Brian Micklethwait's Blog
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Esteban on David Pierce on what it's like using an electric scooter
Brian Micklethwait on Zooming in on the workers
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Brian Micklethwait on David Pierce on what it's like using an electric scooter
Rob Fisher on Zooming in on the workers
Rob Fisher on Big Things on Boris Bikes
Rob Fisher on David Pierce on what it's like using an electric scooter
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Most recent entries
- White vans in Kentish Town
- A busy day and a collection of Big Things
- A still life and a cat cushion in Kentish Town
- A Japanese torpedo bomber that could use some zoom
- A good time of the year
- 148 to Burgess Park
- A Big Thing and a Much Bigger Thing – on a not-black cab
- Another way to photo my meetings
- Quota Pavlova
- The first Brian’s Friday of the year tomorrow evening
- Walkie Talkie looking not that huge
- David Pierce on what it’s like using an electric scooter
- Shard behind the Tower of London (reprise)
- Big Things on Boris Bikes
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6000 Miles from Civilisation
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Category archive: Digital photographers
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:
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:
But the shot of the day, in my opinion so far, on the same evening, is this, of a photographer photoing the sunset:
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.
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.
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:
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:
And my favourite one didn’t have anything on her screen that I could see, but did have reindeers on her excellent woolly top.
Relevant website. Like I said, stuff.
Out and about with GD1 (7): GD1 used her iPhone a lot for photoing
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.
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 as 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.
Yes, number 1.2 here is not taking, he’s making, and I photoed his screen instead of him. (This would seem to explain the (to me) decidedly off-putting not to say offensive slogan on the back of his costume.)
Although quite late in the day, which was in April of this year, the light is still fairly bright, so no pictures on electrical screens. Just faces from behind (IYGMM (if you get my meaning)) and faces front on, but with cameras in the way:
I am well aware that my obsession with photoing strangers photoing is somewhat creepy, this being why nobody ever seems to comment on these postings. Even to comment is to get too close to the obsession and to risk being thought to share it, or just to reckon it not creepy. But I happen to believe that willingness to be a bit creepy is a major slice of photoing talent, and I regularly risk this. Although I do definitely care what people think of me, I care even more about getting good photos.
And I reckon that, what with me having now done so much of this kind of photoing, the best of these photos that I take now are indeed getting to be pretty good. Of those shown above, I particularly like 1.3, with its intriguing contrast between the manliness of his pock-marked yet handsome face and the girlified phone he is using to take his photo, of his pock-marked yet handsome face, with the four-pointed Parliament tower (actually it is probably Big Ben in his photo) in the background.
The skeleton being photoed by the guy in 2.1, in case you were wondering, is an attack on capitalism, as the Guardian explains. But if this has to be explained, and it does, then it’s not much of an attack, is it?
I can’t make out what type of camera the guy photoing the skeleton is using. But of the seven other cameras, four appear to be mobile phones, and the other three to be quite big and quite expensive hobbyist cameras like mine. Mobile phones would appear to be gobbling up the small, cheap-and-cheerful digital camera market. All phones are now cameras. How soon before all cameras are phones? (See the graphs in this earlier posting here.)
Photographs are, as all the world has recently been learning, except those whose business – paid or unpaid – it is to complain about what all the world has recently been learning, a wonderful aid to memory.
And many of the happiest memories of our extraordinarily comfortable and frequently very happy times involve food. So - and the complainers complain about it with a venom they seem to reserve only for this, and for selfies - people now like to photo food. Food that they have themselves prepared. And food that others have prepared for them.
And I like to photo them photoing the food. This also makes happy memories.
Man prepares meat: Man photos meat: Man prepares salad: Man photos salad:
These are happy memories from last August. Visit to friends in the outer suburbs.
The outer suburbs? What do they look like? Well, one of the things they look like (horizontalisation opportunity) is this:
That’s the large patch of grass, beyond the back wall of their back garden. And sadly, although those things in the distance do vaguely resemble Big Things, they are actually rather smaller trees.
We are beyond the “Green Belt”. The above photo, especially if clicked on, offers a glimpse of what the Green Belt might usefully be turned into, instead of it remaining for ever the wasteland of pointless open space that it is now. It would need livening up a bit. A bit of open-caste mining, or a temporary phase as a juvenile race track? Then let nature take its course, and you’ll have a lovely place. Apparently some industrial type activity (gravel?) is about to happen in that particular stretch of grass. That will stir up some interesting nature, when the industrialising is done.
Finally, this being Friday, here is a visitor to our jollifications who dropped by that afternoon:
Like many cats in places like this, this cat seems to have a basic home of basic benefactors, and daily rounds to visit other potential and not-so-basic benefactors. This visitor acquired no happy food memories with his/her visit, on the day I photoed him/her. Not that day.
But I have plenty. Without my camera, these memories would soon have gone.
Where would we be without maps? In what world would we be living, without maps? A very different world, I think, and a much less coherent and join-up world. While travelling we consult maps, and are often unable to distinguish later what we learned by actually going there and being there, and what we merely saw on maps while going where we went, and being where we went. That was my experience anyway, when, much younger, I roamed about in Europe, on a bike.
However, when I am on one a walk with Goddaughter One, I tend to learn rather little from maps, until afterwards. She is usually the one choosing where we go, and I just follow her lead. And, I don’t consult a map, because I always have my bag with me, and my camera in the other hand, and would need a third hand for a map, but do not have a third hand. There is accordingly a basic sense in which, after one of our joint expeditions, I don’t know, at the time, where I am, and don’t know, afterwards, where I have been.
It would be different if I was taking photos with my mobile phone, and also using that as a map. But, I use a regular old camera to take the pictures I take. I only use a mobile when (a) I want to take a photo, (b) have forgotten to bring my regular camera, and (c) have remembered to bring my mobile. This circumstance is very rare.
Take our most recent trek, the one which began when we met up at Manor House tube, talked for a while, and which only really got started after we had found our way to that amazing castle. I only worked out quite recently that we had started our walk here:
When we walked from Manor House tube we were walking south. When we reached the Castle Climbing Centre, we arrived at the southern most point of our travels that day. Then we took the path in an easterly direction along the canal, i.e. the blue line. The map looks a bit like a pair of spectacles, I think.
Here are some of the pictures I took that day, when the journey really began:
As you can see the path we took is called the New River Path (the canal being the New River). Wikipedia seems to be quite informative about “New River (England)”, but my blogging software seems to refuse to do that link (brackets?), so you’ll have to take my word for it that some of the words there are these ones:
The New River is an artificial waterway in England, opened in 1613 to supply London with fresh drinking water taken from the River Lea and from Chadwell Springs and Amwell Springs (which ceased to flow by the end of the 19th century), and other springs and wells along its course.
I don’t know when those reservoirs happened. Later, I presume. Until this expedition, I had no idea that the “New River” even existed.
As I said at the end of this recent posting here, I have some catching up that I want to do.
Two other people’s screens while avoiding their faces photos, taken on a muggy evening last September:
The one on the right is okay, because Westminster Abbey looks more interesting on someone else’s screen than in does in a regular photo, or in real life come to that, I reckon.
But the one on the left is really nice because the lady with the matching pink iPhone case and pink spectacle frames is photoing one of those little assemblages of modern architecture of the sort I especially like. There are all those apartments across the bridge approach from where James Bond’s bosses live, and to the right of these apartments (which already look rather tatty from close up but which look much better from afar) we observe the Spraycan. The Spraycan will soon, I believe, be joined by other towers, as that whole part of town erupts with activity sparked by the new US Embassy a bit further up river.
And, she is holding a map. Does she not know that she could whistle up a map on the phone she is photoing with?
And here are two more photos of people photoing, taken within the same short time-frame as those above:
The total amount of anonymity supplied to these two dudes is about right, but is, unfortunately, rather unevenly distributed. Dude 1 on the left is not showing us his screen, but I do like how I used that lamppost to prevent any machine from being able to spot him. Although, we can all see where the photo was taken, thanks to that road sign, which I also like including in photos.
But could a machine maybe identify Dude 2, on the right, perhaps from the rather blurry and shadowy image on his screen? A human who knows him would know him from that photo, but that isn’t the question. Here’s hoping that no machine will be interested.
Trouble is I like the photo too much to keep it to myself. You can even see the Wheel, on his screen.
Photo-screens come into their own, as objects of photography, when the light fades. They stay bright.
Ever since I expressed interest in their picture processing programme, which is called Zoner Photo Studio, the Zoner Photo Studio blog/magazine has been sending me news of articles in that blog/magazine. I don’t mind this. Often I find these pieces quite interesting.
Like the one in which I read this, for instance:
Loss of detail in red objects is a common problem in digital photographs. Digital cameras’ sensors are more sensitive to the red color channel than the other two (blue and green), and meanwhile overexposure of the red channel can lead to the loss of detail in red objects.
The article then goes on to explain how to deal with this loss of detail in red objects, an explanation that I can live without for the time being. No, what interested me was the claim that cameras get more excited by red than they do by other colours.
I found myself thinking about this fact, if fact it be, when preparing this set of photos, of photographers, taken exactly a year ago to the day, on December 6th 2014, in Piccadilly Circus. When doing this, I thought it would be fun to pick out small squares, not with a view to necessarily showing the most important bit of the picture, but in order to make a pleasing collection of squares. And while doing this, I did indeed feel that I detected exactly this tendency of my camera to see red with great intensity (where there was red to be seen), and also to see pink (where there did not seem to be much in the way of red to be seen at all).
Maybe this is just because people like red, and so the camera-makers deliberately make cameras which particularly see red. They could tell the cameras not to see so much red, but if they do, people like it less. If that means that people can’t see so much detail in the red bits of their pictures, well, they don’t care that much. Red is, after all, the colour of Christmas cheer. When seeing the best in something, we are seeing it through rose coloured spectacles. Red makes people happy. Could that be it?
Anyway, here are those pictures. My camera, when taking them, saw a lot of red, and presumably these other people taking photos were also photoing a lot of red. See in particular the one where it says Mamma Mia on the screen. Mamma Mia is in blue letters, but the surrounding colour on the screen has a distinctly pink tinge to it, even though I am pretty sure that the original background was white:
Once again, here is a result of a photoshoot that was really quite good, so why didn’t I show this or a similar result at the time? Well, first, there was really no rush, was there? It’s not as if people taking pictures in Piccadilly Circus is any sort of revelation. It wasn’t news. It could wait. But why did it, for a whole year? Well, basically I take far more pictures than I can reasonably show and tell about. If I thought that just shovelling snaps into Flickr was worth doing, I would do it, but I don’t. For me, it has to be photoblogging. But photoblogging takes time. Also, I like to mix it up, and not just have posting after posting consisting of great masses of photos, taken by clever old me. So, for me, photoblogging takes even longer. And the blogging bit tends to get left behind by the photoing.
Over Christmas I intend to stay in quite a lot, basically doing more writing than usual. And I also intend to do a bit of photoblogging catching up, harking back to sunnier times, last summer, and perhaps also in the more distant past. Although, as always, I promise nothing.
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
I was photoing white vans in February 2007
Green Park wedding photos
Photoing down by the river
iPhone with added fish eye lens
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
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
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
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
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
Photoing with a mobile with a gap in the lid
Photographer photoing photographer photoing Big Ben
A Real Photographer does a shadow selfie
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)
ME Hotel Radio Rooftop Bar
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
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
Patrick Crozier has just arranged for accessing ancient comments here to be much easier
More digital photographers
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