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

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Category archive: Digital photographers

Saturday April 16 2016

And I was deliberately retracing steps I used to do make a lot of around eight or ten years ago, to see what had changed and what had not.  A lot had changed, in the form of a few big new buildings.  The rest had not changed.

Did I say that that sunset I recently posted photos of was last Saturday?  Yes.  Actually it was the Friday.  Get ill and you lose track of time.  That evening I also took a lot of other photos, on and from the south bank of the river, between Blackfriars road bridge and Tower Bridge, and here are some of the ones I particularly liked:

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That array of small photos (click on any you like to the look of to get it a decent size) really should not now be misbehaving, on any platform.  If it is, please get in touch, by comment or by email.

As to the pictures themselves:

1.1 A Deliberately Bald Bloke standing at the bottom of 240 Blackfriars.  (You can see the top of 240 Blackfriars in 3.1 here.) That Deliberately Bald look is, I think, fair game photo-blogging-wise.  The guy is choosing to look this way.  It’s a fashion statement, not an affliction.  Blog-mocking the involuntarily bald is not right, but blog-celebrating those who embrace their baldness is fine.  Especially if the guy obligingly turns his face away.

1.2 is one of my favourite weird London sites, namely the topless columns of the Blackfriars Bridge that isn’t, in between the two Blackfriars Bridges that are, the one on the right now sporting a new station on it.  The twist is that this was high tide, and waves were rhythmically breaking against a corner in the river wall and filling the air between my camera and the bridges with bits of water.

1.3 is a building on the other side of the river. Just beyond the Blackfriars Station bridge.  I do love what light and scaffolding and scaffolding covers sometimes do.

1.4 and 2.1 illustrate the universal photography rule to the effect that if you want to photo something very familiar, like St Paul’s Cathedral, you’d better include something else not so familiar, such as some propaganda for a current Tate Modern show that I will perhaps investigate soon, or maybe four big circles that you can see at the Tate Modern end of the Millennium Bridge.

2.2 is an ancient and modern snap, both elements of which I keep meaning to investigate.  Those two buildings, the office block and the church, are like two people I frequently meet, but don’t know the names of.  Luckily, with buildings, it’s not embarrassing to ask, far too late.

I know what that Big Thing behind the Millennium Bridge in 2.3 is, under wraps, being reconditioned, improved, made worse, whatever, we’ll have to see.  That’s Centre Point.  It even says most of that on it.  I have always been fond of Centre Point, one of London’s early Big New Things.

2.4 features something I have tried and failed to photo several times previously, a Deliveroo Man.  Deliveroo Men are usually in a great hurry and are gone before I can catch them, but this one was taking a breather.  Deliveroo Men carry their plasticated corrugated boxes on their backs like rucksacks, which I presume saves valuable seconds.

3.1: Another ancient/modern snap.  The very recognisable top of the Shard, and another piece of ancientness that I am familiar with but have yet to get around to identifying, see above.  I reallyl should have photoed a sign about it.  I bet there is one.

3.2: The golden top of the Monument, now dwarfed by the Gherkin and by the Walkie Talkie.

3.3: A golden hinde, which is to be found at the front of the Golden Hinde.  I’ve seen that beast before, but never really noticed it.

3.4: Another ancient/modern snap, this time with Southwark Cathedral dominating the foreground.  The combined effect yet again vindicates Renzo Piano’s belief that the Shard would blend into London rather than just crow all over it.  Those broken fragments at the top echo the four spikes on the nearby Cathedral.  It looks that way to me, anyway.

4.1: Another delivery snap, this time of the old school sort.  A White Van.  But with lots of propaganda all over it, notably the back door, in the new school style.

4.2: Yet another ancient modern contrast, this time the Monument, again, with a machine for window cleaning.  Note that small tripoddy object on the top of the Monument.  I suspect that this is to give advance warning if the Monument starts to wobble.

4.3: Two exercises in power projection, now both lapsed into tourist traps.  Behind, the Tower of London.  In front, HMS Belfast.

4.4: Finally!  Modern/modern!  The Walkie Talkie and the Cheesegrater, and probably my favourite snap of all these.  Not a view you often see in other photos, but there it was.  Should the bottom be cropped away, to simplify it even more.  I prefer to leave photos as taken.

5.1 shows that thing when reflected light is the exact same colour when reflected as originally.  Photography is light, so photography sees this.  But eyes always try to create a 3D model of what is going on, rather than just a 2D picture.  Eyes deliberately don’t see this.

5.2 and 5.4 take me back to my beautiful-women-taking-photos phase, which was big last decade.  These two were too good to ignore. They were just so happy!  But, mobile phones, which is very this decade.  Just like my cameras, the cameras in these just get better and better.

5.3 is another view of that amazing cluster of footbridges.

Sunday April 10 2016

Here (via Instapundit):

The tricky thing, Adam says, is how many of his clients insist on secrecy. If you’re hiring a crowd to fill a campaign event or a film premiere, the last thing you want to do is let anyone know. Adam must balance his goal of spreading awareness of his company, so he can attract more clients, with the benefits of keeping the public in the dark. If people start to doubt the veracity of crowds, his business might suffer. “Right now, we’re still kind of this secret weapon,” Adam says. “We have the element of surprise. Yeah, you might’ve heard about political candidates paying to bring some extra bodies into their campaign events, but it’s beyond the realm of most people’s imagination that crowds are being deployed in other ways. Nobody is skeptical of crowds. Of course, in five years that could change.”

Indeed it could.  And something tells me that this story is going to get very well known, very quickly.  “How much are they paying you for this?” is going to be asked, a lot.

A longer term effect is also going to be that genuine protests are liable to look like they’re fake too.

People have been paid, in cash or kind, one way or another, to do this kind of thing for quite a while.  All that this guy has done is turn it into a pure, if that’s the word, business.

Thursday March 31 2016

I’m posting the photos below of these various ladies which I took yesterday outside Westminster Abbey, (a) because I like them and hope that you do too, but also (b) because I am checking out a new way to present photos here.

The problem has been how to contrive horizontal spaces between little photos.  I’m doing it a different way here, which I hope gives me tighter control over the ultimate width of space occupied, and thus avoids the final one of a horizontal set of them (in this case just the two) spilling over, at some magnifications and/or on some devices, onto a newly created next line.

Here goes:

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Well according to my posting software, that’s working.

If anyone sees anything weird of ugly, rather than two photos on the top next to each other (with a small gap in between) and then another below them and exactly the same width as the combined width of the two photos above plus the gap, please leave a comment.

All three photos are the result of my quest to make faces unrecognisable to computers.  The top two show no faces at all.  The two faces below?  Well, do those sunglasses do the anonymity job?  I hope so.

Reflective sunglasses like these certainly provide me with lots of photo-fun.  The lady on the left as we look has both Big Ben and the selfie stick she was using reflected in her glasses, twice.  The lady on the right has this church, next to Westminster Abbey, reflected in her specs.  Click on it and you’ll see all this more clearly.

And I love those coloured finger nails, top right.

Tuesday March 29 2016

Last night I dined at the new and rather temporary home of Samizdata, where I took this photo:

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Click on this to get it larger.

These really are very tasty crisps, and I strongly recommend them.  I immediately decided that I would try to serve some of these at future iterations of my last-Friday-of-the-month meetings.  So, I took a note of these chips, with my camera.

When I pondered the impact of digital photography, way back when that was, this ability to photo not only mere prettiness, but also information, loomed large.

I mentioned how my friend Simon Gibbs and his workmates all use their smartphones to photo the mass scribblings on a whiteboard after a brainstorming session.  The man making the thumbs-up sign in the above photo told me about a new app that he now uses at work which takes a picture like the ones Simon and his pals take, and smartens it up, so to speak.  It translates handwriting, that is to say, into proper computer text (presumably computer text you can scan), and arranges everything more neatly and more readably.  Impressive.  And I’m guessing that the existence both of smartphones taking photos, and of apps like this that can make even more sense of such photos, changes what gets written on the whiteboard, now that more coherent text will be better recorded and processed.  I’m guessing that handwriting improves somewhat.  But does this app, I wonder, subtract somewhat from the informality of the process?  And might that undermine creativity?

I wonder what this app would have done with my Tyrrell’s veg crisps photo.

I photoed Mr Thumbs-Up’s smartphone, where the logo for this app was to be seen, but alas, the smart-focussing in my camera was not smart enough to focus on this image.  It was all a blur:

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There’s no point in me showing you a larger version of that, is there?  How sad that my photo-note of an app for processing photo-notes should be so useless.

I should have included more stuff off screen for my camera to focus on.  As I later discovered when I took some other photos off of his smarphone, of how my blog looked on his smartphone.  Those photos came out better.  But that’s for another posting.

Saturday February 13 2016

Last Thursday afternoon, just before it got dark, proved to be a truly excellent time to be taking photos, and by good fortune, that’s exactly what I was doing.  Yesterday’s white van was an early snap from that expedition.  And when I got onto Westminster Bridge, in fading light but light pouring down from a cloudless lump of blue above, things got really good.

I, of course photoed my phello (my blog my rules) photoers.

A lady was photoing Big Ben.  So I photoed her:

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And I carefully contrived it that her hand was in front of her face, so nobody could put her face through a computer and recognise her, that being another of my rules, now.  But she spoiled it, by sticking her own, I guess, face on her phone, together with, I further guess, the faces of her husband and her son.  A few seconds Googling confirmed for me that personalising the graphics on your smartphone case is now a definite thing.

So, why do I show these faces, having been so careful not to photo this lady’s actual face?  Something to do with the fact that she is obviously so proud of her family that she sticks them on her phone, and then waves her phone in the sky, photoing Big Ben, on Westminster Bridge, London.  This is me and this is my family, and I don’t care who knows it!  I mean, if you wave a photo of yourself around the place, that’s fair game, I reckon.  Well, my gaff my rules.  And when it’s borderline, I follow the Reasonable Man test, me being the reasonable man who gets to decide.

No problems, on the other hand, with this guy, also photoing Big Ben, minutes later, also with his hand over his face:

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Although, I had to crop this one a bit, to eliminate faces in the crowd behind him.

You can see that lovely sky there.  And you can also see those delicate hand movements that photoers do, that I so love.  See especially the fifth finger of his left hand.  All the more fun to see when it’s such a big hunk of (bald-headed) manhood doing it.

Tuesday February 02 2016

Yes, today I was in Burgess Park, which is the other side of the river from me.  I took the 148 bus, to see where it would go, and once in that bus, I spent my time wondering what Camberwell Green is.

I tried to take photos out of the bus, but the best seats, at the top at the front, were taken.  I had to sit right at the back.  But, in the vicinity of the Elephant and Castle, I did manage this:

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I got lucky with the crane shadow, didn’t I?  The development is called Elephant Park.

I never did find out about Camberwell Green, because the bus got stuck in a jam next to one of the entrances to Burgess Park, and I got out at the next stop to take another look at this diverting space.  I visited Burgess Park once before, and liked it a lot.  Great views of Big Things.  Today was also good, from that point of view:

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But the shot of the day, in my opinion so far, on the same evening, is this, of a photographer photoing the sunset:

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You’ll have to take my word for it that the sunset is what he was photoing, and for that matter that he was even holding a camera.  But he was.

Friday December 25 2015

Happy Christmas, as and when you get around to reading this.

The weather this Christmas has been terrible.  Warm, yes, but relentlessly cloudy and rainy.  It seems like it’s been raining in London ever since I said here early last month that in London rain is quite rare.  Wednesday was a brief respite, which the weather forecasters duly noted beforehand, but yesterday and today it’s back to mostly cloudy and rainy.  So here is some Christmas photo-cheer from just before Christmas last year, when the weather was mostly what it should be around this time, suitably cold and frequently bright and sunny.

I mentioned earlier my intention to focus of a Friday on non-deline as well as feline members of the animal kingdom.  This fine beast was to be seen last Christmas outside the old Covent Garden Market, where they used to sell fruit and veg - all that having moved to this place - and where they now sell stuff.

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And here are two more photos, of the beast’s head, with a dose of that proper Christmas weather behind it, and of the sign at the beast’s feet, about how you mustn’t molest it in any way:

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BrianMicklethwaitDotCom would not be BrianMicklethwaitDotCom if I hadn’t photoed photoers and stuck some of the resulting photos up here, so here are some of the many other photoers who photoed this reindeer.  The first two have the reindeer on their screens:

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And my favourite one didn’t have anything on her screen that I could see, but did have reindeers on her excellent woolly top.

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Relevant website.  Like I said, stuff.

Thursday December 24 2015

Yes indeed, this is posting number seven - seven - about a walk that G(od)D(aughter) One and I did, in June of this year.  Is this Proustian attention to detail?  Or is it just travel boring on an epic scale?  If you think the latter, the titles of such postings as this one will chase you away.  You are not sitting in my living room.  I would love it if you did read this posting, and if you did click on all of the photos below and if, having done that, you enjoyed them all.  But this is a blog, not a kidnapping.

For those still sitting attentively on this blog’s metaphorical sofa, first: thank you for you continuing kind attention; and: the central point of this posting is that not only are Humans now using smartphones to take photos, on an epic scale.  So too are Real Photographers.

GD1 is a very Real Photographer indeed.  She does Real Photography for a living.  GD1 had her Real Camera with her for the day, yet for a number of reasons she spent most of our walk that day taking photos not with her big Real Camera, but with her iPhone.  I vaguely recall that her Real Camera had not been sufficiently recharged, but I may be imagining that.  Or she was wanting to send photos to friends as only iPhones and iPhone-like cameras can do.  Or perhaps she was just curious to see how good iPhotos are capable of being.  Or maybe she just wanted a change, on this day out, from her day job.  Whatever her reasons were, as my photos of her show, she spent most of the day iPhotoing, rather than Real Photoing.  I think that’s a very interesting sign of the times.

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Photo 1.1 sets the tone of these photos by concealing GD1’s face, in this case with an iBag.  I never tire of taking such photos, usually of strangers, but also of friends upon whom I do not wish to inflict face-recognition angst.

In 1.2 we observe GD1 photoing London’s Big Things.  I don’t know if I have influenced her at all in this matter.  Maybe.

Photos 1.2, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 show her doing something that has definitely influenced me, which is photoing inconsequential objects to create consequential photographic effects.  1.2 and 2.1 both involve water, which is a particular source of photographic effects of the sort that the eye seems programmed not to see when looking at actual water, only when looking at photos of water.  This does much to explain GD1’s liking for walking beside canals, which I definitely share, but for rather different reasons.

Mirrors (2.2 and 2.3) are another source of photographic effect.  I too like mirrors, because they enable me to include me in my pictures.  Which I like to do from time to time, because it drives home the point that I am not and will never be a Real Photographer.  (Real Photographers only photo themselves by mistake.) Sadly, I could find no photos of GD1 photoing bits of mirror, with me reflected in any of the bits.  Must try harder.

3.1: a swan family (I think maybe this is the iPhone influencing her – this would be too cute, I think, for her Real Camera).  3.2: gasometer.

In 3.3 we have arrived at our final destination, Alexandra Palace, from which Big Things can be seen.  So I photo the Big Things, and she iPhotos Alexandra Palace.

Will there be further postings featuring photos taken by me on this journey?  I promise nothing, but … almost certainly yes.

Out and about with GD1 (7): Instead of using her Real Camera GD1 mostly iPhotoed
Anonymous guys taking (and making) pictures in Trafalgar Square
Food memories from the outer suburbs
Out and about with GD1 (6): The journey gets properly started
Screens at dusk
Cameras seeing red
Cats on an iPhone and Anton Howes on video
Quota Bald Blokes and Big Ben
Couple photoing their own shadows
Standing on boxes to interview Irfan
What is this iceStone device?
18/07/2007 - 18:01-19:33
Blokes photoing
I was photoing white vans in February 2007
Green Park wedding photos
Photoing down by the river
iPhone with added fish eye lens
Londres
Photoing and communicating the devastation of Tianjin
Digital photography ballet
Two photographers photoing me
May 2005 was my first big month for photoing photoers
Photographers by the river
A smartphone wearing sunglasses
Out and about with GD1 (4): On the survival of professional photography
A man taking a Selfie before it was A Thing (and me taking a picture of him)
Lots of photos of the camera man
The weather is too good
Smart face on smartphone
Real Photographer - shame about the adverts
Shard - Guys - Tate Modern - Blackfriars Bridge - photoed during Magic Hour
Hungerford Footbridges photographers
A photographer and an advert
What are those things on her hands?
Snohetta does zig zag roofs for competitive cities
Photoing the old London model
Bad taste
Yet more photographers
Bean drops snow on tourist
Photoing the photoers on Westminster Bridge
At the top of the Monument - in 2012 and in 2007
Is 2007 old enough?
Shadow photography (again)
Anish Kapoor photoed next to his big shiny balls
Dancing
Photographers - photographers with hats (one of the hats being rather scary)
Smartphones and tablets at the Charlie Hebdo demo
Hand done photos
A photographer from the I Just Like It directory
Some photographers last November
Cameras photoing the Wheel (in 2007)
A link and a photo of a photographer
Photoing at the ASI party
The Poppies (4): Bald Blokes photoing them
Looking down through the see-through Tower Bridge walkway – but what about looking up through it?
The Poppies (3): People taking selfies
The Poppies (2): The crowds
Shard shots
Why I am a point-and-shoot photographer rather than a Real Photographer
My chance to ride a bus almost as old as me
In which I quotulate from a photo of a Canadian train
Godot nearly ready
Bald bloke taking a photo
Two guys on Westminster Bridge photoing ice creams in front of the Houses of Parliament
Big cat advertises guide dogs
Bag ladies
The man who photoed the CDs in Gramex this afternoon
Photographers in Tate Ancient
Out and about in the sunshine
Xxxx-ie outside Xxxx-ridges
Cat photo and cat news
Quota selfie from 2006
ASI Boat Trip 7: Other photographers
Umbrellas!
Photoing with a mobile with a gap in the lid
Photographer photoing photographer photoing Big Ben
Hartley waterlily
A Real Photographer does a shadow selfie
Moving picture
Looking good for the telephone box smartphone
Photographing while on a skateboard
Ten years ago today
Another photographer photo from the archives
Sam Bowman on Bleeding Heart Libertarianism
Photographers in the spring
Remembering another Christian name (and flagging up another talk)
Colour photography
ME Hotel Radio Rooftop Bar
Popography
The text of my talk for Christian Michel last night on the impact of digital photography
Digital photography as telepathy
Taking photos with Big Flat Things
Confirmation that map use has seriously declined
Digital photographers holding maps
Polish girls in Moscow doing a selfie
Sidwell (and me) on selfies
Wedding photography - old and new
Here are two photos I took earlier
Photoing each other - and photoing stuff in the canal
Google Nexus 4 wedding photography!
Cassette iPhone photographer
Phablet news
Google Nexus 4 photos
Pictures of LLFF2013
More March 5th photographers (and more spaces between pictures)
Wandering about afterwards
Digital photographers outside Westminster Abbey
An earlier tablet photographer
More photographers photographed
Halloween flash!
Piccadilly Halloween
Patrick Crozier has just arranged for accessing ancient comments here to be much easier
More digital photographers
Celebrity photoshoot?
Usain Bolt takes photos of photographers!
The top of the Shard
Bomber Command Memorial pictures
A camera in each hand
Snaps (in Paris and London - and of the Millennium Footbridge)
Photographers at Eros and Art in the tube