May 30th 2020 – photography is light

One of the last really successful photo-walkabouts I had in London was on May 30th of this year. I remember having two designated destinations, rather than just the one. There was where they are starting to build these Things, as noted in this posting, and then there were some statues, of Lord Dowding and Bomber Harris, back across the River, that I wanted to check out. As I duly did.

But before all that, I did lots of photoing in the victoria Street Parliament Square Westminster Bridge part of town where I so like to photo:

Those photos are not the ones I might normally have chosen. I would have gone for more information, and less artistic impression (which quite often involves suppressing mere information thereby isolating the mere effect and making it that little bit more effective). But the light that day was so strong, and doing such amusing things that my photo-selection is strongly skewed in the direction of lighting effects and away from mere facts about statues, buildings and the like. So: lots of reflections and lots of shadows and lots of silhouettes, all of which work especially well in very strong light, and lots of light illuminating those big sheets that scaffolders like to decorate their scaffolding with these days.

Originally the photo that caught my attention was photo 12, and the original plan was just to show that one. But I soon realised that there were lots more I also felt like showing you, so there they all are. I hope that at least some coming here will be entertained.

Taxis-with-adverts photos from August 2006

August 31st 2006, to be precise. I was looking through a directory of photos based on an expedition I made to St Paul’s Cathedral on August 31at 2006, and very informative they were too. I encountered several photos taken from the top of St Paul’s of London Big Things, that hadn’t yet been built. It should make a fun posting, Real Soon Now. But for right now, I want to show you a couple of photos I took once I’d got down from the top of the Cathedral, and was outside it.

Starting with this:

I think we can all agree that what I was trying to photo there was the bus, and in particular its rather fetching advert (for this). The taxi (and its advert), travelling very blurrily in the opposite direction and hence out of focus, merely got in the way.

The many other photos I photoed, at that same time, of lots of my fellow photoers tells me that I was similarly preoccupied when I photoed this guy:

This time it’s not so clear where my attention is, and is not. That taxi and its advert are in focus. It seems that there was a Motor Show at the Excel, in 2006, and this taxi was telling the world about this.

I have been wondering recently when the habit began of covering London’s famed Black Cabs with intricate and colourfully pre-printed adverts. I tried Internet searching, but the Internet is keener on telling you how to buy stuff now than it is on telling you the history of the particular stuff in question, and I still do not know. But I now know a bit better than I did before I came upon the above photos in my archives. It was definitely a while before 2006, and judging by how good the second taxi advert looks, it was quite a longish while before 2006. I had also been meaning to search through my photo-archives, for taxis with adverts that I had photoed by mistake, photos exactly like the two above. I have yet to do that, but today I did it by mistake.

Talking of buying this stuff now, London Taxi Advertising has had “a decade of experience” arranging such adverts. But I now know for sure that this has been going on a while longer than that.

Olympic mascot fun on the South Bank

We’re talking about “Wenlock”, one of these two.

All I knew about Wenlock and “Mandeville”, at the time, was that I did not approve, because I did not approve of the Olympics. My opinions on other matters determined my aesthetic preferences. But the aftermath of the Olympics was not the anticlimactic waste and squalour in the Olympic part of London that I then feared. So, now? They look like fun. How we humans do love our other creature friends, even when they’re totally made up.

It would appear that they used the same formula as they later did for buses and elephants, and suchlike. Lots and lots of copies, all identical in shape, but each decorated differently. How could I object to that?

Here we see a couple of Wenlocks, on the South Bank, in the Olympic summer of 2012, being photoed with tourists, by tourists. And by me.

There was a Wenlock decorated with an octopus and two fishes (one jelly, one regular), and I daresay with other aquatic creatures:

And there was a Wenlock dressed as Big Ben:

And, as a little image-googling quickly confirmed, many more besides.

I did some cropping to exclude some faces of kids, which meant Wenlock also had one of his faces sliced in half, while still keeping the excellent fifth finger of the left hand of a photoer. The lady waving her arms and legs in the air was making a bit of a public spectacle of herself, and is accordingly fair blogging game.

A new bridge in China: More than just a bridge

Indeed:

This is the Wuchazi Bridge, and very fine I think it looks. No wonder dezeen cannot resist showing lots of photos of it, of which the above photo is one and the below photo is another.

Says dezeen:

The design team created a continual walkable path within the Wuchazi Bridge as part of its aim to make the structure a recreational destination rather than a purely functional piece of engineering.

The sort of place, in other words, where those visiting it would behave like this:

I especially like those two bikes.

I’d be taking a lot of photos like that if I ever visited this place.

Which I surely now will never do, no matter how my circumstances change. Wuchazi is in China and politically, China is now an abomination. The world played nice with the ChiComs for forty years and now they’re shitting on us all. The idea that individual bits of shitting, like on Hong Kong, or like the Plague they unleashed while forgetting to tell us in time, can now be individually cleaned up is delusional. The HongKongers, the Uyghur Muslims, the anti-Plaguers and all others who don’t like how China is now governed need all to get together and try to change how China, all of it, is now governed. We may not succeed if we do this, but we will have fun trying and the government of China will really really not like this. On the other hand, if we do not unite against our common enemy (the ChiComs (not China itself)), we will definitely fail. So, we are now uniting. I know this, because this is the only thing now worth doing. Ergo, it is happening. Just wanted to include a bit of that stuff.

Meanwhile, on a kind of Nazi-uniforms-are-cool basis, I can still admire this bridge. Here’s hoping it outlives the ChiComs and becomes a treasured part of the truly civilised China of the future that most of us would now like to see.

Photoers and birds in Trafalgar Square

Liking, as I so definitely do, those temporary moments in the ongoing pageant that is London’s variegated history, I remember fondly the time when Trafalgar Square sported a big blue cock:

My version of that moment of course includes the fact that photoers were photoing the big blue cock, with their friends in shot, sometimes holding the big blue cock up in their upraised hands.

I especially liked this photo of cock and photoer, where the big blue cock that the photoer was photoing is reflected in a big bus window behind the photoer that I was photoing:

I do like good reflections.

Other famous birds were also present, and photoers, knowing of their fame, were photoing them also:

But maybe my favourite photoer photo that I photoed that day was this, also bird related:

Real Photographers work away to contrive the exact photographs they want, and then they photograph them. But good luck contriving that one, ladies and gentlemen. Photoers like me just photo lots of photos, and then pick out the best ones to show somewhere like here, whether we contrived them or whether they were just flukes.

Photoer five years ago today

Indeed:

So much of the fun I have got photoing my fellow photoers is noting the physical contortions to indulge in they get their cameras just where they want them. This guy is standing naturally, but he needs his camera to be lower. He has no twiddly screen which he always uses, they way I do. So, not only must his camera be lower. So must he, his head in particular. At first, his stance for accomplishing this is ungainly. But then, he makes use of the steps, and he regains his gainliness.

To quote myself in this posting from a bit before the above photos happened, in 2014:

As I’ve said several times before, someone should do a ballet based on digital photoers.

ISIBAISIA. Saying “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again” is a symptom of advancing years. Another symptom of advancing years is thinking of getting out and about in the nice weather, but then instead just staying in and having a lie-down. Which is what I did today. By the time I got vertical again, it was getting dark.

Behind the photoer, Southwark Bridge.

Shard and Shard-on-screen

I have spent some of today transferring postings across from the Old Blog to This Blog, most of them being from January 2015. It’s a slow process, and I was combining doing it with other domestic activities, so not a lot of them got done.

But some postings did find their way here, several of them involving galleries of photos. This photo, one of the ones in this posting, seems to me to be worth another mention here:

The trick with photoing what photoers are photoing and what photoers are seeing on their screens is to do it at dusk, when artificial light and natural light are about equal. In regular daylight, the screen doesn’t stand much of a chance.

I also like the one where I aligned one of the turrets on the top of the Tower of London with the Shard, to be seen in this posting. Nice sky.

Weird transport contraption

I do like the word “contraption”. Contraption. And this is definitely a particularly contraptional contraption:

I had this lined up to go in this earlier posting, but for some reason I neglected it at the moment that mattered.

This was photoed in Parliament Square, late in the day on April 29th 2011, which was the day of the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Here is what I said on the Old Blog about that.

I tend to judge the quality of my photos not just by things like artistic impression, but also by how many Things That Interest Me are present. So, in this case: weird transport contraption, photoer with the camera covering his face, lots of Union Jacks (although sadly none with the colours changed), tick tick tick.

But also, note the presence of Urban Tents, i.e. the sort of tents that don’t need soft ground to be erected on because they don’t require tent pegs like the tents of my youth did. Urban Tents are a feature of modern life and they are starting to interest me a lot. Tick. Note the presence below, in the category list for this posting, of “Architecture”. In their soft and temporary way, that is what Urban Tents are. They may well soon have their own category here.

Lining up Big Ben with a little Big Ben

On September 13th 2018, Big Ben was looking much as it does now, being smothered in scaffolding:

It looked, for a moment in October 2019, as if this scaffolding would come down, but all that went was the scaffolding at the very top.

So anyway, on that September day in 2018, on Westminster Bridge, I came upon a lady who had an answer to the problem of photoing Big Ben at a time when Big Ben was not looking like Big Ben. She put her own little Big Ben in front of the scaffolding encrusted actual Big Ben, thus:

Many Londoners find tourist fun tiresome. Personally I love it when tourists have tourist fun in this particular way, sticking their own small thing in front of a Big Tourist Thing, like Big Ben, or the Wheel or Westminster Abbey or the Shard. Whenever I see fun like this, I have fun of my own photoing it.

One of the photos I photoed of this lady was of her turning, and looking straight at me. She grinned as she saw what I was doing, and then carried on with her own photoing. Nevertheless, I choose not to include that photo in my little gallery of her. She was making a bit of a spectacle of herself, so it was a borderline decision.

She wasn’t making nearly such a spectacle of herself as was the lady featured in the previous posting here.