Perfect morning

Surrey landscape

Yesterday morning, I had a chance to capture dawn over Newark Priory. It’s a shot I’d had in my mind for about 5 years and the conditions were perfect. For more about Newark Priory, see here.

Afterwards, I pottered about on the Wey Navigation towpath and collected some wintery shots.  I am writing a book about the Navigation and these shots should fit nicely. Altogether, a successful morning’s shooting.

Wey Navigation

Wey Navigation

365/23

My 365/23 is from last year.  Three modes of transport, four if feet count (there’s a pedestrian on the footbridge).  Taken at the junction of the Wey Navigation and the Basingstoke Canal. For a fuller post about this shoot and the history of this location, click here.

Surrey landscape

365/24

365/24 is from 2010, a brief moment of good light at the end of what had been a grey, uninspiring day.  This is the Millennium Glasshouse at RHS Wisley.

Painshill revisited

Cobham, Surrey

f/11, 2.5″, 16mm, ISO 50

This day last year, I was at Painshill Park, in Cobham, Surrey, a restored eighteenth century landscape garden.

Painshill Park, Cobham

f/5, 1/40, 35mm, ISO 400

One of Painshill’s famous follies, the Gothic Temple, is seen above, reflected in one of the arches of the bridge. Below, another folly, the Ruined Abbey is situated picturesquely on the bank of the lake.

Cobham, Surrey

f/10, 1/250, 33mm, ISO 200

The image below is the only one I shared at the time.  Another folly appears with the Gothic Temple, the Chinese Bridge.

Cobham, Surrey

f/11, 2.5″, 16mm, ISO 50

Painshill’s working vineyard produces a nice sparkling white.

Cobham, Surrey

f/11, 0.3″, 16mm, ISO 50

Seen below, the Turkish Tent is another of Painshill’s follies.

For the techies, I used a .6 ND hard grad for these shots, and a circular polariser, of course. I have written several other posts about this favourite location of mine. Just click on the tags, Painshill or Painshill Park to find them.

folly at Painshill Park

f/11, 2.5″, 28mm, ISO 50

Newark Priory

Surrey landmark

365/18

I spent this afternoon teaching a student on the Wey Navigation towpath near Newark Priory. Imagine my surprise when I got home and started to look for today’s 365 redux image to find that on 18th January 2009 I was at exactly the same place! The Priory was founded in the 12th century by Augustinian Canons, also known as ‘Black Canons’ because of their black cloaks and cassocks. At one point, the prosperous Priory housed a community of 200.  Henry VIII had it sacked during the Dissolution of the Monasteries; according to one story, a cannon was placed on the hill above it to bombard the buildings.  It was subsequently plundered for its building materials and fell into ruin; all that is left now is part of the church. A Grade I Ancient Monument, the Priory was placed on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register in 2007. I can’t offer an image of it from today as I do not make my own pictures when I am out with students. The original of this image (before the fancy editing) was featured as the cover of six local interest magazines in 2010.

Of treaties, Shakespeare and 365

Runnymede

365/11

Time to catch up on my ‘project 365 redux’. This image is from 11th January 2009.  It is the Magna Carta memorial at Runnymede.  This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, at Runnymede, on 15 June 1215.  Originally an attempt to settle the disputes between King John and his barons, Magna Carta has, over the centuries and through many reissues, renewals and reimaginings, become a symbol of liberty. Lord Denning described it as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot” (Wikipedia).

London street photography

365/10

This image, from 10th January 2014, called ‘I, Coriolanus’, was captured in London’s Seven Dials area. It is in the tradition of street photography, a genre with conventions that include ‘blur, over-exposure, unwanted elements [that] intrude upon the scene [I could add noise and under-exposure]’ (Inigo Taylor, Black and White Photography magazine, Jan 2015).  The poster is for the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, with Tom Hiddleston in the title role, directed by Josie Rourke.

The image seemed an appropriate companion for the Magna Carta picture. Shakespeare’s tragedy (1605-8) is based on the life of Caius Marcius Coriolanus, a Roman general turned politician who, after being deposed, schemes to exert his own will upon Rome. He rails against the idea of allowing plebeians to have a say in politics and leads an assault against Rome.  Ultimately, he is persuaded to sign a peace treaty.  However, like the despotic King John, his alliances become his burden; he is murdered by conspirators from within.

King John died in 1216.  Most historical accounts give the cause as dysentery contracted while on campaign against the barons (the first agreement of Magna Carta having been dishonoured by both sides).  However, in another Shakespeare play, King John, he is poisoned by a monk within his own cortege.

The plots of not only Shakespeare’s histories but also his tragedies often came from history books of his time, most notably Holinshed’s Chronicles.  They are history redux. Thus the link with my very much more humble 365 redux was impossible to ignore!

Echoes of times past

reflections

365/8

Today’s 365 is from 2009.  It’s quite handy that I did a project 365 in 2009, as there are images from every day; helpful when I find that I didn’t shoot on that particular date in any other year I have on file.  But still, I have to come up with a new image, or a re-edit at least.  Some days when I did my first 365, I struggled to find one image worth downloading.  Luckily, on 8th January I went for a stroll along my local waterway, the Wey Navigation, and took several pictures. Here’s one I hadn’t processed until now.  It is a fitting image to choose in the context of a project that involves revisiting the past; the building reflected in this picture is a modern apartment block built as a pastiche to echo the Victorian mill that used to stand here.   The original building could not be renovated as it burned down in 1963, in the last of many fires on this site (the perils of milling seed oil).

Spectra over London

London

Spectra, by Rioji Ikeda, is one of several art installations in London at present to commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1.   Certainly an imposing sight.  You don’t have to go into London to see it as it is visible for many miles around.  However, if you do want to see it for yourself, you will have to be quick – tonight’s the last night.

Spectra 1 (moonless)

Lifeboats and heroes

RNLI

Last week I had the chance to pop down to Selsey and photograph the RNLI’s Lifeboat station.  It is an imposing structure, with its long gangway linking it to the shore.  I have always been fascinated by the story of lifeboats.  Perhaps my interest lies partly in the fact that a good portion of my first twelve years were spent at sea, even encountering a lifeboat on a particularly foggy day off the Devon coast when it was a very welcome sight indeed. The story of the lifeboat service is full of daring deeds and sacrifices.  I have often wondered why the BBC, or indeed, Hollywood, has failed to make a drama about it.  Still, to this day, the lifeboats are manned by volunteers, people with day jobs who feel it right to offer their service in aid of those in peril on the sea.

If you are interested in maritime history, you might enjoy this blog: Map of Time.