Monday 31 October 2011
Sunday 30 October 2011
Yesterday I heard on the BBC News a report about a Dutch farmer who is starting to export camel's milk ice cream to Britain. The reporter tasted it, declared it very good, with its own unique qualities that made it recognisable and highly acceptable, and the farmer said that it is essential for the camel to be happy. "A happy camel gives plenty of good milk". Unhappy camels do not. So that's good news about the farming method.
This ice cream, in the photo, was made from buffalo milk. I tried it several weeks ago. It's also very good. It has a very substantial constistency and a fully rounded flavour that is not overpowering - a fullish start with a light finish might be a good description (if my memory serves me well). It leaves you well satisfied but not over sated.
I liked it so much that I actually tweaked the sky in the photo to enhance the image of the ice cream!! ;-) So let's give it more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!marks.
Saturday 29 October 2011
Friday 28 October 2011
Wednesday 26 October 2011
Rupert Brooke, the First World War poet, wrote "If I should die, think only this of me: that there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England".
Rememberance Day is coming up on the 11th November. I am constantly amazed by the capacity of Britain to continue to shed its blood in foreign fields. These fields near Oxford reminded me of the poem.
Tuesday 25 October 2011
We're now going back a long way. A pleasant day out near Oxford brought me to this ancient landscape where the impact of ancient farming and village organisation is clear to see but not so simple to photograph. I dithered for ages about which shot to choose.
I settled on this one. You can read about medieval Ridge and Furrow here http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba33/ba33feat.html The fact that its remains can still be seen amazes me.
Thursday 20 October 2011
Monday 17 October 2011
......just messing about: but.............I love this teapot, so I've tried to give it some special treatment. It is in Ham House. It was made in China in about 1672 and exported to England as a "luxury good". The crackle on the glaze is rare and unusual, and done on purpose by the makers, thus demonstrating their high skill as makers of expensive, decorative ceramic ware. This alone, apart from the other attractive features adds to the quality and aesthetic value of the pot. Even more remarkable: this teapot was made in about 1672, so you see, the design of a good teapot has not changed. It is believed that tea has been served from this pot, in Ham House, where it sits, since 1675.
Sunday 16 October 2011
A few weeks ago a fellow Richmond area photographer, Robert Piper, captured some moments of extremely violent aggression in Bushey Park as stags fought during the annual rut. His photos made the national press and went even further around the world.
My trip to Richmond Park, during the same period, was obviously poorly orchestrated! I found nothing but peace and harmony. I kept my distance from this huge bruiser as he sat with his 20 or so hinds. I didn't want to annoy him. However, this extreme crop from the 400mm lens has come out well, to show that life is not always "total war" - depending on the precise moment when you view it.
Saturday 15 October 2011
Thursday 13 October 2011
We're still at Richmond Palace. I hope you enjoyed discovering the comment about the 16th C flushing toilets in the wiki notes.
I chose this rather harsh looking treatment for the B&W photo because I wanted to enhance the texture of the ancient brickwork - which is also why I took the photo. You can clearly see remnants of the very old structure (filled in arches). I guess that what we are seeing here are windows put in during a late 17th or early 18th C development. I also notice that a car roof has sneaked in.......arrrrgghh!!! The grey overcast weather (cloudy but surprisingly warm) was ideal for B&W photography.
Wednesday 12 October 2011
At long last I'm feeling like getting out a about again, fit enough to walk about more and carry the dreaded "heavy camera". I can take very nice photos with the "little camera", but the "big one" gives me more exercise.
So it's time to get back to trying to show some more of Richmond and try it in B&W. Here's Richmond Palace - it's very old...............but not much of it is left: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Palace .
I chose this shot because it's got a figure in it. Nobody came along when I was taking some slightly better angles, and although I don't "do" people I felt that the archway needed a figure. These days the acursed car cannot be avoided and is too hard to clone out.
Be warned - more B&Ws (as opposed to BMWs) are on the way.
Saturday 8 October 2011
"As solid as the Bank of England" used to sum up just about everything in the architecture of The City - massive, grey, somewhat dirty and still a bit smoke-scarred by WW2 bombing and not particularly "uplifting", but definitely "resilient". I liked working in The City but I didn't enjoy the built environment very much. That's changed. New Change was the site of some typically massive offices once occupied by the Bank of England (I believe) - the bank building itself is a little further down the street.
New Change was knocked down and this year replaced by a steel and glass marvel that prays to the gods of shopping as well as commerce: the circulation of money rather than the careful stewardship thereof.
I like this 6 floor miracle of modern architecture in the new City of London. Interestingly, the whole structure seems to fade away into nothing when given certain kinds of photographic treatment. Is that also symbolic of our modern, post 1945 consumer-capitalism.........an economy based on consumption rather than solid investment?
Tuesday 4 October 2011
Those who live in the London area will know that we have had exceptionally warm, sunny weather for the last several days (also some abnormally cloudy and nasty weather, too). Sun in September is normal, cloud is not normal, but temperatures of 28 degrees C are highly unusual and absolutely delightful! Delightful, too, is this little scene on a cafe-barge moored beside the bank at Richmond. Hot, sunny, and overall, very, very nice indeed.