Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
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Most recent entries
- Steve Davies talk last night
- Emmanuel Todd links
- the Norlonto Review is back!
- There are cranes and there are cranes
- Savoy cat
- Spot the Samsung connection
- Stairs Thing outside St Paul’s
- Cassette iPhone photographer
- Wedding photography (6): The Wedding and the Reception
- Testing again
- BMdotCOM insult of the day
- Views from the Hackney Wick station footbridge
- BMdotCOM mixed metaphor of the day
- Wedding photography (5): Photography!
- Phablet news
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6000 Miles from Civilisation
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Category archive: Architecture
I shall definitely be having a go on this, which will be up and ready for climbing in the Autumn:
The boundaries between Art, Advertising and Fun get ever blurrier.
This particular bit of artistically fun advertising being to advertise a new way to use “tulipwood”.
Blog and learn.
Yesterday I investigated another London Park, Victoria Park, out east. Again, too many trees, Big Things only occasionally and distantly visible in among trees.
But at the end of my explorations I found myself at Hackney Wick Overground station. Much better. As railway stations often are, this is a fine spot to photograph surrounding stuff and distant Big Things. And despite the already considerable elevation of the platforms, there was also a footbridge that was even higher than the platforms. Here are some snaps taken from that footbridge:
The white spikes (1.2, 2.1) are the Olympic Stadium, and the big red thing is the Big Red Olympic Thing.
At first I thought that picture 3.2 featured some sort of new bridge, but now I think it’s some sort of big shed, in its early stages.
LATER: No. The thing that looked like a shed being constructed is actually a shed being dismantled. It used to be a big white Olympic sport shed of some sort, and now it is being removed.
Further googling reveals that this used to be the basketball arena.
No, not taken by me, of course not. By my compulsively globe-trotting friend Michael Jennings, who has recently been trotting around in Georgia ...:
Foreigners, eh? An endless source of fun.
… and in Warsaw:
The Warsaw one being bigger, because the title of the email in which this one arrived went:
This is my favourite photo for quite a while.
I’m guessing this is because the old Soviet-imposed Palace of Culture is upstaged behind and beside by skyscrapers, and in front by Polish people actually having quite a good time, buying stuff, doing capitalism etc.
I can remember when that bag of wind John Gray was saying that liberated Eastern Europe, for which people like me had such high hopes, would all end in tears, because in John-Gray-world high hopes always do. But look at it now!
I visited Warsaw in 1984, I think it was. I recall rather liking that Palace of Culture, even though I wasn’t supposed to, on account of the nastiness that it was built to spread, and probably also because of the defencelessly fine stuff that got smashed to rubble to make way for it. I could entirely see why the locals all hated it. I, on the other hand, considered it to be an example of one of my laws, which states that the splendour of a building is inversely proportional to the excellence of what goes on inside it when it first opens for business. Later, better things can get done in the thing. But the tendency is: not to start with.
Well, I’ve had another of those longish spells of silence, referred to in this earlier posting at the end of last month.
When I have a longish spell of silence, such as the one that has just ended lasting ten days, my problem is that I keep thinking that another day won’t hurt, and that when I return, I must do so with a big bang, i.e. a brilliantly big or important posting. Which causes the spell of silence to prolong itself even more.
So instead, what I eventually do is just shove up any old thing, ...
So, once again, here is any old thing:
That was taken in Southwark Park, on the first day of this month. I like the shadows there.
However, Southwark Park was, for me, rather a disappointment. The idea was that from a big open space such as it seemed to be on the map, …:
... I would be able to see some of London’s Big Things, a few of which are quite close. But alas, the place was chock-a-block with trees, as you can tell from that map if you scrutinise it a bit. Which meant that Big Things were hardly visible:
In the summer, when the trees will presumably be covered in leaves, this place will be a total nightmare.
So, on with the wedding. I’ve done the weather. I’ve done signs. I’ve done weird technological things. Now for some preparations. The signs, the technological things and the preparations all having been snapped while I waited for things to get properly started.
The good thing about signs, technological things and preparations is that they stay still, and are hence rather easier for a photo-dumbo like me to photo. Especially in all that bright sunshine.
But when it comes to preparations, there is also the fact that the work done by those preparing all these preparations deserves recognition, before all those damn people arrive and muck everything up. One of the particularly nice things about this wedding was the way that the help was, as it were, included. The people being paid to help make the wedding all just so were all treated as humans, rather than as invisible wage slaves. They were included, so to speak. Various paid helpers were, for instance, thanked, by the Groom, in his speech. Nice touch that, I think.
Note the big circular greenhouse-like structure featured in photo 1.2 there. Chatting with one of those helpers, I learned that it was the fairly recent addition of this piece of architecture to all the other architecture at this place that really turned it into a great wedding venue, because then they had a nice big space where people could shelter if the weather was not good. The floor, being made with big stone slabs, could get wet without any permanent damage being done. Imagine what it would be like on a rather rainy day, with sunny intervals and scattered showers, with people going out and getting mud all over their shoes, and then coming indoors to avoid the scattered showers. On carpets: nightmare. On stone slabs in a big greenhose, containing big mats to clean your shoes if you wanted to venture onto the carpets: no worries.
But on the day of this wedding, the weather was perfection. It has now reverted to being cold and miserable, which just goes to show that this wedding’s weather luck was better even than it seemed on the day. Not only did this burst of perfect weather follow two months of weather misery; it also preceded more weather misery.
So, photographic possibilities temporarily exhausted, I sat down in the sunshine and read some more of Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist, until other people finally started arriving. I have been thinking quite a lot lately, as a particular thing, about the matter of optimism and pessimism.
In the last of those pictures, the “Thank You” is to us guests, for showing up.
I was at Wembley last Saturday, to see Wigan beat Millwall in the FA Cup semi. I am doing a longer posting on the crowd violence that happened during the second half, but will also be referring also to the architecture of the place. Hence me posting this picture here now:
The point being that the Arch, as seen from inside the stadium, is not that special. It only gets interesting photographically if something else happens in front of it, or beyond it, like if a helicopter were to crash into it or if behind it there was an eclipse of the moon, or in this case if there are balloons in the frame. The Arch’s purpose is to draw attention to the stadium from outside, and especially from afar, rather than to make much of a difference to the experience of actually being inside the place.
The Arch does make the process of approaching the stadium from Wembley Park tube more interesting than it would otherwise be. Here is a shot I took after the game, looking back at the stadium, in the wet and gloom of the evening:
Talking of shots like that, does anyone know how to get rid of that upwards perspective effect, in the programme I use (ArchSoft PhotoStudio 5.5)? I want to widen out the sky there, if you get my meaning. I want to make the buildings, on the left especially, go upwards rather than inwards. Any suggestions?
LATER: My favourite Wembley Arch picture.
My thanks to my next Last Friday speaker Rob Fisher, for the link to these photos:
My inclination is not to discuss the matter of supposed overcrowding, more to note that here we have more Art without Artists. Although perhaps photographer Michael Wolf would say he is an artist.
The idea of that category of photo is that here is a photo of something real, which resembles (reduces the thing to?) abstract art.
Were all those abstract modernists prophesying the inceasing rectangularity of regular life to come?
British Summer Time began last Sunday, and I surely wasn’t the only Brit taken by surprise. According to our excellent and invariably accurate short range weather forecasters (the long range climate guessers are something else entirely), the current (bitterly) cold spell that we are enduring will only end around the middle of this month.
On April 20th, two friends of mine are to be married, hopefully in the warm outdoors, and I hope to be taking photos of it, in the warm outdoors. They hope, as do I, that the cold will soon abate. Fingers crossed. The weather is getting sunnier now, but is still amazingly cold. Coldest March Britain has had for over half a century, they are saying. It was several years ago now that they (i.e. the long range climate guessers) changed Global Warming to Climate Chaos. Wise move. Wiser would have been to shut the fuck up and let Western Civilisation (a) proceed without them fucking with it, and (b) deal with any climate dramas if and when.
Meanwhile, the cold has kept me from roaming London taking snaps during the last week or two. Instead I roam through my recent archives, looking for interesting snaps taken on warmer days.
Here are some more:
This time there are more of those commonplace things that look better in good photos, as I hope you think these somewhat are, than they do when you actually see them. That’s if you even do see them, as in notice them.
Besides which, a double decker bus advert may be pretty obvious stuff to a fellow Londoner. But what if you are one of those lost souls who lives outside London? Or worse, who has never even been to London? Or perhaps never even set eyes on a double decker bus? A double decker bus advert must seem, to such a person, almost unbearably exotic and glamorous.
Note, in the first picture, top left, reflections of these buildings.
Blythe Hill Fields: What what you can see from them and what they look like
Wandering about afterwards
Piano strikes the right note again
Four crane photos
Panoramic view of London from the top of the BT Tower
Alastair James on Blythe Hill Fields and smartphones
Talking architecture at the Libertarian Home social
At the bottom of the Shard
Reflections on and in Westminster Tube Station
Strata with chimneys
Big London Things with clutter in the foreground
New crane up
An afternoon in Croydon
Here are (a lot) more photos that I took on March 27th
Interwar Old English pub dwarfed by modernity
Click to see the big picture
Waterloo sunset with vapour trails
The Bezier Building and a hideous advertising erection at the Old Street Roundabout
Strata behind roof clutter
Millbank Tower with street light
The view from the train
The top of the Shard
In Borough High Street
Another excellent spot to photo London from
Dream and reality in Mumbai
Lining Things up
62 Buckingham Gate
Latest C4 logo sculpture
Beware the Men In Orange!
Another blurred photo of Strata
No Misc April – Misc May
New Blackfriars station entrance
A view of Westminster Cathedral tower and the view from Westminster Cathedral tower
Snaps (in Paris and London - and of the Millennium Footbridge)
Pictures of the Libertarian Home meeting in Southwark last night
Changing views from the Monument
Google Earth and Mr and Mrs Goose
The Big Olympic Thing from nearer
The Shard looking like it’s in a 1950s postcard
A happy British Summer Time to all my readers
A Happy Christmas to all those still reading this
Shard even nearer to completion
Street social services management integrated command sub-centres
London from the east
The Shard nears completion
Freedom Tower and Gary Johnson at Samizdata
The final Steve Jobs Thing will be a brand new custom-built Apple headquarters
One World Trade Center
WWWhat a great afternoon!!!
More shiny new headquarters buildings
On the superfluity of the Paddington Basin rolling bridge
Nil scrap value
“Things appear almost impossible to escape from …”
The Armstrong Gun
The docks beyond the Dome
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom not threatened by the end of the Big Thing Boom
The Shard from beyond the Barrier
Someone doesn’t understand what I mean by roof clutter
Gormley’s South Bank Men
Strata from a station
Blue Men on a boring building in Borough High Street
Kyrgyzstan cemetery and awesome frogs
Mmmmm … scaffolding!
Photographing change from the Monument
If you can’t beat them hire them
Stunning aerial photo of Shanghai
It’s interesting …
A Spanish high speed train bridge and a Spanish aqueduct
What camera is best for doing short videos about architecture?
October 2007 conversation about modern architecture with Patrick Crozier
St Valentine’s Day talk by me on architecture
And here’s the proof!!! Sixteen little square pictures!!!
Professor C. Northcote Parkinson on the Edifice Complex
Shard in the clouds
Superb Shard pictures
Mmmmmm … Asian skyscrapers!
Abandoned Bangkok tower
Shard in rain
Beyond the Dome with Goddaughter One
More bridge magic
The Razor through a bus and without the bus
The Gherkin from Englefield Green
Big Singapore Thing
Recent Shard shots
Photoing the World Cup
Strata from Waterloo
Glass on the Shard
Same tower different look
Shard sitings and and an agreeably honest rabies prevention sign
Strata through a gap
Light and shade
Shard getting bigger
Surrey are now crap at cricket but they are sitting on a gold mine
Visual modified cliche - Wheel and Wheel reflected
The bottom half of the Tokyo Sky Tree
Glass is now very strong
Car in in front of sloping houses
Brightly lit buildings against a dark sky
Airplanes converted into architecture
Why my libertarianism has the look and feel of socialism
The Shard starts to show
London is about to be Kapoored with a big new Olympic Games Thing
Sushi and scaffolding at Victoria
Strata SE1 - seen on the way to London Bridge Station
Shard takes shape
The right to photograph
Awesome shot of Dubai
Reds against Blues in Munich
Two New York stadiums temporarily next to each other
Towers under the weather - and a steam engine steams to the rescue
Hasselblad hit by custom-built headquarters disease!
Saying it with lights in the Victoria Station shopping centre that were still switched on!
Free Skullcandy on a bus in snowy Edinburgh
Burj Dubai looking semi-sane
The Shard is definitely being built!
Picture of an aftershock of the credit crunch rippling around the world
Lining up those London landmarks
What’s up with this?
Luxembourg church in hill and Luxembourg footbridge
How building St Peter’s Rome split the Catholic Church and how marzipan was invented in Luebeck
Wuhan railway station under construction - with sunset behind
A local view
Of lists and distant totally photorealistic skyscrapers
The concrete monstrosities of the South Bank may be about to get colourful
Jonathan Meades on city planning
Another London lump?
Photographers in bother
Stuff in the foreground I wasn’t expecting
The Wheel through some Art
Crane cluster photo
Toys and big toys
Another view over London
Quota photo of the BT Tower
Work begins on the Shard of Glass
MBA - necessary but insufficient
The Rand revival - and some thoughts about Rand’s failure to understand architectural tradition
Ancient Sheffield dwarfed by modernity
Professor Dowd and I contemplate a stately home from a distance
By bus to Sheffield
Docklands towers with barbed wire
The Shard may actually be being built
The towers of London from the Copper Horse
The Long Walk is easier if you have a couple of horses pulling you
London continues to build big
Star Wars mosque and rockets mosque
Picture charging advice please
A view from Vauxhall Station
Colonial Governor’s Mansion dwarfed by modernity
Another fine day and more not Billion Monkey pictures
Palming them off with a sunset
Why Willem Buiter blogs and why I do
A movie staircase and a window
Sheep under wolf’s clothing
Brisbane church dwarfed by modernity and this posting behaving very strangely
On top of Tower 42
An abstract view of Kings Place
Lump art and dinner in sky
More sticking up stuff
City of London lumps and a south London spike
Profundity and silliness
Monster buildings and monster people
London after dark from above
Towers above the Dubai fog
Billion Monkey lady! – Gherkin! – Monument!
Modernity dwarfed by church
To Greenwich by train and back by bus
Modern above ancient
More Beijing smog-blogging
Bird’s Nest in smog
What’s this for?
The original Burtynsky Nanpu bridge picture
Edward Burtynsky photos the towers of Shanghai
Roger Scruton on Prince Charles’s new town
Billion Monkeys earlier this evening!
To let – one Ark
Church covered in church pictures
Politics again …
Big Bens - Wheels - Big Ben teapots - telephone box teapots
San Francisco from Sausalito
Self-guided photo-tour of the streets of San Francisco
Outstanding and numerous aerial photos of St Petersburg
Billion Monkey Alan Little?
Airplane over Putney
The Gatwick Beehive
Another view of the tower of Westminster Cathedral
New classical music venue just down the road from Kings Cross Supplementary
I’ve been busy today so here’s a nice picture of the tower of Westminster Cathedral
Not a hot day in January for the Billion Monkeys!
The moving bridges of Chicago
Gives a whole new meaning to Mile High Club
The white stuff
There’s a crack in the cracks at Tate Modern
Beetham Tower – and a couple of other towers
Bookcase staircase many books electric book manybooks.net
At Bethnal Green railway station
The Shard is a Middle Eastern skyscraper but in London that still counts
Wheel obscured by reinforcing rods
Picture of Taipei 101 that came with Jesus
Tower in the distance
Three proper photos … and three Billion Monkeys!!!
Guess the city (2)
Guess the city
Victorian roof clutter
The robotic future
Gherkin with men in front
Michael Jennings photos Disney Hall
Billion Monkey madness and a proper picture
The new South Bank
Another target rich environment
Pictures of the year
Talking about St Pancras at St Pancras
Southwark at dusk
A bog standard (but rippling and therefore ultra-cool) tower soon to be built in Chicago
More St Pancras snaps
The space between the buildings
Eurostar says goodbye Waterloo hello St Pancras
The Ofcom bulge
The UK is not crowded
A picture of a Wheel seen through a field of corn
I hope I’m wrong about this
Russian weirdness for the Anglos
Park Plaza detail
Billion Monkey men - Billion Monkey ladies - and a giant dolly
Photos - four transport - two artistic
Combining the genres
Lots of links
Old cranes - new cranes
A new tower in Manchester
Photo-ing the weather
Assorted London quota photos
The Big Things of London
Billion Monkeys in the sunshine!
Comparing classical music with modern architecture
Footbridge in the dark and cricket
Not what it looks like
Shame you can’t do this kind of thing here
Taipei with skyscraper
Church dwarfed by modernity
Tall chess men and tall buildings in the evening
Not much of a mystery detail
“It took about a year …”
The Nanpu bridge approaches
Robot car park in New York
Other people’s photos (2): New architecture in Hamburg
Billion Monkeys and people waving blue things!
Pictures of the world for the world
London photos by Fabio
By the rivers and canals of East London with Goddaughter One
Another quota photo of the Docklands towers
My computer is improved - plus some London towers
Cranes and street lamps and mp3s
Deceiving the eyes of Paris
Two views of London’s new Parliament
More ways to use the best pictures
Two sunset photos
Billion Monkey spots sunlight pattern bounced off Gherkin!
Tower with lights
Tate Modern Extension
Getting that roof clutter onto my computer
Lords pictures from last Monday
Westminster Cathedral reflections
Cricket with landmark
Abolish aesthetic planning permission
Zooming in on the Wembley Arch
London landmarks and London lumps
The Ben Pimlott lump
Presumably the noise is not a problem
Nearby landmarks and a special effect
Billion Monkey lies on the ground in front of Westminster Abbey!
Ugly flats in the sunshine
Billion Monkey photos flats in Bombay
Shadow on the Shell Building
Holocaust museum repeated as fashion?
Billion Monkey takes photos of Mexico City from helicopter!
Another view of the BT Tower
The Telecom Tower
Billion Monkey screen and another blurry pigeon
Grey skies looking weirdly blue
Light and lights in grey London
Same towers - different light
The evening sun through the windows of the Albert
The new Sainsbury’s in Wilton Road
The new stand at the Oval
Photography in public places (and it all depends what you mean by public places)
Tourist traps – foregrounds – cranes
An east London photo on the right