Posts from the ‘buildings’ category

A return to Bath and an alternative view

Tradesmen entrances

Tradesmen only

At the end of October last year I spent a very enjoyable day in the beautiful Georgian city of Bath in Somerset, on a photographic workshop with Andy Beel FRPS. I wrote about it here. More recently I was travelling back from South Wales and had agreed to pick up my daughter in Bath and we would return home together. The weather was very different to my previous visit. It had been raining heavily in the morning and by the time I arrived in Bath the rain had stopped but it was still grey and overcast. This was in complete contrast to the bright sunshine I had experienced towards the end of last year. I had a couple of hours to kill and decided that I would try and adopt an alternative approach to before. The weather conditions offered very different lighting and I thought I would challenge myself by sticking to just one lens – the Olympus 75mm f1.8 on the Olympus EM1. Because of the crop factor this lens equates to a 150mm on a full frame 35mm camera. Ordinarily this is not  the lens I would choose to take photographs in a crowded city with large buildings and confined areas in which to work. Reach for the wide angle, others might say; try to get everything into the shot. Although I covered a similar area I was looking for new angles and arguably the less glamorous parts of the city which had been the obvious things to shoot last time round. I finished up with the selection you can see here.

Old steps

Old steps

Behind the Georgian facade

Behind the Georgian facade

Porticos

Porticos

Resting pigeon

Resting pigeon

Sash window

Sash window

Back street

Back street

Going down

Going down

Walking on a Sunday

Walking on a Sunday

Street lamp

Street lamp

I took great pleasure from revisiting Bath and taking an alternative view. When I compare this set of images with those I took at the tail end of last year, there are some common features, but I think the overall impression they give of the city is very different. I also enjoyed restricting myself to just one prime lens. It made me look for images which only worked with a more limited and compressed depth of field. If you missed the link to my earlier post on Bath, it’s here. Do click on any of the images to view a larger version which will open in a new window.

The Natural History Museum – without any nature!

In my last entry I wrote about the Genesis Exhibition by Sebastiao Salgado at the Natural History Museum in London, which as I have already said, was remarkable and well worth the visit. I have been to this museum on a number of occasions, although not for some years, but I have to say there are only so many times I can be impressed by dinosaur bones and to put it crudely, ‘stuffed’ animals. I love nature but taxidermy leaves me rather cold. However, apart from the Genesis exhibition, my visit was enhanced by the building itself and in particular, the way the sun light came through the glazed roof panels illuminating the interior architecture and the people as they moved around.

Never one to leave my camera at home I wanted to see if I could capture something of what I saw, as other people enjoyed the reason why most members of the public would come and visit this tourist attraction. So here are the results –

Window arches

These arches are just above the statue of Darwin. As I stood to compose the shot, there were a large number of people photographing Darwin and I just wonder how long I would have had to wait before someone took a similar picture to the one above. I just love the way the light was falling on to the carved columns of the arches.

Stairway

The museum was quite crowded so I had to wait a while for the staircase to be clear of visitors. My patience was I think rewarded.

Arches

These arches were above the cafe and I was attracted to the shaft of sun light as it lit up the columns from the roof lights above.

……..and now for some people shots.

The images below were taken from the gallery above the main foyer. Packed with people it was difficult to isolate one individual. The bright light only lasted a few minutes as it threw shadows on the floor but I am pleased with the two images uncluttered by passers by.

Pointing
Pointing
Alone.jpg
Alone

…….and lastly the great man himself.

The statue of Charles Darwin, the author of the ‘Origin of Species’, 
(taken I hope, from the non tourist angle!)

Darwin.jpg

This is a reminder for me that there is so much to see everywhere I go – not just the obvious, as would have been the case here with the animals and other nature subjects etc, but alternative, even unexpected opportunities to add to my ever growing collection of monochrome photographs.

London cityscapes

Since November of last year the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London has been staging a retrospective exhibition of work by Ansel Adams called ‘From the Mountains to the Sea’. As it was due to finish this month I did not want to miss the opportunity to see original photographs by this inspirational artist. So a day trip to the Capital was planned which also gave me the chance to take in some of the sights of London and of course take a few photographs.

Before heading off to Greenwich I also visited another photographic exhibition at Somerset House called ‘ Landmark – The Fields of Photography’. From there I walked eastwards along The Embankment towards St Paul’s Cathedral, The City of London and the Financial Sector. At Tower Bridge I used the Docklands Light Railway to Cutty Sark, the nearest station for The Maritime Museum. I very much enjoyed seeing areas of London which I had not visited before and here are a slection of images I took that day.

The Shard
A view of The Shard from The Millenium Bridge
St Pauls Cathedral
A mix of ‘old and new’ – St Pauls Cathedral and its reflection in the
contemporary buildings of One Change
Lloyds Building in London
The Lloyds Building – home of the Insurance Company LLoyds of London
Gherkin and Lloyds
The Lloyds Building frames another more recent icon in the City –
The Gherkin
The Gherkin
The Gherkin or as it is formally known as 30 St Mary Axe

I also wanted to try my hand at some abstract geometric compositions of the the modern office blocks which are now starting to dominate the London skyline.

Office blocks 1

Office blocks 3

Office blocks 2

……..and finally an older couple walked hand in hand up the ramp leading to the Millennium Bridge. I assume they too were enjoying the sights and sounds of this remarkable city.

Hand in hand

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