This blog is working fine, but my computer is not. It demanded a major upgrade of Windows, and life has not been the same since it deigned to do that, after the usual switch-it-off-switch-it-on-again palaver. My Photoshop(clone) is refusing to process photos, and everything looks different. Black mostly. Windows Photo Viewer or whatever the hell it is is a shambles compared to what it was. And now, it seems, I can’t even copy and paste a damn link, for phux ache. I wanted to insert the getting old link at this point, but my computer refused to even do that.
On the plus side, in the course of my various battles, I blundered into a way to make all the text on my screen 25% bigger, so i can now clearly read all about how my computer is failing to do what I want it to.
I think there are too many windows open. But that’s something to have a go at tomorrow. For tonight, good night.
At least the above bollocks seems to be loading okay.
LATER: Sorted. Switched-it-off-switched-it-on-again, again. I am indeed getting old.
I tried to load the photo here, but it seems that I am once again suffering from photo loading difficulties.
The photo in question is a of an historical (1910) steam locomotive with a carriage piggy-backing on it. It’s not a real carriage even though it looks like one from the outside, because slap in the middle of it, unless I am much mistaken, there is a regular locomotive type boiler. All you can do is stand beside the boiler and look out through the windows.
Would that this blog was a similarly effective viewing gallery. I hope that this will soon be sorted. Again.
Alastair wondered, in a comment, what this building is, as had I. Today, the weather looked good again, and having nowhere in particular to go, I thought I’d do what I hadn’t done earlier, which was find out exactly what this building is.
Here are nine photos, the first of which I photoed last Tuesday, just before photoing the photo shown in that previous posting, and the other eight of which I took this afternoon:
The first, as I say, taken seconds before that previous night scene I showed earlier, shows the shape of the building, instead of just a pretty pattern. The second photo above is clearly of the same building. The third shows the same building, but with some context, in particular showing where it is in relation to the big arched edifice of offices over Charing Cross Station.
At which point I knew where to go looking, and I soon got right next to the Thing. Photo 4 makes it clear that this is that same building, while photo 5 clarifies that at the foot of it is to be found the Theodore Bullfrog. I took a note (photo 6) of exactly where I was.
But, there seemed to be no very welcoming entrance to the building I was trying to find out about. So I went around to the front of it, which seemed to be in the Strand. Photo 7 and photo 8, are close-ups of the entrance I found. And photo 9 shows the entire building from a bit of distance, from the other side to my earlier photos.
Photo 8 was of a sign saying … “40 Strand”, was it?
A little photo-enhancement …:
… confirmed that yes, this was 40 Strand. But was 40 Strand and the building we saw from the other side one and the same building?
Google Maps gave me the answer to that when I got home:
Yes. 40 Strand is the whole thing, including the bits at the back that I had been photoing so attentively. The presence of the little red balloon in the middle of the building, right next to the more distant of the windows I had been photoing proved that this was job done.
So now you know. More to the point, now Alastair knows. I don’t get many regular commenters here, so the ones I do have get the Rolls Royce treatment. (When I feel like it, I mean. I promise nothing.)
While out-and-about on other business further in the middle of London even than my home is, I photoed this little Thing On Wheels:
This was in Bedford Street (as you can just about make out), which is just off the Strand. So far so ordinary. Some brand of “smart” car, presumably.
But when I got home, I looked more closely at this photo, and could just about make out … this:
I didn’t see this logo at the time. I merely noticed it in the original photo, of which the above is a crop-and-expand.
Unless I was mistaken, the Ferrari logo!. The Ferrari horse. Was this bod taking the piss? Had he stuck this Ferrari horse logo on his little red Dinky Toy for some sort of laugh?
This is the twenty first century, and questions like this can be quickly answered.
Apparently this was indeed a Ferrari Smart Car. (He’s not happy about this either.) Different Smart Car, Ferrari logo in the exact same spot. The cars must have come with this logo attached, and must accordingly be “real” Ferraris. Not real Ferraris, you understand. Real Ferraris can drive under articulated lorry trailers at 200 mph. What I saw and photoed was just a Dinky Toy car perpetrated by the Ferrari company in what must have been a quite prolonged fit of insanity, which I presume still continues. Talk about pissing all over your own brand.
Like I say, I like real Ferraris, which I suppose we must now call Ferrari Dumb Cars, driven by the spoilt children of the nouveau riche. The bloke in my photo looks more like an Extinction Rebel or some such thing. i.e. the sort of person who’d be totally opposed to real Ferraris. Which he may well be.
In the course of my googling, I discovered an entire internet subculture of photo-manipulators eager to take the piss out of this abominable little contraption.
At the top end of Tottenham Court Road, where it hits Euston Road and then bashes its way across Euston Road and changes its name to Hampstead Road, there is some photo-fun to be had, especially on bright and sunny days, with the way that the BT Tower is reflected back from the building on the far side, at the opposite corner from Warren Street Tube. Warren Street Tube being a Tube Station I often emerge from, on my way to Curry’s PC World whenever I need something electrical that i want to look at before I buy it.
Here’s a clutch of such photos that I photoed on June 29th 2015:
I know. They’re vertical, rather than horizontal. Not my usual thing. For which there is a reason, namely: that my cameras, Windows and my graphics programme don’t see eye to eye when vertical photos are involved. So, I had some sorting out to do with these photos, but I made it work eventually. But that’s also why I’m only posting this clutch of photos now rather than in 2015. Clutches of photos (reprise) used to be very complicated, and any further complication, like this vertical nonsense, I just did not need.
Some of the above photos, the bottom middle one especially, feature another building besides the BT Tower. That’s because the windows that stuff is being reflected in are at a 45 degree angle to the ones where the BT Tower is to be seen. This is clear from photos 3, 4 and 6, and especially if you look at the top of the building. Which might be why photo 5 is definitely my favourite of these. I often, as here, like it when the photo is a bit of a puzzle. What’s happening here? But I also like to try to say what is happening, which is why I include the other five. That way it’s a puzzle, but a puzzle solved.
I also like that effect you often get with reflections, which is that the sky is blue with any clouds being clearly visible, in the reflected bits, but bright white when you look straight at the sky. The human eye sees both as sky, by altering its light setting as it scans the scene. Cameras can’t do that. Or not nearly so easily. They need graphics package help to communicate that kind of thing.
By the way, when I categorise something as “reflections”, that means literal reflections, of light. I’m not claiming that I am myself “reflecting”, any more deeply than usual. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Different argument.
It’s not hard to see why I like a graphic contrivance of this sort:
I encountered it at a website entitled Specifier Review, which is concerned with the actual building of buildings. The explanatory blurb towards the bottom ends with the words “building product manufacturers and construction industry specialists”.
Note that, in this graphic, the Big Thing performers at the front of the stage are backed by a much more numerous but more anonymous chorus of generic no-name blocks. Things, you might say, of a Certain Size. Not necessarily that small, but definitely not Big. Maybe big enough to impinge locally, and to get right wing grumps grumbling in their opinion pieces, but not to register in the grander scheme of London Big Things, as seen from a distance. As seen, for instance, in the graphic that adorns the top of this blog.
It’s the Big Things that catch the eye of onlookers like me, but the bread and butter of being a building product manufacturer or construction industry specialist is working away on those boring, generic, Things of a Certain Size.
It’s a whole different posting, but the building scene in London has now shifted away from Big Things towards Things of a Certain Size. No more Gherkins and Shards. Not for the time being. But still plenty more Things of a Certain Size, for thousands upon thousands more folks to live in and to work in, and to work at building.
Not photoed by me. I wish it had been photoed by me. But, not.
It makes me think of David Hockney, who also likes leafless trees.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (ISIBAISIA): Artistic fashion often goes where it goes not because it is leading us all into some new and exciting artistic domain, but because it is retreating from an area where it can no longer make any sort of living. Example: beauty. Of the sort you see in the above photo.
Googling is good for things describable with a single word. But something like the idea that artists now hate doing beauty is a bit harder to track down. Google tends to fixate on one of the words you use and ignore all the others until it has told you everything it has on, you know, “artists”. Then, keep scrolling, and soon you will be learning of everything there is that you can read about “hate”. The closest I could get to what I wanted was a piece at the Tate Gallery website, entitled JJ CHARLESWORTH FINDS BEAUTY, ALONG WITH A SUNNY VIEW OF THE FUTURE, TO BE SOMETHING OF THE PAST.
I agree with JJ CHARLESWORTH that artists who reject beauty do this partly because they have a gloomy view of the future. But, ISIBAISIA, there’s surely also the fact that all of us now have machines on our persons which can crank out beauty on a daily basis, immortalising everything beautiful that we encounter that we wish to immortalise. Click. And if we can’t even be bothered to do that, plenty can be so bothered, and now pile their efforts into the great global photo-gallery that is the internet, that of course being where I got the photo that adorns this posting. What chance does the average artist have when up against all that? No wonder they prefer ugliness, ugliness so ugly that the Daily Mail will supply free publicity for it, “conceptual” art, painting with shit and piss, and such like. Oh, an artist can add beauty of the sort that a regular photo won’t add, but they can’t add enough extra beauty to justify all the extra bother. And especially not in the age of photo-processing software, which can add beauty. Now, picture-making software can enable you to create beauty.
Hockney, of course, is not an average artist. He is exceptional. He is in the top one per cent. He can paint whatever he likes, and people will still pay him lavishly for it. He can even sell his photos. But for his pains, all the official art people now agree that he is very passé for still doing beauty.
So, the artists have retreated out of beauty. They call it an advance, but they’re not fooling me. And now that I’ve explained this to you, they aren’t fooling you either.