30 November 2013

Exploring Poplar

I was in Poplar (that is when Apple Maps says I was) for a political conference but it was a part of London that I had not been to before so I wanted to do some exploration too.

I was helped in this my the conference programme that included some walking tours and I chose to go on one of them for my lunch break.

The starting point was The Oval Space which is in the corner formed by Hackney Road and Cambridge Heath Road.

Behind The Oval, to its west, are the remains of four gas holders and these dominated the views as we walked around the area.

And just to the north of The Oval the Regent's Canal cuts a hard line through the area making exploration a decision of which bridges to use.

The interplay between the gas holders and the canal dominated my pictures as we headed for the bridge. Even in reflections the gas holders were determined to make their presence known.

Walking towards the road bridge I passed under the rail bridge and that was a framing shot that I could not resist. Nor could anybody else in our group of twenty odd.

The picture captures the mood of the area with its combination of industry and mass social housing.

Our destination was Broadway Market and our mission was to photograph people. I did not know this when I signed up and I made only a half-hearted attempt to take pictures of people. Not only do I not particularly like looking at pictures of people but I feel distinctly uncomfortable taking them.

Broadway Market surprised me.

I was expecting something like Ridley Road Market in not that far way Dalston but this was very different. Both the stalls and their customers looked more as though they belonged in somewhere like Hampstead. There were a large number of stalls selling unusual (for me) ethnic food presented for the middle-class and sold at middle-class prices. I bought something African with cheese and spinach in something bready. It was yummy.

Unfortunately the market stalls were tightly packed in to the narrow road and there was no way go get a perspective shot showing the size, layout and composition.

There was a lot of graffiti in the area and quite a lot of it was fairly arty but none more do than this impressive bird staring at the market. I think that it was made all the more interesting by the line of bikes parked safely under his gaze.

Turning back towards The Oval to resume the conferencing I was confronted with this sky and the silhouette of the road ahead. This is just as I took it though it was tempting to tweak it just a little and to make it completely monochrome.

I like the details in this, the shape of the clouds, the shapes of the protruding lamps and the unfinished looking building in the distance. This is why I take pictures of buildings rather than of people.

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