#LeighonSea by Dan Rubin in Leigh-on-Sea, England

A quiet life on the sea while being able to access all the creature comforts of London? Sounds good. Real good! Check out Dan Rubin’s beautiful Instagram feed to see what life is like in Leigh-on-Sea: @danrubin 

Name:Dan Rubin

Place you live: Leigh-on-Sea / Southend-on-Sea / London, England

Place your Instagrams were taken? Leigh-on-Sea / Southend-on-Sea / London, England

Can you sum up Leigh-on-Sea? Leigh-on-Sea is on the outskirts of London, to the East; a popular location for commuters who want to escape the city at the end of the work day, or people who would just rather live a slightly quieter life near the sea, while still being close enough to London to go into the city for a few hours if needed.

What is a perfect day in your spot? When the sun is shining. Anywhere in the United Kingdom is amazing when the sun is out.

If your city was a person or character who would it be? Tough one… I think it would be a fisherman, if I’m staying focused on Leigh-on-Sea — if a character, for some reason Gary Oldman’s portrayal of George Smiley from Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy comes to mind, so I’ll go with that.

How long have you been using Instagram? Since before it publicly launched (I was one of the initial beta testers)

Do you shoot with your phone or other cameras or both? Everything on Instagram has been shot with, and edited on, a smartphone. I shoot many other cameras (digital and film) daily, but my constraint for Instagram is to only use mobile devices (2 images were shot on a Sony QX10 through my iPhone 5s, but as it’s an extension of the iPhone, it still falls in the accessory category).

What is your editing process? It varies now, as it has over time, but my primary workflow today uses VSCO Cam, though I sometimes use a selection of apps to capture and edit the shot (e.g. the default iOS or Android camera app, then TouchRetouch or Snapseed, then VSCO Cam, Afterlight, or Faded). The editing steps depend on the image itself, but usually I over or under-expose the image and adjust the highlights and shadows, plus a little sharpening, at minimum.

Do you create images outside of Instagram? Oh yes. As soon as Instagram started allowing importing of images, I started using 3rd party editing applications in my workflow.

Has Instagram/phoneography affected how you shoot? 100%. I never shot every day before my iPhone 4, and even before Instagram: as soon as I started using the Instagram beta, everything around me became something I could capture.

Can you give a couple tips to aspiring Instagram photographers? Focus on the subject matter, not on your phone (aka ‘camera’). Learn how to use your camera to the best of its capabilities, and then spend your time experiencing the world around you as you move through it, or it moves past you. Observation is the most important tool a photographer has. After that, it’s all about the light: learn what interests you in a particular scene, and consider why something catches your eye in the first place. That will lead to being more present, and allow you to capture — and edit — better images.

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers? This is by far the hardest question! For all my amazingly talented friends reading this: It wasn’t my fault! @chaiwalla @dankhole @vdubl



Name:Dan Rubin

City:Leigh-on-Sea, England

Best place to eat:

During the day, grab some fresh food and coffee/tea from Barlow & Fields (set menu, but great), and at night, Henry Burger in Southend.

Best place to drink:

I’m a Scotch fan, and unfortunately there’s nowhere in Leigh that really caters to my tastes. Thankfully, Albannach off Trafalgar Square in London, does.

Best outdoor activity:

Walking along the seafront, especially when the tide’s out.

Must do:

Check out the town of Old Leigh for a taste of what this area used to be (great on a sunny day, even has a stretch of beach!). Also, Hadleigh Castle (my favourite ruin when I used to visit this area as a child).

Local tip:

My favourite ice cream in the world can be found at Rossi, on the seafront. Map it and go.