Now you see it, now you don’t
Saturday 8th March, 7am.
Last Saturday morning I spotted this old photograph of a London Routemaster bus in this shop window. The photograph is so large that I imagined I was looking down another another street. And I quickly grabbed a photograph of it with my phone.
The photograph in the shop window was not taken that long ago because the white van turning right near the bus doesn’t look that old. But the use of black and white gives the illusion that its a shot of London from a bygone age
Tuesday 11th March 8am
Three days later, I knew I’d be passing by again and decided to take my camera for a better quality shot of that photograph. But of course, you guessed it, the photograph was gone. So I took this picture anyway. There is still a bus in this shot. Can you see it?
Later that same day, after I’d finished work, I was on another bus home when I saw this no 15 Routemaster coming toward me. Both front seats of my bus were occupied and at the time I didn’t want the person in the foreground. But once I’d downloaded it at home, I rather like the way it shows the context of how the photograph was taken. The colours are from a filter I was trying out on my new camera.
London’s iconic original routemaster bus
Seeing the no 15 made me feel sad. It is the last route in London to use the old Routemaster buses, a style of bus that I grew up with and travelled on for half my life. I know it sounds sentimental but when I sit on one of those old buses I feel at home.
Until last month there were two routes which deployed the routemaster; the no 15 and the no 9. The latter has already been taken out of service, 5 months ahead of its planned removal in July, according to this piece in the Evening Standard last month, London bids farewell to the historic routemaster.
My 2014 photography project
I love taking photographs from buses. All of life is happening out there on the street framed by the windows of the bus, like moving paintings.
The idea of a project of photos from the bus began when I first started using it as my primary form of London transport in 2008. In 2009, I even developed a proposal for one around the no 15 bus because back then it travelled right across London, from East to West, from Blackwall to Paddington, via St Pauls Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and Oxford Street. And now that the no 15 is the only route to deploy the old routemaster, think I should make this my summer photography project. What do you all think?
And maybe I should rename this blog vanishing London or preserving London!!
The gallery this week shows a random set of images taken from a bus that I like. Think of it as the glimpse of a sketch book, the drawings which will inspire the later images to come.