Almost everyday I walk the streets of Shoreditch admiring the ever changing artwork and though I share some of my favourite pieces on Instagram I am ashamed to say that I know little about the artists who create such interesting works.
I have a very similar attitude when it comes to improving my photography, I really do like taking pictures and my phone is permanently complaining about how it cannot cope with the amount of images I have stored, yet I have never taken the time to learn the skills involved in creating better images.
Both of these reasons are why I jumped at the chance to join Microsoft and Talented Talkers for the Lumia Street Art Photography Tour, where we got the chance to try out the brand new Nokia Lumia 930 with Phil Hibberd (an extremely helpful photographer) who was on hand to teach us how to take make the most out of mobile photography.
Meeting at Shoreditch High Street Station we picked up our vibrant orange Nokia handset and after a quick selfie check and introduction by Karim from Street Art London, our guide for the evening, we headed out into the rain.
Weaving our way under the train line, through back streets and along Brick Lane, we learned about some of the area’s key players and history of the street art scene, as well as the differences between graffiti, street art and murals, pointing out examples on the way.
This was predominately a photography tour so I am going to let the pictures do the talking here and take you on our route;
Hottea – string on fence
Nathan Bowen – demon builder pasteups
Gary Strange and Lily Lou – “No Good Reason”
Various Artists – Sticker wall
Merc, Func and Corze – Graffiti lettering
Shepherd Fairey – “Stereo Sound” and Space Invader – Black and white tiles
Conor Harrington – Napoleon-era soldier and Various Arists – other smaller pieces
Faith47 – Lioness mural
ROA – Heron and Martin Ron – Queen’s guard doing handstand
Alexis Dias and Elian Collaboration
Various Artists – Gate
Jonesy – ‘The angel of Scalter Street’
Shepherd Fairey – “Shoplifters welcome this decade only” mural and Insa – Blue and purple heels
Dal East – Big cat rendered in wire-style
Each piece that Karim pointed out had a purpose in explaining the culture behind street art and its varying styles.
I am pretty wary about taking part in tours, as often they feel scripted and have no real depth, however, Karim spoke with great passion and had an incredible amount of knowledge not only on the art that he selected but each additional piece that we enthusiastically questioned him on.
Learning more about the area’s art and culture has definitely sparked a deeper interest in expanding my own knowledge instead of simply being an everyday observer.
Phil Hibberd, from Photography Made Simple, was also very engaging and not only helped me get to grips with the Lumia 930 but also had some great tips for grey weather and night photography, which are both areas that I struggle with. Though street art is not his traditional topic of photography he eagerly helped us in making sure that we made the most of our diverse subjects.
The Lumia 930 20MP PureView Camera was also extremely impressive, with flexible features such as being able to change the ISO value and flash intensity which allowed me to take capture the shot I wanted, despite less than ideal lighting conditions.
All of the above images were shot using the Lumia and though I did a little cropping here and there, they required almost no other post editing.
As with the Jack The Ripper Walking Tour back in December, I found being a tourist in my own part of town fascinating and has inspired me to stop taking the things around me for granted and educated myself on the vibrant cultures that make up my London home.
Have you guys been on any similar tours? Do you have any favourite artists that you think I should check out?
* I was invited along to the Street Art London walking tour by Talented Talkers and Microsoft, was provided with a free meal at Pizza East and was given a goodie bag but, as always, all words and opinions are my own.