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Friday, November 30, 2007

Underground Trivia

London trivia day today. When the London Underground was first built, a large proportion of the travelling public was illiterate. So, as well as the signs in writing, the paths through the stations were marked by lines of coloured tiles, you can see that here. I wonder what they would have made of this? I rather liked the "Abbey Road" feel to this.

For London Underground stuff, don't forget Going Underground.

posted by Ham at 00:45 -- Comments here: 6

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Art of Lee Miller

Shot with Olympus E510
Today we come to the reason for the Olympus touch-me feel-me E3 frenzy being at the V&A, and also a way to get a FREE E3.

Olympus have sponsored the Lee Miller exhibition, at the V&A, and we were able to visit. I knew something about her reputation but little detail beforehand and I can honestly say the exhibition blew me away. Lee Miller was a stunningly beautiful model, who became a photographer after working for, and then collaborating with, Man Ray. Her images continually surprise, and the exhibition has been well curated to help you enjoy them. I may even go back and pay money to see it again.

How to get a free E3? Easy, win the competition..

posted by Ham at 01:10 -- Comments here: 2

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The John Madejski Garden

Shot with Olympus E510
On Monday night I was the guest of Olympus at their VIP evening in the Victoria & Albert Museum, to look, touch and try the new E3. Not only that, but there were all the super-dooper bits of Olympus glass to play with.

I adored the E3, which is aimed the professional market; I felt I could quickly get used to it given half a chance.

This shot is of the John Madejski Garden, a magical place in the moonlight and recently created as part of the V&A refurbishement. I'd say money well spent, do come and have a look if you haven't seen the V&A in a while. Here is another shot, and you can see someone else's impression of the evening here

posted by Ham at 02:05 -- Comments here: 14

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ordinary Londoners - No 10 in the series

Shot with Olympus E510
Who do you think you are, David Bailey? (Recognise the line?) I conceived the Ordinary Londoners series to create portraits of the people that make London the place it is. This time I think I may have stretched the boundaries of "Ordinary" still further than I did with Daly Thomson. Yes, this is David Bailey, the photographic legend. If you are not familiar with his work here are some links to images 1 2 3 and to more background information 1 2 3.

I met him as part of the launch of the amazing new Olympus E3, more about that over hte next few days.

Oh gosh, I hope he likes this portrait.

The Ordinary Londoners series is here

posted by Ham at 00:28 -- Comments here: 11

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Old King's Head

Shot with Olympus E510
This little passage near London bridge provides a home for one of the older London Pubs, the Old Kings Head, which has some interesting background. Look up and you will see Henry VIII gazing down from the sign - when it was built in 1530, it was called "The Pope's Head", but when Henry had his little falling out with the Catholic Chrch, the owners thought it politic to rename it to what you see today. The original building was destroyed by fire and this one dates from the end of the 17th Century.

Just a word on the photo. I was here on the regular The Way We See It Mission, and I really like this photo. As much as anything, I feel as if I have captured a "Decisive Moment", Cartier-Bresson style. I've left it in colour, because that's how I saw it. Here is the B&W version. What do you think?

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 15

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The hot news from London

There was only one London story to report this weekend. That is, that Mr & Almost Mrs Ham have now turned into a real Mr & Mrs Ham, after quite a lot of years of being "almost". 'Twas a quiet family thing, followed by a superb meal at a fantastic location that I'd love to tell you about, but I'm hoping to get some money out of them for the fund - so I'll keep you in suspense. Excuse me for not taking too many photos, but I was busy enjoying myself getting married.

Let's raise a glass to absent friends. Salut!

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 46

Saturday, November 24, 2007

DJ Santa and the Reindeer Crew

Everywhere around the world shopkeepers are rubbing their hands in glee getting into the festive spirit. Shop windows can be a delight this time of the year, such as in PAris but you can't tell me that this London offering doesn't deserve to get top spot. Shame in a way it's a Spanish outfit, Desigual in Regent Street.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:01 -- Comments here: 4

Friday, November 23, 2007

Old and New

Shot with Olympus E510
To mark the Tutankhamun Exhibition coming to London, Anubis the god of the dead has come visiting, by the Lonodn Eye. I'll visit the exhibition at some stage and report back.

See where on London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:41 -- Comments here: 8

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Electronic Paper

It appears that the London Evening Standard paper is getting a little desperate for readers with all the free sheets doing the rounds. They've started off an Eros Card - a card you can use to buy your paper. There was a big marketing push in Victoria Station yesterday. Me? I've always found it tough to read a paper on a bike. But when I looked through the list of benefits, in amongst the [cough cough] amazing and fascinating stuff, I saw "10% off in Foyles". Hmmm, I thought.

posted by Ham at 00:50 -- Comments here: 2

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Beer Street and Gin Lane

Shot with Olympus E500
Beer, happy Produce of our Isle
Can sinewy Strength impart,
And wearied with Fatigue and Toil
Can cheer each manly Heart

Hogarth was the man who chronicled London in the 18th Century - a proto blogger, if you will. His engravings often had a moral to them - this is the idyll of Beer Street, compared to the terror of Gin Lane. At the time, everyone drank beer, water wasn't safe, and gin was seen as evil.

This is in Hogarth's House, which you can visit and I recommend that you do. I don't need to tell you much more, because Diamond Geezer did so yesterday, so I'll just add a picture of the detail of Gin Lane here, so you can see Hogarth's astonishing talent and a picture of the house here. You can see bit of the 300 year old mulberry tree on the left, the berries are truly fantastic - expect to get in an awful mess.

Actually, there is one little bit I could always amuses me when I hear the traffic announcement about the "jams at the Hogarth Roundabout" (this is a notorious black spot) .... how small a percentage of listeners will know why it is called that. You all do now, though.

See where on London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 01:18 -- Comments here: 8

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

London's Elephants - No. 20 in a series

Shot with Olympus E510
It's elephant time again, strange but although they aren't native to this country they seem to do well here - there are still more waiting in the wings. You'll find this one in Rasa, an Indian Restaurant in Derring Street, just opposite yesterday's building. I've not tried eating there, but it looks OK, as far as you can judge these from the outside. And of course, they have an elephant.

Click to see all the elephants in one place (that long list was getting a bit unwieldy)

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Monday, November 19, 2007

Inside Out London

Shot with Olympus E510
Building sites are always fascinating, so much so that I think it is only a matter of time before there is a TV channel devoted to building sites, all they'd have to do is leave a camera pointed through a hole. Maybe they could have a celebrity building site, with a line of Very Famous People by the side of the site trying not to get distracted from the business of watching. Still, I quite like it when you see the building going up around a preserved wall.Here it is from the outside - you can't see much with the girders.

posted by Ham at 01:34 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Have you forgotten?

Shot with Olympus E510

I'm going to end remembrance week with a mention of PC Yvonne Fletcher, whose claim to immortality is that she was murdered, and that sparked off a major diplomatic incident with Libiya. These day when police are regularly shot and killed on London streets, I wonder if it would have caused such a fuss. But then it was still shocking. This small plaque in St James Square commemorates her.

posted by Ham at 00:54 -- Comments here: 2

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Just a pawtrait

Shot with Olympus E510
Some other Lord Mayor's Show participants I got to meet were the RAF Dog Demonstration Team. These dogs have the reputation as the 'ardest dogs in the business, and I wasn't about to get too close and find out.

posted by Ham at 00:19 -- Comments here: 6

Friday, November 16, 2007

These also fell

Shot with Olympus E510

In remembrance week, I'd like to bring this monument to your attention in Green Park. It's there to commemorate the 110,000 Canadians who died fighting for our freedom in the two wars, and so often overlooked. It is impossible to capture the monument in a single photograph, the shape it makes is elegant and calming, and then you realise that what you see under the water are so many fallen maple leaves....

I have a very soft spot for Canada for lots of reasons, like Robertson Davies is probably my all time favourite author, and so it's a real pleasure to thank Vancouver Daily Photo for being the first individual to contribute to my charity fund - and a brief mention must also go to what looks to be a great place to go to find a house in Vancouver. If you are considering donating to Breast Cancer Care, any amount - from as little as 1GBP - is welcome and will go straight to the charity and my rather challenging target.

OK, OK, if you insist: one of my favourite quotes from Robertson Davies - "Every man is wise when attacked by a mad dog; fewer when pursued by a mad woman; only the wisest survive when attacked by a mad notion"

See where on London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 01:09 -- Comments here: 4

Thursday, November 15, 2007

London's Guardians

Shot with Olympus E510

The giants, Gog & Magog are - possibly somewhat bizzarely - regarded as the guardians of the City of London. As a result, in their job descriptions 'tis written that they have to accompany the Lord Mayor's procession and in 2006 the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers wove these two for just that purpose. I managed to catch them this year getting their armour on during the preparations.. Aren't they magnificent?

posted by Ham at 00:43 -- Comments here: 6

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A London Office

Shot with Olympus E510

This would be folk in an ordinary London office, except that it is a group shot of the guys behind The theme behind their site is to provide easy access to information about a wide range of locally based businesses and things - "taking word of mouth online".

If I sound like a sales brochure for them, its because I do think that if you want to find local stuff, is the answer, but especially because they will pay 50p into my charity fund for every review anyone posts. So, if you have a bored afternoon at work, or you know the very best plumber, or where to find the best martini, why not tell London about it? (They are also accepting reviews now from across the UK. Go here to read more about London Daily Photo and WeLoveLocal, or here for the background to my campaing, and to find out other ways you can help. (and look! theve just helped the fund on its way - cheers guys!)

posted by Ham at 02:11 -- Comments here: 6

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All Fired up for the Olympics

Shot with Olympus E510
An unscheduled demolition took place today when a disused warehouse on the Olympic site went up in flames and smoke that could be seen for miles. Everyone was very twitchy though.

Yesterday was Remembrance Day, which is great because I forgot to announce the results of last Friday's competition: punkinsmom for the largest number and MarydeB for entering.

London Daily Photo is raising money for Breast Cancer Care. Visit here to see how you can help.

posted by Ham at 00:03 -- Comments here: 8

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rememberance Day

Shot with Olympus E510
Today was the day that we remember those that gave their lives to protect us. The ceremony takes place at the Cenotaph, but I'd like to shift the focus a few yards up Whitehall to this memorial to the women of World War II, from servicewomen to factory workers, whose efforts often go unmentioned.

Interestingly, Betty Boothroyd (Baroness) contributed £600,000 to the fund for this monument, through her appearance on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?". Interesting because today I am launching an attempt to raise £10,000 in one year for a breast cancer charity. You'll hear more about it in the weeks and months to come, alongside the regular London picture.

You can read more here, and find out about the ways you can help,including some that cost you no money.

posted by Ham at 00:42 -- Comments here: 3

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Lord Mayor's Show 2007

Shot with Olympus E510
I couldn't ge to the Lord Mayor of London's parade, but I managed to get some photographs of the preparations. Here you see the float of the Drapers Company.

Now, we blithely call vehicles in a parade "floats" but I don't suppose you've stopped to think why - this photo may give you the hint. Yes, that's right, for may years the Lord Mayor's parade floated down the Thames. But the story doesn't end there.

In years gone by, the Taylors and Skinners companies were rivals. They fought over their position in the parade - number six and number seven and one year someone drowned. The Lord Mayor decreed that from then on they should alternate between position six and position seven - hence the expression "at sixes and sevens".

The "number of things" competition on Friday is still upon until tomorrow, the day the changes arrive.

posted by Ham at 00:24 -- Comments here: 3

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Diwali 2007

Shot with Olympus E510
I went out looking for something to mark the festival of Diwali,and came back with a photo of these festive sweets: Barfi, Halva, Kulfi and Gulab Jamun.Thanks to Royal Sweets of High Street North, East Ham for letting me take the photos. Namaste to all my Indian readers (did I get that right?)

The "Find Things" competition on Friday is still running until Monday, when changes come to this blog.

posted by Ham at 00:37 -- Comments here: 4

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Spirit of Soho

Shot with Olympus E510
It's competition time again! This mural, in Carnaby Street is called the "Spirit of Soho" and gets Time Out's accolade as the Number Two ranking mural in London. It's quite fantastically detailed, and it's entertaining to try to work out what is going on. So here's today's competition.

All you have to do is find as many things as you can in the mural. A thing, is a thing. For example, Wardour Street shown as a film strip is a thing, Shaftsbury Avenue is a thing, Groucho Marx is a thing.There will be two winners of the much coveted London Daily Photo Winners Postcard and honourable mention - one to the person who gets the most unique "things" and one drawn at random from all the people who join in. Answers in the comment box, I think it will be fun to see just how many "things" there are. Competition will run till Monday when this blog will be changing shape and changing direction.....

You'll need a full size version of the image to get the most detail, you can download that here. good luck

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:31 -- Comments here: 19

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Advertising on London's Black Cabs

Shot with Olympus E510
I was passing by the Portugese Embassy when I saw these liveried cabs lining up for a photo shoot. Who am I to refuse an opportunity? They have good fish stalls but odd police in Portugal.

posted by Ham at 00:50 -- Comments here: 3

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Sovereigns Gate

Shot with Olympus E500
After the 5th of November and the Gunpowder Plot comes the state opening of Parliament - they still search the cellars for gunpowder, just in case. The queen arrives in full pomp and circumstance, enters through the Sovereigns Gate in Victoria Tower and reads the speech the Prime Minister has prepared for her.

I happen to believe that the process of making our laws is important and the single thing that will destroy our democracy is not Left wing extremists, or right wing extremists, or even terrorists, but apathy.

Talking of laws, I'm sure you'll find this report entertaining of a survey into the stupidest laws still on the statute books. Also if you want to visit and you aren't in London, you may enjoy the Virtual Tour.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:16 -- Comments here: 7

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pie and Mash in London

Shot with Olympus E510
Pie and mash is a London thing - quinessential London. The few shops left, mostly in the East End do good trade, for the simple reason that they sell good food at a reasonable price. You don't have to eat the jellied eels, the pie's the thing. Hand baked on the premises, they are as far from factory chain food as it is possible to get. The green "liquor" (never called gravy) is a parsley sauce and rather nice.

This place is Kelly's in the Roman Road, read their history here. Want one? Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing. Found this link.

'Ere luv, wanna take my photo?

I sure did.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 9

Monday, November 05, 2007

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Shot with Olympus E510
The first Sunday in November is the date for the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run (for cars built before 1905). It has been held every year (except during petrol rationing) to celebrate the emancipation of the motor car - the raising of the speed limit from 4mph to a staggering 14mph and the abolition of the Act that required someone to walk in front with a red flag.

After trolling down to Hyde Park for the 07:00 start, I wanted to choose some pictures that conveyed the spirit of the event. This is the one I settled on - click here for the "also ran"

Lots more pics here.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 8

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Remember, remember the 5th of November

Shot with Olympus E510
Firework night is embedded in our psyche in the UK, so we all gather round and fire thousands of pounds into the air, and try to achieve the loudest bangs and brightest flashes. Me, I take the photographs. Oh, and I go to some excellent firework parties (thanks, Bob & Chris!)

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile


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