Somewhere Different

There comes a point, occasionally, when I feel I have run out of ideas for photography in my own neighbourhood. And dreary weather – yes, it’s back again! – doesn’t help. So it was a joy to go to Greenwich this past week to see The Ansel Adams exhibition (sadly it’s now ended), and focus my Eye on somewhere different.

As I wrote in my last blog entry, exhibitions of superb photography, of any genre, serve to inspire us but they can also be disheartening: showing how our own photographic efforts fall short of what is possible. The best cure for that is to go straight out and find a bunch of new images. Which is exactly what I did at Greenwich.

I spent three years in the late ‘60s completing my medical degree at Guy’s Hospital, London. Most of that time I lived in a flat in Blackheath just a mile or two from Greenwich. More recently I’ve trudged up through Greenwich Park past the Royal Observatory several times to Blackheath for the start of the London Marathon that winds its way through the immediate neighbourhood, passing the Greenwich National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark at about the five mile point before heading up river to Tower Bridge.

Despite those associations I don’t recall ever visiting the Museum before. We merely scraped the surface of it during our recent visit!

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Lunch was at the Sixteen Seconds West Brasserie (named as it’s sixteen seconds of latitude west of the Greenwich Meridian). Excellent meal and an intriguing ceiling partly composed of perforated sheets of reflective Aluminium. My wife strayed out onto the adjacent roof terrace allowing me to capture an ethereal image of my better half.

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She came back with news of an image or two. She’s a good scout. Show me a sheet of reflective glass and I will contrive an image from it.

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We had chosen the warmest day of the year for our visit and after lunch and our visit to the exhibition we enjoyed the sun outdoors while admiring what must rank as one of the biggest ships in a bottle anywhere.

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Finally working our way back through the vast space of the Museum I spotted one of many Figureheads on display. A classic British Bulldog. Very British.

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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14 Responses to Somewhere Different

  1. Marcie says:

    Love the reflections in these images…and what a great idea to find inspiration by getting out of your way and seeing other people’s art at a museum!

  2. You make some good points – about the feelings of inspiration/dejection when looking at work by someone like Ansel Adams, and about the feeling of having run out of subjects. It seems to me that when I get that “I’ve shot everything” feeling, a short change of scenery such as your museum visit, will open my eyes to new things once I get back to familiar surroundings.

    And yay for spouses who are good scouts – mine is the same. His most frequent comment when we are traveling is, “Do we need to stop? Do we need to stop?”

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Melinda. A change of weather will help the inspiration around here too. Spring is happening slowly but in weather that offers little encouragement to the photographer. My wife’s tactic when I stop for a photo, is to keep on walking at a slower pace. The longer I take, the further I have to run to catch up with her!

  3. oneowner says:

    It’s hard not to look at Adams’ work and not feel a bit inferior. But remember, he was a professional photographer who pursued his vision relentlessly just as you did as an MD. And I’ve seen some extraordinary photos on this blog from you but I doubt if Ansel cured as many sick people as you have.

    Your wife is a good sport about spotting photo ops, too.

  4. ehpem says:

    Nice shots, especially like the reflections. I lived in London for 4 years but only recall going to Greenwich once in that time, and not to the museum. Obviously I should have…
    My spouse spots for me too – often it is about light when I am not paying attention – such as working at the computer. It has resulted in some of my best landscapes and is much appreciated.
    I know about wearing out the local inspiration as well, and also find that a bit of a trip can help cure camera blues.
    And Ken’s point is a good one. Just think if you had spent those 3 years in London applying the same amount of effort learning to be a photographer and continued in the profession from there. The other thing I try to keep in mind is that usually exhibitions or books of someones work are a very tiny proportion of their best work. They must throw away scads of images, even the very large format photographers that take so much care with every single setup.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks for your comment, you make some very valid observations. We do forget, don’t we, that professionals only show us their best work. I don’t think I would have ever enjoyed being a professional photographer – having to work to someone’s else script for much of the time I think would have ruined the pleasure. Those who are lucky enough, and they are very few, to make a living out of a genre such as landscape photography are incredibly fortunate.

  5. LB says:

    I very much like the one of your wife, but that 3rd photo is fantastic!

  6. Jim Nix says:

    I have been in that area briefly, very cool and nice pics!

  7. A very interesting series.

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