Just to be contrary…

So the weather has finally turned, and autumn (or maybe even winter) is finally upon us.  So just to be contrary, today’s image shows a spring leaf bursting forth at Ham House gardens.  Before anyone suggests that this is yet further evidence of global warming, I should point out that I took this image in March a couple of years back!

If yesterday’s image was all about pattern and texture, then today is all about colour.  I think we often fail to notice the rich variety of tones in the colour of the world around us.  The fresh green of a newly formed spring leaf is different from the more mellow green of the established one, and both are different again from the dusky green of the late summer.  As autumn turns into winter, colours change again, and although they may be more muted than in the blazing glory days of July, there is still a huge variety of shade and tone to engage us, if only we take the time to look.

Spring leaf

Spring leaf

Posted in General, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just noticing

As you will no doubt have spotted, things catching my eye are a regular feature of these posts.  For me, a key part of photography is “just noticing” what is around you.  That’s not to say it’s artless, as there’s then the process of trying to craft something interesting from the material you have spotted…but the noticing is the start of the creative process.

What you spot does not always have to be earth-shattering or momentous, though.  Sometimes the simplest things can be the most intriguing.  In today’s image, the complex of patterns formed by the criss-crossing lines of the various objects intrigued me, along with the contrast of textures between wood and metal.

Small garden fork resting on latticework metal chair

Patterns – wood and metal

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A view from the window

Train journeys have always fascinated me. I think it’s partly the luxury of having the time simply to watch the world go by, catching fleeting glimpses of the lives of people and communities you may never see again, as the changing landscape flashes past like a movie on fast-forward. 

I think it’s also the fact that, from the railway tracks, you tend to see the reverse side of places, the bits normally hidden from the passer-by’s gaze. Today I have the pleasure of a train journey from London to Cambridge, and I caught this view as the train hurtled northwards. 

  

Posted in General, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art Deco detail

I’m a big fan of art deco, and a while ago I was lucky enough to go on one of Yannick Pucci’s superb art deco walks around Bloomsbury.  One of the joys of a walk like this is that you have time to notice all sorts of interesting details, and also a guide to draw your attention to lots that you have missed!  As I’ve said before, learning to take time to really look at the world around you, and appreciate it, is one of the pleasures of photography.

Today’s image is just one small detail amongst many from that walk: an art deco-style street sign on the corner of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Art deco street sign

Art deco street sign

Posted in Architecture, General, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A popular performance

The Covent Garden piazza can be a busy place to get through, and if you are in a hurry, the quickest route as a Londoner is sometimes to try to bypass it.  For me, though, the temptation of the place is usually too strong, as there always seems to be something fascinating to observe amidst the ebb and flow of humanity.  Friends chatting, people shopping, the smell of coffee, and the eye-catching window and stall displays.

And then, of course, there are the street performers outside St Pauls.  I took today’s picture in Spring 2014, and clearly this fellow was popular, as a crowd of people had stopped to look not just in the square itself, but also on the terrace of the building beyond.  There was something about that performance and the sea of expectant faces which just caught my eye.

Covent Garden performance

Covent Garden performance

Posted in General, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pattern in the sky

I recently caught part of a TV programme my partner was watching about the architecture of new houses.  One of the architects was explaining how he had been inspired by a photograph taken looking up at the sky through the branches of a tree; he’d used this to shape his design of the roof, and consequently the play of light in the house.  It was a fascinating idea, which had led to a striking and innovative piece of roof design.

I understand how a photograph like that might catch someone’s eye and be inspiring.  Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that I am fascinated by shots like that; the patterns which trees and plants make against the sky and their wider environment are varied and often mesmerising.  Today’s image was taken in Hertfordshire some years ago, and highlights the shape of a tree by the River Lea, picked out against a bright blue winter sky.

Tree against blue sky

Tree against blue sky

Posted in Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Relaxing in the sunshine

I know I’ve been quiet for a few months – it’s been a very busy summer with touring work and my studies, but things are finally starting to quieten down a bit.  So, in the midst of the wet and windy weather, I’ve chosen an image today to remind me of the feeling of the summer sunshine on my face, the smell of flowers on the breeze, and the feeling of grass between my toes!

Relaxing in Bloomsbury Square

Relaxing in Bloomsbury Square

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking out to sea

In the spirit of honesty, I should state up front that today’s image was not entirely spontaneous – an obliging friend responded to my request to sit on the bench!   A sense of scale is often difficult to achieve in an image (think about the last time you tried to capture the scale of a tall building, for example).  So I like the sense of scale in this picture which the expanse of the sea provides, and also the bands of colour provided by the grass, the sky and the hazy banks of cloud.

Figure seated on bench and looking out to sea

Looking out to sea

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Patterns and rust

I had the pleasure of taking two people on a night-time photo walk of London a few days ago.  One of them commented that a key challenge of photography is actually finding the time to do it; and one of its rewards is realising that when you do so, you start to look at the world in a new way.  Regular readers, who know how strongly I feel about this issue, will suspect me of prompting this comment, but it was honestly quite spontaneous and unsolicited!

Observing the world in a new way, and seeing interest or beauty in things you might otherwise miss, is one of the gifts that photography gives you, more or less in proportion to the effort which you invest in it.  Today’s image shows a detail from what at first glance might have looked like some unpreposessing metal bars…but on getting down into the detail I found shapes and patterns which were intriguing and which, in my view, had a beauty of their own.

Patterns and rust

Patterns and rust

Posted in General, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Lincoln’s Inn Fields, I am told, is the largest public square in London.  Tucked in next to one of London’s four great Inns of Court, it is today a beautiful space in which workers come for a lunch or coffee break, or onto which tourists wander after relishing the delights of the nearby Sir John Soane’s Museum.  I captured today’s image on a peaceful weekday morning in spring, with the trees coming into leaf and framing the glimpses of Londoners enjoying the tranquility of the open space.

Lincoln's Inn Fields

Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Posted in General, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment