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: Other creatures

Friday December 07 2018

You know how it is.  You go hunting, in your voluminous photo-archives, for a favourite recent photo, and damn it, you can’t for the life of you find it.  But you find other nice photos, and you stick them up on your blog instead.  We’ve all been there.

But today I did the opposite of that.  I went looking for some nice photos to stick up here, and discovered a very favourite photo, which I had previously searched for without success.

This photo was photoed outside Westminster Abbey and looking up Victoria Street.  You can surely see why I like it.

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Number one, it’s a statue.  I like statues, because I do, and in particular because they tend not to be mass produced, which means they immediately tell you where you are.  You are next to this statue.  There it is.  You can’t be anywhere else.  Knowing where you are is, I think, greatly to be preferred to not knowing where you are.  But even worse is when by the nature of the objects around you, you cannot learn where you are, because all the objects in your vicinity can tell you is that could be anywhere.

And, number two reason why I like this photo is that behind the statue, and with the most prominent bit of it clearly line up to be directly behind the statue but safely above it, there is roof clutter.  Not roof clutter that is uniquely voluminous, but still pretty good.  And mistily lit, in such a way that the building upon whose roof the clutter is cluttered does not upstage the statue by rendering it invisible.

The greenery on the right and the building bottom right I am less keen on, but they are, I hope you agree, not too annoying.  To the left, there was some somewhat more annoying stuff, which meant that the cropping on the left isn’t ideal.  But all-in-all, I like it a lot.

The statue is this one.  And the building behind it is called, at any rate by people trying to sell you office space in it, is called Windsor House.  I know it as that quite Big Thing next to the Albert.

This being Friday, is there a Cats or Other Creatures connection?  Well, yes: cats.  Big cats.  Four lions which are to be seen at the bottom of the column upon which the bloke scratching his back with a backscratcher is perched.  These lions do not appear in my photo, but there are there, at the bottom of the statue.

Also, the bloke on the top who seems to be scratching his back with a backscratcher is actually St George, and he has a dragon under his feet, which he is getting ready to clobber with a sword.

Monday December 03 2018

October 21st of this year was a good photoday for me.  There was this, and then this.  Now let me show you nine chimney pot photos, taken on that same day:

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The first four were photoed in the vicinity of South Kesington tube station.  Then I tubed myself to the West End, which is where the rest of these photos were photoed.

I think my favourite is the fifth, or perhaps 3.2, depending on how you prefer your numbering to be done.  But I like them all, or I’d not have shown them to you.

The final one, 9 or 3.3, was taken from the inside of the top of Foyles.

I’ve called this “chimney pots” because all these photos have that in common.  But there are many other kinds of roof clutter also on show.  I rejected including “roof clutter” in the title, because although most chimney pot arrays do indeed beome very cluttered, as in randomly varied and chaotic, that cannot be said of photo 4, aka 2.1.

The satellite dish in 1.3, aka 3, looks, to a casual observer, aka me when I first encountered it in the directory (not when I actually photoed I), the moon.

Which I like.  And I also like it when there are chimney shadows, as in 1.1 (1), and 5 (2.2).  And there are other sorts of shadows in 6 (2.3).

Plus there’s a crane (7 (3.1)). and a pigeon (9 (3.3)).  But, not any scaffolding that I can see.

Friday November 30 2018

On the eleventh day of this month, which was the one hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, I showed a little clutch of Remembrance photos, taken by me outside Westminster Abbey on November 10th.

Here, just before the month of November 2018 ends, are a few more photos taken at that same time:

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These photos all focus – literally focus - on individual regiments and their circular signs.  My angle, today being a Friday, is how such enterprises often characterise themselves as animals, or use animals to remember where they had done military service.  Here we see two leopards, a sphinx (sphynx?), and a deer.

Click on each square above to get the bigger originals, with more poppies, and more crucifixes.

Friday November 23 2018

So, Friday, and something about cats, or dogs, or other creatures.  Dogs, as it turns out.

I took the following two photos a month or two ago, when rootling around in East London in the District Line DLR sort of area, where the City of London is busy turning into Docklands.  And I am pretty that this first photo was intended, in my mind, to be of the notices in the foreground:

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But then I noticed the background.  Was that a lorry?  On top of a building?  For no reason?  With no obvious way back down?

Yes it was:

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Not an entirely clear photo, and it was also getting dark which didn’t help.  But trust me, there was no easy way up, or down, for this vehicle.  A lot of trouble was gone to, by someone.  But, why?

No, I don’t know either.  But sometimes mysteries are the funnest things to photo.

Thursday November 22 2018

Following yesterday’s very generic, touristy photos of the Albert Memorial (although some of them did involve a breast implant), here is a much more temporary photo, of the sort most tourists wouldn’t bother with:

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You obviously see what I did there, lining up what looks like a big, all-seeing eye with a clutch of security cameras, cameras made all the scarier by having anti-pigeon spikes on them.

And what, I wondered when I encountered this in my archive, and you are wondering now, is the provenance of that big eye?

Turns out, it was this:

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So, not actually a photo about and advert for the Total Surveillance Society.  It merely looked like that.

However, just two minutes later, from the same spot of the same electronic billboard, I took this photo:

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So as you can see, the Total Surveillance Society was definitely on my mind.  Terrorism, the blanket excuse for everyone to be spying on everyone else.  The two minute gap tells me that I saw this message, realised it was relevant, but it then vanished and I had to wait for it to come around again.  Well done me.

According to the title of the directory, and some of the other photos, I was with a very close friend.  A very close and very patient friend, it would seem.  Hanging about waiting for a photo to recur is the sort of reason I usually photo-walk alone.

I took these photos in Charing Cross railway station on April Fool’s Day 2009.  I would have posted them at the time, but in their original full-sized form, they unleashed a hurricane of messy interference patterns.  But just now, when I reduced one of them to the sort of sizes I use for here, those interference patterns went away.  I thought that these patterns had been on the screen I was photoing.  But they were merely on my screen, when I looked at my photos.  And then, when I resized all the photos, it all, like I said, went away.  Better late than never.

Wednesday November 21 2018

Today I was at the Royal College of Music, to see GodDaughter 2 performing in an opera.  More about that later, maybe, I promise nothing, etc. etc.  Meanwhile, I also walked past the Albert Memorial, because some shopping had cause me to come to the RCM from Kensington High Street tube rather than the usual South Kensington tube.  The weather was good, so I photoed:

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I know that the world already contains a zillion such photos, and that I am accordingly breaking one of my personal photography rules, which is to try to notice, and to photo, things that others mostly don’t notice and don’t photo.  But, I do like this extraordinary sculptural edifice, not least because it is so very colourful and so very well looked after, as colourful things out of doors tend to need to be if their colours are to remain as originally intended.

However, although photography is light, there is such a thing as too much light.  Here is a photo I took over a decade ago now, in July 2007, of the sculpture cluster on the right of the main body of the Memorial, of a lady sitting on an elephant, known, it seems as the “Asia group”:

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Maybe it’s just that the light was coming from a different direction.  Or maybe between 2007 and now, this sculpture has been cleaned.  Whatever the explanation, you can clearly see on that photo that the lady on the elephant has had a breast implant.  Her right breast.

This closer-up photo I took moments later makes this even more clear:

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That’s more my style.  Not so many billion photos of that on the www, I surmise.  But still quite a few.  More about all the sculptures at the Albert Memorial here.

Friday November 16 2018

It’s friday, so you want cats and/or other creatures.  So, what sort of other creature is this?:

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It’s quite a puzzle isn’t it.  I’m describing my question, but I’m also answering my question.

It was one of these.

It is rare that I categorise a posting as this and that.  But this defies ordinary classification.

Time for some more horizontality:

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Click on that to get the 1000x750 original bigger picture, which I found here.

Notice the title of the posting.  Hartley really is fascinated by colour, whether present, as here (in the sky), or absent, as is the case for the black and white birds here.

Interesting that stripping out the context, which makes it that bit clearer that these are birds, makes these birds that little bit harder to see clearly, as birds.

Birds on a girder
Horses being useful to humans
Roz is now being quoted
A halo for a blind dog
The performing horses of Warwick Castle (2): After the show
How photo-collating reminded me of some (other) good modified cliché photos
The performing horses of Warwick Castle: Nice legs – shame about the faces
Rob Fisher on the meaning of Facebook
Confirmation that The Peak is a one-off rather than a two-off
I am the product - Canada goose isn’t a big bird any more
Photoing The Wheel from Tottenham Court Road
Lines of birds over Rye
The Great Pagoda of Kew Gardens – and its dragons
A noisy anteater
A concrete pump?
Driverless vehicles with faces and driverless vehicles to sleep on
Do they know it’s them?
Steven Pinker Galapagos photos of weird and wonderful creatures
Richtigen Moment Klick
Cats - Dogs - Hitler - and Surrey don’t win
Elephants in Sloane Square
Creature contrast in the City
How London and its many creatures are evolving and should evolve some more
Wardour Street dragon
Angel Bear outside the Gare du Nord
The men but not the luggage - and a round of golf
Trafalgar Square lions
I need a link dump
Fox in SW1
Heron out west
Robot dog apocalypse
A picture of a not missing cat and the link to the story
Hippo with lid
Cheetaroo
Not the usual end to the Six Nations
Quota taxi covered in quota red flamingos
The Devil’s Dice in Piccadilly
Wartime Encryption for Pigeons
Blurring the face of the Big Prawn
Barn owl in winter
My new FZ150
But they didn’t mean this thing to look like a penis
What kind of car is this?  Answer: A Charger and a Bee
Copycat (and copydog)
A Mickey Mouse posting
Quota creative misquote
Merry Christmas - Happy New Year - 50 percent off
Belated Christmas greetings
Pigs don’t pig out
I like Prince Albert’s backing
Merry Christmas … and …?
BMdotcom insult of the day from Bette Davis (or from Legend)
Googling for new planets
A big panda (with stars in its eyes) at Victoria Station
Monument dwarfed by Walkie-Talkie
Naughty old adverts in The Star
Cranes and horses
The face of a seagull
Stop your dog pulling on his leash – make your dog pull you
Quota hippo
Mick Hartley on Hadid’s new Antwerp Port House
Hippos
Jordan Peterson on why zebras look the way they do
IKEA launches first range of furniture for cats and dogs
Nobody owns the paintings in the Leake Street Tunnel
Horse spotted in Putney this afternoon
Eight
Surrey Docks Farm
While England were winning the World Cup I was photoing adolescent swans
Dogs in boots
This story will run and run
Art is strange
Huge lion carved out of a huge tree
Luxury
Battersea Park bird
Fish in Orchard Place
And in Other creatures news …
New River Walk
If Pugs could fly
Cruelty to a fake animal – kindness to a fake animal
Shopping Trolley Spiral beside the River Lea
Making blue by copying tarantulas
Up early – blogging early – elephant sculptures
Always?
Fantastic Beasts has an alcove in W.H. Smith all to itself
Alice Robb on how cats look like babies
Packaging that is too good
Creatures of outer London
A dogs and cats building
The Battersea Dogs and Cats Home light show
The internet is for telling me what’s on the telly
Batman consults his smartphone
Snake on a car
More birds on a TV aerial
Union Jacks having fun
Pigeons on a TV aerial
Pink van with roller-blading fox
Deliveroo V sign
Eltham horses (and a dog (I think))
A very good meeting - and a quota horse with quota cart
Street dogs
French animals from GodDaughter 2
Bird – and bird close up
A pig and two dogs