Blotting out the face with reflections at the top of the Tate Modern Extension

Here are some photoer photos I photoed almost three years ago now, at the top of the Tate Modern Extension. They are all of the same person, taken one after another:

I think that what she’s doing here is a selfie with the Big Things of the City of London behind her. It’s because it’s a selfie rather than a straight photo of the view that she is facing us.

When photoer photoing, I am always on the lookout for ways for faces to be blocked out. The camera itself, smart or regular, often does this by getting in the way. Bags and coats often oblige. Lately, of course, there have been masks. Simplest of all is just photoing from behind the photoer. But simple can be ever so slightly dull, and that particular dullness was avoided this time.

What blots out this lady’s face is that she is behind a window, and the reflections in the glass of what is behind me do the job. Well, mostly. If you knew her already you might recognise her from the last one. But I doubt a face recognition computer could make much sense of it.

This Tate Modern Extension summit is a fabulous place for photoing, for me. Other photoers, great views out over the middle of London, often combinable in the same photo. Terrific. And with windows on three sides of the room at the top, and the viewing platform all around the outside, the reflections and combinations and complications are often mind-boggling. Just explaining what’s going on in the above photos would take another screen’s worth of prattle, and you’d probably be none the wiser.

And don’t get me started on those big spots on the windows. They add a whole extra dimension to everything.

The only way to explain all these complications and ramifications is to have a mass gallery, with lots of photos of photoers and of the place itself, to the point where you can all see for yourselves what’s going on, and why everything looks the way it does. But not today.

In which Patrick Crozier tells me that the Americans could and should have won the Vietnam War

This was in the course of our latest recorded conversation, which we had over the phone (by which I mean my phone and his computer) last Wednesday, and which has just been posted at Croziervision, with further verbals from Patrick.

Which I recommend, even if you don’t listen to the thing itself. Patrick’s posting is even more informative and full of pertinent links than usual. In particular, I draw your attention to the link concerning the Case-Church Amendment, which Patrick identifies as the moment (it happened in June 1973) when an American victory, having been pretty much won on the battlefield, was then thrown away by the US Congress.

B-1B selfies

If I were Senior Airman River Bruce, I’d be mighty proud of this photo:

Those are mechanics, so it makes perfect sense for them to put themselves in their photos. And well done Senior Airman Bruce for including them in his. Or hers, maybe? Air-man suggests his, but what do I know? Either way, it’s a great photo, which underlines how many man hours go into keeping one airplane like that flying.

With thanks to Austin Bay.

LATER: One thing did puzzle me. What was all this talk of “BONE”? Simple, it’s a One thing. B-One.

One year ago today: “You cannot do that!”

I love to photo the front pages of newspapers, while in shops from which I also buy things I still want:

And that was the front page of The Times of a year ago tomorrow, June 1st 2019.

The headlines make interesting reading now. Trump trying to stop us getting into bed with Huawei. Bet our politicians now wish she’d listened then.

And, the Lib Dems riding high in the polls. But this was because they had temporarily managed to get most of the Remain vote supporting them. Labour eventually got most of the Remainers supporting them. Meanwhile, the Leave vote was split, but would later unite in voting Conservative.

But most important of all, to me, are the pictures in between those two headlines. That’s Ben Stokes, taking an amazing catch, in England’s opening World Cup 2019 match against South Africa at the Oval, one year ago exactly. Stokes only had to take the catch this way because he at first misjudged it and got himself too far towards it. But who cares?!? He caught it. Video, with Nasser Hussain’s great commentary, here. England went on to win the tournament.

Now, YouTube is showing me the amazing Ashes test-match-winning last wicket partnership, at Headingley, between Jack Leach and … Stokes.

The weather now is perfect for cricket and has been for several weeks. But as of now, they still cannot do that, and we fans are having to be content with memories.


While searching the photo-archives for something else completely, I came across THIS!:

I photoed the above in the summer of 2016, in the Tate Modern gift shop.

Art galleries fascinate me, even though I often don’t like the Art that’s on show in them. And I am in particular fascinated by the gift shops that are now always attached to Art galleries. These places are often more crowded than where the Art is being shown. The above is only one of many, many photos, of Art stuff, that I have photoed in Art gallery gift shops.

In the case of this Roy Lichtenstein stuff, you can make a pretty good case for saying that those cushions, for instance, are as “authentic” Roy Lichtensteins as the “original” painting that the cushions were copied from. After all, the “original” painting was itself a copy, of something a lot like the cushions. And the original comic that Lichtenstein copied his painting from was mass produced, just like the cushions. Only the fetishism of the authentic unique object, by an officially recognised Artist, is holding back the dam of absurdity here.

I’m guessing that the business that Art galleries do in their gift shops, and in their equally vital coffee shops, is the difference between economic famine and something more like feast.

I also think that Art galleries are popular places to spend time in, again not because of the Art, but because of the quiet. Art galleries do not, on the whole, play annoying music, and talking in loud voices is considered boorish. The result is something a lot like a church.

Quota scaffolding shadows

I’m back from my photo-walk and it was every bit as physically knackering as I feared. But, what with me having done more than one posting here each day for the last few weeks now, here is another quota photo.

Despite the effort, it was a fine expedition nevertheless. My better photo-walks often begin with fun photos as soon as I step out the door, and today’s was like that:

That scaffolding has been there for ages, what with The Plague. There being at the mini-roundabout where Great Peter Street meets the top end of Horseferry Road and the southern end of Strutton ground. They’re doing something to the fire station there. But what? I’m waiting to see.

Maybe not as nice as this, but nice.

Quota photo of the BT Tower advertising Follicular Lymphoma

Haven’t had many quota photos here lately, have I? But I am now about to go on what could be a long photo-walk, and don’t want to be worrying about not yet having stuck anything up here.


Photoed from the top of my block of flats, last November. Ah, those were the days, when people worried about lots of diseases instead of just the one.

What is Follicular Lymphoma?

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a slow-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It develops when B-cells (also called B-lymphocytes) become abnormal. B-cells are white blood cells that fight infection.

The abnormal B-cells (lymphoma cells) usually build up in lymph nodes, but they can affect other parts of the body.

Have a nice day. I intend to.

Pigeon scaring spikes just beyond Tower Bridge

In the summer of 2012, I was on the far side of Tower Bridge, about to cross it and walk back home along the South Bank, and my photo-archive tells me exactly what I was seeing, and thinking about it.

I started noticing how the sun was catching the pigeon scaring spikes:

And then came the kill shot, the artistic climax, the one where it was all effect and no context. Don’t bother clicking on any of the other photos in this posting if you’re not inclined, but at least feast your eyes for a few seconds on this:

It’s not regular sculpture, but it is sculpture, I think. I also photoed the nearby girl and dolphin, which is regular sculpture. I prefer the anti-pigeon spikes.

Because I knew that this could actually use a bit of context, here are three more of the photos I photoed, after that best in show shot above:

I also photoed a couple of pigeons, that had apparently not been scared, but you all know what pigeons look like. It’s those spikes that were so photoable.

These spikes are now a feature of London life. They’ve put spikes on top of my block of flats.

Dogs Stuck To The Ceiling


Natalie Solent mentioned this strange phenomenon in a Samizdata piece entitled Solving the problem of dogs stuck to the ceiling. Natalie quoted a commenter saying, ironically of course, that this is a serious problem which We Should All Seriously Think About, and herself commented on that comment thus:

Although the writer did not try to make any political capital from this issue, it did lead me to wonder what other problems in modern society are conceptually similar to the plight of these dogs.

Natalie’s point being that some problems are only problems because you are looking at them the wrong way. In this case, the wrong way up. It’s quite a profound piece. She says that the “gig economy” is such a problem, and I agree. There are definitely problems associated with the gig economy, like people not paying for work by the date they promised they would. But just making the gig economy illegal would make everything far worse for the gigsters. There already is a law saying payments have to arrive when promised, but it is no use to the gigsters at the lower end of the gig economy. They’d rather do work that they do eventually get paid for, probably, and in the meantime not antagonise such a customer. Their solution is to get more and better customers, not to sue. One of my best friends (the one who photoed this bird, and also the ducklings in the previous posting just below this one) is a gigster. As was I a few years back.

Like I say. Quite profound stuff.

But I only paid Natalie’s piece proper attention after David Thompson had linked to it, while mentioning that he got it via Samizdata. In his Friday ephemera, he likes weirdnesses of all kinds, and likes libertarian messages also to be smuggled in in among the weirdness. So, this was all perfect for him.