Images of London

Some Photos 22nd – 28th January

I spent most of this week in London. I went with an idea of spending most of my time taking photos but really not worrying too much about the results as such, just experimenting and actually capturing those things I often see but don’t shoot.

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West Ruislip Station

This was one of the first images I took during this trip. I was on my way to visit some very elderly relatives. I looked behind me and I loved the colours and pattern I saw. I couldn’t quite make it totally symmetrical, but I’m really pleased with it. This image has an Instagram filter applied and was taken on an iPhone SE.

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Central Line train

I was lucky enough to have the entire carriage to myself so I got on the floor and took this. Again, I found getting the image totally symmetrical a problem – I did manage it in the end with another version of this image, but actually I prefer this one because the fact that it’s slightly ‘off’ makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.

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The British Museum

It was raining heavily during most of my visit so I decided to try and make use of the conditions. I haven’t altered this image at all – it might be more obvious if I did, but I like the fact that it’s not an instant one to get. I’ve been to The British Museum so many times I wanted to try out some new ways of representing what I see there.

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Mummies at The British Museum

I don’t usually take photos of people. The idea of taking candid photos is uncomfortable to me. I find it to be almost like a form of stealing something from the person involved, it’s invasive, I feel uncomfortable about it and I’m not sure I’ll ever change my mind on that. However, I also don’t like the fact that we have ancient Eyptian remains in The British Museum and I really want to say something about that. I have a real problem with the fact that these Egyptians went to so much trouble to arrange their death rites, and just because we don’t believe the things they believed we somehow think that gives us the right to undo all the work they put in, bring them over here and put them on display. It seems like the ultimate invasion of privacy as well. There is no decency in this. It is shocking to me that we do this to people, and I wonder if they were British people in Egypt, then would we, as a nation, be okay with that? I wouldn’t be. I always avoid looking at the mummies. If they were my child’s remains I wouldn’t want people gawking at them, and certainly not laughing and joking about them like some visitors do.  I watch the people staring into those cases. What are they getting out of it? I know I should probably crop this image to remove the back of the person on the right. But somehow it is part of the whole thing for me. I’ve used monochrome because it concentrates on the important detail.

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Movement in a lesser gallery

There are lots of visitors in the galleries that contain various mummies, less so in what – to me – is the more interesting gallery, where art and things of everyday life are often displayed. This photo is ‘as is’, unaltered. Obviously, it needs to be straightened up a bit. I couldn’t use a tripod, so I put the camera on an empty chair. It’s an experiment, but one I feel has worked well. I like it because for me it has captured the feel of that gallery really well.

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The warm glow of Canada

This is Trafalgar Square, about 5pm -ish. The Canadian Embassy has the most beautiful lights, and I think I, like most people I know, feel quite warm towards the Canadians. I suppose the warm glow of it feels a bit like a cosy fire. This is the first time I’ve tried taking photos at night, and I didn’t have a tripod (apparently you’re not actually allowed to use them here anyway), so I had mixed results.

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Lights in Trafalgar Square

This is simply the reflection of a street lamp in Trafalgar Square, but I really like it. It looks monochrome, but it’s not.

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London bus on Westminster Bridge

I wish I’d faced straight on to the road so the lines were going straight across. Lesson learnt for next time. But I like the image.

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Westminster Bridge from the South Bank

This was an experiment (everything is an experiment at the moment). I tried setting the f-stop to f22 and balanced the camera on the edge of the wall next to the river. It took forever. I thought I might be there all night. And despite not touching the camera the entire time it’s still blurred. But I do like the water, it’s come out really well. Maybe I should crop it horizontally across the middle?

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Self portrait

This is a self portrait taken on a Jubilee line train which is pulling out of Bond Street station. The posters on the wall give these lovely blurs of colour.

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Andy Warhol

This is from the Tate Modern. The screen prints are by Andy Warhol. I used to live in a house that Warhol visited. Okay, when he was visiting that house I hadn’t yet been born, and apparently he was unimpressed with everything and everyone anyway, but I like to think of him bored out of his skull in my old living room. It gives me some feeling of (very tenuous) connection with him. But I’m not a huge fan. I liked the reflections and the colours I saw here though, and it’s a way of taking people pictures but keeping some privacy for the people involved I suppose.

 

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Tate Modern Ball

This is another self portrait. I’m sort of in the middle looking up. The really interesting thing about this visit to the Tate Modern was that the feel of the entire entrance space had totally changed. Changing the environment visually has changed the sound people make in that space. I’ll write about this visit on a separate post though, but it was very noticeable to me.

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