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UK CitySlicker Hazelbeeves: A Tale of Two Cities

London--It never sleeps. You can have your New York, Edinburgh and Bangkok with their 24-hour living but London is all I’ve ever needed. If you want, you can delve into this deep and magical place too--with the help of a trusty Diana Mini!

Hi! I’m Hazel, and I’d like to take you on an analogue journey through the magical monstrosity that is London. Fledgling photographer that I am, I’d like you to try and excuse my often grainy pics, as I explain how living in this city makes you feel like a big-shot and a flea in the same instance.

In London, you share your special ground space with 4,700 other people – all crammed into that one square kilometre. Understandably, this makes you all too aware of your own space and how you are forced into sharing it. As people with their own lives scurry past, there is nothing that you cannot conquer. The world is your oyster and there’s nothing stopping you from being the Next. Big. Thing.

In London, boredom will never be an option. There will always be at least one hundred exciting happenings and goings-on, just waiting to be documented. Whether it’s the shaky tendrils of light tailing around dingy Hackney nightclub, The Dolphin with best friends and strangers, or a crisp shot of perfectly rounded clouds against a clear blue sky from the top of the Bussey building, this city has every snapshot you’d ever need forr the perfect life album.

Sometimes it might be tricky to capture the ins and outs of such a diverse city; where haute culture and grunge sit together side by side; but it’s definitely worth a shot. Here are some examples of summer through to winter in the capital: from a balmy evening of uber-cool house music atop a warehouse in Peckham (Secret Sundaze: a must-see for any hedonist)…

… To pure joy chiming along to SingStar in a friend’s graffitied garage in snowy Haggerston, there’s everything for my Diana Mini to capture. After all, it fits perfectly in even a hipster’s vintage tote!

Currently living just north of the infamous Camden Town, I’ve realised there’s plenty that your average school kid misses when on a visit to the lock. There’s the bridge and the bustling market – but what is often missed is the people of the boroughs. Like a Dickens novel, it’s those hard-working folk – the stall holders, the students, the office typewriters – the hands keeping everything ticking over who duck just out of frame.

Personally, my favourite has got to be the Chinese ‘bang bang’ chicken stall holder – handing out free samples left right and centre, his sales tactic is flawless – give the people what they want, and they’ll keep coming back for more. Possibly the most successful salesman in the entirety of Camden Town, his combination of volume, entrepreneurship and MSG has got the tourist traffic returning time and time again. Watch this space for a Bang Bang chicken chain, coming soon to a town near you.

For now, it’s those instances of serene calm in the ne’er trodden cobbles of a back alleyway, of pure joy and unbridled hedonism that goes unsaid in the capital, all will be caught in my roll of 35mm film. The people of London—from punks and hipsters to mods and rockers—they’ve all got their place, and I’d love to share it with the Lomography community.

As the pic below shows (using an old Kodak film that my mum gave me), I am not the most talented of Lomographers. So please tell me your techniques, tips and tricks! I would love to learn from all!

If you’ve got an exciting event or snapshot of London that you simply MUST share otherwise you’ll burst, then let me know!

written by hazelbeeves

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