Monday, December 8, 2008

Light Studies in Hyde Park and London Reflections

I believe in the photographer's magic — the ability to stir the soul with light and shape and colour. To create grand visual moments out of small and simple things, and to infuse big and complicated subjects with unpretentious elegance.
Amyn Nasser

Today started out with a trip to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition. It was inspiring and stirred me. I didn't go through the rest of the exhibits, I decided to go poke around in Hyde Park as it was turning out to be yet another sunny day, plus they had a Christmas Market going on. It turned out an wonderful decision. The breadth and width of the light I experienced over the next few hours was an excellent teacher. I started this vacation with the idea of Christmas Markets. The Christmas Markets while to a degree interesting haven't struck me with creative magic. However, the magic of the light that I have experienced have brought me out again and again to try to capture what I am seeing through the lens. I have three major themes that are evolving from all of the shots I am taking and will be working on them more when I return home. Hyde Park is a good place though to do camera scales: people, animals, nature and landscapes. It was all there today and I left the park exhilarated.

That exhilaration lasted through the evening. What can I say except when one sees a master actor such as Derek Jacobi doing Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night", it is a privilege to have been there. The Donmar productions are getting rave reviews and I can see why. I hope I get to see another production there one day.

It's going to be hard to leave London in a couple of days. Renting a flat/townhouse is the way to go if you're doing extensive traveling or want to get a sense of day to day life where you are. I've been able to get a sense of what it would be like to live in London. I've shopped in the grocery stores, dealt with heat, electricity, garbage issues and cooked/cleaned. Some might not think that a vacation, but again I wanted that sense of what is it to be a native. Expensive and crowded, but full of creative opportunities. It's also been interesting to realize that many of the issues that they are facing are in many cases mirror images of what's going on in America.

The Clash, "London Calling":

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