Snaps
 

Starting in September 2005, I will try to show a new photograph every week. Most of these will be taken on a new toy, an Olympus Stylus Verve, although the old non-digital kit still gets an occasional outing. The subject matter should be many and varied and if nothing has sprung to view that week, another entry in the Crosses in front of Churches series is always a good fallback.

The spark for this idea was a memory of the book Nowhere in Particular by Jonathan Miller. Dr M. is a particular hero of mine, a Renaissance Man, where I am a Renaissance Dilettante (I once owned the domain RenaissanceDilettante.com but let it lapse), I enjoy almost everything he does. I was not particularly impressed by the book when it first came out, but the notion has grown on me and I have ordered a copy from Alibris.

[Later] Jolly good it is too. Miller describes the contents, borrowing a phrase from Turner, as 'pictures of bits'. In addition to the images, there are also snippets from his jottings over the years: one of my favourites is,

Traces
The authority of a photograph has something to do with the fact that its appearance is directly caused by whatever it happens to be a picture of, so that as Susan Sontag says, the faintest and most blurred snapshot of Shakespeare would be more interesting than a portrait by Holbein. I can still recall the delightful shock of seeing the indentation of Michaelangelo's hand in what was once the wet, yielding plaster of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. More interesting than his painting of the hand of God.
 

The pictures started on the week ending 24th September 2005 and (noted January 2008) failed almost completely in the attempt to produce one per week, but now that I have retired, might pick up somewhat.

Another extensive break until January 2008, then two delightfully pointless signs spotted in one day.

Firstly at Eltham post Office, and presumably deriving from disability legislation, but here taken to lengths of futile absurdity a sign, 'Customers who need assistance should ask a member of staff for help.'

Pointless Sign 1,  January 2008

If anything, even more futile, later at Charing Cross station, from South East Trains 'Please check timetable for services'.

Pointless Sign 2,  January 2008

There's been something of an hiatus in delivering the snaps, but here's another quaint cultural curiosity from Newport, Gwent, a window from the Sun Catchers tanning salon.

No need to shower, taken June 2006, added to site August 2006

Regent's Collge gents

Another new series, Toilets in Famous Places. A modest start with Regent's College, Regent's Park, London. The detail shows the only graffiti I could see there, though I did not check the cubicles.

Regent's College gents, February 2006

Regent's Collge gents detail

Welsh Lesson From Tesco's, Newport, a snap called Welsh Lesson. Pickles and Sauces becomes Picl a Saws: the lesson seems to be that clinging to the Welsh tongue is a rather silly and pointless affectation. This on a Sony Ericsson W800i.

Welsh Lesson, February 2006

Welsh Lesson detail

Angel Still struggling with the technology. Here's another grave from Bexley.

Angel, Bexleyheath Cemetery, January 2006

Angel detail

Grave danger I don't know why, but when I paste the images, they take on a checkerboard overlay. I'll learn how to fix this in due course and then recopy the images. Thanks to Peter Aitken for the fix.

From Bexleyheath Cemetery, Grave Danger, December 2005

Grave danger detail

Eltham Memorial 1
Eltham Memorial 2
Another new series this week, roadside shrines. This means something different in England to, for example, France and Greece where the religious varieties are commonplace. The English version concentrates on fatal road accidents where 'floral tributes' accumulate after the event and, in the particularly tragic cases, a permanent memorial is sometimes  installed.

Two local images today, neither requiring further explanation. The second is normally extravagantly flowered, but there were none there today. I will add a wider view in the future.

Eltham Memorial 1 and 2, November 2005

Eltham Memorial 1

St Lawrence's Church, Sidcup The first of the graven images, this week, from St Lawrence's Roman Catholic Church, Sidcup, Kent

St. Lawrence's, Sidcup, November 2005

St Lawrence's Church, Sidcup

Transporter Bridge I did make it to Newport's Transporter Bridge this weekend, but not until after dark and so the opportunities were limited. This is the control room. I hope to return in daylight later this year.

More information on these sites: Newport City, Friends of the bridge

Transporter Bridge, Newport, November 2005

 
Virginia Creeper I first photographed this a few years ago. Back in Cotgrave this weekend and on the lookout for this week's image, it was the obvious candidate.

Virginia Creeper, Cotgrave, October 2005

Virginia Creeper detail

Foul Medames A Warhol homage. A quaintly named tin of broad beans. There is also a new Panorama, Fountains.

Foul Medames, October 2005.

Foul Medames detail

Norwich Cathedral in Bottles While most of the images will be taken in the week they are added to the page, I will make some exceptions and dive into my archive. Here's one from our summer holiday, 2005, in Norfolk. We visited Norwich Cathedral where there was a display of models of the cathedral by Year 3, Norwich Lower School. There are some remarkably talented students in this group and several striking models in denim, pasta and toilet rolls, but the best for me was constructed using wine bottles and brown tape. It captures simply the shape of the building, hints at the substance of communion, references the excesses of the clergy in times past and, in its rudimentary constructional values, encapsulates the importance and relevance of the church to modern life. There is also a panorama of the whole exhibition on the linked page.

Norwich Cathedral in Bottles, August 2005

 
Four Bonnets Four bonnet chillis from the greenhouse - part of a record crop this year.

Four Bonnets, October 2005

 
Twmbarlwm Visiting Newport last weekend, the intention was to take a snap of the Transporter Bridge, but that will have to wait. Instead, sunset over Twmbarlwm (taken from the garden of the house where I was born).

Sunset, Twmbalum, October 2005
 

 
Garage Sign, Plumstead A strange sign in Plumstead advertising MOTs While You Wait and featuring a badly drawn lady.

Garage Sign, Plumstead, October 2005

Garage Sign detail

Graffiti, Eltham The opening image is an appropriate nod in the direction of Dr. M. I object to graffiti less than most people and particularly admire the precision of the multiple overlays here which have been carefully restricted to the borders of the warning sign.

Note 29th October, 2005, the sign has now been pinched.

Graffiti, Eltham, September 2005

Graffiti detail

image size 500 max side thumbnail 100 max

All images Nick Blackburn 2005 et seq. Please ask before you use them and acknowledge the source when you do.
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