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Michael Taylor AKA TeaPot from Shoreditch by nicole struppert

 Michael AKA TeaPot in front of Brick Lane Coffee

Michael AKA TeaPot in front of Brick Lane Coffee

Sometimes life surprises you by meeting very special people. That happened to me with Michael Taylor better known as TeaPot. Michael and I became friends while I was working on my documentary photo project of Shoreditch.

This charming guy is full of stories of his life. He was born in 1945, worked  as a demolition man and enjoyed life in all stages. He must have been a real heartbreaker - and I think he still is. This man is packed with happiness, even so life can hit you hard from time to time.

Last year he got sick and it must haven been tough couple of months. Now he is getting better and better which makes me very happy to see!

I was so glad to help him out a bit this time. Last year I mentioned to him, that he would be the perfect model for commercials. He liked the idea and so I called my model friend Sam who gave me a contact of a model agency. When I got back to Munich I edited some pictures of him and send  a portfolio of different shots to the agency. They replied immediately and invited him for a meeting! Me and my friends from Brick Lane are so thrilled that it worked out!

...it feels so good to help! Michael is not having lots of money and this could be a jump into a second career and to polish up a bit his income. I'll keep my fingers crossed that everything is working out with the agency. I am sure they can't resist his charisma and personality. 

Whenever you are around Brick Lane. Have a look around, he likes to sit in front of Brick Lane Coffee. Talk to him and asked him for pictures. Pay him a few pounds - you will get awesome pictures of him and a few stories extra! He is very special and I am so happy to know him...

 Selfie of Michael and me

Selfie of Michael and me

Bye Bye Shoreditch... by nicole struppert

Today, I feel a bit sad... Yesterday I had my last day of shooting for my documentary of Shoreditch. A bit more than 2 years I am documenting life in this area. I haven't seen a place which has transformed so much in especially the last 6 months. 

I have made really good friends there - especially my mate TeaPot. He is one of the characters of Brick Lane. We had so many nice Portrait Shootings together, that I am thinking to dedicate him an extra project.

Thanks also for the nice people from Brick Lane Coffee! The staff is nice and they have the best coffee! 

Taking pictures of this area and the people was so much fun - but now the tough part begins! Editing, selecting the best shots and finally looking for publishers who are interested in publishing a book about Shoreditch. There is lots of work coming up for me and I can't wait to start! 

Shooting Black & White with the Fuji x100s by nicole struppert

I got so much feedback after my Barcelona Posting where people asked me how I process my B&W pictures. 

I have been in Dubai last week and used this trip to shoot some B&W images. It was my first trip to the Middle East and I loved it. I honestly have to admit that I didn't do lots of people street photography cause I wanted to respect the culture. Of course I could have asked - but I do prefer getting the most out of my picture - the real private moment. 

The x100s is a beautiful camera - especially for Black & White photography. Most of the time I shoot RAW & jpeg. The jpegs are great out of the x100s but the RAWs have more information and if I am having a "gold keeper" I want to get the best quality out of my picture. 

Here are my settings for the Black & White pictures with the x100s: 

ISO: 200 (sunny weather) - or ISO Auto 3200
WB: Auto
Filter: Black&White Yellow
H-Tone: +1
S-Tone:+1
Sharpness: 0

This setting work for me as the best to get the Black & White result I want to have. I love the punchy black and the great contrast of the Yellow filter. The Black & White jpeg outcome is awesome and so most of the time I don't need to do any editing. Sometimes I change a bit the curves or the exposure, it depends of the picture - but that's it.

Dubai was a great place - also for color shooting. For that I did use the Fn Button for the Filmsimulation. That made it easy and quick to change the settings for a color picture. Therefore I mostly used the Velvia Filter which made the pictures very punchy - which was perfect for the colourful Dubai.

I hope I could help you a bit with the x100s Black & White settings & editing. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me... 

Barcelona, perfect place for street photography by nicole struppert

My year has just started from the photography point of view. After my shoulder surgery I am ready to travel again and explore new places. I thought it would be nice to share some insights about the places I travel. I try to give u the best tips for photography spots and other insights. So here is my first review on Barcelona.

It was my second visit to Barcelona  - time was pretty tight, cause I spent just the weekend there but I tried to make the best out of it. I don't want to get into details about sightseeing places - I am sure this will be on your list when u travel anyway.

BARCELONA BEACH

I highly recommend the beach area of Barcelona. Best time is in the morning - then the place is not too crowded and there is already much to see. Young and older people are coming together for a chat, to bike, skate or just stroll around. This area is fantastic for street photographers - the light is incredible and a perfect spot to catch some nice shots or just have a drink and enjoy the surrounding. Don't miss to walk around the little streets next to the beach area. This area is incredible beautiful and reminded me a bit of Napoli in Italy.

La Rambla and La Boqueria - Mercat de Sant Josep

Walk up the famous La Rambla - it is pretty touristy but I am sure you will catch some great shots. Make a stop at La Boqueria - this is one of the famous Market Halls in Barcelona. This place is perfect to stroll around, grab a bit to eat and get inspired from the delicious Spanish food. 

Old Town of Barcelona

Old town of Barcelona is a great spot for all kind of images - try to capture traditional architecture, street life or the contrast of urban street art with the vibe of historical buildings. Explore the little streets and play around with light and shadows. Best time for the light is late afternoon or early evening. 

One thing I like about street photography is, that you never know what's going to happen. I never plan exactly what to shoot - I just choose interesting areas and get surprised. Barcelona is definitely a place for street photographers. It is an awesome city with so much to see and explore. There is lots of contrast of traditional and modern architecture and the perfect light to get brilliant shots.  I will definitely come back soon and think about doing a workshop in Barcelona.

I hope I was able to give u some interesting tips and inspiration for your next Barcelona trip. I very much appreciate if you would come back to me with any feedback if you like to get more travel inspirations.

Barcelona, Saturday Morning on the Beach... by nicole struppert

The past weekend I was in Barcelona. It was my first trip after my shoulder surgery and I was very excited how I can handle to photograph again. First goal was to travel light. I left my Nikon D800e at home and took just my Fuji x100s.  The x100s was the perfect companion, light, fast and nearly perfect for all situations. I love this little camera more and more... 

I got some really nice shots Saturday morning on the beach. The mediterranean mood, the sun and the easy beach life felt so good after the long grey wintertime.

#Shoreditch / The Second Hand Store by nicole struppert

While strolling around  Brick Lane I came across THE SECOND HAND STORE in 14 Bacon Street. TY, the owner for 30 years, invited me taking a look inside. 

Honestly the store didn't look very inspiring from outside, but inside it was like a journey through the last century.  All this bits and pieces, vintage stuff, industrials, furniture, records, radios etc...  It is a huge mess, but I absolutely enjoyed my visit and can recommend all of you taking a look inside...and who knows, maybe you'll find little treasure.