Wednesday 30 April 2008

Attention to small details - # 08/89

A workman in touch with his aesthetic side takes care of the needs of Mercury after the ravages of winter and squirrels with sharp teeth.

Those keen on "aesthetic" work may like to see Nathalie's post from Avignon: a fine photographer with a fine sense of humour.

Tuesday 29 April 2008

Cow heaven - # 08/88

The cows have returned to Petersham Meadows after their winter in covered quarters.

Yesterday the cows returned!!! They rushed out of the wagon into the meadow and did a circuit at the gallop around the whole field. They have been in wintering sheds for 6 months and have returned for their 6 months on open grass.

The calves were born in January and have not seen grass or the open meadow until today. See here how they kick their heels and frolic around the meadow alongside their mothers.

Cows on the meadow are an integral part of "the View from Richmond Hill". See:

Monday 28 April 2008

Apple blossom - # 08/87

It's that time of year!

Sunday 27 April 2008

Studies in glass 5 - # 08/86

We are all familiar with those computer programmes that convert photos to look like oil or water colour paintings.

Here I'm showing the effect of a 17th century glass window. I wanted to capture the "glimpse of a nice roof" through the church window. Looking at the photo I discovered this effect caused by the old glass. The tiny church was severely damaged by wartime bombing, but it looks as if this piece of 400 yr old glass survived.

Saturday 26 April 2008

Studies in glass 4 - # 08/85

I dithered over B&W or colour, but in the end decided that it MUST be colour.

There are (I think) two or three images here. Direct images and reflections within reflections.

This is the waiting area in the gigantic new Eurostar terminal at St. Pancras Station, London. The glass separates the area from the escalators rising to the railway tracks above. The white pillars are the original Victorian built iron support columns.

Friday 25 April 2008

Studies in glass 3 - # 08/84

After yesterday's magnificence this may seem a bit of a let down. The tiny 13th / 17th century church of St. Peter's, Petersham, is flooded with light. These interesting "box" windows face west. I had to close down the aperture to prevent the volume of light overwhelming the camera. The photo suggests a dark interior; actually it's brilliant, as you saw in my posting of a few days ago. The old architect solved his problem in the days when weak candles were the only means of artificial lighting. Notice the candle holders placed in the windows.

Thursday 24 April 2008

Studies in glass 2 - # 08/83

You've already seen this from a slightly different perspective, but I wanted to show this wide-angle shot because it places the glass-house in the Duke of Northumberland's parkland at Syon House firmly into its "English Landscape" setting. You enter the park and come round the bend and... !!!!... there it is!!! It's quite breathtaking to see in this context.

Even more interesting: the Duke's parkland and his great house are on the west bank of the Brent. Here we have "noble magnificence", but immediately opposite on the east bank of the river we have the highly industrial Brentford canal docks. These contrasts make a walking tour even more interesting.

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Studies in glass 1 - # 08/82

I discovered that my archive has recently collected a number photos that rely on the effect of glass. It's today's building medium.

Here I was amused to notice how the image of the counter assistant (a real person) - my original target - is counterbalanced by a rather better image of the advertisement asking people to join and become counter assistants: a sort of "Richmond upon Thames Daily Photo needs YOU" poster.

Tuesday 22 April 2008

Richmond Green - a post card - # 08/81

Looking across the Green form the Cricketers pub.

Monday 21 April 2008

Time and tide - # 08/80

Above: the early 17th Century windows of the tiny church of St. Peters in Petersham near Richmond.

Below: the interior, and on the right the 17th century tombs of local notables lying inside the Norman altar area built in 1266.

The was quite possibly a christian church on this site in the year 666 AD. There is a record of a church (probably on this spot) in 1086, and this church was actually built in 1266, and redeveloped in 1505 and 1600, keeping the old piece from 1266.

666 AD! The photo is naturally light. Brilliant light is flooding in. "Let there be light! And there was light".

Sunday 20 April 2008

Smile! - # 08/79

It's early Spring and the strong, cold, easterly wind is blowing the smell of German pig manure over a distance of 444 miles all the way to the London area. We lift our noses and give our companion a quizzical look. Is that Germany I can smell? (FACT....listen to the BBC it must be true). Whatever....there IS a smell in the air, and this morning Hamburg pig farmers apologised to Britain.

Cold weather and German pig s**t have not dampened the enjoyment of the travelling fun fair on Ham Common.

Saturday 19 April 2008

You and me, we sweat and strain...- # 08/78

Ham House is often used as a setting for major film and TV productions. We assist with identifying snags and then preparing the scene so that modern fittings (electric light switches etc) are hidden from the camera. Then the film riggers take over and work their professional magic for the famous Director and world renowned cameraman . Here we are refitting the heavy security grills that were temporarily removed from windows.

Before taking this shot (setting the camera while still wearing my leather gloves and protective clothing ;-) ) I was on the ladder, until my leg muscle went into spasm. Gosh, life gets really hard.

Thursday 17 April 2008

Natural light, Spring foliage - # 08/76

This is the view from my lounge window at this time of year. You can't beat it.

Wednesday 16 April 2008

'roony's big day out - # 08/75

Yesterday Mrs 'roony allowed 'roony to go to Paris on Eurostar to meet Peter and Richard for a full and frank exchange of views. The French got wind of this and staged a riot at the Gare du Nord which delayed the high speed train by almost 20 minutes (such is the efficiency of the French riot police who are used to this everyday minor occurrence).

My two "pics of the day" are this moody (slightly shaky) but none the less representative shot of the magnificent staircase in the Opera and below a detail of the grand dome in the recently restored and totally stunning "Belle Epoque" style Galleries Lafayette department store.

Peter and Richard were delightful companions and 'roony returned tired but grateful to the French riot police for all they had done to make his trip successful.

Monday 14 April 2008

Sunday 13 April 2008

Hidden labours - # 08/73

Handymen toiling in the cellars of Ham House.

Tim and John toil, while I stand back in my protective overalls and leather gloves, tweak the camera, and compose the shot. At least I did not ask them to "Please do it all again, but from a different perspective". This is done live! You see it as it happens!!

Camera: Olympus C7070 WZ

Saturday 12 April 2008

The Bar Fly faces a hard choice of harsh reality - # 08/72

The Richmond Bar Fly likes things to be fluid, blurred; he likes to keep his options open and always surveys the exits before settling down. But tonight it's his turn to pay for the round and there before him stands the tariff, and the choice. It's black and white and there is no escape.

Friday 11 April 2008

Draw down the blind - # 08/71

Some crave light, while others love obscurity. Light is a healer and also a destroyer. Too much light overwhelms the senses, hides detail and obscures truth. The right amount of light enhances, and just a touch of light in a well chosen place lends a deceptively alluring aspect to corruption.

At Ham House the brilliance of the sun at midday destroys the rich tapestries and delicately patterned marquetry floors. The blinds are lowered and the photographer can play at capturing evocative silhouettes. (I wanted the B&W version but my selection was over-ruled and I had to do it in colour).

Camera: Olympus C7070 WZ

Thursday 10 April 2008

Another Springtime view - # 08/70

The terrace in front of Tide Tables Cafe seen from the parapet of Richmond Bridge. General O'Higgins the Chilean hero is just out of sight on the left. In an hour's time this terrace will be full.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Damp day - cosy tea room - # 08/69

The blossom outside seemed to lose it's charm when set against the hot tea and buttered toast on a damp, windy, quite cold Saturday.

Tuesday 8 April 2008

Brilliant Friday - # 08/68

The images captured last Friday are too good to waste, so for the next day or two I'll be alternating between glorious Friday and grey, wet Saturday. (I didn't bother with snowy Sunday). This shot was taken from Richmond Bridge looking down-river. The steamer is one of many, and the umbrellas shade the tables of a terrace cafe.

Monday 7 April 2008

Springing in the rain - # 08/67

So...we went from stunning sunshine and high temperatures on Friday to cold wet and windy on Saturday, and then even 5 cm of snow on Sunday - (in London where it rarely snows!!).

Nevertheless I ventured out on Saturday and chose this contrast of magnificent colours, and trees in their white blossom coats set against the wet cobbles and the grey skies. (I had a lot of fun capturing this and found it hard to chose which image to show, so I hope you like it).

Sunday 6 April 2008

Getting ready for the Summer Season - # 08/66

Friday was brilliant......18 degrees, pure sunlight. Richmond was buzzing in town and along the riverside. The boatmen were hard at work getting ready for the season.

Saturday 5 April 2008

Rough Nature - the whole story - # 08/65

Two years ago a dog killed the whole family of swans living on the pond. Last year a new swan took over the empty pond and this year found a mate. Canada geese arrived as usual in winter. This Spring the swans have mated and the Cob is now very aggressively defending "his" pond.

Most of the other Canadas have gone but these two remained. Naturally the powerful aggressive swan is keeping them off the small nesting island. Hour by hour he confronts the geese and refuses to let them onto the water.

I captured the goose as she started to lay and egg on the bank. The swan is keeping the two geese off the water. You can see the egg just starting to emerge. Yesterday you saw it two thirds out.

Friday 4 April 2008

Hot News !!!!!! - # 08/64

Look can see the egg is two thirds out. Taken this very morning!

Thursday 3 April 2008

Wednesday 2 April 2008

Animal, vegetable, mineral - # 08/62

The great glass-house in the gardens of Syon House.

Camera: Olympus E3

Tuesday 1 April 2008

Good Night, Golden Mile - # 08/61

The lights of the modern offices on the Golden Mile flicker in the waters of the old Grand Junction Canal; the tiny white dots in the sky at the back are planes on track for Heathrow, landing at the rate of one every 90 seconds. The offices are populated by well known world-wide companies. The old canal, also part of a living, clean, fast-flowing river sweeps on. The Industrial Revolution has come and gone and the Knowledge Economy now faces turmoil on world capital markets. The Brentford series draws to a close.