Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Do they know its Christmas time at all

Christmas has passed at the time of writing this, but as ever I am a catching up. I dont know whether its because I try do so as much of my Christmas shopping online, but I didnt seem to be exposed to so much Christmas stuff and it seemed relatively subdued. I even managed to completely avoid the latest band aid record; like some of the artists that declined an offer to perform, I chose to donate in other ways.

Anyway having justified the title of the post, its time to get on with it; two sets of images from different days and different parts of the city, both from half an hour or so breaks from the office. First up is Mansion House Street, a small stretch of road directly in front of the Mansion House; the home and office of the Lord Mayor of London.

A short distance from here down Queen Victoria Street is Bucklersbury. The image below is taken at the building site for Bloomberg's new headquarters. When the previous building was being built, the remains of the the roman Temple of Mithras were found. Progress was not impeded though and the temple was relocated to a street level roof of a car park (of all things), Now they are on the move again and will be relocated back to the original location. Hooray. There are some more details at the guardian.

From here I moved down onto Cannon Street and some of the roads off it. When I first entered Salters Hall Court I was completely uninspired and decided to come back another day, However on walking up the next parallel street to it, St. Swithins Lane, I came across a garage entrance to the court and noticed this silhouetted woman.

I continued up St. Swithins Lane, before heading back to the office.

A couple of days later I had another short break from the office, this time filling in some of the streets around St. Bartholomew's hospital. Newbury Street was not very inspiring, and the best I could do was to frame someone in some scaffolding.

Next stop was Bartholomew Place, a small courtyard of sorts, but with a charming looking picture framers.

Across from here is Bartholomew Close which then leads to Middlesex Passage, a twisty turny alley. I spotted a couple of hospital workers here on an unofficial smoking break who would have made a great photo, but they refused to have there photo taken as they shouldn't have been there,

Also off of the close is Bartholomew Passage, which is very short and does not present many photographic opportunities.

I then backtracked a little and onto Kinghorn Street, where the rain had produced nice shiny reflections on the pavement.

My last shot of this area was of Cloth Street, which I had been down several times previously without managing to take a shot. I got one this time, but its nothing to write home about; if the scaffolding looks familiar its because the shot was taken from the end of Newbury Street, the first image in this post.

I then headed back to the office, but via a long route, down to St. Pauls tube station and onto Cheapside, before going down Foster Lane, were I shot by my favourite image of the two days.

From here I walked along Gresham Street, which I had photographed previously, but my eye spotted the steps outside the building below, which made great lead-in-lines.

My final image of the day and this post, was taken later that afternoon, from my office as the sun was setting. It was a lovely sunset and made a nice image.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Another month passes

This post marks the end of November (still a bit behind) and I'm beginning to feel like the end is in sight, but only a little closer than the horizon. The shots here were taken on two days in the last week of the month and are a mixture of around Cannon Street or down on the Thames footpath.

First up is Abchurch Yard. Not my best picture but any means but I like the lead in lines here. The  building in the background is St. Mary Abchurch (another post fire of london Wren Church).

The following shot is taken on the steps at the entrance to Cannon Street station.

Next is Swan Lane which leads from Upper Thames Street down to the Thames. I have seen some great pictures of the building in the picture below in the past, with the bright yellow of the building contrasting against a clear blue sky and I have wanted to take such a shot, but didn't recognise the building at the time. Instead I opted for a reflection shot and perhaps it is a good thing that I found my own image rather than copied someone else's, even if mine is not as good.

I then walked along the Thames footpath, where the name changes frequently. The fist image below is of Oystergate Walk, and the second is Hanseatic Walk.

The following day I headed down to the river again, filling in a few streets along the way. Birchin Lane was one of the last, if not the last street between Cornhill and Lombard Street, that I still needed to photograph.

A bit further on and on the south side of Cannon Street is Martin Lane.

The bottom of Martin Lane leads onto Arthur Street where I encountered some construction workers engaging in traffic duties.

From here I crossed Upper Thames Street and onto Angel Lane whose most prominent feature is a large shiny building occupied by the Japanese bank Nomura.

At the end of Angel Lane is the Thames footpath and I walked westerly along here for a bit, My next image is of Steelyard Passage which passes underneath Cannon Street station. Its quite a dark passage but does have some ground level lights. It also features a sound installation that allegedly plays industrial sounds from days gone by, but personally I thought it sounded quite spooky.

My last shot of the day and of the month also was of Peters Hill, which leads from the river up to St. Paul's Cathedral. On the left of the image below is the millennium (or wobbly) bridge.

The updated map now looks as follows -

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A half day - Part two

I am going to start off the second part of my half day with my favourite image of the day, and the second time I asked someone if I could take their picture. I did by a coffee but he was such a nice bloke I don't think he wouldn't have minded even if I hadn't bought a drink.The image itself was taken on St. Bride's Avenue in front of the church of that name. A church has been on this site since the 7th Century and was one of many which was destroyed by the Great fire of London, designed or built by Sir Christoper Wren and then again damaged during the second world war.

Now going back a bit in the afternoon and a much less interesting shot on Whitefriars Street.

Almost opposite here is Primrose Hill, which is not much of a hill, more of a gentle incline. I was lacking inspiration a little here, but thought the dark building with all its patterns and lines might look slightly interesting against a stark sky. I was right, but only slightly.

Between here and Dorse Rise lies Hutton Street a featureless street, which I tried to rescue with a bit of strong processing.

Close by is Dorset building, and another average shot really, but there is something mildly interesting to tell here. After taking an image I always take an picture of the street sign to remind me of the location when I get home. When I looked at the street sign picture on my PC I noticed the street sign said EC2 - but this area was surely  EC4, whilst EC2 is around  Liverpool Street, Bank and Moorgate. Surely it was a mistake, and you can just make out on this Google Streetview Image that there are two signs for the street directly opposite each other, one of which says EC2 and the other which says EC4.

Close by is Salisbury Square and the following shot was taken of a stairway leading from the square down to Primrose Hill - I was standing at the top of the stairs at the square so I am am counting it as that (and they are my rules so there).

Pleydell Street is few streets away from here, and geographically at least should have appeared in part one, as it is between Bouverie Street and Lombard Lane, both of which featured in that post. It is very short street and didn't have too much to photograph, so took a couple of visits to get something half decent.

Whilst heading back from Pleydell Street I noticed Salisbury Court, which is one of those annoying places that you think you have photographed only to find out that the street changes name. Salisbury Court is at the top (Fleet Street end) of Dorset Lane near the court of the same name (above). It was worth finding though as I came across this lovely building where the first edition of the Sunday Times was edited on October 20th 1822.

Heading back towards the first image in this post and to Bride Court, an image I really like, and Bride Lane, an image I like a lot less.

Close by is Ludgate Circus, which is basically the junction Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street meet Farrindon Street and New Bridge Street.

At this point I had had enough and it was starting to rain and get dark. However I had noticed some lights on the ground at St. Brides Passage earlier that I thought might make an interesting image, so headed back there. Climbing the steps up the passage though I saw another opportunity for a shot and waited a few minutes for someone to come up the stairs. It was my last image of the day, and very nearly my favourite.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A half day - Part One

The western part of city from the Thames up to Holborn and west of Farringdon Street/ New Bridge Street is the furthest part of the city from my place of work, and therefore the longest to get to. This makes it an impossible area to visit either prior to work or in a lunch break. I recognised early on in the project that I would have to complete this area prior to the onset of winter and the dark nights, but failed to listen to myself. Thus I had to take some the first of at least a couple of half days vacation, in order to tackle this area during the week and in daylight.

So I worked till lunch time and then headed off towards the river and down Kennett Wharf Lane, a little street off Upper Thames Street. There is not much to say about this shot except it looks like quite a few others that I have taken in this project.

On reaching the river I took a little detour underneath Southward Bridge to photograph Fruiteres Passage. This rather lovely tunnel was built in the 1920's and is named after the worshipful company of fruiterers who had a warehouse on the banks of the river above. The walls of the tunnel feature murals depicting scenes of London, the originals of which are now in the Guildhall. I managed to catch some reflection of people at the far end, as they approach but before they enter the passage, which I thought gave the image a slightly ghostly feel, but that could just be me.

I then turned around and headed west again and onto Queenhithe and then back onto Upper Thames Street. In doing so I missed out a few streets, but this area was not my main goal of the afternoon, so if I was not immediately inspired, then I carried on my way. At the end of Queenhithe, there is  a bridge crossing Upper Thames Street; its questionable whether the southern side starts on Upper Thames Street or on  High Timber Street, but the latter had limited opportunities for an interesting photograph, so the following image of that is bridge is credited to being on High Timber Street.

I then took the following image of a tunnel on Upper Thames Street that I quite like. I think its all the diagonal lines, and I had a couple of images with a lone taxi, but in the end settled for an image with no vehicles in it.

Missing out a few more streets I headed back onto the Thames and onto Paul's Walk - this walkway stretches all the way to Victoria Embankment without changing name, a fact I was very glad of. Teh location of the image below was taken below Blackfriars railway bridge.

On reaching Victoria Embankement  I then headed away from the river and up towards Fleet Street; completing as much of this area as possible was my main goal of the afternoon. I started off on Tallis Street, where I photographed some of Boris' Bikes. I have photographed these a few times before as have many others but this was the first time I had seen a yellow one, and it contrasted nicely with the blue one; the workman in the orange jacket was an added bonus.

Continuing towards Fleet Street I then took a couple of pictures on Bouverie Street. The first is a bit more like my usual sort of short, whilst the second was an attempt to do something a little different and which I think turned out rather well - I like it anyway.

Just round the corner from here is Temple Lane, where I took a couple of more images.

At the top of Temple Lane is Lombard Lane, where due to a lack of inspiration, I photographed myself or at least my reflection. My shadow has appeared previously in the project and now my reflection.

Towards the top of this lane is a left turn that leads to Serjeants Inn Courtyard, where the following image was taken.

Around the corner from here and heading towards Fleet Street is a tiny footpath called Hare Place. After wandering and wondering what to shoot for a few minutes, I plucked up the courage to speak to the girl below, before she finished her cigarette break and vanished. I told her about the project and she was more than happy for me to take her picture -if you are reading this, then I apologise that it has taken three weeks to post the image (the likelihood is that she got bored waiting for it to appear).

Since this was quite a productive outing with lots of images, I am splitting it up into two posts; the second to follow.