Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brick Lane market with Sana: slide show

This is a slide show of all the pictures I have taken the day we went to Brick Lane together: Sana with her video camera taking me approaching and photographing people met there, their reaction, and me taking pictures, as usual. Here is the latest: my photos together with some music I enjoy.

This is not Sana at the begining, but the first girl I met and whom I asked to pose for me near the brick wall, you'll see her later in the slide show with her camera.

Come with me and follow what I did, or, use the menu and choose a bigger size or greater resolution or even full screen view. At the end, I had to take out a few photos in order to be able to upload it, but I did through away only the very unimportant ones. All the others are here.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Impro_0109Expectation is so important in life!

If you expect something and get more or less, but often only differently, you feel deceived.

Not of what happened, in fact, or what is or was, but of the difference with what was in your mind only (most of the time) and the reality.

The improvisers of Wednesday, did have great fun enjoyed themselves and had great movements too. Most of the time, they also worked wonderfully together, in team.

The problem in fact with me, was that I did think I'll see something different, that in my mind the Impro I was expecting to see was a "real life" like theater group. I have seen them come up and have a scene, improvise like they would speak in real life, move around, give each other time to speak. Not act, not dance, not speak gibberish or dance almost, but live a happening improvised, more or less before our eyes.

First, it was only a class. To learn to work together. They did work together.

Second, they were not yet experimented, just had their 7th class, even if was the last of the cycle. And mostly, it was not on a scene, so it was more difficult to get used where they stay and what place they occupy. They did need a lot of space.

It also happened often very fast for me. Very loud sometimes. Shrieks, and claps, and cheering, almost like in a football stadium. I prefer quiet and slow that I have time to absorb.

All that were only differences between what I like or not personally, and even more what I expected and what was really there. So I got my first exposure of an Impro group, there are lot others I could go to see. As my expectation change, perhaps the experience too.

I'll go to see also a group giving a performance for audience, just hoping it will be not again a burlesque, because I do not understand (yet?) Brit humor and why most of the time, on TV, the people do laugh of what is happening. I do not like if someone falls on his face or if anyone is laughing of others being nasty. I do enjoy some jokes, but not often.

I should learn to laugh more often! More freely, more relaxed, probably too.

I begin to understand how Brits could expect us to behave in a way, speak as they think we should, and be deceived or grieved that we do not do as they think we should, too. How shocking! She dares to ask "whom you speak about?" She dares to sit in the first row! She...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Visit to an Impro group in London

Impro_0131Yesterday, I visited an Improvisation group, Kentish Town in London: one and half hour with bus, train, metro and foot from home. Interesting, nice people too, but very different as I did believe. In my mind, it would have looked more "natural".

I think, mostly because I do not like the burlesque style, the strong sounds and of course, because it was a class (the 7th or 14th they did together) and not a spectacle.

Even worse, my images they let me take with lots of grace, are almost all bad, only three small videos taken are worth something, and even those so short that they only give some of the mood.

I do not regret the spend afternoon and night, more angry with myself and my camera of the missed opportunity. They had such great movements! Very physical scenes!

Ah, and strangely, the group was taught by a man having arrived 15 years ago from France!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Was I better five years ago?

I found two CD's with my pictures taken five years ago, around my 70th anniversary.

First reaction: a great joy. Second: "I was good". Third: "Oh, was I better then?"

Here are my cherries "Modern familly" is called, and it was, it is an allegory, taken june 2004.
Cherries as our life

Until now, I did believe I made a huge progress in photography during this five years. Now I wonder. I am any better? Or even: did I loose my edge? I am going forward or backward?

Those were taken in my garden, France, Argenteuil. The cherry tree was "ours" four families living there. And that was years before I discovered they had worms in it...

A huge joy to find some really good oldies, but also a bit of fear "and the new ones are up to them?"

I'll update all my old pictures, slowly on flickr, were I did begin 2005. But my photographic life did start before, as shows me the recovered CD's that I put now, one by one on my new disk where, I hope, is enough place for them, and I also hope to find a good software then to be able to make categories, look at them in different ways, as I do on the flickr website.

I hope, someday, I'll be able to do something I like as much as those cherries. The photos near them (taken just before or after) are proof of my questioning, showing how I arrived there. I put them all in a set on flickr, a new category of "before 70" photographies taken by me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Really listening

a journal in the tubeReally listening, really looking, really living in the moment is the advice of Patricia Ryan Madson in her book Improv Wisdom. You can also read her blog day by day and look at her new passions results: great watercolors, (but not comment the notes alas).

To be in the Moment completely is not as easy as it seems at first time, because we are all often in our own ways, our own thoughts, anticipating what to do or not, what picture to take or not, what to answer or add, instead of being all there.

Yesterday morning I did pay attention to that journal whose place was not under the sign "keep right" in the tube. And I took the photo remembering my fellow Artist's way photographer who would have noticed it and taken it, probably.

But first I took a picture of the whole, "the pattern" for my Afterclass flickr group.

What is the journal doing there?

I am not sure which expresses the best the situation, but the second picture has to be seen in bigger size to be understood. That is a big issue, some images are better in small size, or as good, others only when looked at in detail that bigger size permits, that is why I decided not to stick in this blog only with smaller images I did at the beginning.

Coming back to "listening", I did try, even if I did not succeed all the time, the listen more carefully, be there more completely, yesterday at my Artist's way meeting. When I did, it was rewarding! I learned new ways, I understood new situations, and even did try to apply it as soon as I went my way toward home. Did take some pictures differently as I would have before, and also begun thinking about writing again some fiction, not only about my own life.

Learning does not finishes at any age.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How much more?

More red in original Sunday Times writes that the gap between men and women life expectancy diminishes, of course the writer must be very young, for him around 80 seems already plenty to live.

Not for me.

I arrived in London at 74, this year I'll be 75 soon, it is difficult for me to imagine that my life would end in only five years!

The glass is not yet empty!

The shadow of what will come suddenly seems frightening, as it is in the photography taken yesterday in a sunny morning moment, home. The vase seems bigger, larger on the wall, the years to come before me seems to shrink suddenly, after I read how many more years I have to live. "If the health is good."

Suddenly it came to my mind the question that I should never forget: "What I really want to do with what I still have. What is important?" And also to care better for my health. But I feel that my health will not improve with worry, so I'll just try to forget that, for me, nasty paper!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wonderful day!

young photographerWonderful day spend with my grand children.

We went out early on a sunny early spring day with three cameras, each its own. She is ten, he is eight. I have Sony, she a Samsung and he an Olympus, but we are passionate photographer looking around for subjects around us.

On the way to discover the first spring flowers behind the house I live now, a cat come in our way. Instantly, it become a diva and the two children turned around and photographed him from all points of views, and even filmed.

The same with two beautiful dogs, but those did not stay quiet for the children, also their owner did try to keep them so they could take photos of them.

Finally, we did arrive to the flowers, and those were also studied and taken from afar and more and more near.

The steady hand of my grand daughter and her camera as well as her patience gives wonderful macros of flowers, already far away from mine. What a joy!

The imagination of my grand-son made me see the dried branches as prison doors coming nearer and nearer, menacing to close, and then the buds more huge then the two story building. It was a great day!

Even the end was great, when after lots of doing, telling, showing, worrying, smiling, hugging, mostly serene but sometimes with sudden yells between them - the apartment I live become quiet again.

The memory of great moments remaining in me as well all our photos.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, 20 February

The firsts flowers on the road side, near the Heath.

As I followed and "hunted" the fall, now I can begin with the spring, too! And so near the snow fall, too.

Yesterday I eat together at the Goldsmiths College of New Cross with other more then dozen elderly, not expensive, good, and mostly giving us the possibility to discuss before the conference of the "university of third age", U3A.

I also filled out yesterday the paper to register and send my check for 15 pounds for a whole year.

Did not really like to having the conference read instead of spoken, but the music was great and the speaker told us many interesting things, alas some of them were lost to me, even if I was on the first row to hear it better, in the fast reading. But I got succeeded to get the guist of it, asked for the name of the journalist he spoke about (my English neighbor did not got his name either) and will read his autobiography, for sure must be interesting! I also decided to listen more to music from now on, non "more" let's be franc, say "listen from now on".

We were about 30 attending, more or less the same as the last time.

The organizer Ann, told me when I spoke how nice her rose pull looks: "yes, specially put on for the photos!" in jest, but it does look nice!

Also he did tell me "yes, take photos" the retired journalist, music amateur, was more difficult to be photographed, also his patterned shirt looks great on all the images. He does have a great smile, but so fleeting, going away before the camera could catch it.

Going out, I found this great lady enchanted to be photographed. What a great subject!

She came also to listen to the music, but I met her sitting at the locker room, probably near her daughter working there. When I passed near them again, they waived towards me already warm and with big gestures as to someone familiar.

The lights were on when I got out, great pictures of them in the "blue hour", as I did also others on the upper deck of the bus in the next hour going through Greenwich in the rush hour as the only passenger of the bus!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Toastmasters: speak up!

At TM Lee London_0473Thirty years ago, I joined Toastmasters International to meet people, not to learn to stand up and speak better in public, but that is with the later that I came out from it. Plus, I learned also to improvise my speech.

Yes, to prepare it carefully in advance thinking at all the advices we learn there with the time, but also adopt it to the moment and the audience reaction.

Arriving in London I went to a number of photo meetup groups, and it is not until I met by chance a President of a local Toastmaster group that I felt: I'll have to try it again!

At TM Lee London_0463After my speech about the flickr groups and the use of showing one's photo on web instead of hiding it in a drawer or a disk drive or CD, I finished telling them that I just joined Toastmaster's and learned to walk and gesticulate while speaking: an instant laugh!

Yesterday, while going back to the second time to the Lee's TM's, and a bit disappointed I was not asked to "do" a Tabletopics 'will I go home without speaking at all?" I was asked, finally as guest (I did not join yet): give us your opinion of tonight's meeting.

I used it to improvise a speech about my conference before students finished talking (and SHOWING) about what I learned at the last time meeting: instant laugh. I went away happy. Even if shortly, I could speak and also, prove to myself that I can still connect with the audience.

But of course, I also learned a lot yesterday. What to do and how, and what not to do also. Learned about Chinese education as well Polish torments, about great coaches and clever behavior, about lots of interesting point of views and how to express them better.
At TM Lee London_0465
An unforgottable speech also about her childhood and then, arriving in UK: seagulls.
At TM Lee London_0469
He taught me to speak and move too last time.
At TM Lee London_0475
Alas, I was to near and cut most of the time their legs, also I did not want them to think about being photographed, but here are some samples taken on the fly.
At TM Lee London_0471
An experienced Toastmaster, he gave us useful tips on "how to".

The young man from Poland (I did forgot to ask his permission so he is not between my images), has yet a lot to learn about how to deliver a speech, but I came out not being ever able to forget something he said in his first ever public delivery: "I learned, he said, that the most personal is finally the most common problem, that so many share."

Toastmasters before and during speaking

At TM Lee London_0473 At TM Lee London_0469 At TM Lee London_0475 At TM Lee London_0465

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Begin, somewhere

Night patterns (26)Begin!

Does not matter where: just go there, be there.

Begin with something, jump in the water.

The solutions will arrive when you are inside, not when waiting for them staying around it.

May I take a video of you? Say yes, as I did, not knowing where it would lead, why it could be of any interest to do it. What I'll do with it, why does she want to do it? I did not know yet. It will lead to somewhere.

London night around WaterlooMay I go to speak in English to students in King's College? Yes, I'll go. What I'll speak about, how? I was not sure. Taking pictures of patterns in the night? Good idea, but where to begin. Wherever. I begun from the bus, then the street. Try to follow a bike. Take the red buses. It could lead somewhere.

We worked yesterday making a first DVD from some of the 100 video rushes Sana has taken on Brick Lane market with me interacting with people met there, taking pictures of them on my tiny camera.

Here Sana with her camera as we met near the Leicester station, put before a pattern.
Brick lane Sunday market-5Horrible skin on my front, white hair in the wind, slow hesitant steps, and yet the interaction worked and the interaction shows on the video, and also the people's joy of having been chosen, having been photographed.

A wonderful short film on why and how to take photography of people, to use and show the students, to photographers hesitating still. Explaining, also the short 15 minutes are self explanatory.

Yes, we all foreigners arriving in London from different parts of the world have something to offer, to add, to teach. Not only taking, but giving too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wonders in London

I adore going each Monday night to Center London, near the Thames to the Royal Festival Hall. Either I go by train or the Tube, arriving at Waterloo and walking to the river, or I arrive to the Charring Cross train station, across the river and traverse the foot bridge, either way the lights, sights, movements enchants me each time with new wonders.

Yesterday, I was looking for patterns for my Afterclass Flickr group "night patterns": I did discover so many, inside and outside too, without forgetting "movement" one of our last classes and "color", from which here are two, combined examples.
Night patterns (40)
The train bridge obscures part of the huge wheel, and a train passes!

I would not have done this image, if it was not all I learned in Afterclass, inspiring me.

But I looked for patterns also inside the Festival Hall, at the entrance, I found this. Lots of different patterns, but also something more.
Night patterns (51)
It still stuns me as does the possibility to go there and have many different activities at leisure. Read a book, speak with a friend, relax, use your computer. Meet with others. Without anyone coming and asking "do you have a ticket? did you buy something? what are you doing?"
Hall of the Royal festival hall
Also, even after thousand portrait of "strangers" I remain still in wonder each time someone answer me "Of course, you may!" when I approach them to take a photo.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

University of 3rd age

After looking a lot for it, finally it was an unknown lady I spoke with in the train that advised me: go Friday afternoon at New Cross's Goldsmiths College, they have a conference there every week.

U3A Goldsmiths CollegeThe South East London section of U3A meet there, as I have learned later even before, a lunch together for those wanting to socialize more, then at 2 pm Conference, then a friendly thee for those who still want to linger. I did, arriving home towards five when the sun was going down and the temperature freezing.

Yesterday, we had a fascinating speech about Chocolate, in fact the history, geography and preparation of Cacao. I learned a lot about it but also enjoyed meeting different people (of my age, 3rd age).

How many ages there are?

I feel I had more then 7 different lives, and hope to have some more... not as much the age, but the place I lived and with whom counting it it too.

Anyway, the excellent speaker was older then me, and even more interesting there were about the same number of audience as in my Tuesday speech, but they seemed a lot, probably because the class was smaller and we somewhat occupied the space.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tired today

Blackheat Standard Agence flowersIs it because I walked? Because on a short walk I took 150 pictures (together with the few when I was drinking a café).

Each day I can not write about a "success" or something that I am happy about, as yesterday, to meet young students from London and being able to speak a whole hour... in English!

Today I went, for the first time this year, at Weight Watchers. In only a few weeks this year I gained back 6 pounds! Aie!

But I really like the pictures I took to use for my thread Urban patterns in my Afterclass group. And even more these flowers that I took as a plus, at the spur of the moment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brick lane market's wonderful people

Brick lane Sunday market-26So many interesting, nice people met on the Brick Lane, est London market sunday! He is one of them.

Later, he even posed with me, telling then in French "je t'aime" to prove he does know same French worlds.

Alas, his food, that he gave me to taste then was not all to my liking, lots of fat in it, but it was made friesh on site, almost like in the Palermo market!

So many great people, men and women and so many friendly!
Brick lane Sunday market-42 He, for example explained us that his coat dates from the 60th!

I came home, tired from a 'too much' - also, how can friendliness be too much?

Colors, smells, images, perhaps? We went to fast from one to other savoring all that the great market offered us, Sana, at least as good in communications with people as me.

I do hope, today I'll be able to communicate also well with students whose passion is photography and communicating between them, even if we are different in age, we have lots in common too.

As we found, common grounds with the people met in the market.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Brick lane market, Sunday

In fact, I did take around 180 images there, here only around 30 between those I liked most, and also those who did need the least work on them, but even those, I think give the mood.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Together in a corner

I decided to say it like this, there is a whole story about them that I photographed.

Was it two years ago or three?

It was not remarked a lot, but it is very near my soul anyway, even today. You do not show to people holding hands or kissing tenderly, this photo speaks by itself, I think.

I bought a bunch of them and they begin to look at each other from afar already, then got more and more near each other, retired in a corner to be alone. Later, alas, as in my life, one of them got bored, and let down the other.

I imagined then him with another, not so nice, and he did wither fast, still or again thinking what the first had given him. But it was too late.

I took a photo of the withered one, lying at the food of the round, still young. But then happened the unexpected: the round too full of herself rotted from inside, while the old end all dried up, withered still lives on my selfs!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

What beautiful eyes!

I was born in Transylvania, in a city, an University city, old city, but this Hungarian peasant from my first trip back after many years, smiles to me, not only on this image, but also on my wall in London.

He is together with another portrait, of an old woman smiling me in Trafalgar Square in the Diwali festival.

From Bucarest's streets and markets, to London's festivals and people, from Ireland, Morocco, Sicilly, so many portraits and so wonderful meetings!

Two women, one met in London, the other in Palermo,
they smile to me with so much understanding!

Joy of life 5Palermo street & museum-46

A young girl just out from school in Paris, an older women selling flowers in Bucarest, they remain with me and also how we have seen each others.

Paris 19e fall-049Flower seller, Bucarest

Met in Marocco's small market or in Limerick, Ireland, I love taking their photos with me, and the souvenir
In a small market of MoroccoWonderfull, you have too then!