Dubai, London and Budapest …

One of the absolute truths of being a working photographer is that you always appear to be … well … ‘working’. We don’t even qualify for a ‘busman’s holiday’ … definition … “a holiday where you do something similar to your usual work instead of having a rest from it”. It’s the ‘holiday’ part of the definition that doesn’t happen.

The fact of travelling is that the camera is always slung over your shoulder … and if it isn’t on your shoulder you WILL eventually regret it.

I’ve just returned from nearly a months travel to Dubai, the UK and Hungary where a camera rarely left my grasp … and where my time was also spent productively visiting photography work in galleries or meeting editors, printers or others involved in the industry.

In Dubai I worked on some ground work and initial photography for a new World class environmental venture to be opened later this year (my reason for travelling to the UAE … but more on that down the track). I also found a little time to make two contrasting images of daily life in the principality. Away from the glitz and opulence of downtime Dubai I spent early mornings among the thousands of wharfies and sailors who worked on the traditional wooden dhow trading boats that ply their goods around the Arabian Sea from their base at Dubai Creek. Near all were ‘foreigners’ from Iran, Pakistan or elsewhere. My fav pic was the portrait I made of old Hossain in front of the most beautiful weathered rosewood dhow hull. (top below).

In contrast was the image (also below) I made in a segregated ‘male only’ carriage on the Dubai Metro … one of just a handful of railway systems in the World that operate segregated carriages for women to address sexual harassment and unwanted contact .

London is proudly my heritage … and I spent some time fruitlessly digging around for reminders of the London of old. These two pics (3 and 4 below) came closest to the required nostalgia levels. Wandsworth Common on a cold foggy morn with the young football players from Broomwood FC brought back memories of my own youthful footballing days. The portrait subject is Lewisham street trader Alan Hogg. Born in Lewisham Hospital (as was I) Alan is the quintessential south east Londoner of old. He runs ‘Pitch 45’ at Lewisham High Street market selling, according to his licence, ‘fruit and vegetables or flowers or xmas novelties’. Lewisham has now long been a diverse multicultural society and cloth capped characters of Alan’s ilk have almost disappeared. Pure nostalgia …

The last image is deliberately different … a quirky image from Budapest Hungary … a city now best known for it’s beautiful city architecture. However, metres below the World Heritage Castle district on the Buda side of the city there exists a cold war nuclear bunker … complete with gas masks and ‘occupants’!

Ain’t travel … and work … grand !

All Images © Brian Cassey – from top – Dubai UAE x 2, London England x 2, Budapest Hungary

Dubai, UAE - portrait of Hossain at the Dubai Creek wharf - by Brian Cassey

Dubai Metro - crowded male Metro carriage segregated by sex (female carriage half empty) -image by Brian Cassey

Football on a foggy day at Wandsworth Common, London - image by Brian Cassey

P{portrait of market stall holder Alan Hogg at Lewisham Market, London - image by Brian Cassey

Pic from the Cold War nuclear bunker in Budapest, Hungary - Image by Brian Cassey

New Nikon Df … and London …

Thanks to the efforts of Nikon Australia and ECS Sydney I now have a nice spanking new piece of kit – the Nikon Df – to play with during the current trip back in the UK.

First impressions of the new retro style full frame Nikon Df DSLR is that it fits nicely in the hand, is light enough to carry around all day … and produces great images. It’s amazin’ how easily and quickly you fall back into using the old fashioned dials to adjust settings rather than the newer fangled buttons and windows. Must be in my blood … ! (Must say I prefer the look of the black body Df … the chrome version looks a little too ‘busy’ and a little overstated to me. But that’s just me … ).

The Df uses the innards of Nikon’s D4 so the low light results are truly spectacular. I’ve attached below a quick frame shot at night on the wet cold streets of London – deliberately shot under exposed for pictorial effect.

Image © Brian Cassey