Tuesday 31 May 2011

Changed times - # 80/2011

Severley cropped for discretion - and so a little bit grainy: we see how times have changed.  Taken during a recent walk through the City of London, we see an elegant black-suited lady banker pausing to have her shoes polished in the old fachioned way.

Sunday 29 May 2011

The Coastguard's cottage - # 79/2011

I've taken you back to Seaford Head and the Cuckmere Haven where a few days ago we saw the bad weather closing in on the Seven Sisters white chalk cliffs.

I couldn't resist capturing this image of the old coastguard cottage with its red door and blue window frame set against the super-grey English Channel.  It's hard to belive that if you keep on going south for about 900 miles you'll reach the sunny scenery of Menton DP. Ah, well; you can't have everything.

Thursday 26 May 2011

Richmond Bridge - # 78/2011

Looking through the arches of Richmond Bridge up-river towards Petersham Meadows.  Nothing execeptional in this scene - it's just an everyday sight for those fortunate enough to live here.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

South Coast dreaming - # 77/2011

For those of you who don't know, this is a classic "South Coast" view akin to the iconic "White Cliffs of Dover".  This scene shows the coast guard cottages at Cuckmere Haven (where the Cuckmere flows off the South Downs into the English Channel) and the famous "Seven Sisters" chalk cliffs stretching towards Beachy Head light house and Eastbourne, Hastings and onwards towards Dover after the interruption of Dungeoness and Romney Marsh .

The scene is much photographed, in sunshine, evening light, frosty early mornings etc.  My scene shows it as bad weather suddenly sweeps in having traveled rapidly up the English Channel from the South West. A strong "Souwester" is blowing - loved (and feared) by generations of British and Dutch sailors as this wind blew them hard and very fast up the Channel on the final leg of their long sea voyages towards home.  The "day tripper" photographer has to take what he gets.  When I started out to walk the cliff tops, the sun was bright. Suddenly this rough weather fell upon me within minutes!!

In the 1940s you could stand here and watch dramatic aerial battles between squadrons of German and British aircraft locked in mortal combat, swooping upon each other at 340 mph, creating the legends of the White Cliffs as they fought. 

Saturday 21 May 2011

B & W photo - # 76/2011

Study in black and white with four birds flying.

Friday 20 May 2011

Making an impression - # 75/2011

Trying hard to get noticed.

Thursday 19 May 2011

Broad Blue - # 74/2011

A day out on the South Coast.  We are at Seaford looking due South across the English Channel. The con-trails, narrow and fresh, or wide and decaying are numerous and show that this is major crossing point for giant airliners flitting across the world. The wide angle lens does justice to the sense of fresh air and the concept of the wide, wide world across the sea.  The scene looks outward - a healthy state to be in.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

No.6 - # 73/2011

All things bright..........

Tuesday 17 May 2011

Royal colours - # 72/2011

Here's a bit of fun that's been around for a few years, but I've only just noticed it!!  Look up, People!! Look up!!!!

On the lamp posts at Ham Gate, entering Richmond Park, they have placed these delightful little royal crowns, sitting on their sweet little tassled cushions.  I've loaded the picture in a large(ish) size, so do click on it and enjoy the details in the crown and cushion.  By the way, I think the gas lamp is never switched off. Who remembers gas lamps? 

Sunday 15 May 2011

Lunch time colour - # 70/2011

Enlarge it.  You can actually count the little half moon bites in the sandwich.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Saturated colour - # 69/2011

We're back in Richmond.  Who says the UK doesn't "do" colour?

Friday 13 May 2011

Multi-coloured Spontaneous Art Installation - # 68/2011

The painter's trestle in the boat-building yard at Richmond Bridge might do well in a gallery for expensive "modern" art. 

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Multicolour - # 67/2011

The fruit market in Ventiglia. Typical!

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Green - # 66/2011

You'll have noticed I'm playing a game around "colours". Colour is essential to Mediterranean life. It must have something to do with the abundance of brilliant sunlight.

Monday 9 May 2011

Blue - # 65/2011

Walking through Ventimiglia Old Town.

Sunday 8 May 2011

Yellow - # 64/2011

A quick trip across the border from France into the pleasant town of Ventimiglia, Italy, continues to show the style of Mediterranean life as we know it.  But climate change is making the area drier and drier.  Perhaps in 150 yrs from now it will be more like Muscat, Oman, with desalination plants and high energy consumption to power air cooling systems.  

Thursday 5 May 2011

Fun in the night - # 63/2011

I've already mentioned the how the Old Town of Menton lends itself to night photography. One evening I went out with Jilly of Menton DP and we wandered about practicing with tripods and ISOs and exposures and white balances and all those other engagingly exciting things that go with night photography.

The pleasing tonality of this scenes goes without saying, but the really totally exciting thing is the spaghetti of electrical wiring and plumbing above the steps in the doorway. If anything sums up France, this is it!! Weirdly ingenious and successfully functional in spite of itself and its quirky character.  (Well, aren't we all a bit weird?)

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Cote d'Az dreams - # 62/2011

It's all too easy to over-romanticise and falsely idolise the Cote d'Azur, but it's also very easy to understand how it got and how it keeps its good reputation.  For me this is a delightful scene that any Englishman fed up with the grey British winter will long to see and enjoy.  Early morning, delightfully fresh before the day warms up. The scent of the bushes and plants. The sound of a torrent rushing down the canyon from the mountains. A terrace garden, high up and looking out towards the Mediterranean Sea where the blue sky is reflected. (I took lots and lots photos of this same scene with the hanging bird table, trying to capture the essence. I didn't get exactly what I was trying for, but so far this is the nearest).

Tuesday 3 May 2011

The Buggy - # 61/2011

I can't take Monte Carlo seriously. It's a bit of frivolous fun but it's not real. What serious person would do the week-end shopping on the High Street in this vehicle? (Well, ummmm, I might!).

Monday 2 May 2011

Menton nostalgia - # 60/2011

Colour film was almost non existant and a priceless miracle of chemistry in the 1930s and 40s. When I was a child I remember my excitement looking at Mother's old snaps and her showing me her little box of photo colouring pencils.  I was entranced by the delicate colouring and the magical effect it had on the photo. I was eager to try it and remember the thrill of quick and realtively easy success, achieving a powerful effect for little effort.

This Menton street scene seemed ripe for some "creative" treatment, so I simply clicked on "Creative - Aged Photo" in Lightroom, and suddenly realised that in a micro-second, with one click, I had more or less achieved what my Mother did while passing the winter hours, looking through her photos, lovingly colouring them and listening to a grammophone record or the wireless: no television in those days!! It existed but was, like colour film, a priceless marvel of technology yet to be widely available.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Menton Old Town - night - # 59/2011

A night-time foray up through the Old Town yielded this. (Not the finest of night time shots, but it still captures some of the atmosphere and the pleasing tonality of a night time-walk through the alleys - actually that's "climb" not walk.)

I've been neglecting the blog and my loyal "lurkers".  I'm quite precoccupied weeding and reorganising my photo collection and still trying to short out my strenuous physical exercise programme to try to overcome the limitations caused by my fall on the ice at Christmas 16 months ago.