Londonist Behind The Lens: JudyGR

By Lindsey Last edited 123 months ago
Londonist Behind The Lens: JudyGR

A series celebrating the talent of our friends over in the Londonist Flickr pool who make our site look pretty with their fabulous photographs. Here, they introduce themselves and share their favourite London shots.

Green Stripes: I am very interested in the formal qualities of an image, and here my eye was caught by the green and white curves in this arena in Paddington Basin. The businessman on his mobile and the child playing a game give a sense of scale and also suggest the different ways open spaces are used.

I started out as a small-town girl, coming up to London occasionally in my teens for an exhibition, a Ban the Bomb rally or Vietnam War protest. I saw London then as a city of possibilities - a place to escape the stifling conformity of small town life. When I was offered a job in east London, I jumped at the chance, and I have lived and worked there for over thirty years. So I have had plenty of opportunities for cultural and political activities (including the still all-too-relevant CND and anti-war demonstrations). But it is only since I retired that I have really begun to enjoy the city itself. More time, my Freedom Pass and - most importantly - my camera, have transformed my relationship to London.

Blingo: The bejewelled ‘H’ advertised a shop in Notting Hill, and the ‘hoodie’ stealing the diamonds was added after the shop closed down. Just as I got my camera out, the little girl came along; the way her football fits in with the painted images is pure serendipity!

It all began a couple of years ago when a friend gave me a second-hand digital camera and introduced me to Flickr. Until then I thought that taking photographs distracts you from engaging directly with your own experiences; now I have a camera with me wherever I go. I stick to a point-and-shoot with a few manual settings - the important thing is that it is light, small enough to go in a pocket, and unobtrusive enough not to invite attention from security guards or muggers. Photoshop makes up for some of the limitations of the camera (and the photographer). But to me the important thing is not the technology, but the way of seeing.

Class War: I like the textures in this, and the layers of interrelated stickers and graffiti in their various stages of decomposition. This was taken in Whitechapel, near Freedom anarchist bookshop.

Thinking about taking photographs has made me begin to really see the city I live in. Instead of just hurrying from place to place, I enjoy the journeys. I photograph events and demonstrations that I participate in. And wherever I go I look out for tiny architectural details, street art, surreal juxtapositions, and the constantly changing fabric of London - things I would previously have passed by. Whenever I can, I wander off down a side street or through a doorway that catches my eye, and explore. The Flickr Guess Where London group has helped to sharpen my powers of observation, and other photographers and groups on Flickr inspire me to experiment and try out new ideas. The places of the city and the spaces of the internet interweave and generate new creative possibilities.

For more, visit Judy's Flickrstream.

If you're a Flickrist don't forget to join our group and tag your quirky London photos "Londonist".

Last Updated 18 October 2008