Category Archives: City view

London Visit

I’ve previously written about the collection of abandoned Argentinean snapshots I received from a friend. They belonged to a guy who left them in South Africa many years ago. His snaps show good times for a group of guys in Argentina, their home country. So it was interesting to find some shots included in the box of their travels in Europe. Interesting because of the way they remade themselves for their travels, wearing dapper clothing in a style they may have felt was appropriate for Europe. We’re talking brogues for London, boots for Venice, and a well-groomed style not seen in their home pics. I love this transformation and the soft, self-conscious style of the photos. They do look the part of the debonair tourist, don’t they?

In London …



655---Old-Plaza-after  656---London-guy-after

… and in Venice.




Posted by on September 7, 2016 in City view, Europe, Man, People, Sightseeing

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Cable Car Table Mountain

The Table Mountain cable car pictured in the early 1960s with a lone man inside. These cars could transport about 12 people comfortably. I can just remember them, the open air and greasy smell of the cables. Nowadays the cable car company transports about 800 people per day up and down our famous and wonderful mountain.


Visit the cable car website


Cairo Late 1950s

Three images of old Cairo taken in 1959. The original slides were drive-by snaps or souvenirs. They are now really blasted by age, and are covered in dirt and mold. This condition seems to suit the subject, however, so I gave them a sepia treatment and enhanced texture. Cairo of the 1950s was a really different place to today, society there has become much more conservative, and conflict threatens ordinary ways of life as well as ancient relics. Just to consider Egypt and what it has meant to travelers from all over the world for decades, is to realize that countries have a responsibility towards world heritage. I guess that is UNESCO’s message. Historic Cairo became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, 20 years after these pics were taken.








Five retro cities in sepia

Wild monkeys and air balloons migrating across smokey, sepia colored cities … For a recent art project, I searched through my collection and found these 5 stunning examples of city views. London, New York, Florence, Stockholm and Paris were all shot by amateur travelers in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. The images were used for “Migration Series” – part of our recent exhibition with added illustrations by Pete Woo.

Final art works

Migration-series - New York 1958New York

Migration-series - London 1959London

Migration series - Florence 1958Florence

Migration-series - Stockholm 1964Stockholm

Migration-series - Paris 1964Paris

Limited edition prints were done on watercolor, textured paper using archival inks. An alternative print was also done on metal. The series is currently still available. Get in touch with Studio Woo if you’re interested in purchasing.

Read more about the exhibition ‘Black Sheep Clever Monkey

Before and afters of the cities:








Posted by on February 17, 2014 in America, City view, Europe

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First Avenue from Peter Cooper Village

Gritty, dark and glinting. This June 1960 snap of First Avenue New York was taken from the window of an apartment in Peter Cooper Village. Although we don’t see the residential complex in this pic, its worth reading about. Peter Cooper Village (and Stuyvesant Town) are huge red brick residential complexes on the east side of Manhattan. Built in the 1940s, around 25 000 people live there today – in upmarket slums! Read more.



Posted by on October 19, 2013 in America, City view, Modern city streets

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Gritty Florence

This image of a gritty Florence, with its dark, brooding sky and old walls, was taken in the late 1950s. I visited Florence in the nineties but was disappointed. It was unfriendly, big and dirty. I had a bad cold and spent the day alone at the hostel where I was staying (as there was a curfew for everyone else). In the end I got better and escaped to a wonderful villa in the hills just outside Florence. I didn’t miss the city much.


This was a dramatic rescue as the before and after pic shows. The sky needed to stay dark and to keep the drama; I increased the sun rays, for example. The buildings needed lightening and brightening. I used several filters and blending modes with masks to create the final, which I am absolutely in love with.


Before and after. Click for big.