Salisbury Cathedral behind sheep

Another notable James Cook photo of his local and favourite cathedral:

It’s nice how the sheep are mostly looking, vaguely curious but in no way troubled, at the camera.

And note how, in the summer, with all those leaves, the tree in the middle would spoil everything.

Extraordinary tree

Mick Hartley has been checking out the Alexandra Palace part of London. And his basic point in this posting is that real birds perching on the heads of pretend birds is quite amusing. But then he includes this photo, like it was an afterthought that was too good to ignore, which has nothing to do with birds perching on other birds:

So far as I can tell, this tree looks entirely different from how it would have looked if humans hadn’t constantly been decided where each bit of it would go next.

Whether that’s right or not, I for one am very sure that trees are usually much more interesting when they aren’t smothered in leaves. This one definitely is.

Strange motorbike photo

Things here have been a bit casual today, so here’s a quota photo to beef things up, of the I Just Like It sort:

This mysterious photo was photoed by me somewhere in the Centre Point Covent Garden sort of area of London, in May 2015. I don’t think I have ever done a blog posting about it before. I think that because I still don’t know what I could possibly have said about it, and I don’t know now either. What does it mean? He really wants to see what is in front of him, and what’s behind him, is all I can think of.

It looks like a rather old photo, from the sixties or some such antique time, and maybe rather famous. But, what do I know?

I like the L-plate. Riding that would take a bit of learning.

Looking towards Vauxhall

I really like this photo, with its excellent detail in unpromising light, with its only occasional bits of colour and its big grunge boat in the foreground, by which I mean forewater:

St Thomas’s Hospital on the left. Westminster Bridge. Parliament on the right, with half of the still heavily scaffolded Big Ben on the right. And in the distance, the towers of Vauxhall, but with Millbank Tower at the right hand end of the distant towers, that being on the north bank. I know all those well.

It’s the latest photo posted to Facebook by Michael Jennings. Michael often says of his photos of London that all they are is photos of London: Michael Jennings – in London, United Kingdom. But sometimes, as with this photo, he has a little more to say:

The cluster of buildings that is growing between Vauxhall and Battersea Park on the south of the Thames really is quite something.

This cluster being quite near to where I live, I can confirm that Michael is not wrong about the scale of what is going on over there.

I can’t tell from the info I looked at what camera Michael used for the above photo. Another case (see also: this) of an iPhone?

London buses in times past

Incoming from one of the Robs:

Hello Brian,

Hello, one of the Robs.

Hope you are well.

Mustn’t grumble, as people say when inclined to.

YouTube’s mysterious algorithm just recommended this video to me and I thought it was your cup of tea.

It is.

Maybe the past was more colourful than we tend to imagine.


The past in this case being the 1920s. I think most of us get that life has always been in colour, albeit not necessarily all that colourful, long before photography learned to register this fact.

To be more grateful and more serious, what struck me was those curved staircases at the back of the buses. The Boris Bus clearly harks back to that shape. I had not realised this.

YouTube, having established that I wanted to watch this, then showed me some film from before WW1, back in the age of horse-drawn buses. Apologies, I lost the link to this, but basically we’re talking about a world dominated by these things. Was one of the driving force behind the motorisation of buses the fact that so many of those horses were sent away to fight in the above mentioned World War? Well, no, the timing is all wrong. Dragged out of retirement, more like. By the time that war had started motorised buses had already arrived in a big way.

And as soon as they did, lots of adverts.

Oscar yawns

My favourite cat, Oscar, is the cat housed and maintained by GodDaughter2’s family, down in the south of France. Search for Oscar on the left there, and you’ll encounter several other postings featuring Oscar, as well as postings that refer to such persons as Oscar Wilde.

Here, from GD2’s Dad, is the latest Oscar photo. This is him, yawning:

I like that. The lighting has gone a bit wrong at the top, but I don’t care about that and nor should you.

As I told GD2D earlier in the week, I meant to post this yesterday, Friday being my day for such postings, but yesterday was a bit fraught, what with life and everything happening, and I forgot.

Rules are important. Without rules, society descends into chaos and civilisation itself collapses. And we’d none of us want that, would we? So I do realise that putting a cat photo up on a Saturday is not good. But it’s Oscar, and if I were to wait until next Friday I might forget again, and I don’t want that. Best to get this done. That way, it’s done.

Frogs in rain

Indeed. A couple more creatures to round off my Friday. The casedemic rages on, but there is still an Internet out there, with cute frogs on it:

Found these two grown-up tadpoles here, which was the same place I found those pink trees.

Butterfly on wall

Via the latest clutch of David Thompson ephemera, my favourite of these:

A somewhat nicer way to apply colourful decoration than what’s in this photo, I think. Besides which, applied colour need only be temporary, so all tastes can take it in turns. If you want to make it permanent, photo it. Photos like that one of the painted butterfly will last longer and better than the painted butterfly will.

I like how they’ve added a shadow under it.

Learning how to photo my Last Friday of the Month meetings

Here’s a photo photoed years ago during one of my Last Friday of the Month meetings, at my home.

It took me quite a while, as in many years, to get that photo. What I wanted was what my meetings were like, but with no faces visible. Convivial, but with no conviviality being facially expressed. And it took me years to work out that the best way to get what I wanted was to stand on a chair and hold the camera up as high as I could, photoing lower limbs, but no faces, and photoing the kind of (decidedly junky) food that I serve.

It will definitely be quite a while before there are any more such meetings. Public moods can change radically, so never say never, but if the public mood concerning socialising remains at all like it is now, these meetings may already have seen their last. We shall see.

More generally, this is why photoing is a specialist activity, by which I mean that you have to work away at particular sorts of subjects before you get the hang of how best to photo them. I have photoed lots of digital photographers and have got quite good at it. I have not photoed many social groups.

You may say, well, given what you wanted – lots of youngish and casually attired bodies but no faces, a down-market style of hospitality – an aerial photo was the obvious answer. Well, yes, once I realised this, it was obvious. Once the obvious becomes obvious, it is indeed obvious.

A great deal of knowledge (all knowledge?), I believe, consists of that which is – has become – obvious. It’s just that it takes a while for the obvious to become obvious, for the penny, as they say, to drop. Many learning experiences have an element of Why-did-I-not-think-of-that-until-now? about them. Learning stuff need not lead to arrogance; it can lead to humility, as each step forward in knowledge proves how slow-witted you were to make it as slowly as you did.

Exotic Ely Cathedral

This, photoed yesterday morning by Ely Cathedral obsessive Andrew Sharpe, really should have gone up here yesterday, because apparently there’s a dog walker to be seen in the foreground, who, because walking, must have been clearly visible to Sharpe at the time of the photo, but who is less easy to spot in the photo, what with photos being, you know, still:

However, dog walking aside, what really interested me about this photo was also picked up by commenter Jane Elizabeth, who said:

It looks positively exotic.

Indeed it does.

Those spiky tower things, that look like small space rockets, what are they called? Anyway, those. Sharpe’s photo features several of what look like them, which makes Ely Cathedral as a whole look decidedly Islamic in atmosphere. There’s much talk nowadays about how Europe was profoundly influenced by Islam in medieval times. This is partly done to cheer up middle easterners, who have for several centuries now been on the receiving end of the influencing, but also because it’s true. Europe was indeed profoundly influenced by Islam, and not least by its architecture.

The clouds definitely add something. Clouds always juice up a sunset, or in this case a sunrise.