Archive for January, 2012

Wonderful Machine… refreshed

Monday, January 30th, 2012


Those nice people at Wonderful Machine have refreshed my images on their site. Looks great.

Tearsheet – Pervoe Vtoroe Tretye magazine

Friday, January 27th, 2012

No, I don’t know how to say it either but this Russian magazine that commissioned me were utterly charming, paid well – before time – and were a pleasure to work with… My thanks to Olga, Evegeny and Natalia.

Another Delhi food story again soon…











A website refreshed…

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

I’ve just completed a refresh of my website. Listening to clients it was clear that people wanted to see recent images much more often and so I’ve added a new section right at the top of the page called New Work. I’ll be updating regularly so I hope people will look in now and again.

In addition I’ve updated the Destinations section with some new images.

Here’s a screen grab. Click the image to go to the site


Meditation Flash Mob…

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I’ve mentioned before about people finding private space for themselves in busy cities so here was a nice little thing – a meditation flash mob – perhaps a couple of hundred people or so came to sit by the stone lion in the great Court of the British Museum on Friday evening… shame I was photographing rather than being a part of it as it looked rather interesting…


UK - London - A man performs qi gong exercises as part of a meditation flash mob in the Great Court of the British Museum


UK - London - People taking part in a meditation flash mob in the Great Court of the British Museum


UK - London - A woman taking part in a meditation flash mob in the Great Court of the British Museum

Dickensian Delhi

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012


I visited the Dickens exhibition at the Museum of London yesterday – a really powerful evocation of the writer and his times.

What always struck me about Dickens was his ability to convey the despair and misery that the city around him housed: no stranger to debt, his past was marked by the fear of slipping back into poverty. I think that the exhibition gave me a very apt adjective to describe the dark underside of a city that I have worked in so much, namely Delhi. Perhaps all societies lurching through such painful Capitalist development are like this – but certainly Delhi is Dickensian in its mercilessness and its cruelty. The lack of a safety net and not-so-subtle machinations of caste mean that the people who produce the city’s wealth by selling their labour are completely at the mercy of the vagaries of the Market and the violence of the street. In a similar fashion to Dickens’ time they must struggle against a whole moral code that tells them they are nothing if they have no status. I’ve mentioned here before a slim volume of reportage and writing from those at the bottom of the dark underbelly of this metropolis called Trickster City and the more that I looked at the exhibition yesterday, the more I thought of Delhi.

Dickens’ “slime and ooze of the Thames” is the realm of the boy who picks bits of detritus out of the poisoned Yamuna River on a pathetic raft of polystyrene and rags. Budi Lal, pouring through other people’s filth and rubbish and ignored by all except the snarling dogs and his debtors is Boffin, the Rag Picker from Our Mutual Friend. The men burning plastic bags could be from the slum in Bleak House; Tom-All-Alone’s.

All of them would recognise Victorian London.



India - New Delhi - A young scavenger on a raft, beneath the road bridge across the Yamuna River by the Kudsia Ghat, New Delhi. Scavengers trawl the filth of the river to find objects to sell. The river is so polluted that it can no longer support life, however a community still live and work on it's banks.


India - New Delhi - Buddhi Lal, 30 works before dawn collecting refuse to recycle and resell. Known as 'rag-picking' he can make perhaps Rs150-200 a day and is often chased and attacked by stray dogs because of the smell of his work


India - Delhi - Destitute men gather around a fire made from refuse and plastic bags to try and keep warm. It is estimated that around 100000 people are homeless in the city



The Englishman and the eel text

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

As promised, I’ve published the piece about eels and London’s peculiar love of them in the Writing section of my website.

The direct link is here.


UK - London - Eels in a barrel in the yard at Cooke's Eel and Pie shop in Hoxton



What to do with the old Christmas decorations…

Monday, January 9th, 2012



UK - London - A performer (Mummer) dressed as the Holly Man - the winter guise of the Green Man - processes along the Thames in a traditional 'wassail' ritual to welcome the New Year




Stephen Hawking’s birthday

Friday, January 6th, 2012

UK - Cambridge - Professor Stephen Hawking in his office at Cambridge University


Sunday is Stephen Hawking’s seventieth birthday so I thought I’d feature a portrait I made of him a few years ago.

Of course I taught him everything he knows but he never lets on …


The Englishman and the eel

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Although I already featured a tearsheet of a recent assignment on London’s pie and mash shops (see here), I thought I’d take the opportunity to show some of the images that didn’t make the magazine edit. Although I’m certainly no interiors photographer, I’ve always been intrigued by the survival of period details in these shops – a palimpsest of past London lives. Crucially, none of the images that Effilee featured showed the interior of the Manze shop in Walthamstow market. I thought this had the best architectural details although, dating from the 1930’s, it wasn’t the oldest.

I saw the piece (and my accompanying text – a link that I will post soon) almost as a bit of visual archeology. Like the long closed Jewish Soup Kitchen that I photographed at the start of my career (see here) these places are disappearing year after year. As I’ve said before, the corporate, identikit British high street is a poorer place for the passing of traditional cafes and all manner of independent shops.

Whatever you’re preconceptions of this food – and I guarantee that they are likely wrong – I urge you to try it even if it’s just an excuse to rediscover something of the past that for now, is still with us.


UK - London - A customer eats a plate of eels, pie and mash in Cookes' Eel, Pie and mash shop in Hoxton


UK - London - A plate of stewed eels and mash at Manze's Pie and Mash shop in Tower Bridge Road


UK - London - An antique flower pot (with a typically 1930's aspidistra...), a broom and an umbrella by a door at Manze's Pie and mash shop in Walthamstow market. The interior is Grade 2 listed


UK - London - UK - London - Original tile details at Manze's Eel, Pie and Mash shop in Walthamstow


UK - London - The interior of Manze's Pie and Mash shop in Walthamstow market showing the rare pressed tin tile ceiling


UK - London - A pre-decimal cash register at Manze's Eel, Pie and Mash shop in Walthamstow


UK - London - Original tiles and a boxing poster from the 1970's in Cookes' Eel, Pie and Mash shop in London Fields


UK - London - UK - London - The interior of Cookes' Eel, Pie and Mash shop in London Fields


UK - London - A man eats a plate of eels, pie and mash at Manze's Eel, Pie and Mash on Tower Bridge Road, the oldest in London dating from 1902

Imran Khan… again

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

It seems that Imran Khan, who I’ve photographed a couple of times on assignment (and previously written about) is finally making a breakthrough in the murky and dangerous world of Pakistani politics with a large rally on Christmas Day. I was delighted therefore to see that his new book, Pakistan, a personal history includes a couple of my images of him.

Here’s one they unfortunately missed…



Pakistan - Lahore - Imran Khan the former Pakistan International Cricket player at prayer in a mosque in Lahore, Pakistan