Tag Archives: Landscape

London Pinhole images from early 1990’s

Pinhole Pics
I have begun 2015 by embarking on the mammoth task of producing hi-res digital files from my Uncle Jan (Greshoff’s) film archive. (My brother Martin is already well underway with the lower res scans and he regularly uploads some of these to the Jan Greshoff facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/Jan.Greshoffs.Photographs?ref=br_rs).

So I have got my film scanner out of retirement and have upgraded my software but it still takes forever and the post-production takes even longer but it is actually quite refreshing not to be working on my own work with all that entails and to be putting myself in someone else’s mind to try and produce the kind of images that he would have printed. We have lots of his prints so it is relatively easy to see the kind of quality he was aiming for.

However, I digress… during a New Year sortout I came across a small pile of pinhole prints from negs that I did in the early 1990’s with an adapted Sinar. As my scanner is out again I thought I put them through and here they are. There are a few more tucked away somewhere but someone else can scan those when I am pushing up the daisies.

I just love the feel that pinhole images produce and still find it entirely amazing that they are possible in the first instance. I shot a few more a couple of years ago, using my last remaining large format camera (all the Sinars being sold off ages ago), a baby Linhof but the rolls of film are still waiting to be processed I am ashamed to say. I even bought a 6×12 custom-made wooden pinhole camera that is still waiting to be used, I am even more ashamed to say!

Maybe 2015 will be the year of dusting off my processing cans and reels as well as my scanner.

So here is the inside of Smithfield Market:

Image: Robert Greshoff

And one of the Loading Doors:

Image: Robert Greshoff

These are the fine bridges that are a signature feature of Conran’s Butlers Wharf development just east of London Bridge in SE1. It wasn’t long finished then.

Image: Robert Greshoff

Here is Greenwich’s finest gasometer, it is still there going up and down like a great breathing lung. This picture was done when it had just breathed out:

Image: Robert Greshoff

A slight gear change, this is the view towards Kent from near London’s oldest ancient woodland that is Oxleas Wood:

Image: Robert Greshoff

Back to the city, this is a random view in South East London very close to where IPC magazines used to be. (It is in fact the building adjacent to the then HQ for Sainsbury’s), I guess they have probably moved by now. I did this after dropping off some pictures for Homes and Gardens I recall:

Image: Robert Greshoff

And here is the Sainsbury’s building itself, with the reflection of the local bolthole for all those overworked subs and picture editors there were lot’s of them then:

Image: Robert Greshoff

I have saved the best, or my favourites at any rate, till last. Here is Canary Wharf when it was newly finished, at the height of the recession and pretty devoid of tenants. Interestingly, there were no private security guys then either. If you tried to to this shot now (you can’t because there are now buildings where I was standing) or indeed use any camera bigger than an iphone you will be pounced on by 2 or 3 security guards and they are amazing adept at appearing out of nowhere very fast:

Image: Robert Greshoff

And finally my most favourite pinhole from that period has got to be this view of the Houses of Parliament from the south bank, complete with marvellous with pinhole flare:

Image: Robert Greshoff

Better get back to my scanning now…

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

This was the Moon last night

I was out at dusk yesterday shooting the final scene of a little movie sequence (which didn’t go as planned so I’ll have to do it again on the next cold clear night!) but whilst I was packing the gear away, I looked up, saw the moon and took this before collapsing the tripod and putting the last camera away.

So not an entirely fruitless session.

The Moon and Cow Parsley
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A celebration of the English sky

I’d been planning to do a review of 2013 but I’ve been sidetracked by the interesting weather we’ve had of late.

in the early eighties when I was a student of photography (I say “was” –  I still regard myself as a student of photography!) I did a series of landscapes which were dominated by sky.  Indeed they were the most popular images at both my student exhibitions and they sold quite well too as far as I recall.  The last two images below are from that series.  By the way, these was scanned from original prints made on DW Agfa Portriga-Rapid  118 paper – a wonderful chloro-bromide paper with added cadmium giving uniquely warm, rich tones – now (sadly) long, long discontinued.

Without wishing to invoke any hackneyed phrases, South Africa is a land of contrasts and the same is true of the skies, they can be fabulous festivals of light and colour but still the skies over England have something on those over Africa.

In a curious way I have always found the infinite tonal variations in the clouds and skies here both confining and liberating and the endless range of changing shapes, sizes and particularly the subtlety of tones never cease to amaze me.  It can make even the most oppressive cold winters day into something of wonder.

Here then, are some English clouds with a couple of 32 year old Eastern Cape, South African ones thrown in at the end for good measure.

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Infinite shades of grey and white

Sun in the Northern Sky

Sun in the Northern Sky

Windows and sky

Windows and sky

A nice way to start the working year…

We’ve had stormy weather of late and not much cold so this was a surprising find a couple of days ago and neatly mirrors my last post of 2013.  The shot has not been doctored in photoshop aside from cropping and the colours originate from what was in front of my car – garage door, plants and some sky but they help turn it into an amazing landscape.  So here’s to 2014…

©Greshoff

©Greshoff

Grand Union Swan by a Grand BPTW designed Nottinghill Housing Trust scheme

I was out photographing an impressive new housing development for NHHT & BPTW on the Grand Union Canal last week and came across this elegant bird burying it’s head in the sand.  Just so happened that I chanced to meet one of the residents walking down the canal too who was overflowing with praise for the project so the swan really should have been looking up and proud!

Swan1080

Escalators

   It’s been a busy week or so with great weather which is great for work but less so for doing other stuff. Yesterday, was typical I started to the West of London, then went to Teddington  in West London, then Wimbledon (SW London), the Sydenham (SE London), then Greenwich (SE) and then back home.  Which adds up to a lot of driving and quite a bit of shooting in between, but not much else.  Still, I did find myself in a DIY superstore with some impressive escalators so given the dearth of time I shot those for fun, before moving on to my next location.

Escalator, London, Escalator, London, Escalator, London, Escalator, London,

Postmans Park, City of London – A kind of heart-rending 19C twitter feed in ceramics

On my way through the city last week, I had an hour or so “spare” after shooting a bunch of bankers so decided to revisit Postmans Park, just around the corner from St Pauls.

I was commissioned to photograph this wonderful space last year but at the time was too busy photographing the park itself to concentrate on the other significant feature of the space, namely the George Watts memorial wall.  I have now rectifed that omission!

By way of a very brief overview, the park is the biggest within the City of London walls and was once the city burial ground.  (Because space was at such a premium they laid the corpses down and covered them with earth rather than actually burying them which is the reason why the park is at a higher level than the surrounding area)  It narrowly escaped being sold for development in the early 1890’s and it was rescued in part by a substantial donation from Octavia Hill (later to become the founder of the National Trust).  It was at around this time that George Watts, the celebrated painter and sculptor, along with his second wife Mary Fraser Tytler proposed to create a space to celebrate and remember the bravery of ordinary people.  His original grand ideas were quashed the the great and the good of the city and the project had to be scaled down in size, ending up as a single wall of three rows of tiles with a tiled roof.  He was still able to use his connections in the art world to help in his endeavor.  In particular he sought the support of the renowned (at the time) ceramicist William de Morgan who designed and produced the first batch of tiles.

Unfortunately Watts himself was too infirm to attend the opening ceremony and indeed he died a year later and never saw the fruition of his work.  Mary carried the torch forward though and even though plagued by problems with suppliers (what’s new there then!) installed a total,of 54 tablets before she ran our of money in 1910.  A 55th tablet was added in 2009 commemorating Leigh Pitt who died rescuing a 9 year-old boy from drowning in Thamesmead canal.

All in all they make for a very poignant read and in their brevity they really are a kind of twitter in ceramics.

I recommend a visit if you fancy some downtime when next in the city.  If you can’t make it, you can always watch Jude Law in “Closer” in which the park was used as the opening and closing sequences and is pretty central to the plot as far as I recall.

The first image was commissioned and you can see the covered wall in sunlight ahead of the camera position. The others were shot last week.

(You can read a more in-depth description HERE:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postman%27s_Park)

122190 Postmans Park, London EC1

Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park

Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park Postmans Park