Spiral

I was back at Tate Britain last week for lunch. I’m a member of Tate. Paying to be a Tate member gives me free entry to the permanent collections at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the two outlying galleries in St Ives and Liverpool plus free admission to all the main, normally chargeable, exhibitions. It’s money well spent.

It also gives me access to a members area supplying food and drink in a quiet area high up in the impressive dome of the rotunda just inside the main entrance facing the Thames. Always refreshing to have somewhere to sit, without pressure, that’s quiet and peaceful.

The main spiral staircase in the rotunda is well-known and a photograph of it is difficult to resist. Click here to see my own attempt. It’s surprisingly modern as you will discover if you read my previous blog about it. It is not the only spiral staircase. In the corners of the Rotunda are two smaller (by which I mean narrower) spirals that lead up to the members area referred to above. And today’s image is a view down one of them.

I love spiral staircases. I love the curves, the form, the lines. The decision is always: how do I compose this, how should I frame it? A wide-angle lens helps. This was shot at 24mm on my Lumix LX100, but an even wider lens will enable more options. And as with so many subjects, it’s all about experimenting, trying different angles, moving this way and that. I find that it’s only when I am back home that I can sift through the images and slowly find the few that, for me, are the better ones. And I know that next time I go to Tate, I will be drawn to take a few more. Drawn like a moth to a lightbulb!

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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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30 Responses to Spiral

  1. Vicki says:

    I love spiral staircases also, but your image is one of the (best) most interesting stair shapes in the spiral. It truly is a unique shape.

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  2. alan frost says:

    Like you I very much enjoy visiting the Tate Galleries, not just for the artwork to be seen but the photographic opportunities. This entry has made me think about becoming a member myself. Thank you.

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    • LensScaper says:

      It’s worth being a member, Alan. I just renewed. Its £130 for the year which allows me to bring a guest (my wife). Lunch up in the Dome or in a spacious room off it, and visit as often as you like when you like. No queues, no ‘timed’ entries to the major exhibitions – just turn up any time. There’s a new big members room at Tate Modern too. It’s nice to sit down somewhere quiet where you do not feel your seat is required by someone else after half an hour. And if your train takes you into Victoria, Tate Britain is within walking distance.

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  3. Sue says:

    Oh, I love spiral staircases! And I like your composition of this one…lots of lovely lines 😊

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  4. paula graham says:

    Yes, indeed the Tate Modern is a stupendous building, I love it . Staircases are hard to resist!

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    • LensScaper says:

      Tate Britain is within walking distance of Victoria station (my terminus these days). And I can even take a fast river boat from there direct to Tate Modern – haven’t tried that yet, but one day I will!

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  5. A great place to visit and photograph. Hoping to get there myself in August.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Hope you get there, Simon. There’s a fascinating exhibition just opening: ‘AFTERMATH – ART IN THE WAKE OF WORLD WAR ONE’. An exhibition I have yet to see. There are a lot of photographic possibilities there too.

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  6. susurrus says:

    Lovely. I can understand your moth-like compulsion to try again every time you get the opportunity – I’m the same way with roses.

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  7. oneowner says:

    A great shot, Andy. You’re right, these staircases are irresistible to photographers. I think there is an unwritten law that photographers have to shoot them when they are encountered. Like the basket of kittens!

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  8. shoreacres says:

    At first I was startled by the asymmetry. Then, I began to enjoy it. It’s an unusual shot.

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  9. Very nice. I really like this shot. At first, I thought it was the shape but then realised the colours and light were attracting me.

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  10. bluebrightly says:

    This post is full of pleasure taken in the world, and it’s very satisfying. That staircase has wonderfully sculptural lines, I can understand why you’d photograph it again and again. But you’ve mapped a whole experience – it’s more than the photo, ii’s real delight in and appreciation for the world around us.

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    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you so much Lynn. Photography for me is becoming very much more than just capturing images that are competent or, in some way, have ‘quality’. Images are moments of pleasure and delight snatched in an instant but which will exist permanently on my hard drive, or as prints. They are the antidote to a world that is becoming increasingly scary and devoid of the common decencies that should govern our lives and behaviours. Images serve the same purpose as listening to music or reading a good book – you can lose yourself in that moment, everything else is shut out.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: The First Spiral | LensScaper

  12. paranoiasnfm says:

    Beautiful photo!

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