I was persuaded by my studio pal to go on a winter bike jaunt on the canal last week, and I was glad that we did. The canal, with its engineered geometry and vertiginous reflections, plus the cold drizzly weather, brought a few hours of sharp relief from the stuffiness of the studio. We constantly stopped to take photos. At several points we overtook the same three guys walking a long stretch of the Midlands towpath. It's always weird when you see people walking purposefully on long empty stretches of the waterways. As my friend pointed out, you need to live near the canal to know how to use it.
Eventually we came to a long tunnel and the guys walked past me again. This time, however, they walked under a skylight ( see above ) and the lighting was so perfect, I chased after them and explained that I was an artist and that it looked really cool when they walked under this one source of light, and I asked if they could walk back under it. I had enough presence of mind to sweep away a piece of litter that was glinting in the darkness and that would have ruined the shot. The three friends obliged and I got the most spectacularly cinematic shot in my repertoir.
In the old days ( pre-camera phone, pre-internet - the 1990s ), you really could go up to complete strangers and say they had a cool look and can I take your picture..? Now, of course, you have to have a team of lawyers on standby if you forget to ask permission.
Below: Adios, amigos.
We talked to the guys once we got back out into the open, and I made sure they were all happy for me to put the shots on my social media, and they were fine about it. I seriously think the pic of them in the tunnel is the best photo I've ever taken.
I was designing my own font last year ( not yet seen on this blog ), and inevitably ended up using the 'A' and 'K' in my 2019 logo designs ( notably the 'A' with way-finding chevrons that you may have seen on my posts ). Since then, I've decided to have another go, so I'm experimenting with new versions of the logo and abstractified configurations of the font. I love the beauty and elegance of various non-European alphabets, and ultimately want to invent my own.
Below: Combining 'abstract alphabet' vector shapes, with a real-world paint stroke