Another visit to London this week; my friend Corinna was taking a well-deserved break from running her company (Hairy Goat Photography Tours), and we thought we’d have a day out. It started exceedingly well, with tea and some absurdly good cakes in a small cafe in South Kensington. Amazingly we managed to sit outside for an hour and a half, which is pretty good going for December. It did get a bit chilly after a while and we made our way to the Natural History Museum to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
We were a bit taken aback by the fact that the queues just to get into the building were backed up as far as the road, but a security person suggested we try the side entrance. That was much better and amazingly there was no queue at all for the exhibition itself; most people were on an entertain-the-kids-during-the-school-break mission.
There was some stunningly good photography. Sometimes I forget how much enjoyment there is to be found in photographs that just give huge amounts of visual pleasure. With all the emphasis in the courses I do on everything having to ‘say’ something or have some deep meaning, it can be a real relief just to look at stuff you simply enjoy looking at. If you want to see some of it for yourself, have a look at the Natural History Museum’s webpages. I have to say that the photos don’t look anything like as good there as they do when you see them much larger and backlit, but you can get some idea.
When we came out, we spent some time photographing the building itself. It’s an amazing building, quite incredible inside, and more like a cathedral than an exhibition space. On the outside, it’s composed of brick with a kind of pinkish tinge, with blue brickwork inserted in patterns. It’s a truly fabulous building that’s somehow reminiscent of something that Escher might have drawn. There was also a small fair and ice rink outside, so we absolutely had to go on the merry-go-round – well you do, don’t you? Sadly, despite a lot of trying, I failed to get any good shots of people on the ice rink. There were just too many people to be able to isolate anything interesting and I couldn’t get a fast enough shutter speed anyway.
We rounded off the day very nicely with a Thai meal in a nearby restaurant. It’s a strange sort of time, this hiatus between Christmas and New Year, and I often find it quite difficult and unsettling. It’s even more so this year because of our forthcoming move, and I feel I should be busy organising lots of things. The trouble is that everywhere has closed down for the duration and I’m left floating in limbo for the time being. It feels like that pause you get on a roller-coaster just as it gets to the top and hesitates before plunging down scarily fast………..
This escalator takes you up, quite literally, into the Earth Zone.
I loved seeing this man with a turban and his little daughter; they were both having a lot of fun.