Louis Berk's blog

"We are but shadows"

As you can see from the home page I have announced the publication of my new book of photography, "East End Jewish Cemeteries: Brady Street and Alderney Road". The book is the result of a 5-year photographic study where I was granted exclusive access to two of the oldest Jewish Cemeteries in the UK, from the 17th and 18th centuries and both now returning to nature. These tranquil and intimate areas are a contradiction to the urban environment of the East End and are hidden from view. Now, this book opens them up and allows the reader to see natural oases in the heart of Whitechapel.

April has started nicely

When I am not tramping the streets of London looking for photographic opportunities I like to relax by doing some bird photography. Although I would hardly call myself a 'twitcher' I have become a little more knowledgeable about bird life and identification. This is the first year we have had a pair nesting in our bird box in the back garden. In this case a pair of Great Tits. I photographed this one returning to the box with a nice juicy caterpillar for his mate. She may already be incubating some eggs!


 

Save The Whitechapel Bell Foundry

Save Bell by Rob Ryan

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry is the first building in my book "Whitehcapel In 50 Buildings" and was chosen because of its unique and important historical status. The foundry is set to close this year and it uncertain how the buildings will be used in the future. It would be a magnificent outcome if they are preserved for future generations. You can find out how to help by reading the article at Spitalfields Life.

 

Small Car Big City

On a recent photographic activity in central London for a forthcoming book by my friend Rachel Kolsky I happened upon this tableau which to me is a classic British scene - almost something out of the 'swinging sixties'.

I love the old mini shape - and this was one of the last versions produced, I think sometime at the turn of the millenium. In this case it looks as though it has been modified with an eyecatching colour scheme, nice 'boots' (as we called wheels sometime in the 1970s!) and a full length sun roof. The owners, 'Small Car Big City' specialise in mini-hire and tours around London in a mini. 

Whitechapel Sunset

A photograph from last Wednesday about 20 minutes after sunset looking down Whitechapel Road towards the City and the unmistakable outline of the 'Gherkin'. The sky really did turn a deep purple as the last rays of the sunset lit up the clouds.

Happy New Year from LouisBerk.com

Happy New Year 2017 from LouisBerk.com. Thank you to everyone who has supported my work in 2016, it is very much appreciated.

This dramatic photograph was taken in Camden Town, on Christmas Eve. I slowed the shutter down and waited for a new Red Routemaster to come into the frame hoping to achieve red and white light trails. It only took about 5 tries to get everything right!

Toynbee Hole

It has been several months since I have been for a walk around the Brick Lane area so this 'hole' on Wentworth Street, as the result of the demolition of much of the Toynbee Hall estate was quite a dramatic surprise to me.

Goodbye Whitechapel Bell Foundry

The entrance first established in 1739 on Whitechapel High Street

Spitalfields Life and the Daily Mail, amongst others, have broken the news that the Whitechapel Bell Foundry is to close when the current owner, Alan Hughes, retires in May 2017.

In this blog entry I show some of the photographs I took in August 2008 when my wife and I were fortunate enough to get places on a tour of the foundry.

Londonist Podcast about Whitechapel In 50 Buildings

Idea Store - Whitechapel Road

Londonist Out Loud has published a podcast this week which features a tour around Whitechapel with my co-author based on our book Whitechapel in 50 Buildings. Follow this link to listen to the podcast!

 

Whitechapel versus Kentish Town

This month's (November 2016) issue of the Kentish Towner local cultural guide includes a feature article I wrote comparing my photographs of Whitechapel with photographs of similar buildings in Kentish Town. I make the point that London is really a group of joined up villages - each with its own distinct style - but some common themes, achitecturally.

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