#ElexuLiveLounge’s photo reportage by Samantha Edgley

Monday, December 16th, 2013|Guest posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Samantha Edgley, author of several posts for the Elexu’s blog, visited us two weeks ago to capture with her camera the best moments of the Live Lounge with Nate Maingard and Roaman.

Have a look to her pics…aren’t they fabulous?! 

 

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Photos by @Samantha Edgley

Screenwriting 3: “Dialogue” by J. West

Monday, November 25th, 2013|Guest posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

AfliePickle

 

FADE IN:

INT. LOUNGE – DAY

JAC (40s) wannabee screenwriter -- talks to herself. Nothing
new there then. Although there's no sound...
ALFIE (5) moggie cat, the local, writing consultant peers at
her suspiciously.
                    ALFIE
          Is it meds time?

Jac, as usual, ignores him.
                    JAC
          Dialogue...dialogue.
                    ALFIE
          Ooo I've got it! Don't tell me,
          this blog post is about dialogue.

Jac physically holds the sarcasm back --

                    JAC
          Why, Alfie. You're such a clever 
          kitty. Who knew?

Alfie throws Jac a sneaky look.

                    ALFIE
          I knew.
                    JAC
          Go on then, smarty, fluff-pants,
          how do you write decent dialogue?

Alfie closes his eyes, he takes his time to contemplate. He
snores.
Jac nudges him.

                    ALFIE
          Don0t be mean. I'm thinking.
                    JAC
          Yes. Exactly that -- be mean.

Alfie blinks his eyes open, confused.

                    ALFIE
          Eh. Mow?
                    JAC
          Remember to read through, and
          always edit. I find reading pages
          in the wrong order helps. And be:
          economical, natural, expressional.
                    ALFIE
               (mumbles)    
          Made up word.
                    JAC
          You get me.
                    ALFIE
          Yes, sadly, i do. Are we talking
          like young people now? Like.
                    JAC
          No. Wait. Are we? No, don't
          over-write accents. Leave that to
          the actors and director to sort
          out. You can hint at one now and
          again, to keep the character real,
          but, don't overdo it.

Alfie nods.

                    ALFIE
          I bet there's a whole list of what
          not to dos.
                    JAC
          A few. Avoid: stiff, forced, fake,
          dialogue. And try not to express
          every emotion or fact too.
                    ALFIE
          So avoid how people really talk, in
          real life, for really real?
                    JAC
          Yep, pretty much. Plus on top of
          that, try and give each character
          their own voice, to reflect their
          individual personality. So
          naturally, if that character is
          meant to be funny, their speech
          should reflect that. The challenge
          comes when you have to balance
          dialogue and the action lines to
          show a complex character. And
          unless vital to the plot, don't 
          allow one person to dominate too
          much, letting them go on, and on,
          and --
                    ALFIE
          Soliloquy alert!

Jac jumps.
                    JAC
          Ahem. Yes. That.
                    ALFIE
          Ooo eck. Does this writing malarky,
          ever get easy?
                    JAC
          Nope.
                    ALFIE
          Dammit.

Alfie stretches on the back of the sofa and sighs.

                    ALFIE
          Not sure this writing life is for
          me, ya know. I might just stick to
          professional sleeper.
                    JAC
          A tip for your writing thoughts --
          read your dialogue, out loud. It
          really helps to pick up something
          that doesn't sound right, or hear a 
          word that's out of place.
                    ALFIE
          Ah, of course, makes sense.

Jac sits up, smug.

                    JAC
           Why, does it explain all those
           weird conversations I have with you?
                    ALFIE
           No.
                    JAC
           Oh. Thanks a lot.
                    ALFIE
           Welcome.

Alfie shouts his eyes with a purr.
Jac deflated and stares forlornly at her laptop.

                                                                                       FADE OUT.

Author: J. West 

NOTE: Unfortunately blogging platforms don’t allow to maintain the typical screenwriting format, 
and it’s why the page formatting is out of sync. Please, open the following links to see the script as it should be:
Page1 - Page2 - Page3 - Page4 - Page5

Music & Photography – By Samantha Edgley

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013|Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Throughout 2013 I have combined my two main interests – music and photography.

I have undertaken location photo shoots, and captured images from some truly fantastic gigs. I would like to share with you some photographs of the amazing bands/artists who have appeared in my photoblog during this year.

So here is the first installment of my blog for Elexu…the second part will come soon!

 

AJ Holmes & the Hackney Empire

1.AJH

I joined A.J. Holmes & the Hackney Empire at the launch party for their debut album Wedding at the Victoria, Dalston on 26th January 2013. I’d seen the band live a few times before and have always had a fantastic time. This concert was no exception; the venue was completely packed and filled with a real party atmosphere.

 

Wytham Wood

2.Wytham

Wytham Wood was an Oxford-based folk band, comprised of Anneli Chambliss (Lead vocals, guitar) and Jules Dickinson (Lead guitar, vocals). Anneli and I have been friends since we were both students at Oxford and we have always shared a love for music and art.

I was so pleased to have the opportunity to hear Wytham Wood perform live at the Wheatsheaf in Oxford, on Sunday 17th February; such beautiful songs and really emotive music.

Very sadly lead guitarist Jules passed away this year.

 

Pilgrim’s Process (Musical Theatre)

3.Pilgrim

4.Pilgrim

St James’s Church in Muswell Hill put on a fantastic production of Pilgrim’s Progress in March.

Everything from the acting, live music, lighting, costumes, etc, was truly impressive. It was a great show, which not only illustrates the depth of talent that can be enjoyed locally, but is also a testament to the way hard work & focus can turn an artistic idea into a solid reality that has the power to affect many.

 

Mitch Daniel’s and Tom Triggs Busking at the Southbank

5.MD

I first met singer/songwriter Mitch Daniels when we were both studying a music business course at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in 2012.

This May I joined Mitch & percussionist Tom Triggs for a photoshoot as they busked on the Southbank. It was brilliant – A beautiful location, early evening sunshine, and loads of fantastic music. :-)

 

Helen Lloyd

6.Helen

7.Helen

Helen Lloyd & I were band mates in the past, so it was great to collaborate again – this time on a photoshoot.

Helen Lloyd is a singer/songwriter/musician/music producer from North London, who creates beautiful, stirring music.

In the May Bank Holiday sunshine we did an on-location shoot at Alexandra Palace.

 

…To Be Continued…

Author: Samantha Edgley

 

Net The Bed – The Mitch Daniels Band live

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013|Event, Guest posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

After 12+ months planning this charity gig, finally the Mitch Daniels Band reached the long awaited day:Net The Bed!

Here’s a post written by Mitch for us about their performance at the O2 Academy2 Islington, and a follow up about the results the band reached through this charity gig.


 

A one night only show performed by The Mitch Daniels Band on Friday 18th October 2013 at the O2 Academy2 Islington

 

We had been planning Net The Bed all year and it was a major project for us, so when the day finally came around there was a mixture of emotions amongst the band from excited to stressed and plain exhaustion!

Once the stage was set however, the doors opened, the room started to fill up and all those feelings then turned into nervous excitement and energy. The room was buzzing when we came on stage, it felt incredible and we were absolutely blown away by the turnout and the response we got.

In total we raised £900.00, enough for 180 mosquito nets, all of which went directly to the charity Malaria No More UK which specialises in Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLIN’s) which have insecticide impregnated into the fabric of the net so it does not wash out. They work to save lives by investing in prevention, diagnosis and treatment and so far it has distributed over 5 million nets and is part a global effort that has seen a significant drop in deaths from malaria by 26% since 2000.

We now hope to build on what we have achieved and perhaps make #NetTheBed an annual event.

Once again, we cannot thank everyone enough for the support. To those who came, and to all those who contributed but couldn’t make it, thank you. It was a really great night!

Author: Mitch Daniel

Screenwriting 2: “Characters” by J. West

Thursday, November 7th, 2013|Guest posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

 

FADE IN:

INT. LOUNGE – DAY

JAC (40s) wannabee screenwriter -- scratches her head, and
slurps coffee. She takes a moment before bashing on the
laptop keyboard.

                    JAC
          Characters... characters.

ALFIE (5) cat, local, writing consultant -- is curled up, on
the back of the sofa. He tries miserably, not to nod off.
                    JAC
          Are you even awake?
                    ALFIE
          Yep. I’m with you. Mow.
                    JAC
          So once you have the bare bones of
          your story, it’s time to flesh it
          all out.
                    ALFIE
          My intelligent side says eww. My
          feline side says yummm...

Jac ignores the silly kitty.

                    JAC
          So, fuzzy, smarty pants, how do you
          write characters?
                    ALFIE
          Base them on smart cats you know?
          That’s me of course, not you.
                    JAC
          Ha. You could do. I hate to admit,
          some reality T.V. shows have a
          great range of entertaining peeps.
                    ALFIE
          Let’s not get silly here.

The two exchange a look.

                    JAC
          For me, it’s a combination of their
          words in their dialogue. And what        
          they do, in the action lines. One
          has to back the other up. The
          combination can create a real,
          three dimensional person.
                    ALFIE
          So it’s not great to have them say
          they’re sad, then go dancing, all
          merry like.
                    JAC
          Not really. Plus, you actually want
          to avoid people saying outright,
          exactly how they feel.
                    ALFIE
          Wait? What, you wouldn’t?

Jac shakes her head, and points to her nose.

                    ALFIE
          Doesn’t make much sense to me, and
          makes writing peeps doubly hard.
                    JAC
          Yep. But we’ll tackle dialogue next
          time. With characters you do need
          to concentrate on showing quirks,
          flaws and all.
                    ALFIE
          Claws and all.
                    JAC
          Geeze, you’re in a daft mood today.
                    ALFIE
          I would work better, if you fed me,

         perhaps.

                    JAC
          Too early, but nice try.
                    ALFIE
          Meh. So reality sucks. Ergo.
          Question!

Alfie shoots a leg up. Duly cleans said leg.

                    ALFIE
          Do all characters have to be real

         like?

        JAC
          Depends. For comedy for instance,
          or even horror at times, you can
          get away with less developed
          people. But I think, for any story,
          especially like a drama, it helps
          to have your characters grounded on
          convincing personality traits.
                    ALFIE
          Hmm. Interesting... so they can be
          as simple or complex as you want.
          Use yourself, and what would you do
          in that situation. Like method
          acting, darling...
                    JAC
          Whatever suits the story needs.
                    ALFIE
          Well I can tell you now, this furry
          character needs feeding.
                    JAC
          You, my kitty friend, have a one

         track mind.

                    ALFIE
          No. I also think a lot about
          sleeping.

Alfie yawns.

                    ALFIE
          And as exciting as this chat is, I
          might just close my eyes for a
          while. But please believe me, when
          I tell you that I’m listening, that
          I’m not.

         JAC

    Thanks.

                    ALFIE
          You may pay me in tuna.

Jac snaps the laptop shut in a huff.

                                       FADE OUT.

 

Author: J. West

 

NOTE: Unfortunately blogging platforms don’t allow to maintain the typical screenwriting format, and it’s why the page formatting is out of sync. Please, open the following links to see the script as it should be.

Page 1 - Page 2Page 3 - Page 4

 

Screenwriting 1: “Story” by J. West

Friday, October 4th, 2013|Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

 

 

FADE IN:

INT. LOUNGE - DAY
JAC (40s) wannabee screenwriter, hunches over the laptop.
Brains are racked, the computer keys bashed. She ponders on
how to blog about writing.
ALFIE (5) the pet cat and local script consultant, lounges
on the back of the sofa.
                    ALFIE
          So, you want to get into film

     writing?

                    JAC
          Allegedly.


                    ALFIE
          Where do you start with something

     like that?

           JAC
          Books, internet, the B.B.C.
          Writer’s Room have some great
          resources for newbs. Then trial,
          error, practise and a steep
          learning curve.

Alfie nods in agreement.

                    ALFIE
          You make it sound almost easy.
                    JAC
          Sometimes it can be, but like
          anything, it can take work.
                    ALFIE
          Not sure I like that word... work.
                    JAC
          Yeh, sounds intimidating -- but if
          you really want something. And
          other peeps, not including your mum
          or mates, say you have a talent for
          it, then who knows?
                    ALFIE
          So seriously, where do you begin?

Jac thinks on this huge question.

                 JAC


          Story is key. Without a great
          story, you have nothing. Some
          writers plan their script out,
          using plot cards to sequence the
          story points out.
                    ALFIE
          Sounds tedious.
                    JAC
          Maybe, but if you get stuck,
          there’s something to refer back to.
          Kick start the writing mojo again.
                    ALFIE
          Ah. Handy.
                    JAC
          While others, write on a loose idea
          in their heads.
                    ALFIE
          Is that wise, feature films are
          ninety pages, plus?


Jac laughs.


                    JAC
          Silly, talking, cat. Just depends
          on the writer. Writing that way can
          be more organic, unpredictable
          even, creating an exciting journey.
                    ALFIE
          Sounds trippy.
                    JAC
          Well, like anything, there are some
          ace books, and guides that go into
          constructing stories. Help you
          break it down into manageable bits.
                    ALFIE
          I like bits. Especially tuna type

     bits.


                    JAC
          See, you’re digressing. If we had a
          plot outline to this...
                    ALFIE
          We’d have stayed on track?
                    JAC
          Maybe.
                    ALFIE
          So next time?
                    JAC
          The next element to consider, could
          be how to create characters for
          your story.
                    ALFIE
          Cool. Got any end of chat tips?
                    JAC
          Yep. Carry a pen and notepad
	  around. Just incase a bit of
	  dialogue, or story inspiration
	  comes to mind. Then you can
	  scribble it down, and maybe use it
	  later. As mentioned, the web has a
	  wealth of resources. Google is your
	  friend.
                    ALFIE
          No he’s not. I’m a cat.
                    JAC
          Good point.

                                                FADE OUT. 

 

 Author: J. West


NOTE: Unfortunately blogging platforms don’t allow to maintain the typical screenwriting format, and it’s why the page formatting is out of sync. Please, open the following links to see the script as it should be.

Page 1 Page 2  - Page 3 - Page 4

 

 

#4TDays: Inspiring the Youth – Abi Stafford

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013|Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

As promised, we’re back to share with you new Elexu’s features, fresh posts by our guest bloggers, and our latest discoveries in terms of young talents!

Let’s start with a new inspirational post written by Abigail Stafford, one of our loyal guest bloggers. Abi has collaborated with Elexu since last year, when she published her first post on Elexu’s blog, #Invisible Disabilities Day. There she shared her personal experience with one of those she defines “invisible disabilities”, and her reaction to raise awareness about it.
Continue reading to discover how Abi’s project is going on, and to know more about her new adventure at Channel 4′s 4Talent.


 

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Photograph taken at a 4Talent Day event.

Finding an internship, apprenticeship and a job is near impossible for today’s youth even with a wealth of qualifications bulking up their CV. Positions are very limited but even those that are offering work often require previous work experience, so how can we make our first break into work?

Well I’ve been traveling across the UK with Channel 4’s 4Talent offering opportunities to young people that want to get their foot in the door of the media industry by hosting workshops and classes with media industry professionals. We’re aware that many of the media orientated positions are often in and around the big cities like London and Manchester and we wanted to reach out to those in smaller areas across the UK. As part of our 4Talent Days Road show we’ve visited places such as Barnsley, Penzance, Dundee and Wigan to show how young people there can take advantage of the opportunities that are right under their nose – by using social media.

My role at the events is to promote the days on the 4talent social network platforms by tweeting using the @4talentdays account alongside the hashtag #4tdays and taking photographs for the Facebook page. I work as part of 4Crew which was a Channel 4 initiative of creating a young film crew. They offer us mentoring and helped us to get our foot in the door of the media industry by giving us first-hand experience.

Since attending my first 4Talent Day in 2011, Channel 4 has not only inspired but offered me… in achieving my goal of becoming a journalist. After learning from some great industry experts, I’m now working on a few exciting projects. I write my own blog about invisible disabilities called HideAndSeek Disabilities Blog which reaches a monthly global audience of thousands. I also regularly write for TMRW Magazine, a music and fashion magazine originally set up by a group of young creative as an online platform but is now stocked by the likes of Harrods and Selfridges and is soon to release its 5th print edition.

From what I’ve learnt, the real key to your success is how you portray and promote your professional self on social media platforms. With TMRW Magazine I helped to initiate a worldwide trend on twitter of #tmrwmagazine which increased our following dramatically and enabled us to connect and collaborate with existing magazines, fashion brands and even celebrities. Not to mention, I first saw my role with Channel 4 advertised on twitter offering a freelance position for a social networker – how fitting.

Using social media as a professional platform is a great way for you to instantly offer a portfolio of your work and get in direct contact with industry professionals without writing copious amounts of cover letters or sending a chain of generic emails. You can simply just drop them a 140 character tweet and within one click they can have access to all your previous work and success. It really is as easy and simple as that.

Author: Abi Stafford

Tweet me: @abistafford

Story of an Entrepreneur & Wedding Photographer – LJ

Thursday, August 15th, 2013|Advice, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

 

Intro

It’s amazing how a single question turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice that anyone ever gave me;

“Does everyone you know, know what you do?”

Question

Starting your own business sounds like a dream. You imagine being your own boss, making lots of money, working your own hours, taking holidays whenever you want, not to mention the ability to work at home wrapped up in a fluffy blanket (so far I’ve got the fluffy blanket part down to a tee). However, the reality is somewhat different when you actually take that leap of faith.

Know what you do

I remember setting myself up as a photographer. Throughout university whilst studying Photography for Fashion & Advertising, I did the odd bit of freelance here and there, collaborated with fashion designers, models, make up artists and managed to get bits and pieces of my editorial work published in Buzz, a local South Wales magazine, and a few others. Looking back on it now I think I was a bit naive and imagined that work would magically fall into place after I got my degree and that I’d be a world renowned fashion photographer, mingling with the likes of Kate Moss, John Galliano and Rankin.

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Then I met a boy…

Met a boy

We fell in love (all, don’t throw up at once), decided to get married and then life got really busy. I was in my third year of university trying to write a dissertation, plan my final year exhibition and organise a wedding that would take place in Northern Ireland whilst I was in Wales. That year was a blur of flights, phone calls, emails, meetings, deadlines, an empty purse, photographs, prints, and excitement mingled with stress! I’m not sure I knew the difference between those emotions by the end. The thoughts of setting up my own business took a backseat as I looked forward to finishing my degree, become someone’s wife (which made me feel extremely old, even though I was only 22) and building a home together.

Building home

Life eventually began to settle down in the months that followed. I was working part time and just enjoying this new stage of life. In essence, I was the epitome of what it means to be “chilled out.” Eventually though, I needed to get a full time job to build up my photography kit and to simply pay the bills. I began working as a Marketing Executive for a Digital Marketing Company. Through this role I realised the importance of effective social media strategies and really enjoyed learning more and more about Marketing. It gave me the motivation and drive that I needed to setting up my photography business properly this time.

Social Media

I attended courses on Marketing, started teaching myself SEO, Google Analytics, and being pro active on social media and blogging more frequently. This is when that piece of advice I mentioned at the beginning came into play.

Advice

I began to talk more about my photography as if it actually was a business and not just an idea or a concept or something that I do in my spare time. I made sure that everyone I knew, knew what I did. When I decided that I was a professional photographer, other people saw me as that as well. In a period of two months, I had designed and built my website, received three wedding bookings and two charity events! My latest client is Karen Paullada, the actress who plays Nadine in Stella – Ruth Jones’ hit comedy on Sky 1! Each of these jobs came to me through word of mouth and, at times, a line of referrals. Whilst I still work full time as a Marketing Executive, photography is picking up quite quickly and although I’m nowhere near the stage of becoming self employed just yet, it’s looking a lot more realistic now. There are countless other hints and tips that I could go into, but for now, let’s start with that single question…

Does everyone

“Does everyone you know, know what you do?”

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Author: Lisa-Jane Meates

Creative Director at LJM Photography

Website: www.ljm-photography.co.uk

Tweet me: @ljmeates

Gamer’s Need to Fight Gaming Journalism

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012|Guest posts|by Sam Watson|No Comments

I am a nerd. Let’s just get that clear. I love computer games, but I also make sure I get my dose on vitamin D from the sun. New technology means that games are increasingly being able to reflect what we can create in our imagination. Coupled with great story lines, the ability to affect the outcome of the game and online options, I am surprised that not everyone plays games.

However, if I have persuaded you to go out and buy your first X-box with that short paragraph, I would not comfortably guide you to any of the mainstream gaming news and review websites to source the info. This is why I believe that most of the gaming  journalists are in the pockets of PR games industry representatives.

Although I have thought this for a long time, no one cares about my opinion and recently an article was written by a well respected games journalist, damning other games journalists for this reason. So, what a lot of veteran gamers believed was confirmed for indefinitely. Now I won’t recap the whole article, but you can find it here. I will just do a sum up for this little post.

Below is the image that started it all. It’s Geoff Keighley: an industry leader and executive producer of a gaming journalism awards show where friends give awards to other friends. PR people and games journos’ vote for their people to win awards for gaming journalism and most of the time the people deciding the awards and those receiving know each other well … but shouldn’t PR people and games journos’ not be friends?

However they are and this creates a distrustful nature between the gamer and people we should be able to trust for our gaming info.

It is up to the gamers themselves to combat the waves of bullsh**t coming off some mainstream gaming news and review sites.

I was invited to write game reviews for a friends website (www.unbored.co.uk) which is being re-launched in the new year. Our mission is to write the truth about gaming, regardless of who developed it.

Sometimes free indie games you can download on the net can be much innovative than a AAA developed games title (cough, cough …Call of Duty).  I write the articles not for money, but because I love games and that’s what I think some of these journalists have lost. They have been caught up in free stuff for tweets and hashtags. Of course, there are still game journalists that have high standards and refuse to play along, but they are told off for doing so by the boss. Some gaming journalists don’t investigate and report like they are meant to. They just regurgitate what the marketing department tells them.

I’ll end on this. Make your own mind up about games and if you want to find reviews about a particular game then find the smaller people because they are more likely to be telling the truth.

What a Picture!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012|Elexu Team Posts, Guest posts|by JairoHurtado|No Comments

Before 1990, you needed a proper camera to get a good picture just to develop it, store it into a photo album or  frame and that’s it. Nowadays, photography has got a new dimension with the help of the mobiles, internet and the social media networks that really let photographers mess with what the camera sees.

Every mobile nowadays has a camera. Year by year, cameras are getting better and better on mobile devices because the companies in charge of producing them know the importance that the users are giving to the photos. It’s all about the experience of sharing it instantly, and less about achieving it. That’s the reason why social networks as Pinterest are getting so popular. Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more.

My interest in photography started when I started attending to my university classes. In 2008 I started to attend some art exhibitions at museums at the same time I was taking the classes of art history as part of the Graphic Design Program. Later, around the 5th semester in  2010 I got my fist analog SLR camera as a requirement of the photography class. At the beginning  it was very difficult to learn how to do good snapshots without the camera adjusting it automatically. You had to adjust the speed and the diaphragm, two completely new concepts for me. But once I got it, the results were amazing. With photography, the key is practice and understanding the equipment you are using.

I came to London in the beginning of June, just in time to attend the 2012 Olympic Games. That was a great opportunity to use my photography skills and share it with the world, especially with all the famous and beautiful landmarks like the Big Ben, Tower bridge, The London Eye or Saint Paul’s cathedral. There’s a fact and it’s that England, specially London, developed what is called the Victorian style, which have been preserved over more than a century. Another fact is that many of the landmarks, if not all, has centuries of history behind them, adding more relevance to the image taken. London is a photographers playground.

Now I have a Samsung NX10, which has allowed me to capture some epic photo’s during the summer around the Thames. I don’t like doing photography in the winter because I am Colombian and English warm is Colombian cold.

During the autumn there’s not much chance of getting any sun, so I’ll wait for that rare sunny winter day when I can be out capturing London with my camera lens.