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03 November 2012 | By: Lindsey

Londonist Behind The Lens: John Kortland

Londonist Behind The Lens: John Kortland

A series celebrating the talent of our friends in the Londonist Flickr pool. Each week we ask a photographer to share their favourite city shots and tell us about their photography and their London. This week, meet jaykay72 AKA John Kortland.

"I was born in East Ham in the East End of London and my interest in photography started when I worked with someone who belonged to a Photographic Society. I went along with him for a couple of meetings, got hooked and learnt the basics of picture taking and darkroom work. I had my own darkroom in the attic which was like a furnace in the summer and the Arctic in the winter! I shot all black and white then, mostly street photography. I used to love wandering around Speakers Corner or Petticoat Lane Market on a Sunday.

That was over 30 years ago. Photography took a back seat with the pressures of work and bringing up a family. Then, when I retired nearly 7 years ago I rekindled my interest and entered the world of digital photography. I still can’t quite get out of the film mindset though and still take each photograph as if I have a roll of 36 in the camera.

I shoot mainly pictures in the street, either of the wonderful characters I see or the comical situations that occur in front of me. That’s what I really love about London — you never really know what, or who, will be around the next corner, or what might happen next.

I shoot either in the City or around Spitalfields, which I prefer for black and white images — the narrow streets and cobblestones suit black and white. Or around Covent Garden and Trafalgar Square or that part of Central London, where characters and interesting individuals wander around with nobody taking any notice of them. I always find that even on the quietest days something or someone gives you the opportunity for a picture, and it’s that buzz that really appeals to me about London.

Have a look at more of John's work on Flickr and at his website.

You can also browse the Londonist Behind the Lens archives and Londonist Flickrpool.


Article by Lindsey | 3,292 articles | View Profile


John is master of the art of quirky candid shots! Having met him personally, I can say he's also a great guy with a killer camera! :)