On the Diagonal

_DS79370_rotateWhen fellow bloggers make suggestions for how an image might be improved, or could look different, I listen and experiment with their ideas. And this is the case with today’s image.

Frank King of Frank King Photos (do take a look at Frank’s excellent photography – click on the link) made a comment on the original version of this image – click here to view it – and asked if I had ever thought of a version with the camera twisted.

So I rotated the image, and I think it creates a strong alternative which is part abstract and part architectural. Many thanks for the idea, Frank. Hope you like it.


Posted in Architecture & Buildings, Black & White | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Sublime Beauty

_DS79370_crop‘Sublime Beauty’ may not be the words you would normally use to describe this facade, but they are the words used by Architect Sam Jacob when he nominated this multi-storey car park in Welbeck Street, just north of Oxford Street in Central London, for the Design Museum’s Lesser Known Architecture Show in 2013. He wrote:  ‘here infrastructure is handled with such delicacy that all its rawness is elevated to sublime beauty’. He also described it as: ‘simultaneously practical and symbolic’.

The building is a product of the Brutalist era of Architecture, of which the Barbican Centre in London is a prime example. It was designed by Michael Blampied and Partners, and built in 1971.

The sad news is that this building may soon be demolished. While researching for information on this building I came across an article dated Feb 2016 (click here to view it) that reported that the car park was in the process of being sold and was likely to be demolished and the site then re-developed.

This building no longer has that newly built pristine look, but the rain-stained concrete has acquired mood and atmosphere over the years that suggests something slightly sinister. To me it has tremendous appeal as a work of symmetry and design, and definitely it has a raw and sublime beauty.

Posted in Architecture & Buildings, Black & White | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments


IMG_6045Today’s image comes from the Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London. It is the oldest public Art Gallery in England, opened in 1817 and designed by Regency architect Sir John Soane. It pioneered the use of skylights as a means of illuminating the gallery space with natural light. Dulwich Picture Gallery is composed of a series of galleries all illuminated in this way.

The gallery houses an impressive permanent collection as well as hosting regular exhibitions. This image was taken two years ago when I visited the gallery to see a superb display of David Hockney’s prints from the early years of his career including those dating from the time he spent in California.


Posted in Architecture & Buildings | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

On Holmbury Hill

IMG_1670_WPThe weather has turned wet and cooler – I said Summer wouldn’t last – and in sympathy with the change of weather, this photo was taken earlier in the year on my iPhone when the weather was a lot colder.

Richard (son and heir), plus daughter’s dog, and me went for a walk up Holmbury Hill at the beginning of March. Holmbury Hill is about three miles due west of Leith Hill – already visited twice  – once in cloud (click here) and once on a perfect winter’s day (click here). It’s possible to walk from one hill to the next, something I hope to do before too long

So what sort of weather did we have on Holmbury Hill? It was overcast, and rain was a possibility – we thought. Less than five minutes after this shot was taken, just as we crested the summit, we were hit by a blizzard of snow. All over in five minutes or so and then life resumed as usual. The dog seemed unperturbed.

Posted in Winter | Tagged , | 8 Comments

On a Summmer’s Day

_DS75281_WPThe temperature yesterday in the south of the UK was hotter than Athens, Madrid and Rome. Summer has come unexpectedly early, but rain is on its way. These events remind me of a quote attributed to King Charles II: ‘The English summer is three fine days and a thunderstorm’.

Three summers ago I visited the Ansel Adams exhibition at Greenwich on a hot summer’s day and took this image. I processed it deliberately to try to evoke the feel of a day like that when the light seems too strong, particularly when you emerge from a darkened exhibition space and your eyes take time to adjust to the binding outdoor light with the colour drained away.

Click on the image to see a higher quality enlargement.

Posted in Eclectica | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

Glistening Sand, Glittering Sea

_DS84073Another location on the south coast visited on a beautiful ‘Summer’ day. Dangerous to hint that this might be the first signs of summer because, knowing the vagaries of the British weather, we may plunge back into something much colder. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Today’s image was taken at Selsey Bill, a notable promontory at the southernmost tip of the Manhood Peninsula on the coast a few miles east of Chichester. The land around here is very flat and in the past, at flood tide, Selsey would be cut cut off from the mainland.

The tide was out on the day we visited exposing a gently shelving sandy beach that was almost deserted. In the past there was a large sand spit extending out into the sea but over time that has been eroded away. I was fortunate to find a small spit of sand that added interest to the image. The coast never stays the same for long: tides and storms continually re-distributing the assets.

Click on the image to see a higher quality enlargement.

Posted in Coast, WaterScapes | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Spring has Sprung

_DS84037April was a real mixed bag of weather from warmth to snow and a profusion of April Showers – sunshine one minute, pouring rain the next. How trees, plants and flowers make sense of this is a mystery but they do, although sometimes they misjudge and get frost-nipped. May has now arrived and the temperature is set to climb sharply as the week progresses.

I haven’t got out as much as I would have liked to record the arrival of Spring this year – moving to a new area means that the best woods for photography need to be discovered and investigated and that takes time.

_DS83984However we do have areas of woodland very close to where we live – a small bluebell wood is a two-minute walk away, and a nature reserve can be reached by car in five minutes and those are the locations of today’s images._DS84034

Posted in Spring | Tagged , , | 12 Comments