Saturday, 7 July 2012

Challenge #10: Sarah vs Abbey Road

It's easy to assume there's no real challenge involved in having your picture taken at Abbey Road. Surely all you need to do is pose and pull a big cheesy grin, right? Wrong. It's a dangerous game posing on a zebra crossing while angry taxi drivers are pipping and revving at you, and it's actually quite distracting when you're trying to get a nice smiley snap for the family album...

A gift from Laura

This challenge wasn't on my original list, because I wasn't smart enough to think of it. It only found its way into the game thanks to my mate Laura who kindly gifted it to me from her bucket list (thanks bird). The challenge was to try and recreate the famous Abbey Road album sleeve, which shows The Beatles on the zebra crossing outside the studios back in the late '60s - a decade when there was weather other than rain.

Spot the difference...

I'm fairly confident that you'll be able to tell which
version is which, but in case you're struggling this one
 is The Beatles. I'm pretty sure there were no angry
taxi drivers revving engines out of shot here.

Left to right: Tom, Dan, me and Laura

Note how Laura is playing along by looking straight ahead, while the rest of us are posing.
 Well, Tom looks a little like he's about to run away.

Getting the shot

It's a bit much to ask a total stranger to stand in the middle of a busy road and take a photo of you, unless of course you offer to trade a little life risking to return the favour.

Being very British and having good manners, we queued politely until we decided it was our turn, then screamed 'go, go, go!' as the cars came to a stop and we ran to our places.

Considering this was a one-take shot, we hadn't actually come up with any sort of plan, so I think we did quite well to stand evenly spaced and one of us even found the time to put a hand on the hip. Laura had obviously done her homework, which is why she is looking ahead, but I think the rest of us just panicked and went with the usual drill.

It was quite a weird experience though, having your photo taken while taxi drivers glare at you, trying to get it over as quickly as possible before they lose patience and just mow you down. Then again, I can't help but wonder why they don't drive a different way, they know the crossing is there and have had at least four decades to come up with an alternative route.

(By the way, it wasn't me standing in the road taking the photo of the strangers after they had kindly taken ours, I left that one to Dan.)


Abbey Road graffiti

As soon as we arrived at Abbey Road it started pissing it down, so we dashed over the zebra crossing to take shelter under the trees of the studio and indulged in a little graffiti and photo taking to pass the time.

Umm... wonder who wrote that one.

As you do...

Laura and Tom Hyde in front of the Abbey Road sign

Dan and me outside Abbey Road Studios
How to get there

Take the Northern Line on the Tube, getting off at St John's Wood. Follow Grove End Road onto Abbey Road. Singing Beatles songs while walking to Abbey Road is optional, but it's better if you do.

Verdict: WIN!

Abbey Road Studios has a webcam trained on the crossing, so you can watch people getting their geek on right now by clicking here.

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