A series celebrating the talent of our friends over in the Londonist Flickr pool. Here, they introduce themselves and share their favourite London shots. Today, introducing cafedereves:
My name is Stephanie Sadler and I have lived in London for three years. When I moved here, I started carrying a camera everywhere. There are too many quirks and eccentricities not to have one ready all the time. I took photos to show friends and family back in New York how different life is on this side of the ocean. It wasn't until last summer that I started thinking of it as photography and going out specifically to take photos. After a visit home for Christmas, I came back to London with my first DSLR - a Canon Rebel xsi. It's all quite new to me and I love experimenting as I learn.
Brick Lane, with its cultural curiosities, walls splashed with colourful street art, fashionable crowds and tasty market food from around the world is one of my favourite places to take my camera. As much as I like a good rainy day, I love drawing out the colours in this frequently grey city. Besides Shoreditch, I often take photos around Portobello Market and Ladbroke Grove for the vibrant, lively, colourful lifestyle around that area. Stories unfold in London's layers of peeling paint and ghost signs and I find myself drawn to the beauty in the derelict areas more than what is on grand display for tourists. Other favourites are Brompton and Kensal Green cemeteries. It's interesting to see the juxtaposition of life and death - the gravestones crawling with ivy and flowers as spring time floats in.
When I spent a semester abroad in London in 2004, I went back to New York with 30 rolls of film in my suitcase that cost a lot to develop and weren't necessarily anything special. Digital photography means I can manipulate a final image, exagerate tiny details, reframe a shot and transform something that was once ordinary into something more powerful. Experimenting with black silhouettes against bright colours is an interesting way of hightlighting a shot that wouldn't necessarily stand out otherwise. If I've taken an otherwise boring shot, I will create a new image out of the original that makes it worth keeping.
One thing I would like to do more of this year is learn to photograph people and become more confident in approaching strangers. London is bursting with brilliant characters who have incredible stories to tell. Once I learn more about the technicalities of photography, I would like to be able to use this to document the incredible diversity of life and culture in this city.
Besides Flickr, a lot of my photos are shared on my blog about London life - Little London Observationist. It features daily posts with lots of photos, weekly interviews with Londoners and London-based artists as well as contributions from some amazing photographers who add to the Flickr pool.
Browse all the entries in our Behind the Lens series.