Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: My photographs

Monday September 29 2014

As revealed in this earlier posting, I recently visited Tate Ancient, which is only a walk away from where I live.  I should go there more often.

One of the big reasons being that it is a wonderful place, not just to learn about Art and all that kind of stuff, but to photograph photographers.  All who frequent this blog know that photographing photographers is an obsession of mine.

Photographers like these two:

image image

The blue-haired lady on the right was photoing the sculpture that can be seen more clearly, behind the man on the left.

Note that neither of the cameras seen in action here are of the old school and conventional sort.  No, they are iCameras.  There was a lot of this going on, not just picture making, but note taking.

Saturday September 27 2014

Earlier I showed you a old facade being carefully preserved.  Here is another:

image

But where exactly is this facade.  The photo was taken in May 2012, and I didn’t take any note-taking shots of where this was.  And I cannot now find any mention of it on the www, only a website of the enterprise that constructed it.  (This I learned by taking a closer look at the stuff at the bottom of the picture than I am according to you.  My original pictures are really very large.)

I like to think that I am becoming a better photographer as the years go by.  What I mean by this is not so much that the photos are getting technically better.  They are, but that is largely down to the cameras I use getting better.  What I mean is that I am, I hope, getting better at deciding what to photo, and better at recording what I photoed.

Maybe that is an idle boast.  But maybe what is now only a boast will, because I have here written it down, will become an influence on actual practice in the future.

Sunday September 21 2014

Just to drive the point home that not all the photos of mine that I show here were taken several weeks or even months ago, here is yet another which I took (just like the previous two in the previous two postings) today:

image

My picture is somewhat cropped.  Her hair somewhat less so.

Yes, me times 3:

image

Plus Goddaughter 2 and her mum, plus a pot plant, times 2.  Click for the bigger picture.

Taken in an eatery where they have mirrors on every wall, to make a small place feel bigger.  The eatery being the tuk tuk in Old Compton Street.  Cheap.  Cheerful.  Recommended.

Photoed by me in Oxford Street late this afternoon:

image

What this tells you is that architectural modernism has utterly conquered indoors, but that out of doors, modernism is only popular because its totalitarian impulses have been held at bay, by what you might call ancientism.

The Modern Movement founders would have been disgusted by the process portrayed in this picture.

Saturday September 20 2014

Indeed.  Yesterday, three postings.  Today, just the one quota photo, taken just over a year ago, and today rotated quite a bit and cropped quite a bit:

image

The BT Tower is arguably the first great London Big Thing.  The Euston Tower is really notable only for its roof clutter.  What the building in front of the Euston Tower is, I don’t know.

Thursday September 18 2014

Alert readers of this blog will long have known that I have a soft spot for interesting vehicles, often because they are old.  (In general, the aesthetic nature of cars and of our response to cars interests me more and more.)

So, here is an amusing matching pair of vehicles:

image image

The full size Mini was photoed not far from my friend Perry‘s home.  The mini Mini was, as you can probably see for yourself, in a tourist crap shop window.  Only the two white stripes on the bonnet of the mini Mini spoil the identicalness.

Tuesday September 16 2014

We have most of us seen these tiny little cars they make nowadays, which are about half the length of regular cars.  A seemingly obvious usefulness of such vehicles, aside from them using half the metal and less money and power to make them and move them, is that they can be parked at ninety degrees to regular parking, which does away with the need for all that “parking” and doubles (and more) the amount of space available for everyone to park in.

But you seldom see such cars actually parked liked that, and when you do …:

image

… (as I did about a week ago near to where I live) you realise that this is actually a much more complicated arrangement than it might at first appear to be.

Suppose you see a half-parking-space, between two other cars, and you park your half-car in that space, at ninety degrees to those two cars.

You just might be making it impossible for one or even both of those cars to get out, unless you do first.  I mean, maybe the car beyond the half-car above can get out.  Maybe those two cars are cooperatively parked, so to speak, with both vehicles arriving and leaving at the same time.  But maybe the bigger car arrived first and will want to leave first, and was relying on being able to move backwards to get out, in which case …

Which actually makes me think this was cooperative parking, by the two vehicles in concert.  Otherwise there would be just too much potential grief involved.

I can’t think, off hand, of an easy way to sort all this out.  So, just as well it’s not my job to worry about such things.

There is also the fact that the half-car in my picture, isn’t actually quite a half-car, more like a two-fifths- three-fifths- or three-quarters-car, and it sticks out annoyingly.  This doesn’t matter much in a big wide road like the one shown, but in other roads it might matter a lot.

While browsing the archives looking for a photo to have on the front of my computer, combining niceness with not making my stuff invisible, I came across a rather good photo.

The horizontalisation opportunity was too good to miss:

image

Click to get it all.

Not good for the front of my computer.  Too much going on.  No big clear slabs of nothing for computer ikons to be seen against.  But I like it.

It was taken in 2012, from the top of a car park in Peckham.

More shots of and from the same spot, here.

Sunday September 14 2014

Yes, you read that right.  Sunday.  I am celebrating the fact that I now have a Proper Computer (a temporary arrangement called Godo) at my command by doing more than one posting here today.  There may (although I promise nothing) be even more than two.  The thing is, during the Time of Dawkins, I accumulated lots of interesting little titbits which it was too bothersome to be bothering with, but which I now want (as they say in California and now regrettably everywhere else (see also the even more vomit-inducing “reach out”, which means pestering by telephone)) to “share” with you.

So, first up, this luxurious Rolls Royce, from the time when us Brits were in charge of how they looked:

image

As it says just above the roof, photoed in Lower Marsh, on Sept 1st.

Round headlights, but … four of them!  This car dates from the days when the only way to jazz up car headlights was to have two of them side by side.  How impossibly glamorous is that?!?!  I seem to recall that the puppet woman who presided over International Rescue on the telly had a pink roller, with the same kind of headlights.  Lady Penelope?  Yes.  Follow that link, and you will be reminded that Lady P’s roller had two sets of three headlights.  Only a billionaire, or millionaire as they used to be called, could afford that kind of headlight array.  (To say nothing of those doubled-up front wheels.)

(And it is so great that I am now back to hunting things like that down in about fifteen seconds.  There is nothing like deprivation to make you grateful for large mercies.)

But Lady Penelope missed a trick.  Her imaginary roller didn’t have a brush to clean its headlights, but some real rollers did!  You will see what I am talking about if you take a closer look at this:

image

Yes, a sort of elongated rich person shaving brush, to keep those lights clean!

You didn’t get those on Morris Marinas.

Saturday September 13 2014

My computer is in a sort of half-way state between being God and being Godot, and I feel that I am still awaiting the latter.  All the innards have been changed, as was promised, but it turned out they didn’t fit very well into the old case.  A new fan could only go in one place in the old case, and that place was awkward, involving stretching wires around things.  The graphics board went in a non-ideal place in order not to stretch the wires too much.  So, soon there will be another case, about an inch wider, which will enable the fan to be in a better place and that, I feel, will be Godot.  What I have now is something in between God and Godot.  Godo?

Anyway, I have spent my entire day catching up with myself, transferring stuff over from Dawkins to Godo, sending emails to myself (don’t ask), and sorting out all the pictures I’ve taken, which have remained on SD cards during the time of Dawkins, because Dawkins is not where I would even want them to be.

So, once again it is quota photo time.  And this time it is not cranes or a bridge or roof clutter but … flowers, in Victoria Street, photoed by me at the beginning of this month:

image

So, nature then?  Not really.  Behind, we have offices.  And the entire effect has been very carefully contrived by Westminster Council’s Nature Department.  I have never seen flowers growing like that when not coaxed into that shape by nature-controllers.  I think it looks a bit like a wasps’ nest.

I know, it’s over-lit.  But I like that.  It was a sunny day, and that’s how sunshine behaves when there are no Real Photographers about to take the strength out of it with their fancy filters and exactly calculated exposure times.  Sometimes the way that light overwhelms an autofocus, snap-and-hope snapper like me tells the story just as well as it would be told by a Real Photographer, and perhaps even better.

Anyway, I like it, and I hope you do too.

Friday September 12 2014

The Guru was finally able to deliver God/Godot this evening, but he only just finished, so time only for a quota cat, photoed by me in Tate Ancient yesterday:

image

More about that picture here.  It’s by David Hockney.

I didn’t know that you are allowed to take photos in the Tate, but I did so with increasing confidence.  There were official looking people well able to intervene and stop me, if they had wanted to.  But, they didn’t.  Interesting.  Was that always the rule, or is it only recent, in response to an irresistible tidal wave of students taking notes with their iPhones?

Wednesday September 10 2014

This evening I attended a young friend’s fortieth birthday party.  (You know you are old when people aged forty are young.) And I took lots of photos.  Before doing this, I asked our young hostess (the one who is now aged forty) if she would like me to take photos, or would actually prefer me not to.  She said please do take photos, so I did, in abundance. The best of them will be my birthday present to her.

As usual, my first look at them when I got home was a big disappointment.  The lighting was difficult and the background was a lot easier to focus on than dimly lit faces tend to be, so I have huge numbers of snaps of perfectly detailed backgrounds with blurry faces in front of them.  But the best of them will, I reckon, come out okay.  Most are not suitable for blogging, because private, but here is a crowd scene showing what the place looked like:

image

As you can see, an ecclesiastical setting.  The Cloister Cafe of St Bartholomew the Great, which is near the Barbican.

That photo is exactly as it came out of my camera.  No beefing up of the dark bits, which means that you can see what a tricky place it was to photo in.  I just took lots of pictures, in the hope that some would turn out okay, and I think that this is what happened.  There were many failures, but a few successes.  Once I get to work with my Photoshop clone, there may be more successes than it now appears.

Maybe I should have used flash, as my camera spent the entire evening urging me to to do.  But, I hate hate hate flash.  It is appallingly antisocial, and the results usually look terrible, as in: “Hey, that was taken with flash, wasn’t it?” and “Doesn’t your software have a tool to removing red-eye?” It probably does, but … uurrgghh!!

Saturday September 06 2014

Late this afternoon I had another go photoing the Ballerina, the idea being to do this photo again, but better.

But then I noticed what comely wenches the statues below her were, photoed them, and then picked one and photoed her with a crane behind her:

image image

What I like about her is that she looks so relaxed and happy about what she is doing, and for that matter about what she is wearing.  Pavlova, dancing up above them, looks otherworldly and untouchable.  The statues look like girls next door, but really nice looking.  To be more exact, they look like the kind of girls you wish had lived next door, instead of the ones who actually did.

When I click on either of the above photos, I get the big versions rotated ninety degrees.  All I can say about that for now is: my apologies.  It is far too late at night for me to be working out why this happens.  Does it happen for you?  Comments would help, as would explanations of what I am doing wrong or what is going wrong, or whatever.

Thursday September 04 2014

Indeed:

image

Taken a few minutes after I had taken this photo.

I should take that shot again, and get those spy cameras looking like they’re looking right at her.

This, you see, is why I like photoing in London, rather than in foreign parts.  In foreign parts it is inconvenient to go back and take a picture again.  In London, I can do this.