25 February 2011

16 February 2011

Religion: It's a Funny Thing

That's Judas on the left, with his 30 pieces of silver on the floor beneath him, in case you didn't recognise him. The guy second from the right - you might know him, although his features are not son-of-godlike IYAM. One of the thousands (tens of thousands?) of interesting pieces in the British Museum. And yes, I am having a bit of a BM fest at the moment.

Absence: No. 4 in a Series

British Museum Headshots 2

Sculpture doesn't, to my mind, come much more beautiful than that second piece. European Gallery on the first floor somewhere - no, I won't say where exactly, you have to wander round and make your own discoveries.... :-)

15 February 2011

We've been here before, but WTH

Another from the BM

Richard Farley Dance Photography

I met a photographer called Richard Farley on the way home tonight. I was passing an exhibition in Covent Garden - more here - and went in to have a look around. Beautiful dance pictures of the Royal Ballet in the late 20th Century. Mr Farley himself was there and he was kind enough to tell me a little about his career, and some of his memories of Nureyev who was, apparently, a "very naughty man"... Richard was delightful company and his pictures are wonderful - I'd highly recommend that people go to the show (it is on until the beginning of March) and have a look for themselves. Unfortunately I can't find Mr Farley's website to link to at the moment - he lives in France and is known for more than dance photography; if I find a link I will post it in due course.

BM Headshots

So I have a couple more ideas for photographic projects to keep me moving forward, to keep me developing. One you have already seen in the form of the 3 “Absence” photos posted so far – I hope to keep this up for a while yet. Then, today, I had an idea whilst on one of my many lunchtime walks around the British Museum: “Some Faces from the BM”. Simple enough, the idea is to take some portraits of the artefacts there, from the delicate beauty of Wedgwood recreations of classical Greece and Rome to the cruder charms of early stone sculptures; from the one dimensional faces of delftware to the intricate carvings of people in various poses in the Netsuke collection. Together, I hope that they will not only inspire people to visit the museum, but will also offer a look at the many and varied peoples to be found represented there.

With this in mind, here are a few early encounters - do bear in mind that these were taken through glass in a low-light environment. They were all taken with a 105mm VR Macro Nikkor, for those who care about such things:

iPaddery. (Beware: Geekery Ahead)

Many thanks to my brother-in-law who, by showing me that my HTC Desire can be set up as a WiFi Hotspot, also showed me that my decision not to get a 3G enabled iPad was, at least retrospectively, the right one. Take your Desire, set up your Hotspot, configure your iPad and you are ready to Surf. Which, whilst sounding a little like a plot for a p0rn movie, is in fact a very neat way of embiggening your onscreen mobile internet experience. That is, of course, until t-mobile start to strangle my bandwidth owing to their “all you can eat” internet option being the lie that it is. This little trick, btw, saves not only the c. £100 extra for a 3G iPad, but also the ongoing monthly data costs. Marvellous.

Print Offer

I’d recommend a quick trip over to Mike Johnson’s The Online Photographer to have a look at the beautiful prints he has on offer – hurry though, the offer ends on Friday at the latest, possibly earlier if the sale goes well. I think the first picture is very beautiful and have placed an order; the second one, though I can see its merits, doesn’t move me as much. I’m hoping when the one I have chosen arrives that it is as stunning as my monitor images suggests it is going to be and will be very excited if it is, possibly to the point where I will start to consider doing some “proper” printing of my own images… woah, steady boy!

And so my love of photography grows…

9 February 2011

British Museum, One More Lunchtime

Absence: No. 2 in a Series

En Pointe, Covent Garden, London

Cafe Nero, Covent Garden, around the corner from the Covent Garden Ballet. Here, I came across a young ballet student and her twin brother, Italians, both studying in London. Lovely people. And she happened to be preparing a couple of pairs of ballet shoes. They were new shoes but needed some work to make them functional: ribbons on one pair that would tie around her ankles; reinforcement on the toes of the other pair so they would stand up to the rigours of en pointe. She told me that she gets through a pair, at £40.00 a pop, in a week and a half of heavy rehearsals. And she is getting through them at the moment as she has been rehearsing for a production that she is in that starts tomorrow.
Miraculously, I had the 105 macro with me: right lens, right situation: bingo.
Good luck, btw, anonymous ballet student - I hope you knock 'em dead!

Sometimes, life is just wonderful. Sometimes.

6 February 2011

Mrs X no. 2

@ Kew Gardens

This friendly and fun lady was prepared to have her portrait taken at Kew today, with the proviso I didn't identify her. So, here she is, Mrs X. Today was her birthday too - happy birthday Mrs X, prints to follow as agreed.