Monday, 28 July 2014

Review: Backyard Cinemas

Cinema under the stars on a muggy, clear London evening - bliss.

Backyard Cinema has launched a summer series of film screenings on the cobbles on Camden Lock showing everything from cult favourites like Spinal Tap and the Goonies to classics like the Grease and Ghostbusters.

Movie viewers kickback in comfy deckchair and luxury beanbags; and just in case things get a little nippy you can hire a fleecy throw for £1 and snuggle up.

We were there for a special preview event - the first time for organisers and stuff to run through everything before the public screenings.

Relaxing in our deckchairs with full stomachs from the various Camden Market food stalls, as darkness finally came we settled in popcorn in hand.

A SMALL Negative
Maybe picking a film that's run time comes in at two and a half hours was not a the greatest idea for a test screening.

As with any preview event hiccups are to be expected, but a half hour delay in the screening of Pulp Fiction meant the credits didn't roll until after last Tube time - not an ideal situation on a Tuesday night.

I'm sure timing issues will have been sorted out by the main screenings.

The BIG Positives
Fantastic location. Great sound, clear screen and great seating (many outdoor cinemas ask guest to bring their own).

All the staff were friendly and the popcorn and drinks delicious. 

Backyard Cinema runs until September 4.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

iPhoneography with Foto Ruta: Photo Touring Around East London

One unusually sunny Friday afternoon I was lucky enough to join the team at Foto Ruta for a run-through of one of their photography workshops as they got ready to launch their first London-based tours.

Foto Ruta got their start on the streets of Buenos Aires, and from there they have spread to several major cities including Vancouver, Barcelona and, of course, London.

The company's tours are part photography workshop, part walking tour taking in sights, history, art and photo tips.

I was invited to take part in their iPhoneography course which teaches you how to get the most out of your smartphone's camera while exploring some of East London's best street art.

Over a coffee we were given a run down of our phone's software and practiced using their recommend apps. The guides adjust the content to the level of the group so don't worry if you're a complete smartphone photography novice.

We hit the streets - phones in aeroplane mode - and for the next 3 hours we snapped our way through the streets focusing on architecture, street art, colour, shadow, reflection, angles and people.

After filling our phones with pictures we settled down to a glass of wine and spent some time putting the finishing touches on our shots with a spot of editing. After we were suitable happy with our images the group went through the pictures giving advice, tips and praise to our finished products.

Even though I've lived in London for nearly 4 years, this tour made me realise just how much of the city I've yet to discover and reminded me of the little pieces of beauty hidden all across London.

But my favourite part of the experience was discovering that I could take a pretty decent picture with my little Moto G smartphone and a bit of help from Aviary and Snapseed.

People. iPhoneography London. Photo by Kara Segedin

Shadows. iPhoneography London. Photo by Kara Segedin

People. iPhoneography London. Photo by Kara Segedin

Fresh Prince: Graffiti Life, Cheshire Street, Shoreditch, London. Photo by Kara Segedin
Stick figures by Stik. Photo by Kara Segedin

Stick figures by Stik. Photo by Kara Segedin

Street Art. Photo by Photo by Kara Segedin

Street Art. Photo by Photo by Kara Segedin

Street Art. Photo by Photo by Kara Segedin

Street Art. Photo by Photo by Kara Segedin

Colour. iPhoneography London. Photo by Kara Segedin

Hedgehog by ROA. Photo by Kara Segedin

Stick figures by Stik. Photo by Kara Segedin