Thursday, 7 November 2013

1136 : Colourful Alicante

OK, I have been playing with Photoshop. But the colours are only slightly enhanced and the view is the same from the top of Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

1135 : Shad Thames And Old Beer

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

1134 : Bits And Pieces

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

1133 : Mainly On The Plane

Alicante from the top of the hill where the castle of Santa Barbara perches. The plane stretches out into the distance. No rain stays there at all.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

1132 : If It Hadn't Been For The Foam Padding

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

1131 : El Castillo Santa Barbara, Alicante

Walk down the aluminium tube, go up the lift, walk out into the sunshine and gaze upon the stone solidity of Santa Barbara Castle.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

1130 : Pinball Light Machine

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

1129 : Actively Inactive

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.

1128 : Costa Del Col

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.

1127 : Ronda

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.

1126 : No Hockney, But Pleasing

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.

1125 : Taking A Stroll Down Charles Street

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.

1124 : A Moment Of Contemplation

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.

1123 : Thornhill Briggs WMC

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.

1122 : This Corner Of Paradise

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.

1121 : As Long As Your Thirst

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.

1120 : Reflections of Thomas

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

1119 : Tower of Refuge

The so-called Tower of Refuge, built by Sir William Hillary in 1832 on St Mary's Isle in Douglas Bay in the Isle of Man. It was built as a refuge for shipwrecked sailors.

Friday, 2 August 2013

1118 : Douglas Horse Tram

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, 11 July 2013

1116 : The Flying Dutch Lady

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

1115 : Captain George Vancouver

The anchor chain that is a kind of flexible sculpture leading up to the statue of Captain George Vancouver who was born in Kings Lynn where this photograph was taken a couple of weeks ago. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

1114 : Shere Beauty

The church in the Surrey village of Shere. The notice on the bench states "This seat replaces a previous one that occupied this spot", although why it should state this is unclear!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

1113 : Sunset In Hunstanton

This photograph was taken last week in Hunstanton, Norfolk. The Norfolk coast is under constant attack by the tides and the wooden piles help prevent too much movement of the sand. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

1112 : Dangerous Hang-Over

Sign On Building : Shere, Surrey. Alan Burnett, May 2013

Unfortunately we are not able to discover what is overhanging and thus necessitating that we drive carefully - presumably because someone didn't drive carefully.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

1111 : The Altea Harpist

We spent a day at the town of Altea on the Spanish coast. Beautiful weather : the sea and the sky tied to outdo themselves in terms of blueness. A young chap played a harp and collected Euro coins - perfect background music to our day.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

1110 : Wedding Lists

Again there is that studied casualness about this sign, that lack of regularity which says to me Spain off the beaten track.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

1109 : Burst Of Exuberance

So often in Spain you would find towns that seemed to specialise in plain walls, plain surfaces, plain colours and then you would turn a corner and be greeted with a burst of exuberance that would make you catch your breath.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

1108 : Pocket Change

Another possible shot for the 2014 IMCIH Calendar. There is something powerfully imposing about the design, like the dropped pocket change of a cast iron giant.

Friday, 19 April 2013

1107 : Homage To The Vine

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

1106 : A Well Used Elephant Skin

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

1105 : A Canticle Of Colour

A church. Just a little local church. In Jumilla in Spain. But a canticle of colour; a litany in blue, white and a hundred shades of brown.

Monday, 15 April 2013

1104 : A Novel In Jumilla

There is a cotton-thin line between shabby and picturesque. The paint is peeling, the glass is broken, the wiring is idiosyncratic; but I feel as though I could move into this apartment in the Spanish town of Jumilla and write a great novel.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

1103 : Every Which Way

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

1102 : The Curve Of The Earth

Shirley Heights, Antigua, October 2012
Sometimes, if you look far enough into the distance, into a deep blue sea and a powder blue sky; sometimes you can see the curve of the earth.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

1101 : IMCIH Calendar

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.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

1100 : Azorian Gable

Gable End (October 2012)
Another gable end, this one a contrast to the starkness of my Yorkshire stone terrace of a couple of days ago. This was a small section of a painting on the wall of a building in Ponta Delgado, in the Azores.

Monday, 1 April 2013

1099 : Stone And Water

Bradford City Hall, which has now been surrounded by an expanse of water allowing people to see the building in its full nineteenth century glory.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

1098 Gable End

Gable End (March 2013)
I am almost tempted to acquire several pots of brightly coloured paint and sneak down to this Brighouse terrace late at night and with a ladder and start filling in the pointed rectangles with random colours.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

1097 Albert

Albert by Alan Burnett, March 2013
Good friend and fellow Old Git, Albert.

Friday, 29 March 2013

1096 Spring

Snow in Huddersfield Crematorium : March 2013
Just when both you and I thought I had abandoned this photo-blog, back it comes. It is Spring and it is time for a new start.

FOUND 1 : Walking With Confidence

  FOUND 1 : The joy of found photographs is that, whilst they provide a visual superstructure, you are free to construct your own backstory ...