Thursday, 23 March 2017

Architectural novelty

Novelty shouldn't be one of the main aims in architecture and yet today, perhaps more than at any other time in the history of this practical art, architects seem to be caught in a competition to produce the most unusual and eye-catching design within the budget of their brief. The building in today's photograph was one we passed on a walk through the Battersea district of London. A new Frank Gehry building is in the offing there, and the new United States Embassy that is currently under construction is displaying a most unusual exterior wall. Perhaps the irregular, rectangular tiles in shades of blue with white were the architects' response to the arms race in novelty currently under way in that location.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Black and white at Tate Modern

Do people who frequent art galleries take more care over their choice of clothes than those who don't? It seems reasonable to suppose that to be the case. And yet style and fashion are not necessarily the bed-fellows of art, much as everyone connected with clothing and fashion wishes and supposes them to be. The part-person in today's photograph clearly liked the mixture of black and white and carefully paired the shoes with the rest of the ensemble. I just as carefully ensured that my photograph didn't reveal their identity.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Dog walkers and silver birches

Dog walkers feature in quite a few of my photographs, usually as a point of interest and scale. In fact, I've often given thanks for dog walkers because they have frequently provided the human interest and compositional element that makes a shot worth taking. Today's photograph is a case in point. An avenue of silver birches isn't a common occurrence in my experience. This one flanks a bank that separates two small lakes in a nature reserve. Without the dog walkers the shot (and the avenue) would be be empty: they contribute the extra element needed to complete it.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Friday, 17 March 2017

Church, Croome Court, Worcestershire

On a hill, a couple of hundred yards away from the stately home of Croome Court in Worcestershire, stands the church of St Mary Magdalene. The medieval church that served the village and was nearer the grand house was demolished in the 1760s to make way for this Gothick structure. It was designed by the landscape architect, Capability Brown, for the Earl of Coventry. The interior is the work of Robert Adam. Though the overall shape of the church mimics historical Gothic, the details are fanciful, departing radically from the medieval precedents.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The River Hull

The city of Kingston upon Hull (usually abbreviated to Hull) grew up on the banks of the River Hull at the point where it flows into the River Humber. The River Hull is tidal and, flowing through the city, it is bridged at many points. Most of the bridges can be raised or swung to allow the passage of ships, as is the case with the one in the photograph with its control tower. The river's long commercial use has resulted in many structures built along its banks, some of which, though mundane, can provide useful foreground interest.The large structure spanning the river is a tidal barrier with its gate in the raised position.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Monday, 13 March 2017

Fog on the River Humber

Many navigable rivers, such as the River Humber that separates Yorkshire from Lincolnshire, have old wooden structures on and near their banks, the purpose of which is known to few, if any. Was this group of post the platform of a navigation light, a pier, a war-time structure of some sort, or a simple mooring point? I don't know. What I do know is that in my composition the hard, dark shapes offered a perfect foil for the insubstantial fog that was trying its best to snuff out the brightness of the sun.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Cafe chairs and tables

When I was young it would have been pretty much unthinkable to expect to find cafe tables and chairs outdoors during the winter months. But, as society has got richer, clothing has improved, people have more free time and are living longer, and smoking in places serving food has been forbidden, seating outside eating establishments at the cold times of the year has become common-place. Consequently photographers are now able to make the most of the shadows that this furniture makes on sunny winter days!

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Belton church

The village of Belton, near Grantham in Lincolnshire, is best known for its proximity to the stately home, Belton House, a grand property in the care of the National Trust. Today's photograph was taken from the Italianate Garden of that house and it shows the church just outside its boundary wall. Like many churches adjacent to stately homes it is in good repair, appears well cared for, and is absolutely filled to bursting with tombs, monuments, statuary and plaques proclaiming the worthiness of the deceased family members of the grand house. Of which, more later.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Semi-submerged branch

A recent storm, by name of Doris, brought down many trees and branches across the English Midlands. The semi-submerged branch in the photograph above is not one of them. This branch must have been the victim of an earlier blow, at least a couple of years ago, because that's when I first saw it and tried to get a photograph of it. I like the way the six branches of what must be a trunk or bigger limb project above the water, apparently seeking the air and throwing reflections across the rippled surface of the lake.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Daffodil stigma

Some work in one of the garden borders required the removal of a group of daffodils. So, the budding flowers were cut in the hope that they would bloom in a vase indoors. And they did. The morning sun through the kitchen window gave me the opportunity of a macro shot of the stigma of the flower, enveloped in its yellow trumpet. The word "stigma" derives from a branding mark on skin and comes from the word "stick", which must I imagine, account for its application to this part of a flower.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10