Thursday 31 July 2008

London Central (disaster recovery - at sundown) - # 08/178

Those of you who don't know London might enjoy this panorama taken from Richmond Park, using the 400mm lens, to pick out sites that are between approx 8 and 12 miles away.

Those who know the great buildings might be intrigued to see how they seem to be not exactly where you expect them to be. (e.g. St. Paul's on the left and the Houses of Parliament near the right.) This is because of the way the Thames curves around. I was quite surprised when I looked closely. My prejudices were all shaken up - which is a good thing!!!

The climate conditions are rather nasty. The heat and traffic pollution haze upset the focal clarity.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Monday 28 July 2008

Turning reality into vision - / 08/176

Just playing about with the camera, and tweaking the result. It's so easy that any politician can do it.

Sunday 27 July 2008

At the Village Flower and Produce Show - # 08/175

It looks as if Mrs. Smith has won First Prize for her courgettes yet again.

Saturday 26 July 2008

Well, Hallo!- # 08/174

It's not often that the deer in Richmond Park positively stop and pose for you. This one let me come to within about 4 meters and then actually stood and chatted to me about 3 minutes, before politely nodding and gently turning away to re-join his group.

Thursday 24 July 2008

Slabs of light, areas of colour - # 08/173

The archivist is setting up to make a digital photo record. His assistant is at the computer cataloguing as he goes along.

I was captivated by the way the light reflected from the wooden floor and by the contrasting slabs of light and shade, so I felt bound to capture the vision.

Wednesday 23 July 2008

High skills - # 08/172

Here is the BT Openreach line technician fixing my broadband 11 meters or so up the pole.

Reviewing the photo I was struck by the muscularity of his arms and related that to the concept of the telephone networks that bind our modern society together.

He worked hard for over 2 hours and displayed "rat-like cunning" in tracking down the problem - clearly a man of strong physical and mental ability.

Overall the service form BT has been outstanding - well managed, attentive to me as a customer and keen to make sure that once my complaint was registered everything was done to make things tip-top, as they should be.

(BTW..............I'm using my "time off" from DAILY photo to try out some "after dark" photography.......let's hope it works out as well as the BT lineman's effort ;-) )

Monday 21 July 2008

Relaxing - # 08/171

'roony's thoughts will be elsewhere for a little while, and photos will not be "daily".

It seems most of you liked yesterday's "night shot". I had mixed feelings about it, but one cannot deny that the building is very attractive, especially when illuminated so well.

Sunday 20 July 2008

Hotel - # 08/170

Experimental night shot.

Saturday 19 July 2008

Worth getting up in the morning for - # 08/169

Life is never simple and straight forward, but having a work shop like this and a job where you spend all day making useful things in wood must give you a big incentive to get up in the morning and go to work. (The boatbuilder's shed under Richmond Bridge. The colour is a bit odd because of the lighting).

Friday 18 July 2008

Oh no, not another Heron picture - # 08/168

It's probably easy to guess why I showed this. I liked the "snake-skin-like" markings all down the Heron's throat.

Ideally, you would want to see the bird as I did, tucked away at the end of a small isolated pond hunting for frogs and whatever else. That would give you the real atmosphere and spirit of the scene: the isolation, the quietness, the wildness - ironically, a piece of total wildness in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas of the British Isles.

However, the camera cannot capture that wild, isolated image. All you would see is a spread of water with a tiny "something" standing at one end. This photo needed a 400mm telephoto.

There are many Herons around the Richmond area, along the river and in the Park. That is a good sign that wild life is thriving. Whilst "hunting" this Heron I also saw a hawk - another good sign.

Camera: Olympus E3. Lens at 400mm equivalent. P Auto selecting ISO 320. 1/250 sec.

Thursday 17 July 2008

Repairing the unrepairable - # 08/167

"How do you repair the unrepairable?".....At Ham House we have to ensure that the conservation vacuum cleaners have the correct suction - not too strong, not too weak.

Tim and I puzzled and came up with this: a high precision medical syringe (which just happened to be in Tim's tool box), a manual "volume by weight" high precision scale, some tubing and a cork.
Here is the rig. Hold the scale steady, switch on, and see how high the suction can pull up the syringe plunger. Bingo....a perfectly precise measurement of suction power. Checking the norm is easy. The Internet tells you what a you should expect from a properly performing vacuum cleaner.

Tim and I play like this day after day...........Heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Poppy in field of daisies- # 08/166

The Summer wildflowers are looking very pretty this week, BT Broadband is failing to work properly.

(By the broadband speed has dropped to less than 20% of what it should be. Consequently it has become difficult to speedily review my regular CDP favourites. Please excuse an apparent lack of my presence on your comments pages. I was never a prolific commenter - although Richard of Zurich might breathe a sigh of relief -, but this slow-speed bug is making it tiresomely slow to even look at the enjoyable snaps that you all produce. BT assure me that they will fix it, but I have a nasty feeling that it might be a longish process. Anyway, rest assured of my support and interest. I will return when BT gets itself organised and once again provides what I am actually paying for).

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Toy ducks - # 08/165

I was somewhat doubtful about posting yesterday's "Toytown" style image, but it seemed to work and the point was taken. So, let's stay with the toys. Isn't it amazing what people like to buy? I guess it has something to do with liking fun and a good laugh.

Monday 14 July 2008

Street scene - # 08/164

Workmen at lunch, the two Japanese tourists, the tourist taking photos, the officer checking out a group of youths wearing the standard youth's uniform, the passenger coming out of the station.

Sunday 13 July 2008

A point...... - # 08/163

A point of........departure, arrival, meeting, agreement, division, an ancient cross road, a landscape of fertile imagination, a vision of uncertainty and disconnection, a study in grey, a place of rest, a place of disturbance, Gallows Pond, lumps of wood nailed together beside a large puddle, the site of an ancient gallows on a once lonely place on an old road, now part of what has become Richmond Park.

Saturday 12 July 2008

Gone a bit wonky - # 08/162

.....well, things have gone a bit wonky over 300 years, but it still looks good. (Houses around the south side of Richmond Green).

Friday 11 July 2008

Architectural detail - # 08/161

Along the river and in the Park there are great vistas and panoramas, but in the older narrow streets there are delightful little details to discover if you use your eyes and hunt around.

Thursday 10 July 2008

Wednesday 9 July 2008

Hand made boats made of wood availaible here - # 08/159

The boat builders who inhabit the arches under and around Richmond Bridge are alive and well.

I can never resist snapping this Aladdin's Cave whenever the door is open.

Tuesday 8 July 2008

The conservation archivist - # 08/158

Another of my little cameo shots of activity at Ham House where I help to repair the unrepairable.

Monday 7 July 2008

Ooh, Aaah!- # 08/157

Sun glinting on gently rounded, perfectly proportioned metal. Simple but absolutely inspired design: even the chrome grill on the engine hood.

Sunday 6 July 2008

No cracks in the wall - # 08/156

Just getting the "Edwardianer" out of my system before moving on.

Saturday 5 July 2008

Friday 4 July 2008

Don't fret! - # 08/154

Thanks to all who rushed to my rescue over my tendency to make the Thames flow uphill. And yes, I do have "tilt adjusting" software, which I frequently have to use!!!!!!

So what does this picture say and what does it show? (It's worth clicking on it to enlarge and see the quality).

1. It shows (and says) that now and then I can take pictures that are properly levelled.

2. It shows the delightful fretwork, tiling and detailing put into the typical late Victorian/Edwardian villa built at the turn of the 19th century. And it shows that a lot of original features remain. Many iron railings were ripped out during wartime to provide scrap metal for weapons production. Were these replaced, or did the original railings somehow escape ? Very few escaped; much was lost. Look at Post # 08/151 and you will see that the funny curved metal clip thing is the same as the footing of the railing in this picture # 08/154 i.e. evidence of railings cut off to go for scrap.

3. It says something about quality standards and about the difficulty of caring for elegance and graceful material structure as it decays (even our own human form). It comments on the cost of maintenance and the provision of resources to meet it. It asks a lot of questions about passing time and the move into the future, especially in a country like Britain.

Thursday 3 July 2008

Old historic archive shot recalling Karl Moritz - # 08/153

Wanting to stay with a boat theme I dug out this old archive shot from the series "Searching for Karl Moritz, 1782". Here is the (at least) 400 year old ferry crossing point from the old village of Chiswick to Barnes. I discovered that Karl Moritz did not use it, but whizzed past in the stage coach direct to cross over the "modern 1759" Kew Bridge into Richmond. Indeed exactly as I would, in my car, today. (Except that I prefer the train....much more convenient).

Looking back at this archive I'm horrified to see - yet again - that my tendency to tilt the camera to the right has made the Thames flow up-hill. You also get a good view of the plastic rubbish washed up on high tides.............

Tuesday 1 July 2008

Living in style - # 08/151

These days I'm paying close attention to the detail in the local architecture. Richmond (and villages all around London) simply "exploded" in the late 1890's and early 1900s thanks to the railway arriving in the mid 1840s. The "commuter belt" was created. Magnificent small houses and larger mansions were built for a prosperous middle-class basking in the wealth of the most powerful Empire the world had ever seen.

The details of this Edwardian terrace villa are substantially intact. Look at the tiles on the path, the attractive "rope style" ceramic divider with the typical, but today rarely seen, original arched clip thingy (what is it exactly???), the tiles inside the porch, the original front door (there since 1899?), the large, circular, electric door bell button (! - was that installed from the very beginning?), and all the rest. This is quality, this is style.