Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Lost in the City - # 110/2011

Over the last 20 years the City of London (the Square Mile - financial and trading district) has continued to go through a rapid and radical and highly expensive period of building renewal and transformation.  Here, glass and stone and natural light work together to create a new vista, and a new way of seeing things in a very old part of London close to the spot where the Romans founded their first London quayside.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bright City - # 109/2011

Yes, it's real.  While America was suffering from the severe storm that wrecked the east coast all the way up beyond NYC, I went down to the mouth of the Thames to photograph the views around the Thames Barrier - the massive defensive system built decades ago to defend London from rising sea levels.  We need it and, it is regularly deployed, several times a year, to block the incoming waters that would under certain conditions devastate London all the way up to Richmond. 

Looking west towards London and the Barrier we were confronted with the sight of this massive rain storm appoaching fast.  The grey clouds above us were shedding a surprising amount of light that, unexpededly, illuminated the huge towers of the Canary Wharf financial area. In the left corner of the photo you can see that one of the massive grey walls of the Barrier has actually been raised, although all the other passages remained open.

The photo was taken at about 17.30 hrs.  By 18.30 London was once again rejoicing under brilliant blue, rain-washed-clean, sun-blessed skies. Amazing!

Monday, 29 August 2011

On Whitechapel Station 108/2011

Continuing my series of random shots from around London we reach Whitechapel in East London. The railway here, dating from 1876, so not as old as others in London which go back to 1854!!!!! has been totally renewed.

The Whitechapel area of East London is ancient and for centuries has been the settling ground for foreign refugees and immigrants - 16th century Huguenots,Jews, and now Bangladeshies and Somalis. The bright new enamel panels along the platform celebrate the immigrant and traditional local cultures of the area.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Elegant metal-work - # 107/2011

The huge Paddington Station in west London is being restored and developed and all the glorious beauty of the massive roof is being put on display.

The station is huge and always extremely busy, so "artistic" photos are hard and maybe even totally  impossible. However, I was able to capture the beatuful flower petal pattern that decorates the roof arches.  The restoration work will bring these back to our view in all their glory.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Oh dear - # 106/2011

Oh dear! The tide is out and the muddy bank presents this weird image. Who or what is under the umbrella?  Did they sink down into the mud? 

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Lamp light at Richmond Lock - # 105/2011

Night falls and the lamps at Richmond Lock light up.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Slack water - # 104/2011

Slack water - that period when the tide is neither flowing in nor out. The water becomes calm and the lighting effect becomes special.  The setting sun begins to flood the sky with remarkable colours that change by the minute. For about 20 minutes every photo will be different. The air is still. The scene holds its breath waiting for the night.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Night fall at Richmond Lock - ~ 103/2011

It's the time of year when night photography is getting interesting again thanks to the earlier hour and the rewarding bursts of colour in the sky.  I missed the sky. Was using a fixed focus lens, but my companion, using a lens with a wider angle got a similar but far better shot which included a magnificent red sky.

Anyway, as the lights come on, the lock head watch house takes on a magical appearance.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Iron work - # 102/2011

I've left you somewhat bereft for a while. There are reasons for that, but none of them bad.

Walking around London these days one sees that (not withstanding the nasty riots in certain areas - which will pass, and which for various reasons happen as history wends its way forward, always looking back) this great city is looking remarkably good these days, and will be looking even better by the time the Olympic Games open next year. That's an understatement: it's going to look super!!!

I'm taking a close photographic look at the architectural forms and how they work to create supporting structure and also to please the eye.  Things went a bit wrong in the 1960s and 1970s but they are much improved now, and '60s-'70s monstrosities are fast being demolished.

Massive ironwork from the 19th century Canal and Steam age manages to endure and look eternally pleasing. Here is a detail of the ironwork in a bridge over the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice, near Paddington railway station.  Take the Underground to Warwick Avenue, and walk 200 yards down to Little Venice.