John Lewis – a chain of up-market department stores in the UK is celebrating 150 years of business. We were in London last week and popped into the flagship store on Oxford Street and were surprised by superlative displays in the central atria of the store, through which rise the escalators.

IMG_6261Translucent streamers in soft pastel colours stretched the full height of the atria. Their colours echoed by the bordering of the galleries at each floor. Light, but sadly not sun, streamed into these vertical spaces.

IMG_6252It really was an extraordinary sight and akin to an art installation. I spent a few minutes riding the escalators up and down, and walking the galleries trying to find the best way to capture this display.

IMG_6271It’s not easy taking images with a compact from a moving staircase. Particularly when you are not quite sure if and when your collar is going to be felt by security. And I was also very conscious of the necessity to be as discreet as possible and not invade the privacy of fellow shoppers. All those constraints made the task more difficult. Ideally, to make a success of this shoot I would have wanted an hour or two to walk around and assess the options before starting to take images.

IMG_6277If you are in London during the Summer, do pop into John Lewis and see this sight with your own eyes.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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19 Responses to Streamers

  1. oneowner says:

    You were able to get some excellent shots in spite of the security restraints. I have used my small camera in public and didn’t find any objection, but I tried to be as descrete as possible. It’s a very colorful display at John Lewis, I think I would enjoy the visit.

    • LensScaper says:

      It was a display where I didn’t feel the camera really did it justice – the sheer size of the space was difficult to portray and also the colours seemed more luminous.

  2. Len says:

    Really cool images Andy. There have been so many restrictions (real or imagined) on photography these days. I have noticed a reduced attention level since I went mirrorless. I hope that doesn’t change.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len. Certainly a big dSLR is bound to attract attention. The other day I walked around with the compact at waist level just shooting as I walked. As yet I don’t have anything worth showing but a decent image will appear – by chance if not by design

  3. shoreacres says:

    Very pretty. It looks as though the sides of the escalators might have removable panels, that were color-coordinated with the streamers. Seeing the colors both horizontally and vertically is very nice.

    • LensScaper says:

      I’m not entirely which came first – whether the panels on the escalators and on the balconies were coloured originally and so the streamers were chosen to match, or whether the whole scene has been colour-coded for the 150year celebrations. You are right – it is the cross hatching of colours that is so entertaining. I think this display will be in place through the summer so I may return and have another attempt at some more images. Thanks for your comment, Linda.

  4. Lisa Gordon says:

    These are so unique, and really so very beautiful!

  5. Chillbrook says:

    It’s an impressive display Andy that’s for sure. I think your third image is my favourite, I love the lines.

    • LensScaper says:

      Good choice, Adrian. I liked this for the intersecting lines of the escalators. That guy in red ducked his head just at the wrong moment – that’s the problem you get with shutter lag.

  6. poppytump says:

    A lovely use of the space .. I would have liked to have observed the unravelling of these streamer banners . Can see why this would appeal to you Andy .. though if you’d had an hour or two ‘assessing the options’ it might have proved quite an expensive visit 😉

  7. Beautiful find, Andy. Somehow I am surprised to have never seen something like this before, it’s a great design idea for a large open space. Nice soothing pastels really add to the atmosphere. Love the perspective of that first shot.

  8. Meanderer says:

    It looks lovely – a big thumbs up to the designers. You did well considering your concerns about security and privacy.

  9. Fascinating pictures, Andy.

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