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.

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.

Cromwell plus scaffolding

I grow increasingly fond of the statue of Oliver Cromwell, which is right next to Parliament itself rather than out in Parliament Square like Churchill, Gandhi, Smuts, Mandela and the rest of them.

Here, photoed on February 5th, is one of my more recent photos of this Cromwell statue:

I like that because although Oliver himself is very small, he is still very recognisable, and also because he is small you get lots of context. In this case, you get Parliament, in the form of … that big tower, the other one from Big Ben.

And, you get a zillion tons of scaffolding, including scaffolding with big white sheets spread out over it, which makes for a constantly changing background for this statue.

London’s Parliament is now one of the great epicentres of the scaffolding industry. This being because Parliament is sacred and must at all cost be preserved. Yet, it is collapsing, both inside and out. My understanding is that it is currently being entirely rebuilt, but that this total rebuild is having to be visually disguised as a mere refurbishment. Seriously, it might well have made more sense to flatten the entire place, then rebuild it entirely, with the outside being meticulously reconstructed to make it look as if nothing major had happened.

Meanwhile, it’s all a great background for Oliver. Memo to self: Dig out more photos of this statue, with varying backgrounds, and show them here.

Look back along Hobart Place at roof clutter – and …

A few days ago, I walked beyond the top end of Victoria, beyond Victoria Station, at the top end of Grosvenor Gardens, and I saw this:

But it was getting dark when I first photoed the above scene, so this afternoon I went back, to see if I could do better. And I think I did. Roof clutter plus The Wheel. I love roof clutter, and I love to photo The Wheel in unobvious ways, that being a view of The Wheel that no longer exists. So The Wheel, only just visible above some roof clutter. Just the thing.

While searching out the exact best spot to photo photos like that one, I moved in the opposite direction of The Wheel, so as to see more of The Wheel. I found myself in a place. A place called Hobart Place. And looking back along Hobart Place, I not only got the above photo, but also discovered another view, which I had not been expecting:

Not so long ago you could see the Shard from just outside Victoria Station, looking down Victoria Street, but those days are now gone, with the new office blocks that have been built on the right side of Victoria Street looking down it, just past Strutton Ground. But it turns out that you can see the Shard from Hobart Place. For the time being, anyway.

The top of the Shard is a bit of a muddle, but it is a very recognisable muddle.

Here’s a photo I took which combines both the above views:

I should probably have another go at that one. But, you can just about make out those two Big Things, above all the stuff in the foreground. What that big grey building in the middle with the particularly excellent roof clutter, I do not know. Should be easy enough to find out, if I really want to.

In the second of the above photos, the one with the Shard in it, you can also see the rainbow flag featured in the first of these three photos, the one of the top of 55 Broadway. I promise nothing, but that’s a building that deserves a posting of its own.