Tag Archives: landcsape

London Docklands from Olympic Stadium roof

It has been a while since I last posted anything here.  this has been due primarily to the pressures of my commissioned work but while I was shooting at the Olympic Stadium project today I took this from the very top of the structure.  It wasn’t the best lighting but it remains a fine view and one that is not often seen and once the project is complete it will be seen even less!

 

OlympicDocklandsView©Greshoff

Canterbury at Night and Brassai’s “Paris de Nuit”

One of the most precious photography books in my collection is Brassai’s “Paris de Nuit”.  This was given to me by my father about 20 years ago and is a well loved copy which detracts from it’s monetary value (it remains the most valuable book I own despite the wear) but in no way detracts from the images.  These images, along with those of Sudek have formed one of the back-bone of my photographic education. Interestingly though, I never felt moved to emulate any of their work at the time.  But last year, or it may have been the year before, I spent a number of winter nights tramping around the streets of Canterbury doing a Canterbury de Nuit series.

By way of background to Brassai, this Hungarian born photographer forms part of that rich stream of photographers that flowed out of Europe during the early part of the 20C.  He worked mainly in Paris and died there in 1984, after a life of work in photography.  His commercial commissioned work is largely forgotten now but his legacy of personal work is formidable.

And so to Canterbury at night…

Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction Canterbury Junction

Hadlow Tower, Kent – Britain’s tallest folly now folly restored

Here is something I thought I had posted a couple of weeks ago but realised just now that it slipped through without a look in!

I visited the marvellous and recently refurbished Hadlow Tower a few days after it opened last month.  The project has been completed by the Vivat Trust with the support of English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund and sees this once derelict folly restored to beyond it’s original glory – I say beyond because whereas it was not built with any particular use in mind other than standing tall, now it has a real function and houses a pretty swanky  three bedroom house on it’s lower five levels as well as a museum on the ground floor.

The original structures were designed in 1838 by the architect George Ledwell Taylor,for a client who had benefited from a substantial legacy and so  had no need to work but did need to do something with his time.  (the best kind of client, I should think!).  Taylor was recently made redundant from the military, where he supervised a number of mundane projects and the Hadlow Tower was one of his early commissions as a private practitioner and he was obviously relishing the break from military architecture.

Enjoy

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Relevant Links:

The full Wiki article is here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadlow_Castle

The Vivat Trust is here: http://www.vivat-trust.org/properties.php?pid=121

Some snaps taken out of the car window whilst driving back through London today

Making use of those idle minutes waiting for the lights to turn green.

There are some very colourful buildings going up at the moment and some curious naked women too!

London Streetviews London Streetviews London Streetviews London Streetviews London Streetviews London Streetviews

London Streetviews

Periphery

A few years back I undertook a film based project looking at the edges of communities and in particular the structures to be found there.  I worked mostly on 6×12 and it was to be my last project undertaken on film. (I may well return to film, so let’s say last for the moment!)

I thought, given that those marvellous icons of industrial design, the Richborough power station cooling towers were blown sky high today in 2012, it would be a good time to show my Periphery project image of the towers in all their glory.

Richborough

(And there is no doubt that even with the likes of Instagram, film images do have a quality of their own)

I’ve got a day in today, costings, emails, accounts, waiting for FedEx, packing up DVD’s and sorting stuff out in general.  I am also looking at the possibility of another small exhibition. Interest has been expressed in the Coast Structure series so I’ve been revisiting them to see if there is anything there I might want to show.  Whilst on my hard-drive travels I came across this shot that I had rejected originally because it didn’t fulfil the criteria I was after at the time but looking at it 3 or 4 years later, it is quite a nice pic in a pictorial sort of way.

Sea and rocks off the south coast of Kent

Sea and rocks off the south coast of Kent

Seasalter is a curious place, stuck as it is between Whitstable and Faversham & the Swale.  Aside from the abundant caravans there are some interesting little buildings both new and old.

Seasalter Houses

Seasalter, Triangular House

This image was done on our way back to the car after a fantastic walk on the beach.  It stopped raining just long enough for the sun to break through and for me to dry off my camera, before the drizzle started again.

Street View vs 360/180 Panoramas (vs single Images)

City of London

City of London

I started writing this thinking I that I would have something critical to say about Google’s Streetview.  However, once I got started and my thoughts fell into some sort of order it became clear that even though the world through Streetview is entirely pervasive and inescapable and has transformed our perceptions of what is familiar and unknown, it is not the creative bogey man I thought it might be.

First off I should acknowledge that I use Streetview extensively for work and find it an invaluable tool  but nevertheless I felt that my own efforts to shoot stitched panoramas were rendered somehow rather pointless given that Streetview has revealed every corner of the world in 360 degree glory (with very few exceptions) at the click of a mouse. My thoughts were inspired by a panorama project that I started a couple of years ago and that is ongoing.

I started (along with millions of others) to shoot 360/180 panoramas in the early naughties. My first efforts were predominately interior views of public buildings and considering the ropey software that was available at the time, they looked pretty good.  This is a view of the Cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral done in 2004.

Cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral

More recently, I embarked on a long-term project of landscapes of London using stitched techniques. (The recently posted images of the QEII Bridge are part of this endeavour). There is no part of London (or anywhere else for that matter) that is not covered in 360deg by Streetview.  As a result 360/180 views are commonplace and do not have the intrigue that they once may have had… so how can one work with stitched panoramas in a way that retains a degree of intrigue and uniqueness?

Looking back over the views produced since the London project began, (around 25 or so) I now realise that by shooting at dusk and/or night and by positioning myself in slightly more unusual places I have achieved images that are to a degree different and unique.

At it’s core all photography is about selection and timing.  (Perhaps I should qualify that by saying “straight photography using a camera”!)  In a sense 360/180 images negate the first of these in that there is no selection other that where you position the camera but that in itself is a form of selection.  And timing is simply a matter of when you take the image so on both counts a 360/180 image scores.  By using a combination of unusual vantage points and working in non-daylight or semi daylight hours one can, at least to a degree produce images that are at once similar but different to Streetview and that have their own integrity.  In addition I rarely produce full 360/180 images and nearly always crop in to the image.

That said, even though they are quite fun things to make, nothing beats a great single image!

This one was shot in 1989 with my battered Nikon FM2 (and as an aside, clearly demonstrates the difference between film and digitally originated images but maybe that is a subject for a separate post).

Holy Island, Northumberland

Holy Island, Northumberland

I know it should be obvious but when I got up close to the QEII bridge I was amazed by just how substantial the main support towers of this bridge are.  From a distance it looks like a thin delicate web like structure but it really is anything but.

Stitched Panorama

This is another image from the session I did on the first day of the year – this time a bit closer up!

And looking up…

QEBridgeBlog