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Posted on 16th September, 2012
All things Walthamstow
(well, East London anyway).

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Microsoft Windows blue screen of death at Westfield, StratfordWell, summer's over, and it's brought home to me that I've again been neglecting my blog. However, to bring it completely up to date would be impossible, so I've decided to simply mention a few things.
Without doubt, meeting up with Walthamstow photographer Katherine Green for a 1-2-1 portfolio-review was the highlight of my summer, which was one of my prizes for winning the 'Capture Waltham Forest' photo comp in June. Katherine's images of 1948 Olympians, and those from around E17 itself, are poignant and moving, and I feel proud to be able to say I've met such a compassionate photographer. However, Katherine has at least one other characteristic that's worth its weight in gold: that is foresight, and it's something I hope I've absorbed a little of during our meeting.
Walthamstow is a hot-bed of creative talent, and each year it holds the E17 Art Trail as an outlet for that talent. I visited the event on 15th September, looking only for still photography of course, although there's a wide variety of artistic flair on display. It was really interesting to see how the Walthamstow community (individuals, business, and public bodies, etc) all contribute to the success of the event, and it's a model that plenty of other places in the UK might do well to note. Unfortunately though, my particular venture was not as exciting as I hoped it would be. There were several sets of great people pics, such as 'Invisibles' at Ye Olde Rose & Crown pub, 'Taking Part' at Walthamstow Central Library, and 'Photographs from Japan' at the house of author Paula Smith. However, collections were generally very small, and considering how widely spread the locations, it was hard work getting round them all. Not only that, but several collections of interest were in restaurants and women's beauty salons that were actually open for trade at the time. And although I might occasionally be tempted to pay outrageous London prices for a meal, there's no way I'm going to have my hair coloured or permed.
Of the three displays I mention above, 'Invisibles' was of particular note, dealing with the disadvantaged of Walthamstow and the volunteers trying to help such people up to a better life. Apart from being keen on the gritty black & white images usually used for this subject, the reason for my interest was that I've decided I'm at the point where I now need a longer-term project, and this topic appeals: I wanted to see therefore, what angle author David Elms had adopted re the subject. Very positive, and with sensitivity I found, which is not uncommon. So, I must now answer a question before deciding whether it's worth going ahead: how can I make my project different to all others relating to the disadvantaged, without appealing to readers of the Daily Mail?

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