Me and My Leica: London - by Roy Katzenberg

My good friend Roy, who's a very talented photographer, has agreed to contribute a number of guest posts for my blog.  Armed with a trusty Leica, he roams the urban streets, looking for the unusual, hilarious and downright bizarre.  The photos you'll be seeing today come from London (where he's a resident) - in the future, get ready for European and North American shots.  His eye is very unusual and I hope you'll enjoy his photos as much as I do.  All commentaries below the pictures are by Roy.

1. Four and Twenty Blackbirds


Taken in Lucas Gardens, Camberwell, South London.

This song was believed to parody the relationship between King Henry VIII of England and his second wife Anne Boleyn.

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye; four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie:

In preparation for a visit by the King to the home of Anne Boleyn, Hever Castle, during their courtship, 'netters' were sent out into the fields of the estate with rye in their pockets to spread around to catch a mass of blackbirds. Two dozen blackbirds, feathers still on, were baked into a massive pie that looked beautiful on the outside.

When the pie was opened the birds began to sing; oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?

But when the pie was cut open the smell was terrible '...began to sing' is a funny, way of referring to this in English slang. The 'dainty dish' was highly sarcastic.

2. Kaffeine


I took this shot of staff members in the 'Kaffeine' coffee bar.  I spent a while trying to get the exposure perfectly so that the viewer could read the logo not in white but in green.

3. Orange Kiosk


This pop-up kiosk appeared one day on Aldgate High Street in East London.  Is it an orange?  Is it an egg?  Unfortunately, it's no longer there.

4. Vapour


Taken on Commercial Road, close to Whitechapel tube.  I took this of a customer outside Chuck Burgers (which, incidentally. serves the best burgers in London) - I was intrigued by his blue hair.

5. Faces come out of the rain

Taken outside Switch House, the Tate Modern's newest building.  Here, I tried to capture the mist in a sculpture outside the walls.