Wednesday, 31 October 2007

some less usual views of Ham House (contd)- # 278

I'm trying to present a few unusual, or slightly unexpected and unconventional snaps of Ham House. I'm sorry if yesterday's made some of you feel queasy:......that's good! I succeeded!

As you walk down Melancholy Walk towards the Thames.......

you will pass a break in the high wall (look closely at the photo of the Walk and you will see a trace of the gap part-hidden between the trees on the right).
This gap was purposely engineered by the garden designer (perhaps later in time as the house developed and as the centuries progressed) to create a delightful vista outwards from the gardens, and as we see, looking inwards from the outside.
The sudden appearance of the house, like this, is a delightful surprise. It's hard to believe you are seeing something that is almost 400 years old.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Look up, not down, and beware of the "straight ahead" - # 277

Here is another "out of the ordinary" view of Ham House. Enlarge the picture to see the fine detail around the edge of the roof. How many people ever bother to look up to discover such detail? The master builders and the commissioning owner obviously paid attention to detail - (not cheap!)
Ref. some comments on yesterday's post: make no mistake, the house is in fine condition considering it was built in 1610! We strive to keep it that way.
New comers to R u T DP may like to look back at posts #9, 10, 11,12, 34, 49, 65 to see a hint of some of the things I get up to.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Ham House - # 276

Regulars know they will find other views of Ham House on this site. Nevertheless I have decided to show this unconventional image. Unfortunately the sun caused a flare (no lens hood on my Olympus C7070 compact) but never mind. This shot was taken at about 09.00 hrs with the camera pointing due south.

I wanted to get the "bright side/dark side" effect and also to emphasise the windows against the black silhouette effect.

The house was built in 1610, and as some of you know, I spend time there helping to repair the unrepairable. (The right hand side bar has a link to Ham House which is now closed for the winter but will open over the Christmas period, enhanced by the Christmas fairy lights display I will have helped to design and lay out)

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Times change (contd.)- # 275

So here we see how the 18th century stables for the 70 barge horses have been recently coverted from an "old forge" (i.e. a car repair shop) to "upscale cottages" for "knowledge workers". Down below we see how the lane down to the river has gone from "approach route for industrial towing horses" and "muddy run for stream and village sewer" to "somewhere to park my Mercedes (if I'm lucky to get there first)".
The original posting was also an exercise in "how to evoke atmosphere by visual means". The picture was very empty because I wanted to evoke "change, passing, disappearance". (In my opinion it didn't work that well). Richard's (justifiably) acid comment was in the context of a discussion we have been having on the evocation of mood in photographs, and why some things fail, or provoke different reactions in different viewers.

The photos here are just illustrative "snaps" and would mean nothing at all without words. But some photos do not need words to evoke powerful emotions.

(For Ming in NYC......the rivers and canals have "tow paths" on either side. The horses tow the barges up and down the river and the bargee steers it out from the bank - a tricky operation. You do not have a horse on each bank. I hope that helps. There is a very old written reference to Ham being a change over point).

Saturday, 27 October 2007

"Rounding off" a pleasant evening - # 274

Another in the Richmond upon Thames Daily Photo "Bar Fly" series.

For those not familiar with English the expression "rounding off" refers to "completing a job rather well". But here, I'm making a small reference to the pleasantly rounded shape of the canopy over the bar at the Sun Inn. So, it all hangs together nicely, and I can wish you all a Happy Weekend!

P.S. to those who enjoyed yesterday's story about the 70 barge horses: tomorrow, I will show a photo of the stables and the lane down to the river.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Times change - # 273

For more than 100 years until the arrival of steam power this spot - the end of River Lane, Petersham - was a hive of industry. Cargo barges sailed up and down river carrying important cargoes of grain, hides and other commodities to and from London and its great sea port.

At this point they had to change from sail to being pulled by horse because the river became inconvenient to navigate.

At any one time 70 barge-horses were available in stables ready to take on the next barge, or drop it off. This was no quiet beauty-spot, but an important transport interchange.

Nothing is fixed...........change happens, and it happens quickly.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Lion House Richmond- # 272

I have always liked this building and was sad to see it looking more and more run down over the years. Then at last a developer took it restored its good looks.

Others might say that it's just another bit of Art Deco, just one of many, but I like its black and white tiled facade, the rectilinear windows and the curved "marine style" windows in the upper stories. Buildings like this are obviously "modern", but they always make me feel at home, and for some reason always make me feel as if the sun is shining and Spring is in the air. Unfortunately, not all modern buildings do this.

Today the spacious ground floor area hosts a large and popular Pizza Express restaurant.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Chile in Richmond - # 271

Visitors to Richmond are surprised to find a statue to the hero of modern Chile, General O'Higgins.
He came to Richmond in 1795 and obviously liked it.
Here he is, looking down on the river, beside the bridge.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Amazing what a bit of sunshine can do - # 270

Here they are, the lucky residents, soaking up the brilliant October sunshine. They've taken all the "Tidetables Cafe" chairs and ranged them facing the sun, looking directly out towards the river. That's real initiative!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Treescape with sunset behind- # 269

As I crossed "the Copse" in Ham I looked and saw: "Wow, that's striking, and very moving". I snapped 5 frames on different exposures. This was "the most appropriate/nearest to the feeling"..........but it has failed. Why?

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Canoes setting off.- # 268

...brilliant sunshine reflected by the cold river water as canoeists of the Richmond club set out (the view is looking towards Petersham Meadows, looking almost due south).

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Three people - # 266

Another photograph in the Richmond upon Thames Daily Photo "Bar Fly" series.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Winter !- # 265

Richmond cultivates itself as a boutique shopping destination. This display of BLACK reached out and grabbed me as I walked by. (Somewhat disturbing). The shop is COP. COPINE on Hill Rise - severity in soft sheep's wool.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

The cafes of Richmond 10 - # 264

This is the Tidetables Cafe under the arch of Richmond Bridge (we saw the terrace yesterday, bathed in sunshine).

I took several shots of the reflection. This is the one a chose, so I hope you like it. The scene is a bit cluttered; but why not? It's in context.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Autumn sun, Richmond riverside - # 263

....a perfect October day, with brilliant sun, declining in the west - ideal photographer's light.
People enjoying the river and the sun, pigeons "doing their thing" - I am really using these as a back-drop in an attempt to photograph shadows.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

View towards Petersham from the ridge, Richmond Park- # 262

A postcard snap; looking down from the high slope of Richmond Park towards the entry to Petersham Village - (a much photographed scene).

We can see the 17th C St. Peter's church, an 18th C house (good looking but nothing out of the ordinary for the area) and the 1902 "Arts & Crafts" style pub "The Dysart Arms", with its oak beams and English style red-tiled pitched roof and mock Tudor style chimneys.

In the distance are the public housing tower blocks of Brentford, at the point where the historic Grand Union Canal enters the Thames Just out of sight behind the tower blocks is the start of the so called "Golden Mile" with the iconic and magnificent 1930s Art Deco factory buildings some of which were featured in earlier posts.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Summer signs off - final - # 261

Positively the finest and the last apple...Rebecca ate it for breakfast! Note the wasp reconnaissance mission on the left. (OK, I confess, this shot is from last year when I had a bumper crop. This year the tree rested and we had almost nothing. So in a way, I suppose, this was "the last apple" - 'til next year).

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Cogitating - # 260

Oh, hallo. Yes, sit down: chat. Nothing's happening here, just now.

You know, yesterday, Isabella and that Blogwatcher bloke made some interesting points.

The Dysart was built in 1902 as a "real English pub", and now it's moved into being a stylish destination for good "Real Ale" fine wine, food and excellent music. But what it's really done is follow the demographic and economic transformation of the area.

100 years ago Ham and Petersham was an out the way bend in the river: home to market gardeners, cottage dwellers and a remarkable collection of mansions built for first rate early 18th C gentry. By the 1930-40's it was home to a cutting edge aircraft factory building advanced military aircraft, and a secret anti-aircraft radar research establishment hiding in a mock church tower. Now, the village is home to music and media millionaires, leading academics and captains of industry, all living cheek by jowel with a good selection of "ordinary folk".

In it's own funny way the transformation of the Dysart Arms from "English pub" to "music venue" charts the rise of economic and social fortune.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

In good company - # 259

Here's my "bar fly" shot for this week end. No dramatic deep contrast with moody b&w treatment. No ambiguity or existential inferences. Just a nice drink and a good chat after a job well done.

The Dysart Arms (an "Arts and Crafts" English style pub crafted in 1902) has been refurbished, preserving and enhancing the best of the "Arts and Crafts" features and combining them with a very clean minimalist 21st C uncluttered decor.

The music programme is now extensive and nightly, with excellent musicians in jazz and classical styles, vocal and instrumental. The sound system is top notch. (Yes, I do know the owner, but that is incidental).

Friday, 12 October 2007

A flair for flare - # 258

Flair: Selective instinct for what is excellent. Flare: Dazzling irregular light, unshaded flame in open air. (Source: Oxford English Dictionary).
The track is "Melancholy Walk" alongside Ham House. It is far from melancholy, and the name puzzles me.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Autumn clean up - # 257

A gardener at Ham House works in the shadow of the huge chestnut trees in the brilliant autumn sunshine.

The original was in colour but I chose B&W to make the best of the shadows (and to reduce that nasty flair at the top left! Sorry about that.)

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

1-2-3 - # 256

Just my little joke, and for once I think, my horizon is level. (snapped at Teddington Lock - a nice place to relax by the river).

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Hunters gathering - # 255

I enjoyed watching these two for several minutes. They were engrossed, having a great time, and totally focused on something they were convinced was there and catchable.
This is just a snap of two lads enjoying the river and the sunshine, a whole cosmos away from the "surreal and fantastic illusions" phase of the recent set of photos.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Teddington weir- # 254

About 25 miles upstream from the mouth of the Thames is Teddington Lock. This is the limit of the tidal run of the river.
Just out of shot on the right bank are Teddington film and TV studios.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Lunch on the terrace - # 253

Now you can all see what yesterday's pigeon found so interesting. The terrace at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park is enjoyable, rain or shine, and if you look hard you can see the pin prick that is Windsor Castle about 15 miles away, and even all the way to the Chiltern Hills.

P.S....sorry, Richard, but the photographic fashion model is just out of shot beyond the right hand border. You have to take my word for that.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

The Opportunist - # 252

Friday was gorgeous: in full sunshine up on the west facing scarp of Richmond Park, enjoying the terrace of Pembroke Lodge, the lone pigeon (strangely alone in fact - where were all his pestilential allies?) surveyed the lunchers and "Kaffeeklatschers", the photographic fashion models visiting their mothers for the weekend, and entrepreneurs hatching new retail concepts in congenial surroundings. He waited for me to capture him on his perch and then swooped down across my table just to demonstrate his superb flying ability. I love to watch pigeons flying. They are so skilled.

Friday, 5 October 2007

Natural break - # 251

Moving away from illusions and back to the real, (and suffering a mild crisis in the photo archive), here is another of my "bar fly" shots. I chose this because I liked the apparent energy and enthusiasm for the job shown by the bar maid (or does one call them "beverage service associates" these days?). Perhaps I shall have to introduce a "weekly bar fly photo", but that might be too stressful for my regular companion.

I had hoped to feature the refurbishment and transformation into cool 21st century minimalist elegance of my local watering hole, but the photos were not good enough. I must try again.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

The substance of all illusions - # 250

(...a bit late today having spent part of my "blog time" mending a bicycle tyre). Thanks to all who commented and helped to develop a nice little discussion yesterday around my "illusions" created with mud, sky, pebbles and water. I had planned to end with this - and you all brought the conversation nicely around to it. This is what they are made of: bits of this and that, and sometimes tatty. But when you pick them up and dream they can be powerful. (I hope that's not trite. I think my old English master might have looked down his nose at me.)

I think I am happier struggling with the camera to make a "photograph", rather than playing at "graphic art". But I have enjoyed the week.......I wish you an (early) Happy Weekend.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Water, mud and pebbles in Richmond Park (tweaked) - # 249

Not everyone will like this, but it I enjoyed playing around with the images. I just tweaked shadows and highlights and found the effect quite pleasing.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Turbulent sky, calm pond- # 248

Striving to make the best of some very dull weather, I continued to enjoy the reflections in the pond.

Suddenly the sun began to burn through the cloud and this dramatic effect appeared.

I was photographing the stick in the water. Suddenly it took on the appearance of a flying broomstick out of a Harry Potter story, shot down and lying wrecked in a magical sea, or perhaps a derelict space ship in a primordial gas cloud close to the beginning of time (well, something like that, probably, eh?

Monday, 1 October 2007

Upsidedown world - # 247

Walking around the "Heron's Pond" beside Ham Gate in Richmond Park I became entranced by the reflections and illusions, and was even more surprised when I came to edit the pictures. For a moment I forgot "which way was up".

Almost everything in this picture is "somewhere else", and not where it at first seems to be.

Children seem to be comfortable inhabiting such a world , but adults become uneasy. But it's OK as long as you understand the rules.