One for the “You Are Here” collection

Nowadays, cameras can tell you exactly where you were when you took a photo, as well as exactly when you took it. But I can’t be doing with all that. I prefer taking photos like this one as I do my out-and-abouting, that say, as this one does, “You Are Here”:

And that one says it in French. Excellent.

We’re in the Pompidou Centre in Paris, in the bitterly cold February of 2012. Even remembering how cold that visit was makes me shudder now. But the Pompidou Centre itself was warm enough, and the views in it and from it were most diverting.

I have quite a few Paris postings here now, but have yet to transfer any of the postings from the old blog that I did about that earlier 2012 trip . My favourite, from a more recent and much warmer visit, featured my all time favourite food photo.

Ship in a bottle in Trafalgar Square

Ten years ago, I photoed this, in Trafalgar Square, on the plinth where they keep having different sculptures:

But I immediately forgot about it, and only learned about it again now.

But, the internet being the internet, I was quickly able to find out all about it.

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.

Wooden maps of the world’s cities

So I did rootle through the latest stuff at This Is Why I’m Broke, and came upon these rather classy looking carved wooden maps of cities:

The one on the left is London, and sadly, nobody told them that London has been doing a lot of expanding lately, in general, and in particular out eastwards. I’d have preferred wider coverage, including such things as the Thames Barrier. Not that it matters to me, because CDs and books mean I have no wall space at all for such things.

The one on the right is Brisbane. I include this map because the river that runs through Brisbane and which presumably provoked that city’s creation, is positively Parisian in its convolutedness. Apparently, this Brisbane river is called the Brisbane River. I did not know any of this.

Butterflies in the windows of Harrods – 2011

Yes, in February 2011, I was photoing butterflies, in shopwindows:

And yes, Harrods.

There’s another art that must surely have become a bit more elaborate since the arrival of digital photography. If your window display s temporary, why bother to go to too much bother? But if you can easily go snap and make it rather more permanent, then you’ll surely bother that little bit more.

One of the better talks I have ever given concerned the impact of digital photography, and in that I recall mentioning someone who used digital photography to “collect”, to so speak, butterflies. Real ones. By photoing them rather than by stabbing them with pins. If I’d thought of shop-window displays when preparing that talk, I might have mentioned them also, along with graffiti and ice sculpture.

Photoer photos guardsman

I like this photo, which I photoed in the summer of 2013, somewhere in the vicinity of Victoria Station, Victoria Street, or some such place:

I like it for lots of reasons, including that it is a fine example of the modified cliché photo. What could be more banal than a bloke photoing a guardsman, in the Buckingham Palace part of London? Yet the manner in which this scene is presented is most unusual.

Like I say, I like it. But I don’t understand it. How – and for that matter why – was that effect created, behind an office door of impeccable dullness and insignificance? They are clearly not shadows of an actual photoer and an actual guardsman, standing behind me as I photo, because where is my shadow? Are the photoer and the guardsman cardboard cut-outs? If so, the cardboard of the guardsman’s bayonet is very thin and vulnerable.

Are these just big bits of paper, stuck on the inside of the windows? Is it that straightforward? But if so, how come the shadows of the two guys seems of the same sort as the shadow of the two poles with the rope hanging in between them? Which appears to be a real shadow of a real thing, see below the shadow.

Are the two guys 3D sculptures?  But if so, why?  Why go to all that bother in such a place?

And what is that strange ghost-like thing, just to the right of the photoer?

I like puzzle photos, but I prefer it when the puzzle is soluble.

Big Things above three urinals

Indeed. To celebrate being able to post photos again with ease, this:

We’re in the Gents, at the Lord Palmerston pub, Dartmouth Park Hill. Although, they call it the “Lords”.

The above photo was photoed in 2015. I’d just been checking out the view from that Bridge that goes over Archway, from which you can see London’s Big Things for real. I went back to this Lords Toilet more recently, to try to get a photo that would work for the permanent top of this blog, but the Big Things had gone. Shame. Maybe looking at giant architectural penises proved off-putting for those seeking to piss through their own smaller penises.

Rabbits in a tray on a hamper

I am about to embark upon various medical complications involving things like blood tests, so am rather preoccupied today. I’ll probably manage more later, but meanwhile, since it’s Friday, here are some rabbits I photoed somewhere in the vicinity of Victoria Station, in 2013:

Also plates, a hamper, a sofa, some flowers. But it was the rabbits that got my attention.

More to come, I hope. I don’t actually promise, but I nearly do.

LATER: Another rabbit, made of metal, on a church, in Scotland.

That way that people hold their spectacles and their mobile

One from the “I just like it” photo-archive:

I can tell from the background, and in particular the lion statue, that we are walking east across Westminster Bridge.

The Mary Wollstonecraft Memorial: The winner and the runner-up

On the left, the winner of the Mary Wollstonecraft memorial competition. On the right, the runner-up.

I learned about all this from Mick Hartley. Here‘s what Hartley says about the Maggi Hambling winner, and here‘s what he says about the Martin Jennings runner-up.

My only strong opinion is that the Maggi Hambling one looks so tacky. Like something you’d (actually not) buy, for ten quid, in a “gift” shop. Hartley says that Maggi Hambling’s design is “about Maggi Hambling”. But it is hardly even about that. It’s just some banal 3D picture of a conventionally pretty woman with no clothes on, at the top a pile of stuff.

Part of my irritation is indeed that Maggi Hambling breaks the conventions of such statues. The usual statue of someone is a likeness of them, fully clothed. But that’s a pretty good convention, I think. The statue needs to look the way whoever it was looked, at their best and most characteristic. If they did a particular job, they need to be wearing the uniform for that job.

Maggi Hambling is quoted by the Standard saying we’re missing the point. I get the point. I see what she was trying to do. And quite aside from the fact that it’s not a statue of Mary Wollstonecraft but instead of a generic naked woman, I just don’t much like what she ended up doing.

Will the runner-up end up winning?