Cako Martin & ‘Colourful Hope’

May 30, 2010 7 Comments

On 22nd May 2010 The Elephant Parade held a ‘meet the artist’ day so that members of the public could speak with the artists behind some of the beautiful designs currently on display in the streets and parks of London.

Unfortunately I had to travel that day and was unable to meet up with any of the artists so I spoke with Cako Martin, the Brazilian artist behind ‘Colourful Hope‘ which is number 75 in the display.

Cako Martin, Colourful Hope

The Elephant Parade is a great cause, how did you first hear about the project? Were you approached to take part, or did you nominate yourself?
They approached me via the internet. We talked about it a long time ago before the parade and the guys invited me. I’m so happy to be a part of team.

Cako, can you tell us a little bit about the process of creating Colourful Hope…such as what techniques did you use and how long did the process take in total?
Colourful Hope is a parent of Cowlorida Voadora (My cow in CowParade 2010 Brazil) that i started to draw in my computer and reproduced on the elephant. I studied the body of baby elephant and started to compose the drawing. The creation took 6 days (around 35 hours) to complete.

Where do you live and do your work?
I’m an art director/illustrator living in Brazil ( im half brazilian/half spanish) working at Young & Rubicam in Brazil.

The Elephant Parade will have an audience of an estimated 25 million people, what message are you attempting to convey in the design of Colourful Hope?
I think that we need to share and help more. Events like Elephant Parade can help to share beautiful stuff with the best artists but the best thing for me is that I can help in the cause to protect our asian elephants. It’s amazing to share my art on the streets outside my country, I just arrived in London to paint this elephant and it was so nice but I’m really happy to help a cause and I tried to call the attention of everybody on the streets with something colorful, cute and beautiful.

Colourful Hope stands outside Harrod’s, perhaps the most prestigious store in London, and is certainly the brightest object in a rather dismal looking road. Did you have any say in where your creation would be displayed? If you could choose anywhere in London to display your work…where would it be?
I am so happy to be in front of Harrods, but I don’t know who chose to put my baby there. I’m so glad she is there though.

You recently participated in the Cow Parade – was the creation of Colourful Hope easier than Cowlorida Voadora? What did you learn from the Cow Parade that you could use in the Elephant Parade?
I’m an art director, and I have in parallel other stuff that exhibitions with my art. It’s so awesome; I love to paint, but to do something like these parades is more than any exhibition. It’s so cool to see people around my art, take photos….I love to see the faces of guys lookin’ at my baby. Lol….its so funny.

Colourful Hope, along with the other elephants on display, will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition. Where would you like to see your creation find a home?
Harrods can buy my baby isnt it? Lol….
I dont think about it…I wanna see my baby in a place that has people lovin’ it.

I see you work in several different mediums, be it pieces such as Colourful Hope, print or fashion. Which medium is your favourite, and where do you feel your art is going?
I love my art. I’m doing different stuff all at the same time right now and enjoy it all. I’m trying to expand more and more.

What other projects are you currently working on, or will be working on in the near future?
I’m in a creative process now, nothing concrete to say; I will love to do something in the Asia region next.

What inspires you, and which artists do you admire?
I use daily references like fashion, architecture, design,…
AnOther Mag (by Dazed and Confused Group) in LOVES section a thousand of references daily…i’ve tried to use it. (http://www.anothermag.com/loves)
I love Andy Warhol, Dalek and Kaws.

Further information:

  • Colourful Hope is on display outside Harrod’s on Hans Crescent until the end of June 2010 and is sponsored by Mr Bruno Wang.
  • If you want to purchase this elephant you can bid on Colourful Hope until 4th July 2010
  • Visit the artist’s website at www.cakomartin.com

75. Colourful Hope

Top tips for viewing the elephant parade

May 19, 2010 649 Comments

Like myself, there are some people (such as MykReeve or drplokta) who seemed to rush out and attempt to photograph all of the elephants in the London Elephant Parade in a couple of days. Let me tell you, doing this during the daylight hours that surround work and at weekends takes a lot of effort and involves a lot of walking.

It is a lot of fun though, and you will see many beautiful elephants on your travels. It’s also likely you will get to see several buildings and parks in London that you haven’t seen before, some of which you may not even realise existed previously.

So, if you’ve seen the photos or the enjoyment that others on the hunt have been through and fancy having a go yourself, here are some things you may wish to consider before setting off on your journeys.

Grab the Elephant Parade application
www.livespot.com.au have released an application which runs on the iPhone or Android and incorporates Augmented Reality technology that allows users to simply hold up their phone and view all elephants in the area – the technology makes use of the phone’s camera and onboard GPS to orientate and locate elephants within a set vicinity. Users can choose to have results displayed across augmented reality, map view or list view. Going beyond the business of spotting elephants, they have incorporated interactive functions that allow users to sign the petition and share a link to the application on Twitter and Facebook.

In central London the application is available through the Augmented Reality browser Layar or browsing to http://m.layar.com/open/elephantparade from your iPhone or Android.

(For me, I just downloaded the Layar app onto my iPhone and searched for ‘elephant parade’ within the app)

elephantparade

Grab a list of elephants and where they are likely to be located
The Elephant Parade website has a .pdf route map that you can download.
My previous post has a list of elephants in the elephant parade and their (tentative) locations – sometimes these wannabe ninjas move around a bit, especially Cloudia – she’s the sneakiest of all of them!
I’ve also created a Google Map of the Elephant Parade
Here’s another map that drplokta created as mashup using flickr and google maps.

Plan your route
You can just head out into the streets with a list of elephants and a map and see where the day takes you, but if you want to maximise the number of elephants you see in the parade in a short space of time you’re best off planning a route in advance.
Firstly, check out the Elephant Family Facebook Page and see what other elephant hunters are saying about the elephants. You’ll find out here if some elephants are missing or if an area is particularly tricky to get to for some reason.
Secondly, drplokta is providing excellent updates on the status of elephants on this discussion page. You know, I sometimes think he’s moving these elephants around himself with how up to date he is – do check back on that page on a regular basis.

Check out opening times
Did you read the excellent discussion page I mentioned above?
If you did you will know that some elephants aren’t available at certain times. I fell short of my 100 elephants in one day target when both Devonshire Sq and the Royal Exchange were closed on Sunday. 96 elephants later I should have been happy, but I was annoyed because I had mis-planned my route and fell short of my target.
If the elephant is inside you can sometimes see them through a window, but you’re best off checking with the owners of whichever building the elephant is in to see if they are open. Check out their websites and this should let you know.

Likewise with the parks, some of these will close at night time, others as soon as dusk sets in. Check out their website before you set out on a late night journey.

Wear comfortable shoes
London is surprisingly easy to walk around and get from A to B in a reasonable time. However, getting from A to B to C to D, back to B and then on to E and F followed by a detour to J and back to F and onto G….well, you get the hint – going from one place to another isn’t exactly linear. Neither are our streets and after several hours walking around your feet may start to become sore, especially if you are not wearing decent walking shoes. Believe me, I should know. And if you don’t believe me, ask the blisters on my right foot!

Plan your elephant viewing based on the results you want
I preferred to take my photos of each elephant pretty much without other people getting in the way, where possible. After a trip to Trafalgar Square one lunchtime and seeing not only tourists but many people sitting on the elephant’s bases to eat their lunch I realised that taking tourist free photos may be quite difficult.

As such I made sure to go to the really busy places such as Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden Piazza, Westfield and Hamley’s first thing in the morning before there are many people around. Other locations like Suffolk Street or Heddon Street, which are quieter locations can be left to the busier times as there is less through traffic.

Of course, you may want to take photos that have people in it, in which case you should go there during the busy times and try and catch people interacting with the elephants – though make sure they’re okay with you taking their photo if you are doing so.

Be polite to others
If you find others are in the way of your taking a perfect photo, try not to get frustrated with them. Some people see the elephants as art, some as a photo opportunity, some as a nice place to take a seat. If you have one opinion it doesn’t mean another opinion is the correct one.

If you are patient the people surrounding the elephant will likely leave, and hopefully you will have a window of opportunity to take your photos.

Some people see that you are taking a photo and will get out of your way, so thank them for doing so – though if you have a digital photo it’s not like they’ve ruined your shot by using the last of your film if they do get in the way.

Some people, unfortunately, will go out of their way to be in the photo and pull faces (or worse, as I found with a group of teenagers in Elephant & Castle). Ignore them, and wait for an opportunity to take a decent photo at a later time.

If you’re in a rush and someone is sitting in the way, simply ask them politely if they would be able to move away for a few moments. Most people are just oblivious to the fact they are in the way and will happily do so.

Ask permission if on private property
Some of the elephants are in private property and in certain places there is a lot of uncertainty as to whether you should be there or are allowed to take photos. I disagree with locations that are like this, as the Elephant Parade is supposed to be a public art display. If you are in one of these locations ask before you start taking photos. Even if the elephant is in the doorway and you have to walk past it to get to the reception desk, you should still ask first.

Selfridges staff entrance and the Olswang office were two of the places I went to that the staff member on duty did not allow me to take photographs. I thanked them for their time and left the buildings. I then followed up with emails to the correct people in charge of the properties seeking permission to take photos on their premises, and in both locations permission was granted (although Gerald did disappear before I was able to make the Selfridges appointment).

If you don’t ask the staff will not take kindly to it, and though you may have managed to take your photo of the elephant you may have spoiled that opportunity for future people who also want to take photos.

Unfortunately some places which have elephants on display may not have anticipated how much attention they would attract and may now be regretting getting them. At the end of the day you are on their property and what they say goes, so be polite regardless of the outcome and move onto the next elephant if needed.

Using your camera
There are two things I would recommend when using your camera.

Firstly, make sure the battery is fully charged. I had a nice evening walking around taking photos, and had reached 20 elephants or so with 6 more to go that night when my camera ran out of battery power. My fault for using it for a few days without recharging the battery. It did mean that I couldn’t finish my hunt that night and had to go out of my way to return to that location the next day. A little frustrating to say the least.

Secondly, I do recommend using burst mode if you are taking photos. There is so much going on in the streets of London that you may not always notice what’s happening in the background of your photos and where a person or a vehicle ruins a photo you have taken. Using burst mode will take several pictures quickly which means you have more chance of capturing a perfect shot, and also more chance of getting shots that are in perfect focus instead of finding out at a later date that your elephant is slightly blurred.

Check the weather forecast
Common sense, but if you’re out all day you will need to be properly attired for the various weather conditions. You do not want to leave the house in the morning wearing a light jacket and expecting to spend all day shooting the elephants, only to find that there is torrential rain at midday. Be prepared for what the good old English weather will bring.

Use an A-Z
If you have a map on your phone then you’re probably okay, but if you’re unsure of your way around London and don’t have one you are probably best off with an A-Z in your pocket.

The less time you spend wandering around aimlessly and are able to confidently walk from one location to another, then the quicker you will finish taking photos of all of the elephants.

Finally, have fun.
You’re taking part in a fantastic project and I hope you have fun doing so, and possibly meet new people along the way. If you do go out taking photos I would love to see them, so post a link to your images or send me a link on flickr.

Happy hunting!

The Elephant Parade

May 6, 2010 23 Comments

UPDATE: The elephants have now been moved.
Outdoor elephants are viewable at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Friday 25th, Saturday 26th and Monday 28th June between the hours of 10am and 7pm.

Several indoor elephants are viewable at Westfield during regular opening hours between now and 30th June.

Gerald is viewable at China Whites during selective hours between now and 30th June.

The Emerald Queen is no longer viewable as she was sold in a private auction.

Happy Herds

Today my journey started.

I first heard last year that an Elephant Parade was coming to London. I remember the Cow Parade of a few years ago but was neither living in central London nor had a digital camera so looking at those consisted of just happening upon them by chance rather than by design.

A few years later and I am armed with a conveniently located flat which allows me to wander the city at night without getting home at stupid o’clock, a digital SLR and a curious desire to go out and photograph these wonderful designs throughout London.

They seemed to have landed yesterday, and today I started the process of finding them and shooting them, one by one.

It’s kind of like a one man safari, but the shooting is obviously with a camera and not an elephant gun.

I’ll be posting images of them up on Flickr as I go along, and may end up buying a mini replica once I’m done. I’ll no doubt do a top 5 or top 10 of my favourite designs also.

Hopefully I’ll get through all 258 of them before they are extinct; and I guess I should head down to Brixton quite soon before that poor one get’s vandalised or stolen or something.

View the Elephant Parade on Flickr
View the Elephant Parade Map (see below for embedded version)

The Elephant Parade runs from May to June 20th on the streets of London. 238 elephants should then be viewable on the 25th, 26th and 28th of June in one group at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The following elephants are currently indoors, but should be located to the RHC at that time: 4. Strawberry, 7. Tree of Love, 87. The Happy End of Nature, 107. Cartier, 111. Mother Nature, 115. Eco The Elephant & 159. Mason

The following elephants are currently at Westfield…
56 – love ellie
97 – Saffron
172 – Luna
224 – Eli

On 21st June they will be joined by the following elephants for viewing in the Westfield atrium until 30th June:
50 – Heaven’s Haathi
84 – Matilda
113 – Monopoly Community Chest
114 – Zambi
120 – The Singing Butler Rides Again
133 – Manasuna
165 – Untitled
184 – The Human Disease
198 – Mammoth Metaphor
217 – The Spirit of India
226 – Pearly Prince
244 – Jewel-ele
249 – Spooning Sunday
258 – Ziggy

135. Gerald – he will remain at China Whites until 30th June.
216. The Emerald Queen will not be on display as she will have been sold by then at a private event at Selfridges on the 23rd June.


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Grab the Elephant Parade application
www.livespot.com.au have released an application which runs on the iPhone or Android and incorporates Augmented Reality technology that allows users to simply hold up their phone and view all elephants in the area – the technology makes use of the phone’s camera and onboard GPS to orientate and locate elephants within a set vicinity. Users can choose to have results displayed across augmented reality, map view or list view. Going beyond the business of spotting elephants, they have incorporated interactive functions that allow users to sign the petition and share a link to the application on Twitter and Facebook.

In central London the application is available through the Augmented Reality browser Layar or browsing to http://m.layar.com/open/elephantparade from your iPhone or Android.

(For me, I just downloaded the Layar app onto my iPhone and searched for ‘elephant parade’ within the app)

elephantparade

Elephants where their location is shown in blue below are moving to Leicester Square on Friday 18th June and will remain there for the weekend.

Elephant check-list: (I’ve now snapped all 258 elephants)
1. Spotty (Green Park)
2. Radja (Market Place)
3. Union Jack (Orange Square)
4. Strawberry (The Hempel Hotel)
5. Piquant (Greenwich Central Market)
6. Forever Birds (St Mowdens Shopping Centre)
7. Tree of Love (National Geographic; Regent St)
8. Ampersand (Hyde Park Corner)
9. Simply Gold (More London)
10. Pink Elephant (Covent Garden Piazza)
11. Simply Silver (Green Park)
12. Polka Dot (More London)
13. Doors (Duke of York Square)
14. Daisies (Notting Hill Gate Hilton Hotel, Park Lane)
15. Mr Stripe (Foubert’s Place/Newburgh St)
16. Mrs Stripe (Marble Arch)
17. Gaj Mani (Green Park)
18. Panda (Hyde Park, Speakers Corner)
19. Blitz (Hyde Park, Dell Garden)
20. Vroom (Hyde Park, Dell Garden)
21. Dart (Hyde Park, Dell Garden)
22. Bolt (Hyde Park, Speakers Corner)
23. Dash (Hyde Park, Speakers Corner)
24. Whizz (Hyde Park, Speakers Corner)
25. I Miss The Forest (Green Park)
26. Spike (Hyde Park, Dell Garden)
27. Chinesephant (Baker Street)
28. Cha-Chang (More London)
29. Blue Macaw (Green Park)
30. Vorsprung (Piccadilly)
31. The Swan (Hyde Park, Dell Garden)
32. Little Bird (Mount Street)
33. Ganesh (India Place)
34. Little Moo (Cavendish Square)
35. Bouquet (Paddington Street Gardens)
36. Chestnut (The Hempel Hotel)
37. Woodland (Cavendish Square)
38. Old Map of London (Orange Square)
39. Ladybird (Hyde Park, Dell Garden)
40. Simply Yellow (More London)
41. Travels On My Elephant (Notting Hill Gate)
42. Lahu Girl (St. James’s Park)
43. Sherlock Holmes (Baker Street)
44. Fish & Chips (Green Park)
45. New Map of London (More London)
46. Bobby (Hyde Park, Speakers Corner)
47. Tea Roses (More London)
48. Decors (More London)
49. Ferrous (The Royal Opera House)
50. Heaven’s Haathi (Selfridges)
51. Oran (You Stole My Heart) (Notting Hill Gate)
52. Clair le Lune (Greenwich Visitors Centre)
53. Nana (Curzon Street)
54. Eli Krishma (20 Mount Street)
55. Cubelephant (More London)
56. love ellie (Westfield)
57. HELP! (Royal Hospital Chelsea)
58. Sunny (Covent Garden Piazza)
59. The Elephant In The Room (Duke of York Square)
60. Map Elephant (6 Devonshire Square)
61. Shaant Haathi (Queens Walk: Royal Festival Hall)
62. Gaia Elephant (Kings Road)
63. In Your Trunk (Turn The Base Up) (Green Park)
64. Patron (St James’ Street)
65. Burma (Holland Park Avenue)
66. Phoolan (Natural History Museum)
67. Elephant Chic (St Christopher’s Place)
68. Taxi Elephant (The Royal Exchange)
69. The Clonakilty Irish Elephant (Covent Garden Piazza)
70. Dedicated to the wonderful Chelsea Pensioners (Royal Hospital Chelsea)
71. Boodles (Baker Street)
72. Belle (Suffolk Street)
73. The Vanishing Lotus (Green Park)
74. Elephant Race (Against Time) (Bank Station)
75. Colourful Hope (Hans Crescent) – Read an interview with Cako Martin, the artist behind ‘Colourful Hope’.
76. Ella May (LMA) (Baker Street Victoria street outside Westminster Council building)
77. Pit Bingko (Green Park)
78. Noah (Covent Garden Piazza)
79. The Empire Is Not Striking Back (Green Park)
80. Ritual (St Paul’s Churchyard)
81. Marjorie (More London)
82. Grey Elephant (New Bond St)
83. Midnight Indigo (Bow Churchyard)
84. Matilda (Museum of London Docklands)
85. Sans Merci (St. James’s Park)
86. Polyphant (Green Park)
87. The Happy End of Nature (Terminal 5, Heathrow Paddington Station)
88. Ddj (Covent Garden Piazza)
89. Brambles (Queens Walk, Royal Festival Hall)
90. Twiggie (37, Davies Street (Near Couture Lab))
91. Cupcake (Regent Place)
92. Tigerphant (Newport Court)
93. Tango (The Dorchester)
94. Charmed (The Royal Opera House)
95. Elephas Maximus (More London)
96. Dandi-phant (St Pancras International)
97. Saffron (Westfield)
98. Seymour (Natural History Museum)
99. Buddy (Hans Crescent)
100. Carry On Up The Khyber (More London)
101. Layla (Berkeley Square)
102. Tattoo – Born To Be Wild (Green Park)
103. Greetings From The Jungle (31 Harbet Rd, Paddington)
104. Arthur (Knightsbridge Green)
105. Elephant Ladyland (87 Mount Street)
106. Cosmos (Bank Station)
107. Cartier (The Royal Exchange)
108. Karma (Green Park)
109. Russell (Green Park)
110. Figgy (Saint Martin’s Court)
111. MOTHER NATURE (The Hempel Hotel)
112. Tara (Hyde Park, Speakers Corner Green Park)
113. Monopoly Community Chest (Hamleys Toy Store)
114. Zambi (Hamleys Toy Store)
115. Eco The Elephant (High Holborn)
116. Hornbill (More London)
117. Untitled (Queens Walk, Hungerford Bridge)
118. Candy (Carnaby St/Marlborough St)
119. Oli (South Molton Street)
120. The Singing Butler Rides Again (Burlington Arcade)
121. James Bond (Queens Walk, Hungerford Bridge)
122. Roselephant (More London)
123. A Penny For Your Thoughts (26, South Audley Street)
124. Elfreda (Tower of London)
125. Lover (Berkeley Square)
126. Untitled (Gajaraja) (Leicester Square Gardens)
127. Gloria (Kings Road)
128. Cotee (Greenwich Visitors Centre)
129. Sally (Queens Walk: National Theatre)
130. Celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity (Natural History Museum)
131. Sidhe (Mount Street)
132. Young At Art (South Molton Street)
133. Manasuna (Burlington Arcade)
134. Will Only Words Remain? (Green Park)
135. Gerald (Selfridges China White, Winsley Street – by appointment only)
136. Julia’s Elephant (Market Square, Royal Festival Hall)
137. Big Heart Open Mind (Green Park)
138. Eleafant (Curzon Street)
139. Bertie (Foubert’s Place/Kingly St)
140. Just Joey (Hay’s Galleria)
141. Kids Co Elephant (Potters Fields Park)
142. Dead End (South Molton Street)
143. Rajasthan Royals (Trafalgar Square)
144. Kings XI Punjab (Trafalgar Square)
145. Mumbai Indians (Trafalgar Square)
146. Kolkata Knight Riders (Trafalgar Square)
147. Delhi Daredevils (Trafalgar Square)
148. Deccan Charges (Trafalgar Square)
149. Chennai Super Kings (Trafalgar Square)
150. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Trafalgar Square)
151. Wooly Mammoth (Hans Crescent)
152. Frank (Market Place)
153. Clearing (Soho Square)
154. Gilt (Golden Square Gardens)
155. ELEPHANTASTIC (6 Devonshire Square)
156. TINKLE (Bruton Street Berkeley Square)
157. Deliverance (Queens Walk, Royal Festival Hall)
158. Eeipey (Windrush Square, Brixton)
159. Mason (House of St Barnabas)
160. Kissed by Lulu Guinness (Carnaby St/Broadwick St)
161. Maureen (Queens Walk, National Theatre)
162. Gajaraj (Old Quebec Street)
163. Suraj (The Dorchester)
164. Hathi (V&A Museum)
165. Untitled (Sotheby’s New Bond St Somerset House)
166. Lunacrooner (Kensington High Street)
167. Elephish (Foubert’s Place/Regent Street)
168. Coco (Berkeley Square)
169. Nanook (Green Park)
170. Vanishing Elephant (Curzon Street)
171. Jarlo (Victoria Tower Gardens)
172. Luna (Westfield)
173. The Paul Smith Elephant (The Royal Exchange)
174. BaarsFant no2 (Green Park)
175. R (New Burlington Place)
176. No More Plundering (Potters Fields Park)
177. Utopia (Queens Walk, Hungerford Bridge)
178. Naveen (Notting Hill Gate)
179. 21st Century Ganesh (India Place)
180. Boogie Woo (Soho Square)
181. Kubella – The Seaside Elephant (St Christopher’s Place)
182. Fatima (Kensington Gore)
183. Jaidayal (the triumph of kindness) (More London)
184. The Human Disease (81 – 83 Great Eastern Street)
185. Less is Morvi (V&A Museum)
186. Around The World (Blackrock, King William St)
187. Heavenly Jewel (Leicester Square Gardens)
188. MAYUR GAJENDRA (Blackrock, King William St)
189. Elephant Farfalla (Orange Square)
190. Josephine (Sloane Square)
191. bird (House of St Barnabas)
192. bird2 (Victoria Tower Gardens)
193. Dumbow (Neal Street)
194. Iconic London (Bruton Street Berkeley Square)
195. Eko (Green Park)
196. Izzy (Lime Street)
197. Haathini (Cleopatra’s Needle, Victoria Embankment)
198. Mammoth Metaphor (Somerset House)
199. Impossiphant (South Molton Street)
200. Dickinson Elephant (Jermyn Street)
201. The Elephant Outside The Room (St Paul’s Churchyard)
202. Dazzlephant (Green Park)
203. Grayson (St. James’s Park)
204. Elhi (Park Lane)
205. Sir Percy (Park Lane)
206. Mr Bojangles (Cavendish Square)
207. Untitled (Berkeley Square)
208. Kingdom (Sloane Square)
209. Harmony (Green Park)
210. Harapan (Green Park)
211. Hope (BT Building, nearest tube station is St Paul’s)
212. Looking Me In The Eye (Berkeley Square)
213. Elefun (Green Park)
214. Vanda (Swallow St)
215. Rainforest (Holland Park Avenue)
216. The Emerald Queen (Selfridges)
217. The Spirit of India (Selfridges)
218. The Lion King on Stage (Covent Garden Piazza)
219. Cloudia. (Cloudia Roams London – check here for latest position) Sign the petition
220. Oak, Chestnut, Plane & Elm (Regent Place)
221. Cholai (Leicester Square Gardens)
222. The Princess Elephant (Leicester Square Gardens)
223. Rangoli (Cavendish Square)
224. Eli (Westfield)
225. Mr William (Green Park)
226. Pearly Prince (Coutts Bank, 440 The Strand)
227. My Gorgeous Jungle! (Cleopatra’s Needle, Victoria Embankment)
228. Mr Cameron (Victoria Embankment Gardens)
229. Blue Patch (81 Fulham Rd)
230. Mr Brown (Victoria Embankment Gardens)
231. The Illustrated Elephant (Hanover Square)
232. Whisper (Kensington High Street)
233. Topographant (New Bond Street)
234. Peony (Fulham Road)
235. Poppy (249 Fulham Rd Paddington Street Gardens)
236. Patchwork (Berkeley Square)
237. Freedom (Piccadilly)
238. The Isles of London (Kensington Gore)
239. Untitled (St. James’s Park)
240. Zabriskie (Hyde Park Corner)
241. HappyPhant (Marble Arch)
242. G-n-S (Golden Square Gardens)
243. Hope of Freedom (Green Park)
244. Jewel-ele (The Royal Exchange)
245. Jade (Heddon Street 117 Cromwell Road)
246. Never Forget (Green Park)
247. Tommy Hilfiger Red Elephant (28-31 Saint Martin’s Ct)
248. Sadhana (New Bond Street)
249. Spooning Sunday (Selfridges)
250. The Haecceity Elephant (Victoria Tower Gardens)
251. Oscar (Hanover Square)
252. Udata Hathi (Hans Crescent)
253. Flocking to the City (Covent Garden Piazza)
254. Cocoa The Elephant (Orange Square)
255. The City in the Elephant (More London) To appreciate this wonderful piece I suggest you view the video also.
256. The BODYAMR & Zara Martin Elephant (Hans Crescent)
257. Mr Clegg (Victoria Embankment Gardens)
258. Ziggy (Selfridges)


View The Elephant Parade in a larger map

Outdoor Elephant (though some are in parks which may close at certain times)
Indoor Elephant (may require the location to be open before you can view the elephant)

Joby Ballhead for gorillapod SLR-zoom

May 1, 2010 3 Comments

The Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom is a new addition for my camera, and there were a few things I disliked about it. I loved the fact you can cling it to railings, and that was the purpose of my purchase, however I realised whilst shooting the 2010 Virgin London Marathon that it was difficult to pan with it. As I wanted to take shots of the runners as they went past me I needed it to move, so I ended up loosening the screw slightly to act as a makeshift rotator; but everytime I panned on an athlete the gorillapod would loosen itself from the railing slightly, this didn’t leave for very steady panning and I’m sure I easily missed some great shots.


Panning

The second thing I didn’t like about it was the fact it connects straight onto the camera and if you want to separate them you had to unscrew it…annoying when you want to shift from a sturdy tripod point to free hand movement – I ended up have to move the whole tripod, still attached to the camera, to take some of the action shots.

So I was pleased to find that Joby have now released a ballhead attachment, which although it isn’t perfect does compliment the gorlliapod.


Joby ballhead

The main thing I love about the ballhead is that there is a easy release feature to remove the camera from the tripod. The part at the top, with the bubble level, screws directly into the camera and can be released from the ball head itself by simply pushing a button. Though this means you’re walking around with a bubble level stuck to your camera (which actually comes in helpful sometimes) it certainly helps for those times where you need to use both camera as a standalone and the tripod; which would have been perfect for my London Marathon photos.

The main downside is that there is no dual lock mechanism. The ballhead itself freely rotates as you would expect, allowing you to angle the attached camera pretty much however you need to.

They also state the base of the ball head rotates, which gives you a flat 360 degree pivot. Unfortunately, when you turn the knob to lock the device it locks both the ball head and the base. This means once you position the camera angle perfectly, but you need to move the rotation of the camera itself around, you are going to have to unlock both and lose the perfect angle you had while you readjust the base.

Therefore panning still requires a steady hand, but at least the tripod stays mounted to the railing whilst you do so.

Far from an ideal solution, but better than what I had. I note that Joby have now released the ‘Ballhead X‘ which does have this feature, but is also twice the price and a little heavier, which is a shame.


Joby Ballhead with camera

The ballhead device itself isn’t too large and can easily slip into a camera bag as required. It’s also very light so it won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back either.

It’s made out of sturdy plastic but doesn’t look like a kinderegg toy; the bubble level itself being the only part that looks like it may break in some way…but touch wood that doesn’t happen.

The retail price is £34.95 which considering the inflated price you normally pay for camera products is pretty good. I noticed Jessops had it on their shelf and after inquiring as to the price it appeared to be £42 (for some reason the Jessops I went to didn’t have display prices for any of the Joby products).

I picked up mine from Play.com for £29.99 with free P&P which appeared to be the best deal out there. If you’re buying together with a gorlliapod you’re likely to get it a little cheaper also.


Joby Ballhead in use

All in all it’s a nice additon to the gorillapod and adds a little needed functionality. Improvements could easily be made to make this a better, and more competitive, item – especially dual locking. I haven’t tried it on any other tripods but I think it should work okay with a lot of them.

If you have a gorillapod that you regularly use and want to be able to add a little more flexibility to it, you can’t really go wrong with picking one of these up, especially for such a cheap price.


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