Part II of the Christmas lights from Kew Gardens, London. Enjoy! (Click to enlarge the photos.)
Parte II de las luces de Navidad en Kew Gardens, Londres. ¡Que las disfrutes! (Haz click para ampliar las fotos.)
I didn’t have a chance to take photos of London’s new year fireworks, so I’ll give you the lights at Kew Gardens instead – enjoy. (Click on the gallery to enlarge the photos.)
No tenía oportunidad para sacar fotos de los fuegos artificiales de Londres, así que en vez de eso os doy las luces del jardín botánico de Kew – ¡que las disfrutéis! (Haz click para ampliar las fotos.)
2017 – the year when I took the camera off Auto-Intelligent. Which, by the way, does not mean that I attempted to go fully manual; that is still a long way off, if it ever happens. But I experimented with the Program mode, with Aperture and Shutter Priority, with Manual Focus and Macro.
Recently I had to spend several days in a building in Central London. (I leave you to speculate whether I’ve been arrested, called on jury service, hospitalised or something else. 🙂 ) What consoled me for having to be away from my family was the view from my window.
Recientemente tuve que pasar unos días en un edificio en el centro de Londres. (Os dejo hacer conjeturas si me han detenido, llamado al servicio de jurado, estaba ingresada al hospital or alguna otra cosa. 🙂 ) Lo que me consoló por no estar con mi familia fue la vista desde mi ventana.
Enjoy this ‘study’ of the changing skies of London, November 2017.
Que disfrutéis este ‘estudio’ de los cielos cambiantes de Londres, noviembre de 2017.
I thought I’d photograph the sky at sunset as it has been so spectacular recently.
Me ocurrió sacar unas fotos del cielo cuando se pone el sol, como recientemente estaba tan impresionante.
So I went down to the Thames and picked a prime spot where there was nothing in the way of my spectacular sunset. No trees, no tall buildings, no radio masts – nothing. There was the river, the sky and me. And there was going to be this sunset.
Así que fui al Támesis y elegí un lugar perfecto, donde no había nada para bloquear la vista de mi puesta de sol espectacular. No árboles, ni rascacielos, ni torres de telecomunicación – nada de nada. Había el río, el cielo y yo. Y iba a ser esta puesta de sol.
You might have thankfully forgotten but I’m working my way through the Dogwood 2016 photography challenge. I spared you Red (my efforts were dismal) and I’m not sharing Headshot because Sophisticated Young Lady, the only willing volunteer, is entitled to her privacy.
Which brings us to last week’s challenge: Landscape: Black & White. I went down to the Thames on Sunday afternoon; it was low tide.
Overheard outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday afternoon as I passed two middle aged women.
Oí esto fuera de las Casas del Parlamento ayer por la tarde cuando pasaba dos mujeres de mediana edad.
Woman 1: No, it happened on the bridge.
Woman 2 (animated): Oh right… shall we go and have a look?
Mujer 1: No, lo ocurrió en el puente.
Mujer 2 (animada): Vale… ¿Vamos a echar un vistazo entonces?
Well, that explains why the bridge was more full of pedestrians than ever.
Bien, eso explica por qué el puente tenía más peatones que nunca.
(So much for terrorism.)
(El fracaso del terrorismo.)
The only photo I remember from my primary school history book is this:
I’m sure you’ve all seen it before: St Paul’s dome standing intact above the ruins, surrounded by smoke and flames, seemingly indestructible, converting into a symbol. Iconic doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was taken on 29 December 1940, the 114th night of the Blitz, by Herbert Mason, a Daily Mail photographer, from on top of the Daily Mail building in Fleet Street. I take my hat off to Mr Mason – quite apart from any other considerations, just for having the guts to stand on an exposed London rooftop during a German bombing raid, taking pictures.
One of the greatest impediments to me becoming a better photographer is that I wouldn’t want to be seen dead with a camera in my hand.
In a city like London not wanting to be seen taking a picture does rather pose a problem. Even if you use a phone, even if you had an invisible camera, you would be still seen acting like a photographer.
What I’d like instead is to take great photos without behaving like a photographer.
To pull out the camera and shoot from the hip, as it were, in one quick movement, non-chalantly, seemingly without aiming but hitting the target for the first time, all the time. Yeah! Like John Wayne.
Many of London’s museums and galleries stay open late into the evening once a week. You might think day or night makes no difference…
But it’s nice to break the daily routine once in a while. Instead of going home after work, I head for Bloomsbury.
The lights are dimmed. The crowds are gone; it’s quiet. I relax in the members’ room with my book and a glass of wine before going for a wander.
I can get up close to the most popular exhibits without an elbow fight. I can contemplate. I can read the labels in peace.
I can take pictures.
Till next Friday.
You might also like: ⇒ Made by the Egyptians: A Bust of Amenhotep III ⇒ The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus ⇒ Three Hours at the British Museum
Today I’m going to depart a little from the usual topics to share instead some photos of the Queen’s House in Greenwich – built by one of England’s greatest architects, Inigo Jones. If you wonder why we’re looking at an English building on Mediterranean Monday, it’s because:
The Queen’s House in Greenwich is one of those buildings that I walked past dozens of times each year and never once entered, despite being a member in the Maritime Museum and despite the entry being free in any case. There is so much to see in Greenwich that the Queen’s House always ended up bypassed. I finally went in two weeks ago – to see the so-called Armada portrait of Queen Elizabeth I that the museum had recently acquired and which was about to disappear into a conservator’s workshop for the near future. The building is so stunning I can’t believe I ignored it for years – don’t miss it if you ever visit Greenwich!
Christmas preparation took up too much time this week for me to be able to write anything that’d be worth your while to read. So instead, three pictures of the Christmas lights of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich to wish you all a…
P.S.: Although it'll be Boxing Day on Monday, Mediterranean Monday will go ahead as usual - with the stunning Roman Theatre of Mérida for its subject.
Or, as this post more appropriately should be titled:
(I’ll let you know when I feel competent enough to write A Guide to Night Photography for Dummies instead. Just watch this space.)
Generally, I much prefer taking pictures in blazing sunshine – they seem to come out so much better with so much less effort. But since winter arrived in London (in as much you can call 10 degrees above zero winter), the only choice is between fuzzy-muzzy-grey or night scenes. I’ll take night any time!
30 St Mary Axe, better known as The (Erotic) Gherkin, is a skyscraper in the City which at the time of its building was the second tallest building in London. It was completed in 2003 and stands in the site of the former Baltic Exchange which was badly damaged by a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA in 1992.
Is this a building that – for all practical purposes – is shaped like a globe?
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red is not, as some American readers might imagine, the title of an apocalyptic post in the wake of the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States… In fact, it’s got nothing whatsoever to do with America or politics: it’s merely the title of an English work of art.
A rather striking work of art:
A night-time walk in St James’s Park…
You’d think there’d be lights on along the paths but it’s pitch-black. Apart from the Moon, the London Eye above the trees on the other side of the Thames… and the reflections on the water, that is.
In response to the Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Shine.
About a year ago I started to write a post comparing two books that I had happened to be reading simultaneously, one of which was boring me to tears. I was not going to waste my breath on it too much – I was going to point out how good the other book was in comparison. As luck would have it, both were on the subject of history, so I started the post with an introductory paragraph about having read some good history books in my time… Unfortunately, the introductory paragraph ended up running to several paragraphs, neatly hijacking the entire post. The chief hijacker was Pepys – whom I found myself quite unable to dismiss in one summary sentence.
I feel Pepys deserves a post to himself, so here I proudly present you with:
Different from most other museum ships is the fact that all the ropes were installed. It is the 8 miles of rope and 3 miles of wire and chain that help make Cutty Sark’s rigging so spectacular.
(Who’s Who at Cutty Sark: Meet Rigger Andy)
Salvaging something of a rainy day in half-term with Young Friend of the Elephants – visiting the Cutty Sark in Greenwich… and catching the riggers at work aloft. (Yes, those are real people in the rigging. 🙂 )
“She might be static, but in terms of rigging all she needs is some sails and she’s ready to go sailing!”
Black and white is powerful… and not just in the form of black words on white paper.