My wife Susan dabbles in photography, which is an art form that mystifies many of us. I’ve never managed to get a handle on it, even when I was paid to take photos for newspapers that were too cheap to pay actual photographers and had reporters take them instead. On my first newspaper job I not only took photos of the events I covered — I also developed the film. I spent countless late nights in a darkroom whiffing up the chemical fumes and turning my fuzzy little exposures into fuzzy little photos that somehow, beyond all reason, landed in the paper the next day.
But enough about me….
What I really wanted to do here was share some of the photos Susan has either taken herself or polished up using her photo editing skills. When I decided to launch this website I asked her if she wouldn’t mind taking black-and-white, noirish shots that would help set the vibe I wanted to establish on the site. She took to it immediately, seeing images through a photographer’s eye and capturing them in her own unique way.
All of the shots on this post were snapped during our time living here in London and kicking around Europe.
So let us begin with a few I especially like (sorry, no captions):
Here we have a photo of a package Susan found that has a certain mysterious vibe to it (hmmmmm, “Missent to Qatar”….but by whom, Dear Watson? And to what purpose?):
Here are a few I took during one of my regular excursions to Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club near Soho. Susan edited and cropped them:
Susan took this one in Amsterdam. It does a good job of capturing that city’s obsession with bicycles.
This is a photo I snapped while wandering aimlessly around on Daddy’s Night Out. Susan added the editing touches that give it an urban mood I find intoxicating:
Here are a few personal favorites of photos that Susan took. I like them because they tell stories no words could properly capture. What lurks in those upstairs windows? Who are those two mysterious men walking past the Fish & Chips joint, and what are they hiding beneath their coats? Why is the sinister chap below The Glad sign spying on us?
London, like most big cities, is filled with dark alleys and hidden corners. It also has a long, proud history of criminal acts and evil doings by the kinds of Brits who don’t play polo or go to High Tea. Think Jack the Ripper or the Pink Panthers, the latter of whom (named after the Peter Sellers films) staged hundreds of armed robberies that netted them nearly 300 million pounds in stolen loot.
London is also a black-and-white city during much of the year, when the clouds roll in and it rains everyday and the sun is only a rumor.
All in all, pretty rich territory for a talented photographer….