A gallery of Michael Jennings photos

For the last few weeks, a strange glitch has been afflicting this blog, involving spacing. If I stick up just the one photo, stretching all the way across the width of the blog’s column of text, all is well. But if I stick up a gallery of photos, which is something I very much like doing, there has been a problem. Too much space was suddenly, ever since a recent software update or some such thing, created below the gallery. Any attempt I made to remove this space only resulted in further spatial havoc below, in the form of too much space between subsequent paragraphs of text.

But now, either because the guardians of this software have sorted this out, or because the technical curator of this blog, Michael Jennings, has sorted this out, things are back to how they were. Good. Very good. I attach great importance to how this blog looks. If it looks wrong, I hate that. It demoralises me and makes me want to ignore the damn thing rather than keep on updating it the way I actually do. This was especially so given that galleries look so very good when they are working properly.

Well, as I say, things have now reverted to their previous state of visual just-so-ness. And I will now celebrate, with yet another gallery:

The above gallery, however, is not a gallery of my photos, but rather a gallery of photos photoed by Michael Jennings, all, I believe, with his mobile phone. Not having got out much lately, I have found the photos Michael has photoed while taking exercise, and then stuck up on Facebook, reminding me of how my beloved London has been looking, to be a great source of comfort during the last few months. And I actually like photoing in his part of London more than I do in my own part. This may just be familiarity breeding something like contempt, but is still a definite thing with me.

I started out having in mind to pick just four photos, which makes a convenient gallery. Then I thought, make it nine. I ended up with twenty four. It would have been twenty five (also a convenient number), except that one of the ones I chose was a different shape, which might have complicated things, so I scrubbed that one from the gallery.

But you can still look at that one. Because none of this means that you need be confined only to my particular favourites. Go here and keep on right clicking to see all of them.

I have displayed my picks here in chronological order, the first of the above photos having been photoed in October of last year. The final photo (which is what you get to if you follow the second link in the previous paragraph), of the church, which I learned of today, and which is the only one done outside London, is something of a celebration, of the fact that Michael is now able to travel outside London without breaking any rules, or such is my understanding. (Plus, I like those unnatural trees (see also the photo number 9)).

Patrick Crozier, the man I do recorded conversations with (see the previous post), is a particular fan of Viscount Alanbrooke, Churchill’s long suffering chief military adviser during WW2. So he’ll like that this church is where Alanbrooke is buried.

Tiger jacket with reflected bulding

What’s going on in this photo is that I was recently standing on a pavement in the South Kensington area, photoing a fake person who is wearing a real jacket with a tiger’s face on the back of it, but it’s a bit hard to make out the tiger’s face because some buildings across the road, very well lit by the bright sunshine that day are simultaneously being reflected by the window that separates me from the fake man and his tiger jacker:

I really like this photo. It resembles this earlier effort in being a puzzle caused by the reflection in a shop window colliding with what is behind the shop window and in the shop itself. But unlike that earlier photo, this one is a puzzle that is soluble, and one that I can fully explain.

As I have earlier said, I think that one of the features of architectural modernity is that there is now lots of shininess, and consequently lots of reflection going on. Modernity didn’t start out so shiny, because there was lots of concrete and brickwork to start with, and glass was a lot less marvellous then than it is now. But now, architectural modernity has got very shiny indeed. So, scenes like that shown in my photo above are not mere accidents. They capture something basic about the visual experience of living in a modern city. Such images are or a thing that we constantly see, and perhaps even a thing that you constantly notice. I don’t think it’s just me, in fact I know it isn’t.

In the bottom right hand corner of the photo above, part of a parked vehicle is to be observed. Modern vehicles being another characteristic source of modernistic shininess.

Reflections in Vauxhall Bridge Road

I love to photo photos like this:

Chaos! Modern Art, only for real! I think it’s a coffee place of some kind,, or maybe a hairdo place that also sells coffee. There are a couple of Brian Micklethwaits in there, reflected in the window, and in a mirror behind the window. (I photo myself instead of photoing strangers.)

And, there’s this building …:

… which used to be the Office for National Statistics, until that enterprise moved to South Wales. Since then, I don’t know who has been occupying it. Some even spookier government enterprise or enterprises is my guess. Somehow it doesn’t look like the sort of building that would make regular people very welcome. Too much like a Modernistical version of a medieval fortress. It looks like the sort of building with occupants who think that they might one day have to defend themselves against angry mobs.

Underneath it is Pimlico Tube Station.

Just wandering around in London noticing stuff

Ah happy days, of the sort I spend just wandering about in London, photoing whatever I see that seems amusing, in whatever seem like amusing ways:

But sadly, these photos were not photoed today or yesterday or some such very recent day. On no. They were photoed on March 3rd 2012, in other words just over nine years ago. Because of the cold and the effort (both of which I feel more now) and because of Lockdown (which can actually be ignored but I don’t like the ubiquitous propaganda and pressure I feel when I do that (also a function of getting old (oldies being more nervous of these sorts of vague atmospherics))), I am now doing very little of this kind of thing. I hoping that may change in the summer.

I was using a then very recently acquired camera, a Panasonic Lumix FZ150. My more recent cameras, an FZ200 and an FZ300, having been very similar to that one. Basically, around five or more years ago, they stopped improving such cameras, and threw all their money at the cameras in mobile phones. If they manage to beef up the zoom on those, I might very well make my next “camera” my next mobile, and forget about getting any sort of better “camera”. Just like millions of others.

EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT again – and its reflection

Ever since doing this posting, I have had that photo up on my computer screen, and I remain very fond of it.

Here are two more photos of that same piece of art/signage, photoed around the same time, although on two different days. Slightly more creatively photoed in that there are other things going on also:

I look forward to getting back to the top of the Tate Modern Extension, which is where this is. It’s one of my favourite spots in all of London.

Does he know it’s him?

Danny Deraney tweets this:

But is the dog “practicing faces”? Or is it just trying to get some sort of reaction out of … another dog?

The thread that follows includes the claim that only three species besides us know that a reflection of me in a mirror is a reflection of me in a mirror: dolphins, great apes, and elephants.

But in my opinion, some dogs and some cats also pass this test. Not all dogs and all cats, because many dogs and many cats are thick as two planks. But many are not, and in my opinion are capable of working this out. As one tweeter says: “Some dogs” do have the sense of self that a mirror might reveal, if they get it. Some dogs do work out that “that’s me there”. Ditto some cats.

By the way, the reason cats and dogs vary so much in intelligence is that they have been bread by humans who were selecting for other qualities besides intelligence, like: docility, obedience, sociability, and cuteness. On the whole, intelligence was not being selected for (especially not with cats), and consequently it varies hugely. In my opinion.

Five more crowd scenes photoed in and from the Tate Modern Extension

As I have said here many time before, I love the Tate Modern Extension that they recently stuck behind the original power station. The Extension is the Thing you can see here, centre left, at the back:

It’s not that it is especially beautiful to look at, although liking the Thing itself so much, I have myself come to like how it looks. And I like the Thing itself because of all the fun things I can photo in it and from it.

For instance, I can photo crowd scenes in it and from it, or I could once upon a time. Like this crowd, photoed a bit nearer to it, after I’d gone under the bridge with the railway station on it (Blackfriars):

And here is part of that same crowd, photoed once I was up and in among that crowd myself:

So much for the crowd in the Tate Modern Extension. Now for four more crowd scenes, all photoed in one photo, from the Tate Modern Extension:

Three crowds in three boats there, and another crowd on a bridge, the Millennium Footbridge, another recent favourite addition to the London bridge collection.

Those were the days. May they soon return, which I will believe if and when I ever see it and no sooner.

The day when I photoed all of the above photos was in August 2016.

Waves reflected on the side of a boat in Belle Isle

Having the previous day taken off from London City Airport, I am in Belle Isle, off the coast of Brittany. It is the summer of 2014. The light is especially strong. I notice some reflections:

If I had never seen sunlight bounced off water onto another surface in this way, would I ever have imagined that it could look like that? Like some sort of net? Seriously, it’s like these reflections are constructed out of string, just like nets. The effect is particularly strong in the second of the seven photos above. There are even knots to be seen. Weird.

Reflections, eh? Make you think.

A regular view of Battersea Power Station – but in the morning!

A couple more photos from Christmas Eve, the first was showing what a weird, for me, time of day it was, even though I was already two-thirds walked home by then:

I know. 10.20am. AM!!! That’s the big clock at the top of Victoria Bus Station. And yes indeed, look at the weather, too.

Yet the funny thing is about that time in the morning is that in many ways it resembles the time when it is about to get dark again.

Consider, for instance, this next photo, of a favourite view of mine taken from the same spot and at the same time as the photo above, but just pointing in the opposite direction:

That’s one of my favourite views in London, being from the road where Warwick Way turns right, past the big bus terminal, over the big railway line into Victoria, and towards Posh Pimlico and its posh antique shops, as you go towards Sloane Square, which was where I had just come from.

I have photoed the slowly changing scene that has been Battersea Power Station over the last few decades, many a time during those years. And I have photoed photos where the evening sun was bouncing up at me like a short-pitched cricket delivery off the pitch in front of me, from railway lines like that. But I don’t recall ever having before photoed Battersea Power Station in the morning and combined that with the reflecting railways lines effect. But Christmas Eve morning having been the morning, the sun was coming from the opposite of the usual direction, and there it all was.

I like how the railway line has to climb, and also curve like that to get itself in line, past those sheds on the left, in order to be high enough and pointing in the right direction to get across the river bridge.

This is really just a posting to see if posting has got any easier from the mess it was yesterday, but I also owe regulars here, after yesterday’s single and decidedly fiascotic (also time-cheated (small hours of this morning) posting. Which means I am now going to save it in my Word-clone before trying to post it here.

Seems to be working better. Good.

Signs reflected in cars (and other things (like water))

One of the unconsidered visual trifles of urban life is the reflections you can, if you want to, see in the bodies of cars.

Reflections like this:

It’s one of these.

Here are some reflections-in-cars photos that I posted here in 2019. I never managed much in the way of reflected signs, though. Memo to self …

If robot cars ever abolish cars as we now know them, as they well might, the explosion of nostalgia for these shiny old cars, cars that are now largely ignored from the aesthetic point of view by all but a few petrol heads, will be something to see.

You hate the look of whatever threatens to engulf you. You switch to liking it when it retreats and threatens to disappear. Neon signs are now in retreat, it would seem, so this Real Photographer guy in Boston now likes them. The cars are just one of his ways to notice the signs.