Thursday, 7 November 2013
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
This picture of Shad Thames next to Tower Bridge in London was taken some thirty years ago. I took it because the buildings - to the right and to the left of the photograph - were part of Courage's Anchor Brewhouse, and, at the time, I was busy documenting some of the vanishing breweries of London. The brewery is long gone, but the shell of the building still remains. It houses some of the most desirable apartments in London, with rents up to £20,000 a month. For that you get an unrivalled view if the city - and the smell of old beer.
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
The small museum at Santa Barbara Castle at Alicante hit upon a wonderful way of displaying some of the fragments of pottery found on the site. I am almost tempted to adopt a similar approach to the stones I find in my garden although I suspect it wouldn't be half as colourful.
Monday, 28 October 2013
Sunday, 27 October 2013
On the ramparts of Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante. This could have been six hundred years ago ..... if it hadn't been for the monochrome image (monochrome was a nineteenth century invention after all), if it hadn't have been for the safety railings, if it hadn't been for the t-shirts, if it hadn't been for the foam padding on the balsa wood trebuchet. In fact it was a couple of weeks ago.
Friday, 25 October 2013
Thursday, 24 October 2013
The City of Alicante is dominated by the Castle of Santa Barbara which sits on top of a massive rock outcrop. Conveniently, there is a lift to the top which is reached by walking down was seems like an elongated stainless steel tube. The light bounced off the sides like marbles in a pinball machine creating patches of light and dark.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
|Alicante : October 2013|
All along the garden pathways in Alicante there are seats put out for the old citizens of the town to sit and gossip. Each day in the sun they gather to catch up with old friends, read the newspapers or just nod off. It's a kind of alfresco community association, full of the activity of people being inactive.
I am never quite sure what makes me take a photograph. Some half-thought, some snatch of an untold story, some incongruous pattern - who knows? It has a meaning at the moment I press the electronic shutter but it may be long forgotten in the part-second it takes the image to appear on the viewing screen.
These two women were walking along the harbour wall in Puerta Banus with all the energy of a pair of climbers tackling the South Col of Everest. For a moment in time it made a good image. Now it makes a good memory.
We are back after our trip to Spain but it will take me a few days to get my blogging ducks into a row. We had a marvellous time in southern Spain and on one glorious day we were taken on a visit to the Andalusian city of Ronda. With its ancient bridge and spectacular views, the city is a magnet for photographers. Nevertheless, out of the hundreds of photographs I took that day, perhaps this picture of a tiled pictorial map on a wall sums up the city best of all.
Some years ago, the artist David Hockney abandoned Los Angeles and moved his main studio to the East Yorkshire seaside town of Bridlington. His wonderful East Yorkshire paintings seem to capture the landscape and scenery of the Yorkshire Wolds so well. I am no Hockney, but, over the years, I have also found Bridlington a powerful muse. This is a picture I took back in the 1970s : recently rediscovered and scanned. No Hockney - but pleasing.
This is a photograph of Charles Street in Elland taken back in the 1980s. Most of the buildings are still there today, but the cars are different and the cigarette vending machines have long gone. Scanning my old negatives is like taking a stroll through history.
On Sunday we went for a walk around Hollingworth Lake. On the way we passed an old man, bent over, sat by the edge of the water. There was something about the shape of his back that recorded a lifetime of work. He deserved his moment of contemplation.
I was having some problems with my camera on Friday, and believing that I had fixed it (note to self : take off the bloody lens hood) I took a few test shots. At the time I was down in Brighouse and close to the area called Thornhill Briggs. One of the shots was of Thornhill Briggs Working Men's Club which was taken for no other reason than to test whether the shutter was working properly. Experience from the photographs I took forty or so years ago suggests that it is such throw-away shots that are the most fascinating to look back on a few decades later. They provide a record of reality, a picture of normality.
Just back from a few days away on the North Yorkshire coast. Beautiful weather, jigsaw-puzzle clouds and sea as blue as a Muddy Waters song. I took this photograph at Ravenscar on Tuesday morning. Even the sheep are clean in this corner of paradise.
It was a lovely day. In Castletown in the Isle Of Man. The sky was the kind of blue you normally can only find in a Photoshop palette. We had walked around the town, taking in the sights. We walked back to the railway station and next to the station was the kind of pub that only normally exists in your imagination. White walls. Hanging baskets of blossom. Inside there were shady rooms and a row of hand-pulled real ales as long as your thirst.
The Isle of Man still has a steam railway. It is not a pretend heritage line run by well-meaning volunteers, but a proper, functioning, steam-spurting, iron-clunking, brass-polishing railway line run by the Island's Transport Department. As we travelled from Douglas to Port Erin, the sun was shining, the skies were blue, there were rabbits hopping in the fields and a some children enjoying a picnic waved to the engine driver. It was like a cross between Thomas The Tank Engine and an Enid Blyton novel.
Sunday, 4 August 2013
Friday, 2 August 2013
|Douglas Horse Tram : July 2013|
Douglas claims to have the only surviving horse drawn tramway system in the world. The trams trundle along the front every ten minutes or so and the horses are magnificent beasts that appear to be well looked after. The earlier photograph - from an old postcard - dates back to the 1930s, but even then the tramway system was some sixty years old. One would like to imagine that the 2013 horse was some distant descendant of that earlier tramway engine.
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Thursday, 11 July 2013
Picture Post is back and today we feature this fine photographic portrait of ..... well someone or other. A few months ago I bought an old album full of Victorian and Edwardian photographs, but not one of them was identified : no names , no dates, no locations. The images float around like the Flying Dutchman searching for a home, desperate for a history.
Monday, 20 May 2013
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
Friday, 10 May 2013
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Saturday, 20 April 2013
Friday, 19 April 2013
In some ways this isn't a particularly good photograph. But there again, any photograph that features barrels and tubes and taps has some merit. Taken in a winemakers in the town of Jumilla, the photograph pays homage to the vine and its' product, be it five, ten or fifteen years old.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
I am not sure where this door was : Spain certainly, but which one of the many towns and villages we visited, I am not sure. But it could have been any and it could have been all. There is a tendency to not fix something that isn't fully broken and fallen over. The wood has the look of a well-used elephant skin : lovely.
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Monday, 15 April 2013
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Just got back from a few days in Spain. This is the first of a short series of photographs from the trip. I should be able to work out where I took this by eliminating all the mentioned destinations in Murcia. I have a feeling it was taken in the town of Jumilla.
Friday, 5 April 2013
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Several years ago I published a "International Manhole Cover and Inspection Hatch" Calendar, but it didn't sell and people suggested that I was going slightly eccentric. But I still can't walk above a well designed manhole cover without taking a photograph. Who knows, I might publish a 2014 edition.