Sunday was the day that the Reading Sikh community celebrated Vaisakhi. This procession knocks the other local religious processions out of the park. It is reverent, colourful and inclusive.
The Sikh community, process round a long route which takes them from the Cumberland Road Gudwara to the London Road Gudwara on the A4 via Earley. When my kids were small they used to follow the procession as the participants gave out sweets and the Sikh shop keeps on the route used to give out sweets for free.
Whether they do that now I know not, but the procession remains a colourful and photographable event that is worth an early start for.
I wanted to concentrate on shooting portraits of the participants and trying to record the faces of those taking part. Here are my pics:
I think we can say that I like trains – yes once many moons ago I used to travel to the delights of Reading to take down train numbers……….
Fewer moons ago I was one of a group of photographers who spent their time wriggling through the security of Reading station to take pictures of the station redevelopment. I was travelling by train from Reading at the weekend and it surprised me how normal the new station has become.
I thought I should stare my archive of Reading redevelopment pictures which show how far the station has come. As usual, click on the picture to see the whole archive.
Saturday found me working with one of Reading’s leading dance schools at their Bachata and Kizomba workshop day. Both Latin styles that are simply amazing to watch and even more exciting to dance.
The workshop was run by Bachakiz Reading and was really hot, in both senses of the word. The space that the workshop was run in, South Street Arts Centre, was astounding, light airy and with a great atmosphere. The fact that the whole room was painted white made it an amazing space.
The pics were outstanding, and you can see how much the dancers enjoyed the sessions. From a photographic point of view, I learnt 2 important lessons:
Don’t wear DMs to a dance conference, you need to be light on your feet and you might even get asked to dance. DMs while ideal on a demo do not work well on the dance floor.
Bring a couple of spare t-shirts. 20 or so dancers generate a lot of heat and they often bring 2 or 3 changes of clothes. It gets super warm in the room that the workshop is held in. If you wear one shirt you are going to be uncomfortable.
Saturday saw me enjoying a surprise afternoon of Oysters, Beer and Gin at the Abbot Cook pub on Cemy Junction.
I actually went in because I could here music and was at a lose end but discovered that there was a beer promotion for Blue Point beer which involved free oysters. I like beer but love oysters. I stayed long enough to enjoy a pint or two of Blue Point but also a plate or three of oysters. I didn’t avail myself of the gin, but took some fab pictures of the Fevertree mixer bottles which made an excellent shot. – Just to point out that this post isn’t sponsored by either of these companies, but if they want to contact me about samples and promotion, just drop me a line.
I wasn’t intending to take pictures but working on the basis that when you are in street photography mode, just shoot whats in front of you.
If you want to see the whole range of pictures, click here.
I rather like salsa dancing. I know its a bit of a cliche, but its such fun. If you haven’t tried partner dancing you really should give it a go, you won’t regret it – honest. Last week I was at a dance workshop trying to Tango and this week, I was at the amazing Salsa Bachata Social Club in Reading, for their monthly Salsa and Bachata party.
If you are in the Ding, you should shuffle your dancing feet there immediately, well immediately when their next evening is on, in March. Find out more about their next salsa party here.
I wanted to make a video of the evening and here it is. It seems to be proving popular on Facebook. You exclusively you can see what salsa dancers get up to on a Friday night.
I also create videos for all sorts of organisations and you can see some of my handiwork here.
Believe it or not Bugsy Malone is 40 years old. I went to see it for my 11th or 12 th birthday.
A few weeks ago as part of its culture celebrations Reading celebrated the fact that Bugsy was 40 years old and was also partly filmed here. If you know where to look the locations are still there.
The film was shown to a small audience at the Shennai Ballroom and the best part was that everyone, expect the photographer, dressed up in Bugsy vintage clothes. It was a very colourful event and I really enjoyed taking everyone’s picture.
Ok its a rubbish title I know, but what can you do. I went to shoot an amazing Swing Music band in Reading last week, Amber and the Professors. Shooting still and video footage, I spent what I can only describe as an amazing evening enjoying the spectacle.