Scenes from London’s Barbican centre: inside and out

On a rainy London day, I took a few quick images from both inside and outside the Barbican Centre. I was there to view the excellent exhibition, Strange and Familiar, co-curated by my favourite photographer Martin Parr. I used to live there and it had been quite a while since I’d been. Happily, there is little change, despite the crazy development that is going on all around it.

St Pauls Cathedral Polaroid

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It has been a while since a new Polaroid has been posted. Winter seems to drain the light and colour out of London, two things that you need for a good Polaroid photo. Stay tuned for more colourful Polaroid Manipulations as Spring approaches.

In the meantime, this is St Pauls Cathedral photographed as usual with an old Polaroid SX-70 camera on a rather drab day. I manipulated the emulsion while it was still wet to give it a painterly feel.

Citigroup Photography Prize 2004 Nominees

The 2004 Citigroup (ex-Citibank) Photography Prize nominees have been announced. The work of Robert Adams, Peter Fraser, David Goldblatt, and Joel Sternfeld will be exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery from the 29th January to 28th March, 2004.

Intended to honor photographers “who have not yet received the public recognition that their influence or work warrants”, the prize has always sparked more controversy than it has admiration. Think of it as a photography version of the Turner prize. The nominees this year are much more conventional photographers than in recent years, and all are more than 50 years old. I have long admired Sternfeld for the way he photographs history. And everyone is familiar with Robert Adam’s work. I’m looking forward to seeing the others and will post an update once the exhibit opens.

Leicester Square, Empire Theatre

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The famous Empire movie theatre in Leicester Square. That’s pronounced “Lester”, not “Lye Sesster” as I’ve overheard many an American say.

It is an SX-70 Polaroid Manipulation. I shot the Polaroid while walking to work this morning, then sat down for 10minutes with a wooden skewer smushing the emulsion around. Voila.

You can see all our Polaroid Manipulations here.

Jubilee Bridge

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Another SX-70 Polaroid Manipulation, this time of the new Jubilee Bridge across the Thames in London. Taken on a cold and windy October 24th and manipulated using a wooden skewer while on the top deck of a London Bus!

I have noticed that certain colours are more suited to manipulation, especially blue and red. This probably has something to do with the emulsion layers and primary colours.