Canon Ae-1: Before a long day of shopping

April 18 is my birthday. April 18th, 2011 was the day I turned 21. Quite an important step, right? You would think that being a photomaniac I should have collected tons of pictures on my 21st birthday. I actually didn't.

Well, I had taken some pics, nothing special. But some were damaged and some were deemed not worth the printing by my weird photolab. It's a fast photo lab, the supermarket kind. I guess you can say it's my fault for keep getting my rolls developed there, even though they never print my most interesting and "experimental" [i.e. messed up] pictures 'cause they think they're just accidents- can't they see those are happy accidents? Can't they just print the whole batch of 36 pictures for the sake of it? They get paid per prints... oh my.

Anyway, this is all I can show you of Day 4 of my last trip to London, stuff on our bed before leaving for a  whole day of genuine shopping... in Oxford Street! We bought so many things that once we got back to our hotelroom M and I decided to put all of our new stuff on the bed and it was completely covered in our clothes and my bunny ears. Yes, I said bunny ears.

Last but not least, I'd love to thank everyone who likes and shares my pictures on tumblr [with proper credits!], as I've recently experienced a consistent rise in my views on flickr, and I'm always excited to see more and more people marking my photos as favorites.

Thank you all for your support, it really means a lot to me.

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Konica Pop: Westminster Afternoon

After a yummi hot dog under the London Eye, on April 17th we also went to Westminster and Westminster Abbey. While my classmates and I attended a hearing in the House of Commons back in 2009, I've never been in Westminster Abbey. Once again, I missed the chance to visit it, but as this wasn't my last visit to London I don't really mind, I plan on doing it next time.

I've always loved Gothic architecture, and I think this shot quite conveys the dramatic feeling of a small, powerless human being in front of the majestic height of the House of the Lord, in front of the immense power of God.
I'm so fond of this little red marvel box [my Konica Pop], this was just my second roll, quite a test roll if you consider that I have got the first one developed only after shooting this one. I can't say I'm proud of myself, as the Red Beauty has no options at all: you set the ISO, press the shutter release button, pull the advance lever, shoot again. She did it all by herself, the tiny red bit!

...Looks like someone else's quite fond of their camera too! This is M next to Westminster Abbey's fence in Victoria Street. Once again, her shades made me snap a pcture of my reflection on their lenses. It's addictive, and it makes me feel miserable. So, once again, I'm the little figure holding a red camera reflected in M's shades lenses.

Coming up next: a quick photo-recap of my 21st birthday, aka the day I only shoot one single picture. Quite bizarre, I know.

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Konica Pop: Morning at the London Eye

I've always considered the London Eye a mere tourist attraction and no one could ever convince me to waste £25 on a ride on thte tallest ferris wheel et cetera et cetera...
On my last trip to London, though, M. insisted on two things I regarded as time-wasting-attractions: the London Eye and Tower Bridge.
I eventually had to change my mind on the latter, while I'm still pissed about wasting half a day of my life on a giant steely helm.

It was April 17th, it was crowded as hell because of the London Marathon [I'm no sporty spice so I was just annoyed by the people everywhere and the tube stations all shut down]. It took us ages to get from Westminster to the Jubilee Gardens. We got there around lunchtime, it was so hot and we were so hungry. Hot dog time again. We had lunch in the park near the Eye. I refused to take a direct picture of it. But it was so sunny and M's shades reflected the light so beautifully that I couldn't resist taking some pictures as cliché as they could be. Shades picture.

I feel guilty about these shots. This one's the last, I promise.

Then it was self-portrait's time. I'm the one on the left. And I know I look super horrible, whatever.

The lovely weather, the weird people everywhere, the joyful kids and the yummi hot dog made it a little easier to bear the presence of such obscenities as these below.

The afternoon was better on the photographic side, but i much worse on the bleeding-feet side. Shame on you, Transports of London!

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Canon Ae-1: Cadmen Town, Afternoon

After a not-so-light lunch we ventured out in the stalls market. It was amazing, as always. Despite liking the cyber-colossus outside, the place I like the least in Camden is Cyberdog. I used to have quite a kick-ass bag and a t-shirt from it some years ago and loved them, but the place itself is too crowded and the music too loud for me. Yeah, my days as a rockstar are over.

I like the atmosphere all around it better. I tried to look for what used to be the staircase featured on The Clash first record, but once again, failed. Also because I had so many shopping bags that I didn't really feel like running back and forth for a mere staircase.

After buying some more t-shirts and cool stuff, we went to Starbucks for my usual Frappuccino. The guy at the bar insisted for me to try it with the cream on top. "Everyone likes cream!", he said: he was quite shocked when I told him I don't like cream at all. Sorry, man. M hates coffee but wanted to be pictured with a Starbucks cup anyway. We had some poser-moments, you know. We all have.

Then we got on the bus headed for Waitrose and then our hotel, as we were already really tired. We were on the back seats, then a man sat next to us. His nails were dirty, his shoes holey, and his appearance wasn't very reassuring at all. He kept staring at the both of us with the corner of his eye, and we were getting quite nervous. He even took some dope out of his pocket and ate it.
We got off the bus, he kept following us, so we went into the supermarket, quite scared of his possible next move. When we went out, however, he was no longer in sight. We got back to our hotelroom and had a shower, dinner, and just fell asleep right away.

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Canon Ae-1: Camden Town, Morning

Camden Town. Needless to say, my favourite place in London. Not only for the weird things you can find in its shops and markets, the punks and goths, the food. I love Camden Town because you can go there in your pj's, and no one would give a damn. If they ever notice.

I'm not much of the chaos-lover, I enjoy orderliness and quiet most of the time, but here in Camden nothing seems to bother me. The last time M and I went here, we were looking for an album in a record shop, and when we got out there was a massive fight right in the middle of the street, with police cars, ambulances, and tourists snapping, of course.

This time a few police cars stopped as well, but nothing cool happened. It felt much like a lazy day.

We shopped a lot, mostly in the markets, and had lots of fun as always. I know it's lame, but I have to confess that the first shop we entered as we left the tube was H&M's store, as they had great sales and... well, we seem not to be able to avoid entering any H&M store on our way.

I can't recall what's into this shop, we didn't get in, I guess, and though the picture sucks it was quite impressive in real life. I've also taken tons of pictures of the graffiti in Camden, but the light was awful and my experience with SLR so poor, that I'll better not upload them.

These rainboots. Sweet. I wish I shot this one horizontally as M did. It would have been focused better, too bad. I should really buy a pair of these next time I happen to be in Camden. Anyway, I've bought so many t-shirts i still can't believe I managed to store them all in my luggage.

But shopping was exhausting, so we ended up eating on those vespas along the river. I had a huge hot dog, though I regret not trying some ethnic stuff, but it was yummi enough. M decided to go Brit and had fish&chips, and she did actually regret it. I've had fish&chips once in my whole life and would never ever give it a try again. It just ain't my thing.

Sorry for the lame quality of the pictures, I'll try to fix it asap.

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Canon Ae-1: Covent Garden

I went to London with a friend for a few days last April. It never ceases to amaze me how much I feel like belonging there much more than my actual birthplace. Maybe the fact that it feels so ordinary for me to go there is the reason to such a small amount of pictures [four rolls only] and their poor quality. Or maybe it's just because I was all about buying clothes and take the time to shoot some good photographs felt like a waste of time.

Our hotel was a few minutes away from Shepherd's Bush Market tube station. It was quite dirty, and very very small. Everything smelled like curry: the stained, holey sheets, the dark blue curtains, the dusty moquette. I could smell it on my hair too, no matter how much shampoo I used to wash it. The landlords were Paki, the whole neighbourhood was either Paki, Ethiopian, or of other nationalities.

April 15th. We arrived in the city around noon. We had lunch in a cafè in Baker Street  and got to the hotel to leave our luggage, then we went to Covent Garden. The shitty picture below was the first I recall shooting in London. Actually, I took many before, but the first part of the roll got burnt as the camera back accidentally opened. Shit happens.

In the Apple Market there is this cool shop that sells the cutest things. I bought a mug that is kinda kawaii and helped two Italian kids who were having issues with the British Coin System. Which is quite traumatic, at first, for €uropeans.

I love Covent Garden. There is something so relaxing about it. It doesn't even feel like London, to me. It was just a shame we got there a bit late in the afternoon, 'cause I especially love it around noon, on a sunny day.

Being so late, the sellers at the stalls in the Apple Market were leaving. We just walked around, giggling for being in London again. We were just happy and without a care in the world. We saw a guy with crystal balancing balls, M was snapping all the time, I almost didn't, till this shop window caught my glance. The shop was so cool, with its mirrored walls, floor and ceiling. But our feet were hurting, so it didn't feel like the right time to buy heels.

I only bought that mug and Barry M's minty nail polish. We hanged out a bit and went back to the hotel. We stopped at Waitrose, and decided that's our favorite mall in UK. It just had to be. We bought sandwiches and had them for dinner in our hotelroom [nr. 24, let me write it down before I forget it].

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Disposable: Hit The City

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