A French cat and a Roman dog

An autumn scene, in France, with a cat:

One these autumn photos, picked out by Mick Hartley. Other photos Hartley picked out feature some cows, a pig, a dog, and a horse.

And, an ancient Roman scene, with a dog:

Cave. As in: car vey. Or KV, as we used to say at my posh prep school, where, for all the good it did us, we actually did Latin. By which I mean we had it done to us.

Here. Via David Thompson.

The only house Zaha Hadid ever designed

Zaha Hadid Architects interests me because, Zaha Hadid having herself died, it is now run by a libertarian, Patrik Schumacher. People like this are rare, and we libertarians must make much of them. Also, they are interesting.

So, this house interests me:

That looks rather small. Rather disappointing.

But look at this:

That being, I presume, a faked up photo beforehand of how it was going to look. Now you’re talking. Because of the rather odd procedure I found myself using to get that photo from here (where I found the above two images) to here, I found myself emphasising the darkness of the place where this house was going to be built, making it look even more like a spaceship than, I presume, it actually does.

The bit at the top is not the Bridge of Starship Enterprise. No.

The 36,000-square-foot home, formally dubbed “Capital Hill Residence,” has many unique features, but one of the most outstanding may be its narrow tower, and what it supports — namely, the master bedroom, situated over 100 feet high. The tower’s supporting column includes a glass elevator and staircase.

Now that’s a Master Bedroom. Feminists: cower in terror. I love that it’s a woman that designed this. Would any male architect now dare to create such a thing? I also wonder, did Zaha Hadid ever have any run-ins with feminists? That would have been fun to see.

I particularly enjoyed the bit where Zaha Hadid first got the job, from the Russian oligarch who paid for all this:

“She drew a sketch on the napkin and I said, ‘You’re hired.'”

Classic Because-We-Can! architecture. In my version, La Hadid does her sketch on the back of a restaurant menu, but otherwise, it’s just like I said.

More London

Back in March 2019, on the same day and just before I photoed these photos, I photoed this photo:

What I like about that is what I also find weird about it, which is the way that this metal circle of 3D map information kind of hovers weightlessly over the pavement.

Luckily I soon found another photo which explained this weird effect with logic:

But now, there was another mystery. What is “morelondon”? Turns out it’s More London, which was the place where I was.

Here are some more photos I photoed at the same time as the two above:

The reason I made them look so small in this posting is in the hope that you will be deceived about what is going on, in photos 1 and 4 there, 1 especially, 4 in a general way, but 1 in a very particular way. Click and you’ll surely see what I mean.

The strange coloured-in statues are, I now learn, by Stephan Balkenhol. More about him here. At the time I recall wondering if they were Art, or just advertising of some kind. Art, it would seem.

Pavlova reflected … twice … and now here

One of the things I have learned from my stats page, which has been operating since the end of April of this year, is that quite a few of the people who come here like to rootle around in the archives. This makes sense. Much of goes up here doesn’t date. A pretty photo is a pretty photo, no matter when it was taken.

So, every so often I do a burst of transferring stuff to here from the old blog, making you liable to bump into it here. (At the old blog, you’re liable to be bombarded with “not secure” propaganda.) And yesterday, I was mostly been concentrating om Pavlova. Some of the postings at the other end of that link have been here quite a while, but several went up here yesterday for the first time.

And my favourite Pavlova photo that I copied across was, this one:

Which originally appeared on the old blog in July 2015.

I liked that photo in July 2015, I like it now, and I believe I’ll like it in 2025. And I hope something similar applies to you, if not with this photo, then maybe with some other photo, or some other bit of verbals, from way back.

Mirror and white

As I said, I didn’t do much photoing when I met up recently with GodDaughter2. But I did do some. Of this dazzling object, for instance, in a shop window:

This is why I love digital photography. I would hate to live with that Thing on a permanent basis. But photoing it was great fun, not least because I had no idea how it would turn out, what with all those reflections.

I called the photos “Silver+White”. But … silver? Is “mirror” a colour? It is, see above, now.

I made me think of Jeff Koons, whose work is of this same sort of tastefulness and restraint, is it not? Has Koons ever done a car like this? I googled “jeff koons silver car”, and got the answer. No, he has never done a car like this. But, he has done a car like this. A BMW as it happens. Again, glad someone photoed it, even if not me. But, definitely wouldn’t want to own it.

A model of London Bridge that is hard to photo

One of the more frustrating of the photo-expeditions I have done in the last few years was one to the Church of St Magnus the Martyr.

I was there, around a year ago. to photo a model of Old London Bridge, which I had found out about in some way that I now forget. And the model was there. That wasn’t the frustration. What was the frustration was that photographically, this model pretty much defeated me. Although clearly visible and clearly identifiable for what it was, it was protected by the photographic equivalent of armour plating, in the form of a very shiny glass box.

I still took lots of photos, and from the selection of those that I now show you, you do get some idea of what sort of model this is and how it looks in its ecclesiastical surroundings:

The less these photos are about the details of the model and the more they are about the model as a whole and its surroundings, the better they are, and I biased my choice of what to post here I had in that direction. So they are worth a click through, if London’s eccentricities and oddities are of interest to you.

I image-googled this model, and the results were not as disappointing as my own efforts but still rather disappointing. This model has been there since 1987, but at no time, then or since, has anyone taken any really classy photos of it, or not any that the internet seems to be have been told about. (If commenters can prove me wrong, I’d be be very happy.)

There are some photos of this model, which are definitely better ones than mine from the point of view of showing the details of the Thing, here. But even that photoer struggled, I think. As did this guy.

It would be nice if this church were to pick itself a Real Photographer, and let him have a go at this Thing, with Real Photographer type lighting, with the glass temporarily removed, and maybe with some specially supplied backgrounds to screen out the church clutter, and also all the uneven light that crashes into the church through its church windows. Maybe let the RP take the whole Thing to a studio of some sort.

That would be nice for the likes of me. But maybe the people running this church already rather resent the number of godless tourists of my sort who already come tramping into their House of God to gawp at and and to photo this bridge model, and who then tramp out again, ever to be seen again unless they want more photos of the model. And the last thing they want is to encourage a whole new flood of such people. If my guess is right, I can’t say I blame them, but it is just a guess and I could be quite wrong.

I could find no reference to this London Bridge model at the church’s own website, but again, that could merely be because I am terrible at searching websites.

There is another picture of this church in an earlier posting I did here about the Monument, showing how near that edifice is to this church.

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.

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.

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.

Woodcat and Oscar

Am I becoming a cat lady in my old age? Probably. Although it may be more that, as I get older, I become less bothered about pretending not to be a cat lady, having always been one.

That’s Oscar, and a wooden cat, photoed just as I was about to leave GodDaughter2’s family in the South of France last January, and head for Carcassonne airport and back to London. I was all packed up and read to go, and waiting. So I filled the time photoing the two cats in question.

The reason I show so many photos of this photo-session is that if I merely showed you one of the last two, of Oscar next to Woodcat, you’d be assuming that Oscar was there, and I put Woodcat next to him. But, the above chronologically displayed photos show that I was photoing Woodcat, who remained immobile throughout, and then Oscar joined in. Rather obligingly, I think.