Mile End Road, 1979: Street scenes

Mile End Road stretches eastwards from the edge of the City of London through the east end of London. (See more about Mile End Road in Wikipedia.)

This was where I spent 3 years at Queen Mary College. Opposite there was a large expanse of waste from where the World War 2 bombing had inflicted its damage. During the last year I started recording what I saw on that road and those adjacent. This is the first of two sets of photos.

This was the start of my 4-year passion for street photography. The catalyst was a new camera lens. I think I was in love with it. The 100mm was chosen for its natural perspective and because I didn’t want to use the 135 mm lens that was the standard telephoto at the time. I slept with it close to my bed, and walked around with the camera strapped to my wrist so that I’d be ready to take pictures at a moment’s notice.

Technical detail: Canon AE-1 (original), FD 100 f2.8 (breech lock). Film, Ilford FP4, processed Kodak D76. The pictures here are from scans of the originals.

Next week: Street stalls from Mile End Road.

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