Tuesday 30 December 2008

One table - # 08/294

....two coffee mugs, three cigarette butts, and four chairs.

Monday 29 December 2008

The eternal Golf Sale - # 08/294

...Hmmmm, well: some of you commented that the previous picture of three people enjoying their cup of tea outdoors was "too cold". Quite right. But just spare a thought for this chap. Day in day out, for roughly 365 days a year, minus the odd day when everything is closed, he advertises what seems to be a permanently on-going sale of golf equipment at knock-down prices. On the coldest days he stands on a tiny square of cardboard to insulate his feet. He is wrapped up so that his face is almost invisible and protected from the wind, and he stands stock still like a statue. Think about him sometimes. Does Tiger Woods even know he exists?

Friday 26 December 2008

The pleasure of living in a northern clime - # 08/293

Bright river, bright party, grey day. Tea for three by the river Thames in Richmond at Christmas.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Monday 22 December 2008

The Charity Shop, The (benefit) Cheque Casher and the Bookmaker - # 08/291

The former investment banker at the far right seems to have taken up a strategic hedging position.

Friday 19 December 2008

The French Menu or Lost in Translation - # 08/290

Never go to a restaurant without your beanbag, and always switch off the flash. Become anti-social and don't talk to anyone sitting around you. Get lost in your own little world. But don't stay like that for more than 2 minutes, or else no-one will invite to next year's party. Or - as Mrs 'roony says - "Put it away now, Dear".

Thursday 18 December 2008

After the party - # 08/289

The party-animal needs plenty of stamina at this time of year; and not the least of those qualities is having strong eardrums that withstand the lively cacophony of chatter and a good larynx to ensure that your voice is heard above all. (I'm still hoarse, and mildly deaf, but it was a nice evening).

Camera: Olympus C7070 wz, the strap pulled tight against my rigid kneck and being held very still for longer than I care to remember: naturally, no flash.

Tuesday 16 December 2008

Superficial affluence - # 08/288

Photo from a country currently at war. I could add a few other things but that'll do for now.

Saturday 13 December 2008

Ah, yes. I remember Menton - # 08/287


636 miles away.

Compare the colours, the humidity, the temperature. Mull it over inside your head. Think of place and time and circumstance and how they affect what you do and who you are, and what you become.

.....scene walking beside the Thames approaching Kingston Bridge coming upriver from Richmond.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Bentall's Centre, Kingston - # 08/286

I've been trying to capture a number of things by after dark photography. It's cold, and being down by the Thames, it's damp. Added to that, my "Best Boy and Grip" has got himself a consulting contract that has taken him off to Turkey, so I'm on my own in the cold, damp dark. Worse still...............the Bar Fly is now bereft of support!!!!!

I've also been asked to compile a "coffee table photo book" and this is taking a fair bit of time at the moment.

So, because I'm not producing anything on Richmond upon Thames DP that is in the slightest bit engaging, annoying or amusing at the moment, I think I must step back for while and re-group and rebuild my strength. I'll be back, but I'm not sure when. Thanks to all of you who have been such good companions.

Tuesday 9 December 2008

Structure and tone - # 08/285

Entrance arch to Bentall's shopping mall in Kingston

Monday 8 December 2008

Desaturation - Separation - # 08/284

Shining light reflected by water - catching the eye and demanding attention, arresting my thought, uplifting: figures dressed colourfully but separate and alien patrolling dark asphalt: too early to illuminate, too late to expose: only nature is alarmingly bright in leaves that refuse to fall.

I just had to photograph this scene - but I can't work out I why it moved me so much.

Sunday 7 December 2008

Hogsmill - like molten chocolate - # 08/283

Lot's of dithering over this one: B&W or show off how it catches the late afternoon December sun? Should we admire the tints of the reddish brick houses reflected and the hint of the blue winter sky in the smoother water, or go for the remarkable tonality of the B&W print?

The Hogsmill is a fast flowing downland stream that's provided fresh water for millenia and then in later years power to drive industry. At this point it strikes the nose of an island and runs over a weir built for the watermill that stood there. It then gushes fast and hard into the Thames.

I love the way the ruffled water turns into a sort of thick treacly mass as it flows over the weir and then breaks into a mass of sprinkles and turns white.

It's just another snap in my series of attempts to catch the essence of the water flowing in the many streams around the area.

Saturday 6 December 2008

The Hardware Store - # 08/282

It all goes out first thing in the morning and it all goes back in last thing at night. What would we do without this shop and its dedicated owner?

This photo is a tribute to http://cergipontin.blogspot.com/2008/11/paris-14eme-western-affaires.html showing us a similar mainstay of society in Paris. Thank you "Cergie" for your frequent visits to that bane of La Belle France: L'Angleterre. ;-)

Friday 5 December 2008

Fleurie! - # 08/281

I was allowed out last night.

Wednesday 3 December 2008

Cold comfort - # 08/280

The dark river looks very forbidding and unattractive. The quayside is deserted, and the bright lights cry in vain trying to attract visitors to the restaurants and bars. Some will come a little later in the evening, but it's mid-week, and quite cold in that sort of damp unpleasant North-East Wind kind of way that you get used to if you are British.

If you are not sure what a North-East Wind is like, find the city of Hull on the map, and go there in winter. The wind blows straight out of the arctic and bites you in half. It's good for your moral fibre. Eskimos will understand.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Rushing homeward - # 08/279

Just a snap looking from Kingston Bridge (one of the oldest bridge crossings over the Thames - even a Roman bridge? I must check it.) towards the centre. As you know I generally don't "do" people, but I like to show an ordinary street scene now and then. As a town with both a university and higher education colleges Kingston has a large population of youngsters around about. It's also a major retail shopping centre. The street scene reflects all this.

Monday 1 December 2008

Hog's Mill Blues - # 08/278

What's going on here? Taken at the "Blue Hour" of around sunset, the white balance has been corrected to render true whites in the lamp light but, as a result, it has picked out the high proportion of blue light in the spectrum cast by the sinking sun. Actually the sky looked very dark and overcast, so it was a bit of an "Isaac Newton Moment" to see the result of a simple tweak of the camera. J-W von Goethe would have rushed to write a whole new chapter of Colour Theory.

More important:
..........admire the way the light reflects on the fast flowing Hog's Mill - an ancient, gushing, powerful little stream that runs into the Thames at Kingston. See it flow under the dark arch of the very old "Claterne Bridge" (so called because of the noise of clattering mediaeval merchants' carts passing across).

..........admire the way that the old Thames riverside quay area at Kingston has been redevolped (as usual, these days) into a "leisure area".

..........looming behind is the mass of the 1930s Surrey County Council offices, and around about are the modernised remnants of Kingston's mediaeval past.

It's a pleasant area to inhabit. I hope that the threatening financial crisis, which will hit very hard in the London Area, doesn't lead to acres of empty, unwanted bars and restaurants. In that case I will have to take another even bluer image.

Sunday 30 November 2008

The Grey Horse! - # 08/277

This is IT! So much so that 19 years ago, when my 15 year old son took me there, he had to tell me too "cool it" and threatened not to take me again. However, just recently he told me that the "Hamsters" are still playing there after all these years, and I ought to go. "You'd enjoy yourself, Daddy". This certainly is THE premier live music venue in Kingston upon Thames...and look!!!....it's "EVERY EVENING 7 DAYS A WEEK"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday 29 November 2008

Not so cosy outlook?- # 08/276

Warm winter scene at the market with hot spicy seasonal stuff and a nice projection of a warm glow. Last year it seemed as if everyone had money to burn, and stability would stretch on forever. This year the cash all burned away and many will face hard times. Already the Repossession Notices are appearing in the windows of closed shop premises.

Friday 28 November 2008

Late opening - quick fix - on the Town!- # 08/275

How do I look? How am I doing? Where am I going? Who will I meet? Such trivia! Such style! We are not savages, you know!

Wednesday 26 November 2008

El Mariachi! - # 08/274

I really must go. But Baby, it's cold outside. I really can't stay. But Baby, it's cold outside. ...............Ahh, but it's cold outside.

Camera: Olympus E3. Lens 14-35 1:2.0 Hand held. Total weight 2.0 Kg. Clothing: extra thick padded winter trousers; 100% wind proof coat with special padded inner layer worn over thick Shetland pullover; touch sensitive, thin, warm high-tech gloves for camera operation; cotton, wind proof sailor's cap. Sometimes I ask myself "Why?"

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Planet China! Richer Sounds! Japanese accompaniment - # 08/273

Moving forward, changing pace, changing gear, increasing power, focusing and concentrating. Chaotic yet ordered. Following visible instructions and navigating by instinct. Richmond upon Thames Daily Photo is evolving into its next phase, gathering new images, striking out into new areas of experience - slowly but surely.

Sunday 23 November 2008

A walk through Time - # 08/272

This late evening scene in the Market Square of Kingston upon Thames (next town, 5 miles along from Richmond) shows us 1,000 years of unbroken history and the activities have not changed.

The buildings show us a 400 year span, just hidden behind the crowd is a spot where 10th Century Saxon Kings were crowned before the Normans arrived in 1066, and the trading has always been there, with river transport and quayside just a few steps away behind the buildings.

As a maritime and trading nation Britain has always been an island where many races are seen and many languages heard.

Townscapes like this fascinate me.

Saturday 22 November 2008

The last bus - # 08/271

Just what you don't want to see on a cold winter night.

(P.S. Sorry for the lack of images and comment at the moment. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible).

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Tactical conference - # 08/270

Two conservators discussing the removal of the tapestry.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Wavelets on Water, Teddington Lock - # 08/269

Recently I've enjoyed trying to capture different patterns on water. There's nothing dramatic......this is soft Richmond upon Thames, after all. Nevertheless, I took a little bit of time in choosing this. I find it interesting because if you study it you realise that you can see the green of the trees on the river bank and even a fleck or two of the brilliant blue sky. This is what gives the water that rather scratchy look.

In other words there is actually more in the image than you think: but don't spend as much time looking as I did preparing this post!! ;-)

Monday 17 November 2008

Completely off the wall - # 08/268

So: the tapestry is removed from the wall, held on the cross beam, and the scaffold is wheeled back. The helpers on the top lower the tapestry slowly and those below drag it gently back and lay it face down on the specially prepared extra soft, acid free bedding before rolling it into a kind of Swiss Roll with lots of protective layers (like the jam) inside each turn.

Inside the roll will be a special tube to stiffen it and hold it firm. Dead easy, really! All you need is an army of helpers and many, many hours of planning and preparation, and a certificate in conservation and several other crafts.

Saturday 15 November 2008

Sunset, Richmond upon Thames - # 08/267

Every 90 seconds a plane lands at Heathrow (LHR). It was there, so I leave it there. No Photoshop for me.

Late evening produces a dramatic sunset over the river Thames. The railway bridge is just visible in the background.

Thursday 13 November 2008

The secret is in the detail - # 08/266

Many of you enjoyed yesterday's insight. Here's a detail. Imagine the brownish shreds to be pink and if you enlarge the photo you will get a taste of the intense blue of the original. Amazing! Brilliant blue and pink. This shot used the macro setting on the versatile and highly capable Olympus C7070 wz.

You also enjoyed the appearance of yesterday's photo. Once again, it's a matter of detail. You need a tripod. By paying very careful attention to the siting of the camera and choosing the right metering you can do it. I chose a low ISO, an aperture of f8.0 (for good detail and depth of field), and used centre-weighted metering to make the best of the wonderful lighting effect. A few test shots, a little experimentation as to the points from which the light is metered and an appreciation of how your camera works will guarantee a happy outcome. It's in the detail rather than in the equipment. That shot was done on the Olympus E3 using the 14-35mm f2.0 lens which delivers a beautiful result thanks to the way it handles the available light.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Going to bed - # 08/265

It's a bit difficult to do a daily photo at the moment, and here's one reason why. Putting Ham House to bed is quite a busy activity and the whole staff plus many skilled volunteers are involved.

Over the last several days we have been preparing to take down a tapestry that is magnificent and hundreds of years old. It will go for restoration which will take at least a year.

Over the last 3 days we actually took it down........imagine taking three days to take down your curtains to send to the cleaners.

Removal included making a special box to precise measurements and specifications to allow safe transport to the restoration factory. The Handy-Man Team including me made up the box according to instructions.

Here's the 17th Century "Long Gallery".........all quiet, early in the morning, waiting for the arrival of the team. Lying around is the equipment needed. Today is "Taking Down Day" - it took about 3 to 4 hours after many other hours of preparation and planning.

If you go way back to posts 9 - 12 in 2007 (plus a couple either side, or maybe not???) you will find a small set of posts about a previous project.

Tuesday 11 November 2008

Expressionism let loose in Kingston Market Place - # 08/264

A wet, grey day, a slow shutter speed and a market stall about to close: rust on the bottom edge, and a couple of late shoppers rushing by. Kingston upon Thames market square on the last day of September.

A few tweaks on the "curves" in post - processing, and conversion to "greyscale" produce a n interesting effect. Perhaps you won't like it.

(Kingston is 5 miles up river from Richmond. It's an ancient town where over 1,000 years ago Saxon kings were crowned.)

Monday 10 November 2008

The Birch and the Eucalyptus Tree- # 08/263

Just a "Happy Snap" from my front window. It's interesting to see how the North European Birch reacts to Autumn compared with the huge Australian Eucalyptus.

It's so nice to watch these trees throughout the year, in all lights and weathers.

Sunday 9 November 2008

In Flanders fields the poppies grow, between the crosses row, on row. - # 08/262

...............and now in the fields of Afghanistan.

November 9th. Rememberance Sunday. November 11th. Rememberance Day.

Friday 7 November 2008

Richmond Bridge under grey November skies - # 08/261

Well, we go from Birkett-Foster ( http://www.postershop.co.uk/Birkett-Foster-M/Birkett-Foster-M-Richmond-Hill-Surrey-2501391.html ) and my interpretation of his "Richmond Hill" - (thank you Richard of Zurich: I do indeed sometimes kid myself that I am a far better artist - Tee Hee!) - to this view, equally true, but on another day and looking East towards the old bridge (1778) and Richmond Hill instead of West from the top of The Hill.

The spectacular sunset and reflections on the water, yesterday, were indeed real, just as the grey overcast here, today, is real.

The "fault" in yesterday's splendid artefact is a degree of "over-sharpening". I was playing in my trial version of Adobe Lightroom 2.1 - a magnificent archiving and post-processing tool. But in spite of the over sharpening, the rest, colour, sunset, general scene are REAL!!! How lucky I am to live here.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Travelling through - # 08/260

It's always nice to have friends drop in.

A month ago Julie from http://plumbingthedeeps.typepad.com/sydney_eye/ came to Richmond upon Thames and we were able to show her "The View" from Richmond Hill. Four "narrow boats" (standard British Gauge canal barges - narrow because our canals were mostly completed by 1810) put on a show for her and a "Turneresque" sunset played itself out in the west as a violent-looking storm cloud approached from the east and north behind us.

Any CDP blogger passing this way is always welcome to drop in.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

White gloves and shroud on a chair - # 08/259

Ham House is closed for the winter. Cleaning and detailed conservation work will begin. The pieces of the collection will rest under their tailor-made shrouds. Cotton gloves, acid-free wrapping paper and special shoes will be the order of the day. The photographer will be let out to play with light and shadow, the texture of the materials and the humour of the team dedicated to their work. The handy-men will toil to construct scaffolds and special tools for the job.

Monday 3 November 2008

The weir at Teddington Lock - # 08/258

Straight, curved. Vertical, horizontal. Solid, fluid. Hard, soft. Static, moving. Fast, slow. Agitated, calm. Natural, man-made. Wild, tame. Dangerous, safe. Uncontrolled, controlled. Ordered, chaotic. Animal.

Friday 31 October 2008

The very edge of the weather - # 08/257

Mariners and those who live in wide open spaces may see this often, but it's rarer in the smaller more contained horizons around here. Looking up I was suddenly surprised to see this clear difference between the weather I was getting and what was being enjoyed not very far away.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Will it be me, or will it be him, or will it be both of us? - # 08/256

The annual cull of deer begins on November 1st. The Park will be closed at night while the shooting takes place using search lights and rifles mounted on a truck.

Wednesday 29 October 2008

....and yet another form of self-torture - # 08/255

......."skiing" up and down and down the slopes on roller skis. Just another way of using the Park. Notice in the fuzzy background, the deer who seem to be totally unimpressed.

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Yet more ways of torturing yourself - # 08/254

I couldn't believe my eyes. This tricycle thingy has no visible means of propulsion. It appears that you drive it forward by making strenuous undulatory movements of your body that rock the footplates from side to side. Looks like far too much hard work to me. Has anyone else seen these exercise toys? How much do they cost?

Monday 27 October 2008

Total dedication to The Cause - # 08/253

Going into Richmond Park to "hunt" for deer and mushrooms and other seasonal signs I discovered another very seasonal activity.......the Cross Country Running Season.

Enough said.

Sunday 26 October 2008

Fruits of Autumn # 2- # 08/252

26 October....thick grey clouds and rain. Hmmm......seems like Summer, except that the rain's rather fresh and bracing: less warm than it was in the Summer. But the grey cloud! Well, at least it's "seasonal" now, whereas in the Summer it was just a miserable unseasonal nuisance blocking the sun. Wouldn't it be nice if I owned a villa in the South of France, or perhaps in Kerala, South India (yes, very nice indeed). Dubai is too hot now and in any case it's just "London in the Desert with Funky Buildings": interesting but..........??? Australia or New Zealand would be OK, or perhaps Argentina by the South Atlantic.

So, here are the fallen apples, all raked into neat piles for the squirrels and large birds to devour. They are hard at it and the fruits will soon be gone.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Fruits of Autumn # 1 - # 08/251

The fungus.

Everyone has something to eat. The fungus is eating the fallen, rotting wood and returning the sugars to the soil. The animals are nibbling the fungus. I have friends who are experts and love foraging at this time, but on the whole, I think that mushroom hunting and understanding are lost wisdom in modern Britain.

That's one reason why it is nice to visit the Continent at this time, where the understanding of the mushroom is better exploited by cooks. What's better than wild boar, venison and forest fruits? The traditional winter cooking of Europe - so fortifying in cold weather - now comes into it's own. It's now clear that I'm not a vegetarian.

Friday 24 October 2008

The Polo Pupil - # 08/250

Blogger seems to have a problem - it's posting small pictures and refuses to obey commands. Anyway, just click on the photo to enlarge it and enjoy the expressions of concentration and enjoyment on the riders' faces.

Having solved the sizing issue I can be a little more descriptive.........the photo shows a keen pupil being coached by his Argentine Master on the so-called "Stick and Ball Field" which is the special name for a polopractice area. The Agentines are a regular sight at the Polo ground.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

Spectacular Nature - # 08/249

The slow flowing waters around Teddington Lock reflect the blue sky and the green of the bushes and trees on the river bank. Take a stunningly clear sky, brilliant late October sunshine, add in a couple of floating leaves and a tiny touch of cloud in the blue sky and you get a magical photo.

Monday 20 October 2008

Harriers in the Park - # 08/248

A large running club out for an afternoon of masochistic enjoyment.

The runners make a fine contrast as they string out and move up towards the 18th century mansion that houses the Royal Ballet School in the centre of Richmond Park.

(A difficult exposure with all the shadows and contrasts, but it came out nicely.)

Sunday 19 October 2008

The model boat - # 08/247

Stay with me, Son! I'll get it going soon. Now, hmmm, let me see........hmmm. Gosh, these "olde timers" are really fun to fiddle with!!