Posts Tagged ‘POTN’

POTN Xmas Drinks

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Another year has come and gone, with several fun photo meetups taking place throughout 2011 thanks to the fine folks at POTN.  This year, for a bit of a change we met up at the Winter Wonderland for a few drinks instead of the usual ‘photo-shoot come drinking fest’ that we’ve done in years past.

That’s not to say there weren’t a few camera’s on hand to capture the evening anyway.

Playing with eachothers toys is always fun!

It was a fairly relaxed evening with quite a lot of beer consumed.  We managed to stick around till the bitter end and were escorted out of the establishment by a team of security guards at the end of the evening.

Equal amounts of goodness.

Who says Beer & Photography don’t mix.  Looks like a perfect match if you ask me!

Few more images in the gallery.

Winter Wonderland

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Over the weekend Lee, Matt and I wandered down to Regents & Oxford streets for a bit of street photography.  The city was kind enough to close the roads to traffic on Saturday in order to encourage the Christmas shoppers to come out and play.

And come out they did!

Oxford Street, closed to traffic for some serious Christmas shopping.

It was essentially an orgy of advertising with loads of branded freebies being handed out and big screen televisions reminding us of what products we need to buy and which musicals we should see.  I know, musicals?  I was surprised too.  Those crafty thespians are getting wise.  There were some folks who were there just for the fun of it though.

Chirstmas Storm Troopers and a festive Boba Fett.  Obviously.

Move over Santa, this year I’m sitting on Boba Fett’s knee and telling him what I want for Christmas.

From the throngs of shoppers on Oxford street, we decided to make our way to Hyde Park to experience the Winter Wonderland and the throngs of shoppers there.  The second group of shoppers were slightly more bearable, I think due to the close proximity to mulled wine, beer and Bavarian sausages.  We managed to find a bit of beer ourselves.

Myself, Matt, Lee and Lee's fancy new sign

The Wonderland is infinitely better this year than it has been in the past.  Previous years had a sorry showing of maybe a dozen stalls and a few standard carnival rides that had been smothered in Christmas decorations to make them seem festive.  I’m sorry, but putting your 15 foot Grim Reaper in a red jumper doesn’t automatically mean your haunted house ride becomes full of yule tide joy.

This year they pulled out all the stops.  At a guess I’d estimate there were over a hundred shops and stalls and most were fairly unique and interesting.  There was no end to the sausage stands or mulled wine vendors, you almost had to feel sorry for the lonely Chinese food stall that was set up.  Nobody comes to a German Christmas market for sweet & sour chicken balls I’m afraid.

Skating at the winter wonderland.

Saturday was actually my second visit to the Winter Wonderland, and I don’t imagine it will be my last either.  Definitely worth a visit or two, even if you’ve already finished up your Christmas shopping for the year.  Yea right!

A carousel in the winter wonderland.

There’s a few more photos in the gallery.

London Evening Shoot

Friday, September 24th, 2010

I went out with Lee again for a bit of a wander around the city.  No real purpose in mind apart from a bit of street shooting (that neither of us are that comfortable with) and to just get out as I hadn’t pulled my camera out of it’s bag since the Ukraine.

One poultry (redux of a shot I tried last year)

A couple on the millenium bridge.

St. Pauls and the millenium bridge

There are a few more shots in the gallery.


Monday, August 30th, 2010

Our third and final day in Kiev was taken at a much more leisurely pace.  There was time to sleep in a little bit and have some breakfast to stave off the effects of the previous evenings vodka consumption.

The plan was to wander down to the House with Chimaeras to get a few shots of the unusual building and then hike down to the war memorial park for some photos of the statues and arsenal they had just lying around.

House with Chimaeras in Kiev

The park was full of behemoth bronze statues depicting scenes of Soviet soldiers charging to battle and were largely inspiring assuming this was the side you wanted to win.  In the center of the park was the Mother Motherland statue, an impressive military take on the Statue of Liberty.

The statue of Mother Russia

Beyond the statues and military machines, there were also the standard “eternal flame” monument and several obelisks devoted to specific wars the Ukraine has been involved in.

The eternal flame in the Eternal Glory park of Kiev

The rest of the photos from the day here here.  I was feeling much less creative and disinclined to take many photos, and the gallery reflects that I’m afraid.  Still, it was a great trip and one that will be hard to top for a while.

Chernobyl & Pripyat

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

I remember hearing about the Chernobyl disaster when I was (much) younger.  Being at the height of the cold war, information surrounding the event was a fraction of what’s available today and what information was around didn’t pique my 10 year old interests all that much.  There were vague hopes of evil mutants and a series of super powered heroes to battle said mutants, but on the whole thoughts of the event didn’t interfere with my hectic schedule of cartoon viewing and video game playing.

As a teen there were always jokes about Chernobyl and it was just another tick in our favour used as an example of why a democratic system was better than a communist one.  How an industrial disaster relates directly to social systems I’m not sure, it was just one of those times you nod your head and agree with the adults.

Chernobyl, reactor 3 and 4 visible here.

I’m not sure why, but I’ve wanted to visit the area ever since I discovered that one could visit about 5 years ago.  The radiation levels were deemed safe for short term exposure and I’d seen some amazing photos and stories posted online.  If nothing else, I imagined it would be a cool day out shooting something that won’t be accessible for much longer.

In reality, the trip was fascinating and sobering at the same time.  Accorcing to the video we watched on the 2 hour drive out, the official death toll from direct exposure to the incident (during the explosion or post disaster clean up and containment) was only 28.  A quick search shows numbers up to 250,000 being tossed around but obviously when you’re dealing with this sort of thing it’s impossible to tell.

What is more tangible and no less sombre is the fact that a city of about 50,000 was evacuated and never allowed to return home.  I think this bothers me more because the city I grew up in was the same size at the time.  It makes it easy to relate.  The ability to go back home whenever I feel like it is something I’d never considered a privilege (if you want to call visiting Medicine Hat a privilege that is); I couldn’t help but think what those people must have gone through.

The famous Pripyat sign.

I’d gone expecting a fun day out doing some urban exploration but it ended up being a lot more reflective than I’d ever anticipated.  It was certainly fun, but a lot of that had to do with the guys I was out there with.  As a photographic outing, I think the trip was amazing and should be experienced by as many people as possible.  If you’re thinking about it, the sooner the better as we were told that they will be restricting the buildings you can visit before the end of the year and before long they won’t allow anyone into any of the buildings due to their deteriorating state.

As an eye opening experience to what the people who when through this faced the tour was unmatched.

A sign in the exclusion zone, near the tanks.

One of the bumper cars in the amusement park.

The rest of the photos from Chernobyl and Pripyat can be found here.