Images, Photography, Uncategorized

Portobello Providence

I have just spent a very diverting weekend in London. After attending the Design For Music Conference at St.Bride’s Library (more of which another time) I met up with my good friend Christian for a catch-up and some expensive lager. On a slightly blurry morning after, in search of a good breakfast and some highly medicinal coffee, we headed out towards the legendary Portobello Market. It was heaving with tourists, fashionistas and, quite possibly, a few locals; but it was really difficult to tell. A good rummage around lots of vintage stuff and tat was had by us both and a small addition to my printing paraphernalia was acquired (to be revealed later!)

In the midst of all this, with stomachs stretched taut like a couple of pregnant hippos, we waddled onwards in search of the fabled coffee. In the middle of all the hubbub, Christian stooped to pick up something from the floor, which turned out to be the tiny Polaroid photo shown above. It is a bit scuffed from spending some time on the ground and was still developing – I thought it was an old photo that had faded but as I looked up I saw the buildings further up the road. We were in the opposite direction from where the shot was originally taken, so we headed off for a better look. Sure enough, we located the exact spot that it must have been taken, but neither of us could get a similar wide angle shot with our cameras. Christian suggested to try for a shot with the original photo held up in the right place, but again, I couldn’t get the angle right. Below is a look at the photo from the same viewpoint:

And the best shot I could get to replicate the original :

It turned out that the Polaroid was probably taken a few minutes before we stumbled upon it – the cars – even though you can see in my shot, were the same.

Ok, so this is not groundbreaking stuff, but maybe it is just a little moment to consider one or two of the vagaries of life; the coincidence of this particular ‘lost and found,’ that maybe we were meant to find this photo. Maybe it was left there for us. Maybe someone is looking for it. I don’t know, but like it anyway.

Keep it safe Christian – there might be a reason why you felt compelled to pick it up and hold on to it…


See the comments…


5 thoughts on “Portobello Providence

    1. I’ve just checked the link – there is a kind of similarity – I guess it is a bit 1960’s swinging London. I ought to post a black and white one, just for ha ha’s!

  1. For those who have’nt seen the film, there is a famous scene set in a dark room, where the protagonist: the photographer begins an enlargement of a mundane scene in a London park. Once enlarged he notices an object in the distance which he continually manipulates until he can see a body hidden in the bushes. Not too many murders in W9 on Saturdays, but a lot of day-light robbery at the market stools!

  2. Just been looking at a scene or two on YouTube – I was thinking of a different film, but this is great – You are spot on about the visual reference to Blow Up.

    Can you see the corpse in my shot?

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