Two images from London, England, immediately came to my mind as worthy of posting on my blog. Both ceilings are examples of functional architecture, bringing daylight into a central and otherwise enclosed space.
Covent Garden Market was opened in 1830, and was designed to enclose an outdoor market that had been on the site since the late 17th Century. This photograph was taken in December – hence the Christmas decorations hanging under the skylight.
The Tate Modern Gallery is housed in a repurposed power plant on the south bank of the Thames. The Bankside Power Station was rebuilt after WWII as an oil-fired electricity generating plant, and this skylight was originally located over the turbine room, which is now the main entrance hall to the Tate.
It is now time to update my collection of Monochrome Arches with some more recent images shot this year. The first two images are post-Industrial Revolution structures from the latter half of the 1800’s. Built of wrought iron, they are impressive in their scale and engineering. These super-sized frames are way beyond the human scale, but they have other admirable qualities – a vantage point from which to view the world and a shelter from the elements.
Then third image is another addition to my collection of churches. St. James Church is framed by the gated entrance.
All of my images in the Monochrome Arches series are also framed with a white matte – a frame outside of the frame. They are sized to be mounted on a 12×16 inch or 16 square inch board.
Whenever possible, a trip to London should include a visit to the British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area.
The Museum is a good place to go to watch people, as well as a place of historical significance. Like most large museums, you need to have a plan and a specific objective to make the visit worthwhile.
Our quest was to view the treasures from Sutton Hoo. We had just been to the Sutton Hoo archaeological site in Suffolk. The site contains several 7th Century burial mounds which were just recently (historically speaking) excavated in the 20th Century. Now a National Trust site, there are not many original artefacts that are on display at Sutton Hoo – you have to visit the British Museum to see the real things.
Like many of the other national museums in the UK, admission to the British Museum is free (donations are gratefully appreciated). The museum relies on a lot of private and corporate donations to keep it operating. You can view the names of some of the most significant donors on the wall of the circular Reading Room in the middle of the courtyard.
The Great Court (the centre of the museum) is covered with a glass roof, creating the largest covered square in Europe.
As many of the artefacts at the British Museum were collected during the heydays of the British Empire, the Museum is not without its controversies. There are several items in the collections that have been claimed by other countries, requesting their return to their place of origin. The Sutton Hoo treasures were locally sourced, so these should remain in the UK.
We did sight two carved totem poles from the Canadian west coast on display in the courtyard. Are they just on loan?
One final technical point for other photographers. I found that the AWB setting on my camera did not adapt well to the covered courtyard. All of my images had a significant green tint. Thank goodness for the white balance adjustment brush in Lightroom!
This second series of monochromes that continues with the theme of arches includes three more religious buildings.
St. Paul’s Cathedral in London continues to be a significant edifice in the city. This cathedral, the masterpiece of Britain’s most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, has operated for over 300 years. This building survived the London Blitz of 1940-41, and good town planning has kept the cathedral and its magnificent dome as a visible landmark during the reconstruction of the surrounding neighbourhood.
Fountains Abbey is located in North Yorkshire. It operated as a Cistercian monastery for over 400 years, until the mid 1500’s, when it was ordered to be dismantled as part of King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries. The abbey and the surrounding Studley Royal Park are a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.
The rest stop on the Camino is located in northern Spain. I can’t recall which building this is.
The following three images are examples of double exposures where I have combined two photos to create one image. They are all taken at various locations in England.
Marble Arch in the centre of London is a popular place for families to gather. Pigeons are always found everywhere in London. Combine a child with pigeons and you get some great action shots.
Lindisfarne Priory was our final stop when we walked the St. Cuthbert’s Way in the north-east of England. St. Cuthbert was responsible for spreading Christianity throughout the region in the 7th Century. St. Cuthbert lived for several years on Holy Island, before he retired to his hermitage on Inner Farne Island. In this image, a modern sculpture of St. Cuthbert is blended with the remains of the priory, which was built several centuries after his death.
Grasmere is a beautiful spot in the Lake District, at any time of the year. The daffodils are out in full bloom in the spring, making for a colourful collage.