the cracks of the market’s ceiling, creating some interesting patches of light. So we split up for 30 minutes and went shooting in Borough market, each on our own, in search for interesting characters and light. Once that was over we continued according to plan, walking over London Bridge and heading towards St. Paul’s.
Once at St. Paul’s we split up again for another 30 minutes to make some photos and when we regrouped we all decided that it was time for lunch! So, Andy recommended we visit a lovely pub close by and that is what we did. I enjoyed a nice meal of duck and a couple of pints and got all warmed up for the next half of the Street Hunt!
Once everyone was satisfied with their food and drinks we got up and headed out towards Covent Garden. It was time for Tom to leave, so we bid him farewell and continued on our quest for photos! Before we reached Covent Garden Jeffrey left too. So now we were 7.
At Covent Garden we split up once again and we each went shooting in our own direction. I sported the flash this time since the light was getting annoyingly dull for me and I felt like I needed to give my photos a extra boost with some off-camera flash street photography. The flash did indeed make things more interesting for me and I started getting more and more psyched with the results I was getting. When the time was up we all met at our predesignated place and decided to continue to Chinatown. Andy said goodbye here. It was great seeing Andy again for the 2nd time. Thanks for being a passionate Street Hunter mate! While Andy said goodbye Joe Stanton and his street photography group joined us. We all headed over to Chinatown together.
At Chinatown we didn’t each go shooting on our own because it took us a while to find each other. I mean that on our way to Chinatown some got accidentally left behind and we split up and got lost. We managed to find each other using our Facebook Group chat.
Once we met we said goodbye to Xavi who had to leave and we all headed to Piccadilly Circus for some photos. We got to shoot some pretty interesting characters there, I especially remember a group of guys dressed up as superheroes that I think were having a stag party or something like that. It was surreal and crazy, which made it great fun! At Piccadilly we said goodbye to Joe Stanton and his group and we continued on to Soho hoping to make some interesting shots there. Unfortunately after a short while it started drizzling and we all got thirsty so we looked for a pub in which to rest for a while and then continue with the Street Hunt.
Unfortunately that never happened because the rain just got stronger and stronger so we decided to just stay at the pub and call it a day. A few pints later Thomas and Kobi left and then it was just Brian, Forrest and myself, but not for long! I got a message from some future students of mine, wanting to meet up. I say future students because they will be attending my Athens Flash Street Photography Workshop that I will be doing in October (more on that in a future post). So, David Saunders and Jill O’Loughlin arrived a short while after they messaged me and we all sat and enjoyed the evening in the pub all the way until closing time. It turns out that both David and Jill are really cool people that really enjoy Flash Photography. I am extremely happy that they will be attending my street photography workshop. I am sure that we will get really creative with the flash.
Brian had to leave because he had plans so it was the four of us now. Forrest from www.shooterfiles.com, David, Jill and myself.
While at the pub Forrest Walker and myself got into our silly mode just like we do every time we meet, so we started having fun with the flash and the pub guests. David and Jill soon joined in and all hell broke lose! What a smashing time we had! Many of you might not know this but when Forrest and myself meet it is like we both go crazy and do daring things for fun. This time wasn’t any different! Here are some photos from that night.
The 20th of August was a hell of a day! I was out and about for 15-16 hours and I enjoyed myself tremendously. I met fascinating new people and made a whole bunch of new friends! I consider myself to be an extremely lucky person. I love how Street Photography brings people together, how it helps you make new friends and stay in touch with old ones.
Day 4 – East Side & Departure
The last day in London, UK for me dawned and I found myself having breakfast in the hotel and then checking out. Thomas had already left earlier in the morning and Xavi had checked out the previous day. It was 11:00 am and I needed a place to put my stuff because I had all day to spend in London and I couldn’t do that if I had to drag my bags with me. Lucky for me my mate Marianna lent me her keys and I managed to drop my stuff off at her’s. Then I went to meet Alexey Ks on the East side of London.
I hadn’t been there before and I have to say I really liked the vibe of the place. We took a walk down Brick Lane, visited a gallery and looked at some photos that were exhibited and then we headed to Liverpool street station to pick up Forrest who was going to join us. Once we picked Forrest up, we headed back to Brick Lane and grabbed a pitta with falafel. That was yummy!
We spent the rest of the time in the East Side taking photos until it was time for me to grab my bus and head back to Marianna’s and pick up my stuff. I was a bit worried I might be late because the Northern line wasn’t working that day so I had to use the buses to get around. That was cool though because it turned out there was no traffic so I soon picked up my stuff and headed to Victoria station to pick up the Gatwick Express. Before I knew it I was at Gatwick. I had a couple of hour to kill so I decided to hit the pub in the airport and read my book while enjoying a pint of Guinness. My trip to the UK for this year was over so I enjoyed my last moments there before boarding my plane direct to Crete.
I really had a wonderful time in London! As I mentioned before I made new friends and had a blast. Both the Workshop and the Annual Meeting were a success and I even managed to get 2 or 3 good shots this time round. The new Street Hunt video from London will be published hopefully within the next three weeks. I will start working on it immediately.
At this point I would like to thank everyone for attending the Workshop and the Meeting and to also thank COSYSPEED for sponsoring this 2 day event!
See you all again next year.
Stay Sharp & Keep Shooting!