blackdog

16 Nov 2007 495 views
 
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photoblog image Coffee Shop

Coffee Shop

 

Paris 1920's?    No, London 1980's! 

Yes, back then before the days of Prêt, Costa and Starbucks etc.  we had proper coffee shops.  We read the paper and were allowed to smoke!  Inside!!!  How decadent!  No wireless web, no mobile phones, no grazing lunch from the chiller cabinet.  In fact, how quaint life was!  This particular coffee shop was in Covent Garden and was called Boswell's.

And having no built in flash, no motion sensor and no person recognition software built into my primative analogue camera, the photo I took is grainy thro' pushing the ISO and blurred because I was shaking with fear of being caught snooping!  Actually I think she moved ;o)  But I still love it - my Brassai moment ;o)

 

Coffee Shop

 

Paris 1920's?    No, London 1980's! 

Yes, back then before the days of Prêt, Costa and Starbucks etc.  we had proper coffee shops.  We read the paper and were allowed to smoke!  Inside!!!  How decadent!  No wireless web, no mobile phones, no grazing lunch from the chiller cabinet.  In fact, how quaint life was!  This particular coffee shop was in Covent Garden and was called Boswell's.

And having no built in flash, no motion sensor and no person recognition software built into my primative analogue camera, the photo I took is grainy thro' pushing the ISO and blurred because I was shaking with fear of being caught snooping!  Actually I think she moved ;o)  But I still love it - my Brassai moment ;o)

 

comments (19)

  • Martin
  • United States
  • 16 Nov 2007, 00:34
The Starbuckes of the world really aren't nearly as inviting as the slightly grungy coffee shops we used to have. The same is true for bars. Too antiseptic. I hardly ever spend time in these places anymore, although I certainly used to.
blackdog: My biggest hate is that everywhere is the same - same decor, same food, same same same.
Trés nostalgique. The grainy quality and bit of blur just add to the atmosphere, in my opinion.
blackdog: Thank you - I have become as used to sharp images as I have to branded coffee shops ;o)
  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 16 Nov 2007, 03:17
Definitely vintage, Mike. An era of the past!
blackdog: Thank you Ginnie - worry that I am reaching the "its not like the old days" stage of my life!
A "Simone de Beauvoir" atmosphere - Thumbs up !!
blackdog: Ah yes Café society - at least French bars still have some atmosphere!
Well after seeing this the long threatened retreival of the Leica from its holiday in the toy cupboard has been brought forward. Will purchase some FP4 and get the whiff of microphen back around the house again.
Some of the best images are captured when fear and emotions take hold!
blackdog: Oh yes please, I never owned a Leica! Go on give it a go!
Nice shot Mike: if it was taken in 2007 she would look just the same - except it would be a mobile phone against her ear
blackdog: You are so right Chris and even tho I'm a non smoker I would prefer the smaoke to the mindless babble. Yep it's Mr Grumpy here!
My first thought was 1950s. Quite a voyeur back then, weren't you? Well, perhaps you still are wink
blackdog: I thought all photographers were / are. Not something I worry about ;o)
  • Kathryn
  • Germany
  • 16 Nov 2007, 08:45
This is my favorite of the series because the lighting, the slight blur, the framing, and the way it drips with feeling. I think I could look at it forever and never grow tired of it.
blackdog: So glad you like it so much - I am fond of it, but I suspect that has a lot to do with nostalgia, so its good to have a "second" opinion. thank you.
Great atmosphere. (:o)
blackdog: Thanks Roz ;o)
My coffee bar days were the 60's. The El Zamba in Exeter. Spencer Davis on the Jukebox. cups of shaving foam to drink in those strange glass cups. 20 Senior Service (plain) on the table. Nice shot from the archive Mike.
blackdog: In the 60's it was the Kardomah in Market Street in Manchester, the height of sophistication. In fact I have a clearer memory of the sign on the pavement than of the interior! Keep on runnin'
In the 1960s in Bath REAL coffee had not arrived. We had trendy coffee bars where expresso was the order of the day. This was instant coffee with frothy milk chucked on.

The quality of coffee on offer has improved immensley except for Starbucks which I do not enjoy. My American friends describe it as the sweepings off the floor.
blackdog: I think your friends from the USA have it just about right - my main beef though is not about the coffee, but that the interiors are all the same. Branding, franchise yeuch! about as appealing as Peter Crouch in shorts.
  • Mal
  • 16 Nov 2007, 11:23
the "Human League" hair cut is a slight pointer to the date but it really does have that early feel Mike. Beautiful shot. mal
blackdog: Yes, well spotted Mal, pleased you like it - it's one of my favourites from that era.
The blur and the grain suit it, nice old feel to it, never ventured into such places back then, too young for me.
blackdog: Glad you liked the shot Les, even if you claim innocence of the experience ;o)
  • Tracy
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 16 Nov 2007, 11:52
Very nostalgic shot,love it Mike.
blackdog: Thank you Tracy ;o)
This is a real nugget.richard.
blackdog: A nugget indeed Richard - will keep mining for more. Might manage one per roll of film!
  • Ellie
  • England
  • 16 Nov 2007, 21:58
Brings back memories ... back then you (I) could afford more than one cup of coffee too even as a student in Chester.

I detest the way we're being sanitised by the state, and interesting to see how many people are taking their drinks out to their car ... at motorway service stations last weekend!
blackdog: I think the funny thing is seeing people huddled with their drinks outside pubs at night with all the patio heaters blazing away. The insides are empty. Just who is all this supposed to protect - it's certainly not the environment. Boy am I happy I was never a smoker - I would be doubly mad!
This certainly has a feel of Brassai about it. She looks so engrossed in the moment - not at all bothered about you. I doubt if the word paparazzi was in use then! I think the blur and grain contribute to the nostalgic feel.
Ingrid
blackdog: Ooo thanks for the Brassai name check - made my day!
  • Lesley
  • Montreal, Canada
  • 17 Nov 2007, 16:01
Lovely - nice capture of the moment! Great atmosphere - I like that it's grainy and a little blurry.

Personally I might consider cropping a bit off the top to remove that distracting white bit in the upper right-hand corner and keep the eye in the frame and focused on the subject...
blackdog: Yes I can see what you mean - I will have a look, worried it might lose some depth.
  • deji77
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 19 Nov 2007, 20:54
Nice Mike. I like it smile

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