Photoers from 2013: Varieties of facelessness

Photoer facelessness can be contrived in many ways, not least by the camera itself getting in the way. Then there’s photoing them from behind. Or having something else between their face and the camera photoing them. And of course there’s cropping.

Here’s another little clutch of not-then-posted but ready-to-go photoer photos, found when looking for something else. The guy holding up the red camera with two fingers, V-sign style, had already had the top of his face cropped off. But nothing further then happened.

My favourites, from the facelessness point of view, are the first photo and the last photo:

Burka Lady on the left looks like she had clocked me photoing her. But my guess is she and her friend were getting a lot of that.

Number 7, or 3.1, or bottom left or whatever we call her, is rather recognisable. But that interested me a lot. What is she doing with her two cameras? Trying to take identical photos, to compare her cameras? If so, I wonder how the phone did compared to the regular camera? Rather well, I’m guessing.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

One Blackfriars behind 240 Blackfriars

Three photos I took this afternoon, in quick succession, from a moving train:

Such photos seldom come out very well, what with all the movement and the reflections in the window. But these did, I think.

I remember thinking, when it became clear what these two Big Things were going to look like, that although each looked okay separately, that they would make a rather discordant pair. But as with almost all such Big London architectural eccentricities, I soon got used to this contrast, and now like it a lot.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Apartments on a bridge in Stockholm

That’s the plan anyway. Read about it in a Dezeen posting entitled Urban Nouveau wants to save Stockholm’s Gamla Lidingöbron bridge by building homes in it:

Urban Nouveau has designed the scheme in response to Lidingö Municipality’s plans to tear down the Gamla Lidingöbron bridge, which links the Swedish capital to the island of Lidingö, and replace it with a modern structure.

I like the sound of this, and the look of it:

Oh, sorry, no, that’s the old version of London Bridge. (I recommend having a browse of that full-size. (it’s 6144 x 1024.))

The thing is, a bridge, for all the grand vistas you can often see from it, can be a rather forbidding and even boring thing to walk across. It’s like walking along a huge boulevard. Sounds good, but too little changes as you progress. To make bridges pleasurable to walk across, you need stuff on them.

Which is why I am prejudiced in favour of this Stockhom scheme, even though what I know about it is only what I have skim-read about it in this one Dezeen posting.

There’s a Petition.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Confirmation that The Peak is a one-off rather than a two-off

Somewhat over a year ago I wrote about When what I think it is determines how ugly or beautiful I feel it to be, in connection with this building:

This is described, at any rate by its owners and its various occupants, as The Peak.

And that photo of mine above, taken from the top of the Westminster Cathedral Tower, is my Peak photo which best illustrates the oddly deceptive appearance of this decidedly odd-looking building. It looks like a 60s rectangular lump, to which 90s or 00s curvatures, on the right as we look, and on the top, have been added. But, as I discovered when concocting that previous posting, the whole thing was built all at once. It looks like a two-off building rather than a one-off building, but looks deceive, or deceived me, for a while. Two-off good, one-off bad, was how I had been thinking. It was two-off, so (aesthetically) good. Organic, additive, blah blah. But, what was I supposed to think, on discovering that it was really an inorganic and un-additive one-off?

Now, buried in my photo-archives, I find this photo, taken on October 28th 2008, which confirms that The Peak is indeed a one-off, because here it is (here it was), all being built in one go. There really is no doubt about it:

When I took this photo, I was a lot more interested in the anti-pigeon spikes on top of those street lamps, and on top of the railway sign, than I was in the building work in the background.

How I now feel about The Peak, aesthetically, is that I still rather like it, if only because I have paid so much attention to it over the years, and feel sort of proprietorial towards it, as you would towards a somewhat clumsy child that you have adopted. (That feeling applies, for me, to a great many London buildings.)

Also, whatever else you think of it, when you see it, you at once know where you are. It is very recognisable, recognisability being a quality in buildings which I appreciate more and more. “Iconic” is the rather silly word that estate agents and suchlike use to allude to this quality. But they have a point, even if they use a silly word to point to their point. That “you could be anywhere” feeling is not a good one, in a city or anywhere else.

“Other creatures” (see below) because of the pigeon scaring.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Rolleiflex (and Canon) man

A regular way I find good photos to stick up here is that I go looking for good photos, of one sort, and find good photos, of another sort. So it was this evening:

That’s a guy I photoed in Parliament Square in July of 2013, in the spot people use to photo Big Ben. He is using two cameras. One is a regular Canon SLR. But the other …? It’s a Rolleiflex, but have no idea which exact sort of Rolleiflex.

Apparently Rolleiflexes are TLR cameras. TLR equals twin lens reflex. So now I know all about Rolleiflexes.

The guy has French words on his shirt. Are Rolleiflexes particularly liked in France? Or is that just some idiot brand sold everywhere?

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The last really fine day of 2018 (1): Some pleasurable reinforcement

There is building activity going on at the top end of Horseferry Road, which is near where I live. And this afternoon, when I sallied forth to enjoy the last really fine day of 2018 and to photo London, this bit of London activity was one of the very first things I photoed. I really like how it now looks:

The walk lasted a long time, and that knackered me. But what really knackered me was the shopping I needed to do at the end of the walk. The final bit of that being lugging two bags of supermarket purchases up the stairs to my home. This is not my idea of fun, even if it didn’t kill me and even if it did make me stronger.

So now all I am fit for is a little TV followed by bed. I photoed many more pleasurable things today besides the above, which is why this posting is called “The last really fine day of 2018 (1)” rather than just “The last really fine day of 2018”. But all of that will have to wait. I promise at least one more posting concerning today’s photos, to make retrospective sense of that (1), but no more than that. Good night.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

I am the product – Canada goose isn’t a big bird any more

When I google “crane”, what I want to see is tall pointy things made of metal for shifting stuff around on building sites, not birds posing en masse in a lake. You can’t always get what you want.

A further illustration of that same principle came when, this morning, I had reason to google “canada goose”, because this time I actually wanted to learn about a bird. I photoed some lines of birds a while back, in Rye, and blog pal 6k commented today that they were probably Canada geese. And because 6k backed this up with some migration info that seemed quite informed, this sounded right, despite the fact that Rye is nowhere near to Canada.

So I googled “canada goose”.

But what I got was lots of expensive jackets with furry hoods. Even after two pages of links to stuff about the jackets, there was literally no mention of any bird.

You can’t sell a bird for a thousand quid, I guess. Or, not a bird like a Canada goose. I am not the customer of Google. I am Google’s product. Overpriced jacket sellers are Google’s customer.

However, if you google canada geese, sanity is restored. And I think Canada geese migrating is even better. It would appear from the images you get if you look there that Canada geese do often form great big mobs, fish shoal style. It can take them a while to get organised into lines.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

How the Shard was looking nine years ago

Nine years, to the day, actually. I was trying for ten years to the day, but after concocting what follows, I realised that these actually date from October 8th 2009:

The first one shows a rather strange footbridge that used to go over the site, taking pedestrians from London Bridge Station to Guy’s Hospital, and places beyond. Most of the other photos were taken from on that bridge.

What surprises me now is how chaotic it all looks, especially when I zoomed in on a particular bit of chaos.

What that lumpy cylinder that they are manhandling is, I do not know.

The website to be seen in the final photo seems to be long gone.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Photoing The Wheel from Tottenham Court Road

If I had a pound for every time someone’s told me that they like to photo The Wheel from Tottenham Court Road, I wouldn’t have any more pounds than I already have, because it’s just me that likes to do this. But, I really like it.

I’m talking about photos like this one:

Great light there, don’t you think? It could be an oil painting. Exactly as it came out of the camera, no Photoshop(clone)ing. That dates from April of 2015. As you can see, that weird entrance to Tottenham Court Road Tube station was still under construction.

Here’s a couple more, taken in 2016 …:

… and in 2017:

That crane there should have told me that something ominous was in the works, but actually I was taken by surprise.

Take a look at what the same scene looked like today:

That’s right. The Wheel is about to be blotted out of this particular picture.

I moved nearer, which moved the top of the Wheel down to the bottom gap in the structure:

I took a final close up:

And that may well be the last time that I ever photo The Wheel from Tottenham Court Road.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Views from the John Lewis roof garden

On Thursday September 27th, I photoed a leaning crane, from the top of the John Lewis Roof Garden. But that wasn’t all I photoed. Of course not. I wouldn’t go to a spot like that and take just the one photo.

A few more views:

My usual preoccupations. Big Things. Cranes (including window cleaning cranes). Roof clutter. Scaffolding.

Can you spot Big Ben? Clue: scaffolding.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog