Mon, 10 May 2010 Soho Ghost finalist

Soho GhostI can now mention that my photograph, entitled “Soho Ghost”, is a top ten finalist in the Cities of Night contest, being run by ChiZine Publications.

The contest was created to celebrate the release of Philip Nutman’s short story collection Cities of Night, and the brief was to supply a subtle, creepy, evocative photo of a city at night.

Since May 6 CZP began announcing the finalists, one per day, and my photo “Soho Ghost” went up last night. The overall winner will be announced on May 15, Cities of Night’s official launch date.

The winner receives:

  • A free, signed, limited edition hardcover copy of Cities of Night
  • Twenty-five postcards with their photo on one side and on the other a flash fiction story specifically written for the photo by Philip Nutman
  • Their photo and story on the CZP website

I’m genuinely pleased to get into the top ten, and since the competition is tough I’ve no expectations of my image being picked as the overall winner.

Late night coffeeI took the photo in the Café Nero in Soho in London that stays open until the wee hours of the night. I consider it a mark of civilisation if a city has coffee shops that are open after midnight, and it’s a rare phenomenon in Ireland and the UK. I love to go to cafés late, drink a naughty coffee and watch people come and go. Because of its location in Soho there is never a shortage of interesting sights to behold.

Martin and I sat by the window, and I put my camera on the counter and took photos using a long exposure through the glass. When I got home I saw this ghostly image of a man striding out of the crossroads. All I did was change the contrast and add a sepia tone. Otherwise there’s not much photoshoppery going on.

When I heard about the competition I immediately thought about this photograph, and on a whim I decided to submit it. I’m glad I did!

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