Olli Thomson

Category: Talking Pictures

Talking Pictures – Corner Store

This picture was taken in Tbilisi on one of the streets in the Sololaki district. At the time my main camera was the Sony NEX-5 and a friend who numbered the same Sony among his many cameras let me have the use of the compact 16mm f2.8 lens for a couple of days. This lens was routinely panned by reviewers and users and so I had never been tempted to buy it even though it was inexpensive. Instead, I eventually picked up the Sigma 19mm f2.8 lens which was even cheaper and a great performer.

So I took the 16mm for a walk round Sololaki and came across this little grocery store on a street corner with a display of fruit and veg outside. What really caught my eye was that blue wall, standing out in a neighbourhood that was mostly shades of grey or brown. Together with the bright colours of the fruit in the crates it was a blaze of vivid colour in an area where every other colour was faded or washed out.

Talking Pictures – Running Boys

This is, I believe, the earliest picture on display in my main galleries. It was taken in Munich during the annual Corpus Christi procession on 22 May 2008, about six weeks after I arrived in the city with my first serious digital camera, the Sony A200. The procession is long, slow and solemn but enlivened by the international representation of Catholics from across the world who are living in Munich, many of them processing in national costume.

This shot, taken with the kit 18-70 lens supplied with the A200, was one of a sequence of three I took. The first was a picture of the nuns only. I liked the repetition of patterns in the columns of walking nuns and in their simple black and white garb. This featured shot was the second. I hadn’t intended to take it but I saw the boys coming running from my right and thought it might make a good picture if I could get them in the frame with the nuns.

Talking Pictures – Street Kitchen

This picture was taken in Yangon, Myanmar. Like the previous picture in this series of posts it was taken from a pedestrian overpass looking downwards, though in this case I was shooting from a greater height and the people are almost directly below me so this is closer to an overhead shot. This particular overpass is at the junction of two busy roads, Anawrahta Road and Shwedagon Pagoda Road.

Talking Pictures – Pink Trousers

I asked a few people to take a look at my newly redesigned website and tell me what they thought of it. One person said that he would like to know more about the pictures. He wasn’t looking for technical details – what camera, what lens, what settings – but for stories about the pictures. Where were they taken? What was it that caught my eye?

I prefer to let the pictures speak for themselves, even if what the viewer ‘hears’ is silence, or a story very different to the one I would write. I also prefer a very clean minimalist look on my site so I don’t like unnecessary – in my eyes – information or graphics.

Nonetheless, I thought it was a reasonable suggestion, recognising that some people do like to know a little more. So I decided that, rather than add text to the galleries, I would do a series of blog posts on particular images telling the story, insofar as there is one, behind those pictures.


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