WP01 – WELCOME TO WOODEN PEWS @WOODENPEWS

YOOO, hows life been since the end of the 3-a-day challenge? Boring? Nothing to read about more apart from the Metro or Evening Standard and let’s be honest we can all do with a little less serious news in our life’s, well please read below.

After a few weeks break and a lot of time spent watching Netflix and junk TV in the evenings, and instead of sitting down at my computer to edit photos and write these posts, Ive sat on the sofa just looking at my camera, Its now official I’m bored. Not bored of chilling out, just kind of board of not having something other than work to keep my brain ticking over, that’s why after a few brainstorming ideas, I’ve now set out on my next kind of photography adventure. The idea is simple take photos and try to connect with as many photographers as possible, plan and simple. The plans to now focus on black and white photography, seeing if I can take on my favourite form of photos and capture moments that most people would just walk past, helping to give you guys an insight to what happens over in the depths of East London. Its not all acid attacks and knife crime, we do really good food too.

I’m by no means a pro photographer looking to shoot the next cover of vogue magazine, I’m just that guy you see out walking the streets with a camera round his neck looking like he’s on a trip for the day, yea I’m that guy. My new means of connecting with people is going to be through Instagram, probably the most used photo sharing platform out there, the thought process was should I keep with my account or should I set up a completely new account and see where it takes me. I decided to set up a new account where its just photos I’m proud of and somewhere to constantly try to push my boundaries not interfere with pictures of the previous weekend.

Now comes the part where I spend ages finding a name, loving it and then finding out its taken and im not having a name like Love_Photography_1234. No. I want a name that is completely random but still has a pretty cool meaning and as I live in East London it was time to pull out the Cockney Rhyming slang dictionary and see what pops up, Apple and Pairs? Nope, Ruby Murray? Nope, all that obvious slang was too easy. Then I thought about what I wanted my account to stand for, I kind of what to inform people about London and especially East, kind of like the news, so I looked up “the News” in Cockney Rhyming Slang, and BOOOOM Wooden Pews, that’s the name. the logo you see below is kind of the first draft and I’m kind of happy with it for now but kind of imagine that it will probably get changed in the near future, I’m just all out of ideas and wanted to get something done so I could start this idea before I throw myself into work for the next three months. So If anyone is any good at design logos, I’m open to suggestions.

Wooden Pews, has kind of got a ring too it hasn’t it? and the best part is no one on Instagram has that name. My vision for the page is that I want it to be minimalistic and at the same time full of great content that I can do what ever I like with, no rules, no restrictions, just me and my ideas, not sure how dangerous that is, but I kind of like it that way. I also don’t really know how long I’m going to do it for but I imagine it will be a year, another 365 days posting, but this time how ever many times I want just not so much writing and don’t worry if you still follow me on here, I will be checking in probably every Sunday, and will probably share photos that I post that week on Instagram, kind of do like a weekly round up. But if I do start to go awol please don’t be afraid to tell me, mum / Dad. I’m kind of looking at you there, my number one fans.

So give me a follow so I don’t look like a complete loner @woodenpews. Ive also included below some photos that you can also see on my new Instagram. Its kind of exciting, I love this feeling of not knowing what will happen and seeing something hopefully grow.

Oh and yea if it does completely fail and turn out really cringy there’s a pub called the Sun tavern on Bethnal Green road, you’ll be able to find me there.

Heres some photos enjoy!

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– the new logo, what do you think? any good?
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– the future is here people! –
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– victoria park, one of the best places in london –
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– and some of the best chicken wings in london, if youve ever in shoreditch check them out! –
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– this is the kind of shop window I like –
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– im back guys and it feels good!

B354 – SODO PIZZA, UP THERE WITH THE BEST.

So yesterday evening Amy and me were sitting in a pub in Bethnal Green thinking of something to get for dinner, the idea was simple, writing in google “pizza near me” and see what pops up, thats when we saw it. Sodo Pizza, its location was down a back street off of Cambridge Heath road, the location was set and we finished our drinks and headed over, to our surprise this was a new pizza place right near our flat that we had only just heard of, this evening just got interesting.

As we sat down in the corner of the restaurant, you cant help but acknowledge the amount of green plants they have dotted around and to be honest I had never really thought about plants in a restaurant before but it really works, they had used some big “green leaf” plants in a line to help break up the space and has worked perfectly. a solid 8/10 for vibes.

As with any time eating out, first you order your drinks, Amy went for a house white wine and said  it was pretty good. We arent too clued up on our wines but its always a good start when the house wine is good. My drink of choice was a Shoreditch Blonde, which is actually only brewed about 400 meters from where we are sitting, at the Redchurch Brewery up the road.

Once the drinks had arrived it was time to order some food, we decided to go half and half on the pizzas, Amy ordered the Feta and Butternut Squash Pizza, I went for the Meat Cured pizzas with pepperoni and Ham, which don’t get me wrong was amazing and had the perfect tomato puree to toppings ratio but the clear winner for us was the Feta and Butternut Squash. That pizza was perfect, not too greasy but at the same time not so dry that you need a litre of water with each mouth full. then you get these little spontaneous  hints of Rosemary, which have completely changed the game of pizza, I know its probably been done before but this is the first time Ive noticed it and now I think I want it on every pizza I have. The other thing that shocked us, was for the fact that after eating this pizza and then demolishing a Tiramisu, we didn’t feel like we need to either roll home or get an uber, we were like the perfect amount of full.

I would also say that it doesn’t fall into that hipster category for new pizza shops in London, you know the ones where they have naked pizza where its basically just a pizza but without tomato sauce, now that should be illegal. I cant recommend Sodo Pizza enough, they are the new kids on the block around Bethnal Green and fit in perfectly.

heres a link to their website: https://www.sodopizza.co.uk/

Oh and sorry for the first time in 354 days I went out without a memory card in my camera so had to use a mixture of Amy’s iphone and my iphone cameras.

Sodo pizza a solid 8.5/10!

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– hats off to this chef, he knew what he was doing –
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– me and both my Shoreditch blondes –
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– sourdough pizzas are possibly the way forward –
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– see! no memory card, I feel like an idiot –

 

 

 

B340 – Happy Friday 

Yesterday after work it was all abit go go, I had to get from the studio back to my flat and pack ready for a weekend in Norfolk. I did manage to sit on my sofa if a bit while I’ll took my shoes off but was then back up and out the door heading for Liverpool Street station. 
But now we have made it here and really enjoying our Saturday sat surrounded by baby twins and a girlfriend who can’t leave them alone.  

My idea of the photos today was to just have some fun with my iPhone and camera on the way up to Norfolk, however the photos you see below are only from my iPhone as I want to show you my other camera photos later on this week. And I know I’ve said it before but I love the iPhone camera, it is so handy for just capturing moments on the fly. And yes the Samsung camera is amazing but for me the iPhone just does the job perfectly, I suppose in a way it’s like comparing a canon to a Nikon camera. 

In other news, I think the plan for today is just to relax and chill out before heading out later to Cromer and going to my favourite pub, the Welly. I’m even taking a day off from using my Laptop normally I would set up in a corner of the room somewhere and edit / write these posts on my laptop but today I’m just doing this from my phone and not thinking about life too much. My plan each day is always to write at least 300 words and I’m not even sure if this is 300 words but to be honest I’m not even going to check. I think it’s best if you just enjoy my photos and briefly read this. 

Anyway, hope everyone is having a good weekend. And enjoy these photos. 

– arriving in Norwich last night, happy Friday –
– the train on the way up, you know it’s been a busy week when your enjoying a 2 hour train journey –

– I wonder where he got his ballon from? –

B331 – THE BEAST FROM THE EAST

So earlier on as I spoke to my parents on Facetime, showing them the snow fall in Bethnal green and also updating them on how I was feeling, which by the way was a little better but still not great, I told my mum how much I wanted to go outside and take photos, she reminded me that it probably wasnt the best idea and all I would probably do is make myself more ill. But everyone knows that when your parents say the words “dont do it” your next move is to do the exact opposite, if I had listened to her then surely that would of made the past 24 years of havoc and mayhem completely pointless and thats not something Im about todo.

So I put a 5 minute timer on, took some more paracetamol, grabbed my jacket and headed down to Bethnal green road. Thats where the timer comes in, i didnt want to spend too much time outside for obvious reason but I needed to see what this snow storm looked like and how people were dealing with it. One of the best things I saw on my quick trip outside was when the lad on a boris bike cycling past me, going slower than a pederstian but do you know what? I was jealous, Jealous that he was grabbing this weather by the balls and taking a boris bike of a few laps, thats the kind of things I used todo! cycling in snow is a great way to pull some sick skids and have a good laugh at the same time, but for some reason that didnt even cross my mind, I’m not sure if its because Im not in the best shape at the moment or what, but thats a brilliant idea and next snow day I am 100% making a blog post about cycling in the snow.

Being sat here on the sofa for a few days now Ive been doing quite alot of thinking about my life style and kind of realising that I cant carry on working extra long days surviving off Haribo and Coffee, I really need to start looking after my temple and keep in shape not so I look good on a beach but more so I can carry on working and maintain the energy needed. thats why this weekend im doing what I never thought I would do and signing up for a gym, somewhere I can go twice a week and keep in shape, Im also going to go and get a sport massage and see if we can get this leg of mine sorted. for too long now Ive side tracked it, but not this weekend! this weekend is all about getting me strong enough so I don’t have to take sick days. I know that sounds weird but I actually really enjoy working.

Anyway heres some pictures of Bethnal Green Road in a snow storm.

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– this type of weather is pretty cool –
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– I love this guys determination! –
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– shes not letting a bit of weather stop her!

B315 – SOMETHING THAT WILL STICK WITH ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE –

I’m not really too sure how to start this, its something that I doubt will ever happen to me again, for those of you that have been reading these posts of the past few months would know that back in November, a homeless man stopped me in the street and asked me for £10 so he could get a hostel for 5 days, he then told me that for two weeks a hostel is £20. I decided to walk him to the closest cash point and withdraw £20, I didn’t know his name, background or if he would just spend the money on crack. all I had was his word that he just wanted to get a roof over his head and a chance to get back on his feet, if I was him then I would want someone like me to give me a chance.

well after a long 12 hour day a work and feel pretty stressed on the way home, I literally hadnt thought about what I was going to write about or do, this shabby looking man on Bethnal green road stops me and says “excuse me” I assumed it was someone begging for money, he quickly stopped me and told me that he remembers me and just wanted to say thanks and that he now has a door key!!!!! they homeless man I gave £20 four months ago now lives in a house and is getting his life back on track, and just saw me and wanted to thank me. A stranger gave someone in need £20 and that has gone on to help him turn his life around and get off the streets. to me that is incredible, I literally cant think of the words to describe it.

Seeing wayne tonight has really made me think about how we can effect peoples lives and that someone like me who let off fart bombs at school and spent most of my life doing stupid stuff has actually just had a direct effect on someones life and given a complete stranger hope and a second chance!!!

I asked wayne if I could take a photo of him but he was to worried and thought that his family might see it, I completely understand if I was wayne then that would have been my answer. I just hope that wayne carries on getting his life back on track and is someday proud to be photographed!

Wayne if for some reason you read this, I wish I got your phone number or email address! if you do please drop me a message and lets talk! my photos from today don’t really matter, its more about the bigger picture I suppose. thank you wayne for stopping me tonight, its going to stick me with for a long time!

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– looking out the flat this morning was pretty cool –
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– the only reason waking up early is fun, you get to see sky’s like this –
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– heading back to the city after shooting all day –

B314 – WHAT A SUNDAY

What a Sunday it has been, ive not only been part of a cool team which has managed to shoot two music videos in one day but ive also managed to sell a really annoying walking machine which has been taking up half the bedroom and now im sat on the sofa with a beer watching Jurassic world. It feels like a pretty productive weekend but also spent a lot of time with friends.

After the shoot today I went and met the cousin Charlotte for a drink, the first time I have properly seen her in a while, even though we live pretty close to each other. it really makes you realise that you need to make time for people a lot more. anyway Im now sat enjoying my evening before I need to wake up at 5am for a week of constant filming, maybe I should just order a crete of Red Bull now as thats probably my only way of making it through this week as the same man.

I cant wait to share with you all the shoot that Ive just done today and hopefully its out in the next few weeks, I think it will be something that everyone will love and I think is going to be a massive song from a pretty legendary artist. Im swarn to secrecy but once I get the all clear from the director I will share the whole thing with you. I suppose though thats the hard thing with this industry, everyone who works in it gets todo so many fun project but then they cant share them with anyone till they are out in the public but thats just the name of the game.

Anyway I hope you like my photos from today and I also hope everyone will join me in the celebration that December and January our out the way and work has finally returned to works normal ridiculously unsociable schedule!

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– Walking to work this morning, bethnal green just seems to have it all –
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– one of the best receptions Ive been into –
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– a beer after work is all i need –

B309 – CLEAR SKYS AND COLD WEATHER – PERFECT

Last night was one of those nights, while on my walk to Old street, my photos just seemed to happen. I think half of that was down to the light, I had hit the perfect time, just as the sun was setting and theres this cool kind of blue light in the sky. I know it might sound a bit weird as well but I think it definitely helped that it was ridiculously cold. A lot of the time I walk around and really struggle to take some photos decent photos that I actually like, that definitely wasn’t the case last night.

One of the things I have learnt about myself over the past 309 days is that I really love street photography and take pictures of people and capturing those random moments that we all see happen and that give us those little chuckle to ourselves. thats definitely my favourite thing to photograph, but Ill also take a clear cold night where you are given loads of strong, bright, contrasty colours from shop windows and the odd coffee shop.

At the moment I really don’t have a lot of time to make it down to gigs and music venues to work on that photography project, which is really annoying. The only way I could make it is if I probably stop eating dinner and cut my sleep down but as I think that would probably do more damage than good, for now Im just going to put it on hold and get through the next couple of weeks / months and then pick it up from there. So sorry to anyone that Ive been speaking to about gigs for events, I haven’t forgotten about you.

my plan for the future is to write these posts that night instead of the morning before work, I just dont leave myself enough time and now spent my morning rushing around. theres nothing better waking up in the morning before work, knowing that the post is ready to go. C’mon josh up your game!!!

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– Bethnal Green Road towards Shoreditch –
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– I cant remember if I have taken a photo of this before, but I like this shot so Ill post it anyway –
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– its like the hand it pushing him back –

B307 – HELP THE HOMELESS – SECOND SHOT COFFEE

Think I need to start this by saying that the meal was a success, I managed to get through it without an awkward moments and not a single drink split. So Ive come away feeling like it went well. Its now like 10pm on sunday and Im trying to write this and stay awake, Ive got to be up pretty early tomorrow and catch a train up north for the day, which I’m kind of looking forward to as its getting out of London for the day. As much as I love this city, I also love getting out and seeing parts of the UK, and tomorrow I get to see my old friend the Virgin Train economy coach.

With having a meal with some of Amy’s family that I haven’t met before, the plan for todays photos was to take them before we met everyone, so I didn’t have to worry about getting photos during and after the meal. Luckily my mind was in full creative mode and I managed to snaps some cool photos on the way to Wembley. My idea was also to use the Iphone as the 5d might have been a bit too big to bring along. I actually love the Iphone for taking photos, it makes life so much easier. the idea that I have a really good camera just a finger swipe up on a screen, has been a life saver for this blog and I don’t think I could have got this far without it. So for that Steve Jobs I thank you.

I hope everyone likes the photos today, my plan for this last stretch of the 365 daily posts is to really develop my writing and photo skills. I don’t have to get complacent and to see how much I can really improve, I think the trick is to read more and to concentrate to composition, put more thought into the direction of the writing and how it relates to the photos I take. Thats just my sunday night thinking, hope everyone had a good weekend. much love and all that!

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– Second shot coffe shop on Bethnal Green road, a coffee shop that helps the homeless. you can buy coffees and food for the homeless and they make sure they get to the right people. you also get the draw on the wall. Can you tell which drawing is mine? –
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– amy doing business on a sunday –
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– a shot from Wembley looking back on the train tracks from the bridge –

B229 – THIS FEELS WEIRD!

i don’t like the fact I cant post everyday, feels weird not sitting down in the evening or morning and posting a blog,  or even having a coffee and thinking about what i can post each day, its a good reason it get up each morning and not just do what everyone else does. its kind of my reason for doing something extra. 

Im kind of looking forward to my plane journey home and being able to sit on the plane for 12 hours with no distractions and just getting these posts up today and posted. today is when the work really ramps up and Im looking forward to getting that feeling of a live event. I think everyone who works in TV gets that feeling when a live event is about to start.

Its so fun being out here and just experiencing Shang hai, the people are really nice and if you don’t laugh at the Language barrier then it could be a problem, got a taxi to a bar last night bit of a problem the taxi driver just drove us around the block for 45 minutes before just dropping us back at the hotel reception. 

One thing that is on my list of things to buy is a portable power pack to charge my phone, I need to have a look into them and see what is the best one of buy. its so annoying when your phone dies and you have to plug it into a wall and leave it for 45 minutes. does this mean ive fallen todo the trap of being addicted to my phone?

The other thing that is worrying me is I don’t want to lose motivation to post these photos each day, I really don’t want to lose motivation and stop. Its hard not posting each day because then I fall further and further behind! Stick with it josh! only 130 something days to go!! Bust I suppose if I fly half way around the world to a location like this one below I shouldn’t be able to lose motivation!

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– THIS PLACE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF A CITY! THATS CRAZY –
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– THIS IS A COOL TREE HOUSE –
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– I CHINESSE SKY LIGHT, I WONT IF YOU CAN GET THIS IN BETHNAL GREEN –

B190 – HOW HAVE I NOT DONE THIS YET

Its been 190 days since I started this blog and I still cant believe this hasn’t come up before. Im talking about dedicating a post the Restaurant across the road La Forchetta, the place for food in East London and possibly London (bar charlotte street which is home to Siam central) has the best food. 

La Forchetta is on Bethnal green road just up by the Underground station and a stones throw away from Mcdonalds, if you can see Mcdonalds you can see La Forchetta. some people might think this is a biased opinion on my behalf but I can honestly say anyone who goes there would agree there pizza’s are the best and the service is up there too, not voodoo rays friendly where people just slag off politicians and talk about vintage markets, then charge you £4 a slice of pizza and a £1 for a pot of Ketchup. but La Forchetta is somewhere thats stood the test of time and proven that good food doesn’t have to be expensive, they even offer the occasional post dinner shot of Lemoncello.

The main waiter’s been there since I started going like 3 years ago and from what I can tell has been running the place ever since. He’s a pretty quite guy but always up for chucking a few jokes out there every now and again.

Living in London is a weird thing, before I moved here I didn’t think I would find an area and spend 99% of my time there, but thats not the case. when Im in London its almost like my life revolves around a 2 mile square radius  full of pubs, shops and things todo when Im bored and inside that radius is where I feel at home. Then I might travel to west London and that could be a different world for all I know, full of different shops and people. its definitely true what they say about people not leaving the area in London. from now on I’m going to make a more conscious decision to try and break that cycle and start seeing new parts of this city.

but for now, I’m packed and ready for my next destination, tomorrow morning I leave for New York. see you in 24 days London!

Anyway enough of the talking, heres some of the photos from today.

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– theres no pizza that can compete –

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– they even have a picture of the godfather up and an actual boat stuck on the wall –

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– these olives maybe from a local supermarket but that doesn’t matter –