Butterflies in the windows of Harrods – 2011

Yes, in February 2011, I was photoing butterflies, in shopwindows:

And yes, Harrods.

There’s another art that must surely have become a bit more elaborate since the arrival of digital photography. If your window display s temporary, why bother to go to too much bother? But if you can easily go snap and make it rather more permanent, then you’ll surely bother that little bit more.

One of the better talks I have ever given concerned the impact of digital photography, and in that I recall mentioning someone who used digital photography to “collect”, to so speak, butterflies. Real ones. By photoing them rather than by stabbing them with pins. If I’d thought of shop-window displays when preparing that talk, I might have mentioned them also, along with graffiti and ice sculpture.

Photoer photos guardsman

I like this photo, which I photoed in the summer of 2013, somewhere in the vicinity of Victoria Station, Victoria Street, or some such place:

I like it for lots of reasons, including that it is a fine example of the modified cliché photo. What could be more banal than a bloke photoing a guardsman, in the Buckingham Palace part of London? Yet the manner in which this scene is presented is most unusual.

Like I say, I like it. But I don’t understand it. How – and for that matter why – was that effect created, behind an office door of impeccable dullness and insignificance? They are clearly not shadows of an actual photoer and an actual guardsman, standing behind me as I photo, because where is my shadow? Are the photoer and the guardsman cardboard cut-outs? If so, the cardboard of the guardsman’s bayonet is very thin and vulnerable.

Are these just big bits of paper, stuck on the inside of the windows? Is it that straightforward? But if so, how come the shadows of the two guys seems of the same sort as the shadow of the two poles with the rope hanging in between them? Which appears to be a real shadow of a real thing, see below the shadow.

Are the two guys 3D sculptures?  But if so, why?  Why go to all that bother in such a place?

And what is that strange ghost-like thing, just to the right of the photoer?

I like puzzle photos, but I prefer it when the puzzle is soluble.

Big Things above three urinals

Indeed. To celebrate being able to post photos again with ease, this:

We’re in the Gents, at the Lord Palmerston pub, Dartmouth Park Hill. Although, they call it the “Lords”.

The above photo was photoed in 2015. I’d just been checking out the view from that Bridge that goes over Archway, from which you can see London’s Big Things for real. I went back to this Lords Toilet more recently, to try to get a photo that would work for the permanent top of this blog, but the Big Things had gone. Shame. Maybe looking at giant architectural penises proved off-putting for those seeking to piss through their own smaller penises.

Two dogs and two e-scooters

Spotted by me this afternoon, as soon as I set out to the Medical Centre:

That’s two dogs there, and two e-scooters. You can tell they’re e-scooters rather than just scooters, because of the wires, and because what couple, with dogs, would have, you know, scooters? That they had to push along? Also, they walked right past me, and I got a close look.

This charmingly convivial scene doesn’t tell us that e-scooters will survive the resumption of, if you get my meaning, London. When the traffic finally roars back, will e-scooters be safe enough for such people? I now somewhat doubt it. But maybe they’ll find their niches, in the quieter and more bike-friendly bits of London, like the bit where I live, the quiet bit between Horseferry Road and Vauxhall Bridge Road and north (or is it east?) towards Vincent Square. I saw several other e-scooter drivers today, including, rather interestingly, a guy with an e-scooter which had a wider platform than usual, so he could stand with his feet next to each other, in the manner of this gizmo.

What the above photo does tell us is that there are maybe more people than is widely realised who would like e-scooters to have a future in London. This couple are not your normal e-scooter drivers, burly singleton types speeding to and from work, or with rucksacks on their backs and delivering at speed. These two look like they’ve settled down, and would like that settling down to include e-scooters.

Like I’ve been saying for months now, we shall see.

Rabbits in a tray on a hamper

I am about to embark upon various medical complications involving things like blood tests, so am rather preoccupied today. I’ll probably manage more later, but meanwhile, since it’s Friday, here are some rabbits I photoed somewhere in the vicinity of Victoria Station, in 2013:

Also plates, a hamper, a sofa, some flowers. But it was the rabbits that got my attention.

More to come, I hope. I don’t actually promise, but I nearly do.

LATER: Another rabbit, made of metal, on a church, in Scotland.

A Fake Ancient bridge with buildings on it in Scotland

I encountered this amazing place …:

… on account of it being advertised at, of all bizarre places, This Is Why I’m Broke. Not the whole thing to buy, you understand, just a stay there for the night.

It’s a late nineteenth century concoction. Fake Ancientism, in other words, at its considerable and Scottish Baronial best.

The above bridge was attached to Blackcraig Castle, both that “castle” and this bridge being the work of Patrick Allan-Fraser.

Also featured at TIWIB, and changing the subject somewhat, this gadget looks like it might come in rather handy.

Double decker and single decker trains in France

While rootling through the archives today, I came upon these two photos, of a single decker train and a double decker train, photoed within a few minutes of each other in Quimper, Brittany, in 2018:

On the left, a single decker train. On the right a double decker train.

Earlier this year I did a posting in which I ruminated upon the appeal of, but the disadvantages of, double decker trains. The above photo illustrates the problems of double decker trains rather well, I think.

Basically, a lot of bother, to achieve an only rather small increase in capacity.

That earlier posting was also about how much less clunky trains have become since when I was a kid in the fifties and sixties. But double decker trains must necessarily remain clunky, to support that upper deck, and to get people up to and down from it. Commenters Crozier and Jennings concurred, which was reassuring.

It’s a different story when it comes to long distance trains. For them, where there’s not so much getting on and off per journey, double decker carriages make more sense.

My first encounter with Jeppe Hein’s Modified Social Benches outside the Royal Festival Hall

I am happy to note from my site stats system that a posting I did here about Jeppe Hein‘s Modified Social Benches has been receiving a regular trickle of visitors, as has this posting of photos of these red benches done more recently, during Lockdown, with consequent silly plastic tape all over them.

So, here are some more photos of these red benches, photoed by me on the very first occasion that I saw them, or at any rate the first time I properly noticed them, on May 22nd 2017:

As you can see, they were still working on their installation. But already, you could see that they were being well received. I now realise that the biggest one to be seen in these photos, the one in photos 3, 6, 7 and 8, was only there for a short while. It doesn’t appear in my later postings, so it had to have been gone. I would not have missed it otherwise.

In the first posting above, the photos were all done in rather dim weather, which emphasised how colourful these things are. The above photos, done in bright sunlight, are no less colourful, I hope you will agree.

Remembrance photos – 2020 and 2018

On that walk, a week ago now, I photoed the Remembrance preparations being made outside Westminster Abbey. Of course I did:

That was the first of them, and with a bit of cropping it is showable, but the rest were … Put it this way, I had to lean over the railings to photo anything, and I find that little crosses and dead leaves photo better if you get properly close to them.

Like this:

More Remembrance, of photos as well as of masses of young men dying. I photoed that on November 10th 2018, and showed it and other similar photos at my old blog on November 11th 2018, which was the exact one hundredth anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War 1.

This particular bit of Remembrance doesn’t seem to change much from year to year. I suppose it doesn’t need to. What else is there to say, and how else could you say it any better?

Tiger man

How about this? A photo, photoed by me, recently. Makes a change. And it’s now Friday, so there’s cat involvement:

Photoing a stranger when that stranger is doing business with a cash machine is not something I would advise. But how could I resist?