East End London Series

Posted on February 24, 2012


I started working on shooting street scenes from London’s East End as a means of getting used to my new 120 film camera. I liked some of the images and I’m now putting together a short series.

I began by just shooting without a clear view of how the photographs might work together. I still don’t really know but as I have taken more photographs I am beginning to think that the link might be that each image contains something a little surreal or unexpected within an otherwise innocuous street scene. None of the photographs have significant human subjects other than people  in the distance or appearing briefly in the corners. People are represented indirectly by the traces of human activity.

This project was not planned or thought through at the outset and this may well turn out to be a good thing as my thinking has not been constrained. From talking to other photographers I am beginning to realise that this is often how ideas develop. It is not until you start to photograph that you begin to develop your ideas more fully. There is a definite learning point here as I have delayed my Advanced studies so that I can get a better idea of the projects. A better approach might have been to have come up with some broad concepts, go out and take some photographs and then see how things are shaping up.

This work is not directly related to my studies but I am sure it is contributing to my development as a photographer. So here’s the thing…should I concentrate just on my course work or should I go out and have some fun with my photography? I have definitely decided that whilst I need to stay focussed on my course work, I will still run a number of personal projects alongside it. It may mean that I will take longer to get to the end of my studies but so be it – I will probably learn more and have more fun by keeping an open mind and tackling my learning on a broader front.

Here are a few photographs from the East End London series. All were taken with my Fuji GF670 120 film camera – some in 6×6 square format some in 6×7 cm. I have been using Kodak Portra 400 film at 400 iso. I get the negatives developed and scanned by Rapid Eye Photographic in East London…they do a great deal for students.

East End London series by Keith Greenough