A Royal Week-end

Last week end (2nd to 5th of June) was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a celebration giving some picture opportunities.

Friday, all started by the air parade shot from my window with the crappy Canon Serenar 135F4 mounted on the Leica M262. The lens was already mounted on the camera, I was just playing around last week.

WWII planes, I think a Lancaster bomber and four spitfires

The city was generally dressed up in national colours and royal memorabilia’s. Here the newspaper kiosk on Sloane Square, shot with the Summaron 35mmF2.8, the M version with goggles. I really went al vintage lenses this week,

A couple of “street parties” happened through the kingdom over he week end, mostly involving food and drinks, here in Mayfair Friday.
Paul Smith window in Marylebone.
I was expecting more silliness in the street, but ok some people really played the game.

Friday a steel band was playing on Kings Road, a couple of ladies made their best to warm up the atmosphere.

The queen of the afternoon

But they were not alone.

Even the Chelsea Pensioners were out.

Some people were rushing to parties in the hood.

The party went on until Sunday.

Chinatown

People rushed to the Mall on Sunday morning to see the parade.

But I met Stan Laurel.

and actually walking against the flow, we reached Hyde Park Corner and met the parade, with no crowd at all.

Sunday I changed the lens for the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm, a better choice as it is easier to focus without the goggles.

After watching so many horses, we moved to the Belgravia street party on Elizabeth street (the well named).

God save the queen
The queen

And all finished with a bit of music (and beer)

If you are not bored by now, I will have some film shots from Saturday to post as well.

All shots with Leica M262, with in order the Canon Serenar 135mmF4 ltm, the Summaron 35mmF2.8 M, the Summaron 35mmF3.5 ltm

A Royal Week-end

Wagah Border Ceremony

The lowering of the flags ceremony at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan is a daily event attracting crowds of locals and tourists alike. It is a well oiled affair and when following a few basic instructions if very easy to attend.

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From the Indian side, once you reached to the last parking before the border you will have to walk 1 or 2 Km before getting to the venue. You need to carry your passport if you are a foreigner, which will bring you to a separate seating area (more later)

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You cannot carry much apart from cameras and wallet. No bags are allowed, I read that bringing in water is not allowed, but you can buy some inside.

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I carried 2 Leica M bodies with lenses and the 90mm in my pocket, my passport, cell phone and wallet without problem.Note that cell phones are not working in the area.

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The venue looks like a stadium with the actual border being at the center. The crowd can go as high as 2000 people from the Indian side.

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The event starts at 5h30pm and last 30 minutes. You need to arrive well in advance ( we were there by 4h30pm ) to secure a seating;  I was told that some people were sent back on the day we were there.

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The ceremony is a show of rivalry and cooperation between the two countries, It starts with preliminaries of Bollywood style music played full blast, and displays of flags.

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After a moment the guards will enter the arena and do their show.

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The crucial bit is the seating, the area reserved for foreign passport holders in quite close to the border and on the top of the seats, this has the advantage of giving us some shade (the sun sets in the Pakistani side and it became very hot at some point), but the view of the Pakistan side is quite limited.

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Also you are quite far ways form the show; the pictures here are done with the 90mm Elmarit on the M262, they give a good description of the event but are not great. Also keep in mind the light it not great and goes down, I needed higher ISO (400, then 640 then 1000) and also the place is very dusty.

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Can you do better? Well yes: hang around until the top sits are full so you can sit lower and have a closer / better view. But the border guards are trying hard to make you sit at the right place.

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At the end of the show it is possible to go close to the border and have a shot or two with some Indian guards.

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I am not a great fan of demonstrations of national pride, but this was really fun. I was a bit concerned by the security aspect, being so close to the border, but it did some seem to bother the many foreigners that were present and I it did not feel unsafe there.

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All shots done with Leica M262, Elmarit 90mmF2.8

Wagah Border Ceremony