Oh, You Gonna Let It All Hang Out

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Exposing in public… Although flash is not allowed in the London underground, photography is permitted in public, and probably more relaxingly so than in New York. Far from Rochester, RIT is creeping up on me- with photographs of people in transit, the interstitial transitions… and with fellow SPAS students-

Another American visitor and Council Rock alumnus this week, Arion Doerr flew in from Scotland and accepted the offer of a whirlwind tour of London. It is kind of curious how things sometimes come full circle; over a beer and burger dinner we remembered our first meeting. Arion was in Philadelphia on a wild cheesesteak search and just happened to pass by Matt Reuter and myself in the midst of one of our photographic pilgrimages to the city. Earlier that day, he had visited the KYW-TV Art Department where had been present for a casual lecture from art director/graphic designer/and creative director (A Side Note: Larry Solitrin is a Quantel wizard an can draw a mean set on the paintbox) he would later find out was my father. I met Arion at King’s Cross station where we got our obligatory photo-op in front of Platform 9 3/4.

A mutual love of photography lead us around the city of London. We took the tube over to Host Gallery to see the Stephan Vanfleteren Flandrien exhibit. The show contained some beautiful portraits of Flemish cyclists and the print work was quite nice.

We also stopped by one of the “holy grail” sites of the photographic world- Magnum Headquarters. I could only think of the great names who had pressed the door buzzer leading to Magnum office as I tried to ring my way into the print room.

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The fingers that pressed this button were the same index fingers that tripped the shutter to some of the most beautiful and compelling photographs ever taken.

In the evening we found ourselves at the bar where I was offered a pretty surreal and humorous sight. A dapper man in his seventies sat sipping an ale. Hatted and bespectacled, the man looked as though he was straight out of 1950’s London; behind him the television played music videos and I couldn’t help but laugh at the juxtaposition at this anachronism of a man in front of Mika’s Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) video.

London seems to be full of these quirky juxtapositions where old meets new and polar opposites seem drawn together by some humorous force.

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