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.

More photoers at the top of the Tate Modern Extension

Time for some more photos photoed in and from the top of the Tate Modern Extension, photoed August 30th 2016:

The one in the middle, no 5, shows that I wasn’t the only one interested in reflections.

I’ll know that my life is back on track, if it ever does get back on track, when I can again go to this superb place.

Meanwhile, I continue to tell myself this, which I photoed more recently in the same superb place.

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.

Big Things across the River

There were statues to be seen nearby, but there were bigger things, Big Things, further away, on the other side of the River:

Photo 1 uses the clutter associated with getting on and off of a boat to frame the Wheel. All the rest are entirely of more distant stuff.

I like the colours, warm cream when the sun hits stone or concrete, dark glass, the perfect blue of the sky. My camera makes the dark glass, of such buildings as One Blackfriars (aka the Boomerang), all the darker by not wanting bright sunlight directly reflected to look too bright.

And once again with the shadow of the Wheel (for once London “Eye” works very nicely) on the Shell Building, but this time with the shadow seeming to be the wrong way round, as seen most clearly in photo 6 and also in photo 7. It is of course the shadow of the opposite side of the Wheel.

And in the further distance, in gaps, the Shard (photo 9), and a rather handsome view of 22 Bishopsgate (photo 5) looking like a more coherent shape than I am used to seeing, a bit like a ship, front on. Move along a bit, and we then see the Cheesegrater as well (photo 8).

These strange alignments all take a bit of getting used to when you first see them. This is because, like so many rivers in the middle of great cities, this river twists and turns, that being a big reason why the city got built here in the first place. By twiddling this way and that, the river brings valuable riverside spots closer to each other, and stirs up a lot more commerce than a straight river would. (See also: Paris.) But these kinks play hell with your sense of direction, or with mine anyway. I was on the north bank of the river, but, although I was looking straight across the river, I was nevertheless looking due east, rather than south. And back across another kink in the river again when seeing 22 Bishopsgate and the Cheesegrater, which are both part of the City Big Thing Cluster, which is on the north side of the river.

It is all part of London’s charm, and the charm of its Big Things. When out-and-abouting in London you can never be quite sure which Big Thing you’ll see next, through some gap in the foreground, or from what direction you’ll see it.

There are cranes to be seen, but very few.

Shard earlier today

Photo taken by a friend earlier today, of the Shard from downstream:

Photoed with an iPhone 11. Pointed straight at the early afternoon sun. I’m impressed that the iPhone software managed to make so much of a distinction between on the one hand the Shard and its’s Guy’s Hospital smaller companion, and on the other the buildings in the foreground. Not sure my camera would have done so well.

In general, I love that blue-ish colour of the Shard and Guy’s. Again, don’t think mine would have managed this. I would have managed something, but it would have looked different.

What my friend saw when looking at this scene while photoing it was, I am sure, very different.

For all kinds of reasons, including the camera contrast but many others besides, my photos never seem to look quite like that. Strange that something so automatic should end up being so individual.

How The Broadway is looking in the sunshine

A while back, I showed photos of The Broadway being built, which, because of the weather, looked like black-and-white photos. Here is that same Broadway last Wednesday, nearer to being completed, in sunshine, and therefore in colour:

Photo 1 is the first view of these new towers that I get when I walk along Regency Street and look towards Victoria Street. In that photo, and in photo 4, we clearly see those coffins, which I first mentioned here way back in July, near the bottom of one of these towers. Now, there are also coffins at the top of that same tower. Odd choice.

Photo 5 shows the games that light plays with the big sign facing Victoria Street. “A dynamic new residential quarter redefining …” what? I probably have other photos in my archive telling me what, but frankly, I don’t care and would be amazed if any of you did either. In photo 5, which is a detail of the same scene, you can see through this sign that 55 Broadway will, in you stand in the right spots in Victoria Street, be visible from there. Good. That’s now what happened when New Scotland Yard was in this same spot. The fake photo here shows this gap in The Broadway very clearly.

Photo 7 shows that the other two towers on either side of the coffin tower will sport a slightly different, although closely related, decorative plumage. Too thin to be coffins.

Photo 9: cranes. And in photo 9, I am looking back up Victoria Street from the other side of Parliament Square, at the same cranes, which look pleasingly tumultuous, I think. I really hope that the era of such tumultuous crane clusters is not about to end. Or, to put it another way: I wonder if these apartments will sell at anything resembling a profit?

Reflections on how an abundance of news every day has transformed American politics

This abundance, brought into being by the internet, means that you don’t have to read or listen to anything you don’t want to read or listen to. Whatever view you have of the world and what is happening in it, you can spend whatever time you have each day for such matters to confirm what you already see and think. I now think that the Democrats can only win the Presidency if they get away with their cheating. Meanwhile, Democrats think Trump is just a sore loser and a conspiracy theorist.

And I think the latest Lockdown here is a great folly.

The big change in America, brought by the Internet, is that the “mainstream media” used to be just that, but are that no longer. Before the internet, the “mainstream media” (basically the big television news shows) spoke to almost everyone but a few truly contrarian oddballs and freaks. Now, if you don’t entirely care for the point of view they give you, you can go elsewhere.

This had a knock-on effect on the mainstream media themselves. They started to acquire those inverted commas. They began not to be so mainstream. Their centre-left, what-the-government-is-doing-is-what-matters, if-you-want-something-sorted-get-the-government-to-sort-it attitude mutated towards an extreme left, put-the-government-in-charge-of-everything, capitalism-is-evil agenda. Why? Because if you thought the problem with government was that there was too much of it, you could now go elsewhere for your daily news, and commentary. You could choose, and daily have reinforced for you, any “extreme” agenda that suited you, in a way that only freaks like Marxists and libertarians of my sort used, before the Internet, to do (by writing our own news for ourselves). Now, if the “mainstream media” tried to appeal to everyone, they’d end up appealing to no-one. The smart thing for them to do was to choose the most popular “extreme” agenda and run with that. Which is what they have done, and which is why calling them “mainstream” no longer makes nearly much sense. (It sill makes some sense, because they have gone with the most popular extreme agenda. Which is still a bit mainstream, hence the survival of the expression.)

All that was needed to turn America into a profoundly different place was for a rival “extreme” agenda to arise, comparable in volume and force to the dominant extreme agenda, and, with Donald Trump arriving on the scene and proclaiming such an agenda, there you have it, America now.

And each tribe spends its entire day that it can spare telling itself how right it is about everything, and what evil nincompoops the other fellows are.

I’m part of this. I’m a Trumpist now. A Trumpist with libertarian trimmings and libertarian reservations, but a Trumpist. And I duly think that the Democrats are, on the whole and with various polite exceptions and reservations, evil nincompoops.

All of which explains why my posting here yesterday evening, about literal reflections, although it began as an attempt to change the subject away from mere politics, actually didn’t really do that. What that ended up being about was the human inclination to see what we’re looking for, rather than what merely “is” there.

See also, Scott Adams on two movies.

Regency Street reflections

Despite not feeling a hundred percent, I managed to drag myself out of doors earlier today. This was among the first worthwhile photos I photoed:

The title of this posting makes it sound like I was being unusually thoughtful, when in Recency Street. But, as you can see, these reflections were actual reflections. Of the afternoon sun from beyond that white wall crashing into Regency Street and bouncing off the windows above and behind me. It’s an effect that happens quite often in that particular spot.

After I’d done my little burst of photoing, a couple of nearby hard hat guys, baffled but curious, then worked out what I was photoing and said something to that effect. The point being, they couldn’t at first see it. Cue an exchange of reflections (of the more metaphorical sort) about how we humans see past irrelevances like shadows and reflections to the shapes of the objects we look at, but cameras show us pictures with all the special lighting effects included. We make mental models of what we are looking at. Cameras just look.

Because of all the shiny glass that all modern cities contain nowadays, you see a lot of lighting effects of this sort in London. If you do see them, that is.

A walk like the one I did today would have tired me out even if I was fully fit, which, as I say, I now am not. So, more photos from today to follow, but for now, that’s it.

Shard rising

Allow me once again to flee the horrors of the casedemic that is now laying waste to my country, despite my earlier optimism about how sanity might prevail around now. Allow me instead to celebrate the construction of the Shard, which was in the process of happening exactly a decade ago:

The photo on the left there was photoed on October 13th 2010, and the one on the right exactly a decade ago on November 1st 2010. The location of the left hand photo explains itself. The one on the right was photoed in Hyde Park. This is not a place I often visit, but on that day I was with a visiting American lady who needed welcoming to London. The photo, as a photo, is nothing special. But better a bad photo of something interesting than a good photo of something boring.

Earlier that year, in August, I got luckier with the weather, and these two Shard-under-construction photos were photoed then:

The Shard was and is only starchitecture, but I like it.