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Category archive: Cranes

Tuesday October 18 2016

Yesterday I again went to the top of the tower of Westminster Cathedral, but the early onset of the dark surprised me, and the light (which I depend on rather a lot) was too dark and too horizontal and shady for very good results.  But I still like these two shots, of the new Wembley Arch, testing my zoom lens to its outer limits:

I like the serendipity of this.  The fact that if the big lump of a building on the right as we look had extended twenty more yards, there’d be no Wembley Arch to be seen at all.

I particularly like the version on the left, with that little bit of sun slashing through a gap in the clouds, off to the left as we look.  I include the one on the right because of the contrast.  In itself, it would not really have deserved a showing.  For once, a crane intrudes, in the left hand picture, and I am not happy.

It occurs to me that when people started taking photos like this, just as blurry but in black and white, maybe it got the painters thinking.  They could both imitate the blurriness, but also do it in colour, as the photographers for a long time couldn’t.  Et voilà.  Impressionism.

What the tower on the left is, I do not know.

Tuesday October 11 2016

A perhaps not very much known about vantage point from which to take photos out over London is from the top of John Lewis, in Oxford Street.  Although, it seems that, as of now, this Roof Garden is closed.  It will be opening again soon.

I went up there last summer, and looking at the photos I took then, I particularly like this one:


That’s the artistic version.

Here is the more informative version:


That makes it a bit clearer what the background is.  But I think that’s also rather artistic.

Big Things: tick.  Cranes: tick.  Roof clutter: tick tick tick.

Big Things plural, because in addition to The Wheel, we can also observe, hiding behind chimneys and crane on the right is the top of the Strata, the three holed tower at the Elephant and Castle.  You can see the Strata in the top picture also, bottom right.

I don’t know what that ecclesiastical looking spike is on the left, and nor do I know what the black jaggedy roof is.

But I like the pictures anyway, whatever the jaggedy roof is.  Maybe, any month now, I’ll go looking for it.  I find that Google Maps, the aerial (hah!) photo version, can be useful for things like this.  Maybe later, although I promise nothing.

I’m becoming rather fond of aerials.

Friday September 30 2016

All regulars here (such people do exist) know that I love an alignment, of two London Big Things.

So.  Tower Bridge.  You see that in plenty of photos.  The Dome.  Ditto.  But how often do you see them in the same photo, right next to one another?  I just tried googling “Tower Bridge The Dome”.  Nothing.  All I got was pictures of each, separately, (mostly Tower Bridge), and lots of instructions about how to get from one to the other on foot, on the tube, etc.

So, take a look at this:


Just to be sure we know what we are talking about, here is a square of detail, from another closer-up shot of the same alignment:


In the middle there we see the top of the northern tower of Tower Bridge.  And just to its left, as we look, through a gap in the big Docklands towers, we see a clutch of cranes, yellow, red and grey.  Except, the yellow cranes are not cranes.  They are the spikes of the Dome, and the Dome is the white expanse below the cranes and the spikes.

It took me quite a few visits to the top of the Tate Modern Extension, from where these shots were taken, and quite a few looks at the photos that I had taken, to work out that this particular photo was there to be photoed.  I don’t claim that my photos are photo-perfection.  They merely prove that all you Real Photographers out there, who might want to improve on the bridge camera quality of my efforts, can now get up there and do just that.

Monday September 26 2016

Photoed in January of this year. from the top of the tower of Westminster Cathedral:


The Parliament website says that the tower above, the big one with lots of pointy bits, is called the Victoria Tower, but I’ve never heard it called that.  For me, it’s the Big Parliament Tower.

Anyway, whatever you call it, there it is, with the Shard beside and behind.  Very sweet alignment, I hope you will agree.

While categorising this posting, I had to check the picture to see if there are any cranes.  Of course there are cranes.  In shots like this, there are always cranes.

There are also two major London hospitals in the shot.  On the left St Thomas’s Hospital (the building on which it says “St Thomas’s Hospital"), on the far side of the river.  On the right, further away, bigger, next to the Shard, Guy’s.

Saturday September 10 2016

If I take a photo like this …:


… then I am liable to feel quite a lot of affection for the spot from which I took it.  Big Things. Cranes.  Roof clutter.  A lit-up sign with news about a cricket game.  Advertising, including even an advert for the excellent City A.M. (bottom right).  True, it’s a bit gloomy.  But that only makes the cricket score shine all the brighter.

Here, below, is a photo of the spot that I took the above photo from:


Yes it’s the Oval Pavilion.  There is now sunshine, going sideways because by now it is the evening. Surrey have narrowly defeated Notts and all is well with the world, unless you were supporting Notts.

Here is another photo which I took a year later, from almost the same spot.  Just sitting a bit further back:


Judging by the next photo I took, I must have surveyed the scene. 240 Blackfriars.  St Paul’s.  Yellow cranes.  Yes, let’s take a closer look at those yellow cranes:


However, since taking all of the above (and a great many more (to say nothing of vans outside)) I have taken also to visiting another excellent Big Thing viewing platform, namely the one at the top of the Tate Modern Extension.

And when I looked more closely at the above photo of the yellow cranes, I observed this:


Still the yellow cranes, but this time we can also see the Tate Modern Tower much more clearly.  And the Tate Modern Extension is right behind a new block of flats, one of the ones already referred to in this earlier posting, about how you can see right into these new flats from the Tate Modern Extension viewing platform.

So, if I could see parts of the Tate Modern Extension viewing platform from the top of the Oval Pavilion, it ought also to be possible to see the top of the Oval Pavilion from parts of the Tate Modern Extension viewing platform.

And so it proved.  On my first expedition to the Tate Modern Extension viewing platform, I had given no thought to the Oval Pavilion.  But on my second visit, having scrutinised my Oval photos in the manner described above, I tried to photo the Oval Pavilion.  A lot, because I couldn’t myself see it properly.



On the right, in green, the famous Oval Gasometer.

Here, in case you are in any way unsure, is the Oval Pavilion:


For the last few days, I have been asking myself why I so much relish little visual duets of this sort.  Liking A, liking B, seeing A from B, seeing B from A.  Why am I so diverted by this?  Rather than answer this question, I will just leave it, for now, at putting the question.  I have the beginnings of some answers meandering about in my head, but they can wait.

Wednesday August 31 2016

Yesterday - yesterday morning - I visited the top of the Tate Modern Extension again.  I went in the morning because I needed the light coming from the direction it comes from in the morning, for reasons that I may (although I promise nothing) explain at some future date in some future posting.  Also, the weather forecast forecast a lot of light yesterday.  It was right about this, because it is right about everything.

I took about seven hundred photos, of which I suppose about two hundred or so were each good enough to display here.  But which to show?  And to illustrate what opinion?  So many photos.  So many opinions.

After many minutes of failed deciding, I eventually decided on one almost at random.  This:


At the centre point of this photo is Centre Point, now kitted out in its revamp costume.  It doesn’t look like that normally, and soon it will (I presume) be back to looking as it always did.

Once again, we observe the Wembley Arch, this time supplying the backup visuals for a crane.

And the other notable sight here is Renzo Piano’s Other London Building, in the form of his multi-coloured office block, right next to Centre Point.  I’ve already mentioned this, here, and here.

I linked from the latter posting to this Evening Standard piece about this building, which includes this:

The material of the coloured walls is glazed ceramic, assembled out of thousands of individual pieces. This material will barely fade and is self-cleaning in the rain, so will look much the same as it does now for decades

Good to know.  This is the kind of thing that Renzo Piano tends to get right.

I also like the little orange box, presumably for getting revamping materials to all the parts of Centre Point that need it.

How soon before Centre Point itself bursts into colour?

Sunday August 28 2016

I’m actually rather surprised that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often:


The story is that a lorry with a digger on the back of it drove under a bridge, but the digger hit the bridge and broke half of the bridge off so that it fell on the road below, or to be more exact, onto another lorry, also going under it at the time.  A motorcyclist was nearly killed, but wasn’t.

Cranes helped to clean up the mess:


One of the scarier things about all this, if I understand what has happened correctly, is that half the bridge is still sticking out over the motorway, and traffic is even now passing underneath it:


Is that right?  And if that is right, is that .. you know … right?

Wednesday August 24 2016

Here in London, when a pedestrian sees a red light saying don’t walk across a road, it usually looks something like this:


Or like this:


Those being from the archives.

But yesterday, I was in a place where the corresponding red lights look like this:


Definitely horse-riding country.  Although, perhaps strangely, I saw no real horses.

I was in that part of outer London known as Epsom.  Having disembarked from a train at a station called Tattenham Corner, I found myself in … Tattenham? … and then kept on for a bit and emerged, just like that, into the open countryside.  And I saw things like this:


That being, I’m pretty sure, in the foreground, the actual, original, Tattenham Corner, around which the horses and their riders go, in races.

But if, instead of making your way towards that big grandstand to watch the racing, you instead turn right, up a slight hill, through various clumps of trees, you eventually come out the other side of these trees, and you find yourself enjoying a distant view of London.

I did not come to Epsom in order to photo pedestrian lights or sporting architecture, although I did do this.  What I came to Epsom to photo was scenes like this:


And like this:


And like this:


When I took these shots, the scenes I was shooting were so far away that it was very hard for me, with my ever more terrible eyesight, to work out what I was photoing.  I only learned that I had photoed The Wheel when I looked at that shot on the screen of my camera and enlarged it, and hey, that looks like The Wheel.

As for Wembley Arch, I do vaguely remember thinking that I saw a shape that might be that, but I wasn’t sure until I got home.

And even then, these distant views of London weren’t that good, on account of being too distant and my non-SLR camera being too primitive.  Epsom is a long way away from London.

The above explains, as not promised in the previous posting, why I was in Croydon yesterday.  Getting by train from London to Tattenham Corner meant, for me, going from Victoria to East Croydon, and then changing to the Tattenham Corner train.

I half had in mind to break the journey back to Victoria at Battersea Park station, which also has fine views of London’s Big Things, but I slept through Battersea Park, and anyway, it was getting dark.

Views of Epsom and views from Epsom
Sunny Croydon
Quota Shard with quota cranes
Dernbach decisive again
More photos from last Friday
A lurid sunset
The hottest day of the year (4): An antique view from Waterloo
The draw that turned out not to be
Photoers photoing the views from the Tate Modern Extension
Views from the new Tate Modern Extension
Temporary Oxford Street
The right moment and the right alignment
Are London’s cranes about to depart for a few years?
New York construction cranes in action
The new US Embassy – from my roof
New Thin Things in New York (but not in Lower Manhattan)
Incoming imagery from Antoine
Using your crane to protect your cement mixer
Another walk along the river
Sickness and sunset
A crane folds itself up
Checked out: The Big Olympic Thing
Mechanical giraffes
Barcelona owl
How cranes might not keep falling
White vans in Kentish Town
148 to Burgess Park
Orange coloured London
Matt Ridley on Epicurus and Lucretius
Less heat and more light
Remembering the summer sun
Very local fog in London
Miami cranes
Man on horseback – and cranes
BT Tower with cranes
Crane on fire
A day in BMdotcom heaven (4): A tale of two penultimate overs
Some quota reflected cranes and a quota white van
Rainbow over Millbank
Photoing down by the river
Cranes and a bridge (but not in a good way)
The light outside the Proud Archivist on the evening of July 22nd
Golden Cheesegrater with cranes
With GD2 in Richmond Park (1): Views of London
Photographers by the river
London dragon
Smoke over west London
A very distant and yet very good view of the Big Things of London
Big Thing alignments from the top of Westminster Cathedral
The new Wembley Stadium under construction plus a white van
Ballerina and crane
The view from outside Waterloo Station
How Centre Point is looking just now
Viewing the clutter at Centre Point
Fantastic day
A weird view of the Wheel - and cats in Tiger
The wrong kind of cranes
Christmas Day photos
In the City with Gus
Shard shots
I just like it
Sunshine - construction work - artificial rain
Crane lamp
The ballerina and her support act
Ballerina with cranes again - this time with added spy cameras
Quota ballerina with cranes photo
A tumult of cranes (and the Spraycan)
My week in Brittany 2: A crane holding a bridge at Canning Town!
Big Things through a gasometer
Smaller Old Thing in front of Big New Things
A Sunday ramble
Quota bird
Big Things in the sunset
What to call the sneerquote Salesforce /sneerquote tower? (plus a quite profound tangent)
Compact Cats buried under London’s poshest homes
Pavlova with cranes
I see cats
Me and the first cranes at London Gateway last September
Other things last Wednesday
South Bank Architects?
The ROH from the ME Rooftop Bar
Eiffel Tower with chimney pots – La Défense ditto
The text of my talk for Christian Michel last night on the impact of digital photography
Digital photography as telepathy
Ice sculptures in Docklands – Big Things from Docklands
Battersea crane cluster
Quota crane and quota plane
Ballerina with crane
More photos of things past
The Kelpies of Falkirk
I need to photo this again
Sunrise from my roof
My own personal Big Thing viewing platform with close-up Roof Clutter
Cranes seen through Cardinal Place
Another picture from yesterday
Birds on a crane
Battersea sunset
Two favourite photos from September 5th
Baltimore: cranes - a bridge - scaffolding
London Gateway from above
Shard with roof clutter and a crane
There are cranes and there are cranes
Wandering about afterwards
Crossrail grubbings
Art without Artists
Giant cranes made in China for new London super-port in Thurrock
Four crane photos
Progress with the Vauxhall crane
New crane up
A new crane has already arrived
Close-up of the ruined Vauxhall crane
In Borough High Street
Cranes over Vincent Square (again)