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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gemmell

London trip with Fujifilm GFX 50R

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

It has been many many years since I used to travel into work via Liverpool Street Station. Fifty two years ago in fact. The station itself, but also the whole of the city has changed dramatically since my daily trips as a young fresh faced lad of sixteen. Back then I worked for an insurance broker, but the city didn't really seem a good fit for me and I moved on to other things. My initial plan for this trip was to pay a visit to Spitalfields Market. I ended up also moving on to Shoreditch and then back through the city and over London Bridge to Borough Market.

Sunbathers in Spitalfields Market London
Spitalfields Market London - 1/680th @ F4 ISO 50

On arriving in Spitalfields I hadn't walked more than a few hundred yards before I was confronted by security. Any photographer in London in recent years I am sure will have experienced the same thing. They had seen me pointing my camera skywards to photograph the buildings against the skyline. " You can take photos around here but you mustn't photograph the buildings" I was informed. " It's because of the times we live in" they added. Sad time indeed. On arrival to the market I wandered round and chatted to a few stall holders. It was fairly quiet being a Monday morning and I was able to get a couple of portraits there.This mobile fish stall cooks fresh fish Mediterranean style, very tasty it looked too.

Mobile Fish Stall Spitalfields London
Mobile Fish Stall Spitalfields 1/680 @ F4 ISO 400

Stall Holder in Spitalfields Market London
Stall Holder in Spitalfields Market London - 1/120th @ F4 ISO 640

This gentleman below "Mal", had a wonderful hat stall selling vintage head wear. There was a good range of hats here and Mal assured me that he could sort me out a suitable headpiece. Unfortunately I do not have good experiences wearing hats because of my fairly large hat size of 71/4 inches. So unfortunately hats do not really sit well on my cranium. However I did have a really good chat with Mal before I moved on towards Shoreditch which is famous for it's street art.

"Mal" Hat Stall holder Spitalfields Market - 1/60th @ F4 ISO 250

I wandered around Shoreditch amazed at the amount of graffiti on display In the vicinity.

Some disturbing graffiti Shoreditch London
Grafitti at Shoreditch London 1/2700 @ F8 ISO 800

For the larger "Art Work" I was waiting for suitable passers-by to add juxtaposition and additional interest to the images.

Amusing Graffiti Soreditch London
More Graffiti Shoreditch - 1/3500 @ F6.4 ISO 500

Grafitti Shoreditch London
More Graffiti Shoreditch - 1/3500 @ F6.4 ISO 500

Grafitti Shoreditch London
More Graffiti Shoreditch - 1/2200 @ F6.4 ISO 500

Art work Shoreditch
Art Work Shoreditch - 1/140 @ F6.4 ISO 400

"Peaky Blinders" Art Work Shoreditch
"Peaky Blinders" Art Work Shoreditch - 1/1400 @ F5.6 ISO 500

I am finding that I can do most of my editing within Lightroom Now. The first decision is finding the profile that works best for the image.I usually use one of the Fujifilm profiles - Astia Soft is one of my favourites. Occasionally I will dip out of Lightroom and into Photoshop for some small detailed adjustments. The files handle completely differently to the X system files. Of course this isn't an X Trans sensor. I find that I can dodge and burn ( or make other local changes) using just the brush options in Lightroom. This takes me back to my days of dodging and burning in a traditional darkroom. When I was editing X files I often made use of the gradient tool in Lightroom. Now with the bigger GFX files this does not seem to work so well for me and I find it easier to use the brushes.

After having explored the wonderful art work that Shoreditch had to offer I headed back to the main financial district of the city. My goodness how the area has changed from my aforementioned daily visits. The first image was taken along Bishopsgate.

Archways Bishopsgate London City
Archways Bishopsgate London City - 1/280 @ F5 ISO 200

I took the shot below to illustrate the contrast between the old and new architecture.

Contrast between the old and new architecture City of London
Old and new architecture in the City - 1/600 @ F5 ISO 200

The Shard is 95 floors high designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano.

The Shard London
The Shard London - 1/750 @ F8 ISO 200

Crossing over London Bridge I came across this guy promoting the “The London Bridge Experience”.

Character on London Bridge
Character on London Bridge 1/240 @ F5.6 ISO 1000

Then on to Borough Market, one of the largest and oldest food markets in back to at least the 12th century. The variety and quality of food on display makes a visit to this market a very worthwhile visit at any time of the year.

Borough Market Stall London
Borough Market Stall 1/80 @ F6.4 ISO 2000

Produce on Borough Market stall London
Borough Market Produce 1/250 @ F7.1 ISO 2500

I hope to plan in more trips to London with the Fujifilm GFX 50R with the intention of exploring other areas of this amazing city.

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