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Category archive: Cranes

Saturday November 21 2015

Indeed.  Today was a lot colder than of late, and a lot brighter than of late.  I guess that happens when the clouds go away, in November.  I was on my way out around midday today, and took these, the last one through a train window:

image image imageimage image image

The first two are looking across Vincent Square, towards Victoria Street and at Westminster Abbey.  The next three are of building work at the top end of Victoria Street, where there is not a lot of building work going on.  And finally, Big Things, from the train out of Victoria.

I was very pessimistic about all the new stuff around Victoria Station, but that big spikey thing is looking very cool.

The first picture is the odd one out.  No cranes.

Sunday November 08 2015

Most clichés are true.  Being true they get repeated and repeated, which is how they became cliches.  But the cliché that it rains a lot in England is not true, at any rate not in my part of England.  Rain in London is actually quite rare, and when it does rain it seldom lasts long.  Heavy rain is very rare, which is why, when it happens, it causes excited headlines.

But, the weather is often cloudy and overcast.  Thus for the last several days it has been almost entirely overcast, and very occasionally wet.

I have been mostly indoors, having one of my periodic attempts to tidy up.  Photographically, I have done little, except remember sunnier days earlier in the year.

Here are four photos taken in June and July of this year, all of which involve sunshine in one way or another:

image imageimage image

I love that weird effect you see when someone has been destroying reinforced concrete, combining jumbles of twisted metal rods and what can look like ancient rocks but which are really bits of concrete.  The sunniest thing in that photo is me, in the form of my shadow.  Nothing says bright light like a strong shadow.

All the other snaps involve - what else? - cranes.  I especially like how bright light often strikes cranes.  Usually, when I photo this, I get disappointingly toned down results.  My camera presumably thinks that by eliminating dazzle it was helping, but dazzle is what I am often trying to photo.  I want the light to be out of control and sloshing about all over the place. Bottom left is a rare exception to that tendency.

Bottom right is looking down Tottenham Court Road, at a crane and a Wheel, lit by sun, backed by dark cloud, a favourite effect.  The strange and rather misshapen green house thing (which I like) is (I think) the top of the new Tottenham Court Road Crossrail-Tube Station.

Sunday November 01 2015

It was something to do with the fact that it was unseasonably warm yesterday, which resulted in fog this morning in London, but only in patches.  And the Evening Standard, which now keeps virtually ticking over at the weekend, reported on the various London fog photos people have been taking.

This, taken by this guy, is my favourite:

Cranes (and the Walkie-Talkie) in front of the fog.  Shard stabbing through the fog.

Saturday October 17 2015

Every so often I check out Jonathan Gewirtz’s photos, often because I am reminded to do this when I read Chicago Boyz, for which Jonathan writes.  Yesterday, I found my way to this wonderful photo of the cranes of Miami.  Because that photo has “Copyright 2013 Johathan Gewirtz” written across the middle of it, I looked for other Miami crane photos, and found this ( by “ozanablue"):


Then, I think my finger slipped.  Anyway, something happened, and I found myself looking at another terrific Gewirtz Miami crane snap, also adorned with a Copyright notice, but from which I have sliced out this:


That slice is much smaller as well as much (vertically) thinner than the meteorologically imposing original.  But, as is the rule here with anything I “borrow”, if JG sees this and wants even this small slice of his picture removed from here, it will be done pronto.

Those container ship cranes will surely be looked back at by historians as one of the great visual symbols of our time, to sum up all the peaceful material and trading progress that we as a species have been making in recent decades.

Shame our cranes of this sort are too far away from the centre of London for a picture of them to be able to include our Big Things as well.  Because our Big Thing’s are better than Miami’s.

Talking of cranes, another English one attracting admiring attention is this one, who bowls leg spin for Hampshire.  (Another spinner nearly won it for England today, in Abu Dhabi (where they also have cranes (they now have them everywhere important that’s next to the sea)).)

Sunday October 11 2015

Man on horseback – and cranes

As quite often happens, some of the better pictures I took on my recent Richmond expedition were taken right at the beginning, near to where I live.

When I set out last Thursday, I found that a new bike lane is being constructed along my side of Vauxhall Bridge Road, which has caused my usual bus stop for making my way to Vauxhall Station to be abolished.  On my way back, I discovered that this bus stop had simply been moved back up Vauxhall Bridge Road a bit.  Had I turned right instead of left at Vauxhall Bridge Road that Thursday morning, I would quickly have found the relocated bus stop.  Instead, I turned left, and walked across the river to the station.

With the result that I saw the strange sight of a man on horseback, beside the river (it was the final remaining one of these four).  That having got me into the swing of photoing, I also, just before entering the station, photoed a rather fetching (because of the light lighting them and the sky behind them) crane cluster, craning away between Vauxhall and Waterloo.


The cranes, I decided, needed to have some buildings to their left cropped off of them, which turned the snap into a square.  And the man on horseback also worked as a square.  So, squares they are.  Click on them, and you get bigger squares.

What I particularly like about the cranes is how vertical they mostly are.

Thursday October 01 2015

I spent my blogging time today starting two different postings, both of which got longer and longer and are still not nearly finished.


Which only left me time for a quota photo, taken in April of this year.

LATER: 6k borrows the picture (which I am very happy about) and tells us more about the BT Tower.

Saturday September 26 2015

Not very busy day today, tidying up from my Last Friday meeting last night, but I neglected this blog, until now, at which point I am too tired to really say anything.

When in that state, I trawl through the archives, recent and not so recent.  And I just found this picture, taken in 2009:


What (I think) separates this from your average cheesy London sunset photo is the way that what’s left of the sunshine picks out one of the cranes, the one in the middle, just to the right of St Paul’s as we look.  That’s in the middle suggests to me that photoing this crane was not accidental on my part.  I was aiming at it.

I often see effects like this, when the sun sets fire to something, so to speak.  (Apologies if you read this far hoping that a crane would be on fire literally.) I usually photograph such brightly lit things whenever I see them, but my camera, on its automatic setting, usually then deliberately removes the fire from the picture.  It wants nothing extreme.  But extreme is what I want, when I do this.

But this picture left the fire at the top of that crane in.

The cloud behind the crane helps.

Saturday September 19 2015

Jade Dernbach’s international career ended last year, amidst much derision and recrimination.

Surrey very nearly won today’s ODI Final against Gloucester.  If Surrey had won, everyone would now be talking about how well Dernbach has done for Surrey this year.  As it was, Surrey, having been ahead of the game all day long, instead lost three tail end wickets in a heap at the end and lost by six runs.

Had Surrey won, Dernbach would have been Man of the Match, having taken six wickets, including a hat trick at the end of the Gloucester innings and even better, at the beginning of the Gloucester innings, the prize wicket of Michael Klinger for a three ball duck in the first over of the game.

As regulars here will know, I was at the semi-final at the Oval that got Surrey to today’s final.  (It was probably my day of the year so far.) Dernbach did well in that game also.

Sangakkara hit 19 runs off Surrey’s penultimate over of batting.  Notts, needing 19 to win in their last 2 overs, could only manage 5 and a wicket off their penultimate over, bowled by Dernbach.  The wicket was Notts captain Chris Read, bamboozled by Dernbach’s disguised slow ball.  Read is the kind of batsman who could have got Notts home with balls to spare, but Dernbach did him.  Those two penultimate overs were the difference between the two teams that day.

As for me, I photoed the first of these two penultimacies:


But when I should have been photoing the equivalent scoreboard description of the second penultimacy (you can read about it by scrolling down here), I was instead busy taking this photo:


Which just goes to show that photoing cricket matches, like photoing anything else, is a skill.  Everything you have to do - which actually means everything you have to remember to do - at the right time and in the right order - is easy and obvious, just commonsense really.  But, doing seventy three bits of commonsense at the exact right time and in the exact right order adds up to uncommon sense.  Or, as it is commonly known, knowledge.

I digress.  But the point of my digression is that I also digressed in my photography at that cricket game, at what was clearly, at the time I digressed, a critical moment.  There really is no excuse for the above photographic omission, except for me to say that I have not photoed very many cricket matches and am not very good at it.

After my day at the Oval, I am now strongly tempted to correct that, given what else you can see from the place, if you are a member.  A crane and a Shard are a bug, when you should be photoing the scoreboard.  But normally they would be a feature.

LATER: In other sports news, Perry de Havilland has a strange dream, and I had the exact same dream myself.

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
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)