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 Steve Way:
I was born at Hyde Park Corner (in the old St George's Hospital) in the 1950s and have stayed rooted in London ever since, fascinated by the ever-changing city. When I was about 12 I discovered Geoffrey Fletcher's books in the local library and Twin Bus and Tube Rovers pretty much simultaneously, and have been maundering around London ever since. Fletcher introduced me to the quirkier side of London, and penury to the free entertainment on offer just wandering about and riding London Transport's finest. I was very lucky in having a grandfather who had a commercial art studio in King St, Covent Garden until the late 1970s, and I used to work with him doing bits and pieces of touching up, and wandering around the market or heading off to South Ken or Regents Park. Working with the BBC took me to the Proms, Notting Hill bedsit land, Shepherd's Bush and Marylebone. Then I spent some time in Aldgate, with lunchtimes in Brick Lane and a pre-tidied up Spitalfields, and then to Hatton Garden, where I've spent the longest time nicely placed for forays to the City or Up West.
I've always had some sort of camera around. By the Sixth form I was playing around with film, 8mm and 16mm, as well as SLRs (all "borrowed" from Hornsey College of Art), learning how to process and print, too. Since then, I've progressed through a number of SLRs and compact 35mm film cameras but it was not until digital came along that I really started working on the images I was taking, as suddenly it didn't cost a fortune to experiment. My current cameras are a Canon 350D and an IXUS 850IS.
I guess there are three strands to my shots: capturing an image I find pleasing through composition, shape or form, recording events and places, and candid and street photography. I'm always on the lookout for a good shot, and tend to wander around with a compact digital camera in my hand, just in case. I've always felt that whilst decent equipment can enhance a good capture, it's the eye for seeing the shot in the first place that really counts.
My love for the quirky side of London has informed much of my London photography, drawing me into playing "Guess Where London" on Flickr and tracking down and photographing the remaining locations sketched by Geoffrey Fletcher, such oddities as the Little Compton Street sign that lives below the Charing Cross Road and the Kingsway Tram Subway amongst others. The bones of old London poking through the plastic skin of the modern city, without being tarted up or presented as part of Theme Park Britain, are what really fascinate me. London's transport has been another recurring theme, as I have commuted on buses, trains and tubes since I started secondary school in Edmonton.
As a London photographer, I gained my Section 44 stop photographer's badge (shooting the Docklands Teleport satellite dishes against a thundercloud) and continue to take lots of shots in the Underground and on National Rail. This is a personal protest as I don't like being victimised for carrying a camera (and I like tunnel shots).