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?

A gallery of mostly mundane things – unmundanely lit

As I spend less time accummulating photos and more time contemplating the ones I have, I more and more see that. for me, light is everything. Photography is, I find myself telling myself more and more often, light. For me, bad light equals bad photography, the sort of photography that involves lots of pressing of things like the “sharpen” button in my not-Photoshop programme. Good light presses that button for me.

October 21st 2018 was a good light day. In the days after it I did several postings based on photos I photoed that day. I did my favourite ever photo of Centre Point that day. I photoed how very blue the blue sky was that day. I photoed Bartok. I photoed Chinese lanterns. I photoed Compton.

I spent some of October 21st 2018 in the area around and to the north of Centre Point:

One of those photos, number 22 (of 25), requires a bit of an explanation. I like to photo the BT Tower. And I like to photo the reflection of the BT Tower in the big building at the top end of Tottenham Court Road. That photo is one of the few times I managed to photo both these things at the same time.

I think my favourite of the above photos may be number 2. Scaffolding, lit in a way that makes it, I think, downright magical. I also particularly like number 3, where you see both a reflection and a shadow, of the same pointy building.

f your are inclined towards enjoying such things, then enjoy. Click click click. It needn’t take you long.

Is “unmundanely” a word? It is now.

CCTV sign – Elizabeth Fry sign

Here are two signs that go rather too well together for comfort, I think you’ll agree:

And I bet I’m not the only one to have noticed, as I did in May 2017. The photos I photoed just before that and just after that were both moderately close-ups of the Walkie-Talkie, which gives you a rough idea of where this was.

Makes me think of this.

Although, when I image googled the Fry sign, the only images I got with the CCTV sign included were a couple of “alamy” photos. I hate “alamy” photos. They have “alamy” scrawled all over them.

Dramatic sky behind Parliament

Indeed. Photoed by me late this afternoon:

I photoed lots more photos today, but I also did a lot more walking today than I’ve been doing lately, and having, as I do, the choice between doing a long posting and going to bed quite late, and doing a short posting and going to bed sooner rather than later, I choose the latter.

I now intend (although I promise nothing) that more will follow about today’s excursion, including mention of the dramatic weather which caused that dramatic sky, and which caused me to be out photoing it.

Another building with a picture of a building on the outside of it

I was browsing through the photo-archives and I encountered this favourite photo from two years ago:

Makes a nice contrast with this photo recently posted here, and this one of the Royal Albert Hall. The point being, in those two photos, they got pretty much the effect they wanted, whereas with this earlier one, they got something a lot more interesting than they were going for.

Had I done an earlier posting featuring the above photo? That the photo had a name as well as a number in the archives suggested: yes. And so it proved.

Photos like this don’t date. If anything, after what they are of has vanished, they get better. Click on that link, and you’ll also see another photo of the same thing, done with a slightly wider angle, and including the entire crane that you can only seen the bottom of in the above photo.

The Royal Albert Hall with pictures of the Royal Albert Hall on it

Whenever 6k picks up on a posting I did here I always reckon that means I’m onto something, so I’m pleased that he noticed that posting I recently did about a building with a picture of itself on the front.

So, for him and for anyone else interested in such things, here’s another such circumstance, much more recent (February of this year), and much more spectacular. It’s the Royal Albert Hall, no less:

On the left, the big picture. And on the right, we can see the three elements involved in this sort of process. Top left, the ancient Greek looking frieze, that’s the actual Royal Albert Hall itself. On the right, the scaffolding, under a bog standard white covering. And then bottom left, occupying most of the picture, the photo (if that’s what it originally was) of the exact bit (or so I assume) of the Royal Albert Hall that it is covering.

The bit in the middle behind the statue is the also the building itself. “Shadows” is included in the categories list below, on account of there not being any real shadows, just fake ones, when it is just a flat surface. Which makes a real difference to how easy it is to see what the original building consists of. That difficulty actually being an early clue as to what’s really going on.

As often, the trees, although at least leafless, are not helping.

The statue in the front is of Prince Albert. On the other side of the Royal Albert Hall is his Memorial. For a view of the Royal Albert Hall from the same angle, but with rather less scaffolding, and also for some closer-up of this Prince Albert statue, see Royal Albert and his Hall.

LATER: In the original posting, the photo above on the left was a bad choice. I had a better one available, and that has now replaced the first photo.

Scaffolding as architecture

I’m not the only one who thinks scaffolding is pretty:

That’s not a house that is being worked on by builders. It’s .. a house. It’s finished. Here.

However, when architects start “designing” scaffolding, I think that for me the scaffolding loses a lot of its appeal. A lot of what I relish about how scaffolding looks is that the people who put it up don’t care how it looks. When they start caring, as the designer of this scaffolded house clearly did, scaffolding loses its essential aesthetic purity.

Anther way of putting this is that once architects start designing scaffolding, I fear that it may start falling down.

A photo of itself on the outside

In this earlier posting, about the very underwhelming lights of Piccadilly, I mentioned the relatively recent phenomenon of buildings covered in scaffolding, and the scaffolding then being covered with a picture of the building.

Last night, I came across an example of this in the photo-archives, dating from 2013:

That looks like a photo to me, made possible by the latest graphic trickery that they do with giant printers nowadays. My photo was taken through a bus window on a rather rainy day, but I think you can see what I’m on about.

We’re in Parliament Square. To the left is Parliament itself, and to the right, Westminster Abbey and Victoria Street. Is that St Margaret’s Church? At present I find the statues in the Square more diverting than the buildings around it. I’m in a rush to get out and get some exercise, so I’ll leave that question there. If nobody else answers it, I’ll try to answer it myself later.

2013 now seems to me to be about when this sort of thing started being done quite a lot, presumably because, around then, it could be done. But maybe it’s that I first noticed this happening around then. When archive-trawling I’ll try to see if I have any earlier examples of this sort of thing.

Once again, what we’re seeing is how a temporary circumstance takes the visual shackles off. If it’s temporary, you can do whatever you want, because if it isn’t liked, it’ll soon be gone. In this case, anti-trad grumblers didn’t have to endure this obvious shunning of an opportunity for anti-trad modernity for more than a brief while.

The lights of Piccadilly Circus – and for once I’m impressed

London contains many tourist attractions that are truly attractive, truly impressive. But I have never thought that the lights of Piccadilly Circus are one of those attractions. What a let down. Is that it? Is that all?

Usually they look like this:

I’m guessing that many a tourist, searching out these lights, has walked right past them. I mean, could those be them?

But about a year ago I happened to be in that part of London, and instead of silly bright colours, what I saw was this:

You may have to click on them to work out what is going on there. Some sort of Transformer type computer-trickery, it looks like. Whatever. Again, I’m not that impressed, although that could just be my terrible eyesight, and I don’t like it because I can’t make it out properly, unless I photo it and look at it later. But whatever, I only supply the three photos above as context for what followed:

And that I did like.

There’s been quite a lot of this kind of thing happening in London recently, this kind of thing being pictures of buildings, on buildings. Usually it’s because a building is being worked on and consequently covered in scaffolding, and then on the outside of the scaffolding they stick a picture of the building they’re working on. The above piece of advertising fun reminds me somewhat of that sort of thing, although it is contrived by different means and for a different purpose.

Win a home in London!

I haven’t been getting out enough, what with my back hurting. But today, I was determined to get out and about, as well as needing to do some shopping, and I decided to do that even before doing anything here.

The plan was I might manage to photo something of interest. When I got home, and took a close look at this, …:

… which shows an advert for a lottery the winner of which gets a new home in London, I thought maybe I had. Whenever I hear that you can win something as a prize in a game of chance, I suspect that the thing in question is proving harder to sell than had originally been assumed and they’ve got some to spare for things like lotteries. Did this advert signal a London new housing slowdown?

I went to the website in the advert to investigate. And it would appear that my suspicions may have been excessively suspicious. This is an Irish fund raising operation, and apparently someone won a similar competition in 2018. But on the other hand, that could mean that even back in 2018 they were having trouble shifting newly built London homes.

One thing I will say, which is that I’ve not seen this advert on a taxi before. Maybe the number of people in London who are only able to think of owning a London home by entering a lottery has now gone up. That’s not the entire market for London homes. That’s global. But it doesn’t help, if you’re selling these places.

Whatever the truth of such speculations, I did at least, at the website in question, encounter an excellent photo of the London City Island tower cluster, photoed on a nicer and brighter day than today has been:

London City Island has already been noticed with a posting here, not so long ago.