Wide-Angle Urban Poetry, Vol. 2: London & Brighton


For the second year running I spent New Year’s in Brighton, and same as last year I followed that vacation up with a stay in London. And same as last year, I brought back a number of photographs.

Last year I had taken the analog Lomo Belair panoramic camera with me. This year I decided to go digital and took the Fujifilm X30. I took it primarily because I was expecting bad weather and low light, which normally hampers the use of lo-fi analog cameras. However, luckily bad weather wasn’t the norm, so that I ended up with a number of splendid colour photographs as well as black and white ones.

I’m particularly happy with many of the photos which I brought back from

London, especially the ones which I shot in and around the Barbican. I visited the Barbican Centre to see an exhibition, Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age; a show which I thought quite brilliant, both for the theme and for the large number of exceptional photos on display. At the same time, the Barbican complex is in itself a highly photogenic urban jungle, bordering on the ever growing architectural frenzy (some would say mess) that is London’s East End. Certainly it was no coincidence that the Barbican was putting on a show with this kind of theme, and so it was not necessarily a coincidence either that I ended up with a number of shots reflecting the theme of the show. 


The photographs which I took this year with the Fujifilm X30 in many ways compliment the panoramic pictures which I took last year with the Belair camera, so I combined the two in a common set, adding also a number of Polaroids which fit the theme of urban panoramas, as well as a couple of ‘Holgaramas’ from 2008, and a collage which I did in 2004 of Saint Paul’s as seen from the Tate Modern. Altogether they also illustrate how fast London’s skyline keeps changing, for better and for worse. Additionally, the photos illustrate another facet of London which I always found fascinating: here, the various epochs of London’s long history do not so much co-exist side by side, but seem to pile up on top of each other. The picture above is a good example as it shows tiers of buildings from various centuries, combining the medieval church of St Giles-without-Cripplegate with buildings from the 19th, 20th and 21st century high rises into a very crowded skyline.

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