Tag Archives: England

Looking Up

Beneath the abbey.

I love old stuff. Castles, cathedrals, historical sites of every kind. Sometimes, though, it is easy to miss a feature because we naturally look around. We may even obey the photographer's rule of looking behind us when facing some outstanding feature. But it is easy to forget to look up.

In the Battle Abbey ruins there are places that once served as storage, or as dormitory, or . . . I read all of the plaques and markers, but I didn't take notes. In this case, the vaulted ceiling of a basement or cellar area revealed some interesting designs.

I don't often attempt this kind of shot since, as a tourist, I don't work on a tripod for stability. This time, however, it was dark and it seemed like I might get a decently stable shot by using the on-camera flash. And it worked! Because I got my positioning right, the shadowing from the flash was also minimized. I do get lucky sometimes.

Photo taken 6 May 2007

#Travel #England #Battle #BattleAbbey #Ruins #Abbey


A Country Cottage

Or else Windsor Castle.

April 2006. After a couple of trips to London under our belts, we got adventurous and just took the train to Windsor without pre-booking something. It turned out to be a very nice full-day visit, before returning late-afternoon to London.

In spite of being a beautiful historical site, it can be hard to get a decent shot without tourists elbowing one another everywhere. That's the problem with it being a popular royal residence. As it turned out, the Queen was in residence at the time, but of course, we didn't see her.

#Travel #England #WindsorCastle


A Man's Castle Is His Home

Or it's a conference center.

This is Leeds Castle, which is nowhere near the town of Leeds. It's near Maidstone, Kent, halfway between #London and Folkstone on the way to Dover.

I've visited there twice, in 2004 and 2005. Different seasons. In spite of the cloudy weather, this was early July 2005. Tuesday the 5th or Wednesday the 6th; I don't remember exactly. I lost a day on the trip to Stonehenge. Didn't even get pictures.

#Travel #England #LeedsCastle


Harry, Ron and Hermione Ate Here

Sort of . . .

It's been ten and a half years since this trip, and a few details are lost to history. What I remember about the day is that it was off-again-on-again rain, sunshine and snow. April 2006. Oxford was definitely damp.

Some scenes from Harry Potter were filmed in this room, and through movie magic, it was tripled in width. You remember Harry and friends in the great hall? Here it is in the original. Just outside are some stairs where some other scenes were filmed. Very clever, these movie makers!

Of course, being on a fully-loaded bus tour, there was never a moment when there weren't people in the shot, and no tripod or other support to allow a series of shots that could be run through Photoshop's median processor. But, for all that it is a tourist snapshot, it is my tourist snapshot, so I'm OK with it.

#Travel #England #Oxford #HarryPotter


Beneath The Abbey

Beneath the ruins.

I don't remember exactly what part of the ruins we were exploring. It may have been the high altar area, or perhaps the dormitory. In any case, there are remains of what must have been some spectacular Norman construction, and occasional views out through windows that could take one back in time to the 1100s.

#Travel #England #BattleOfHastings #BattleAbbey #Ruins #WilliamOfOrange


The Queen Lived Here

But not while she was Queen.

This statue of Queen Victoria stands in the garden outside of Kensington Palace. It was sculpted by her own daughter, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyle. Here was a royal daughter who took her art seriously enough to produce a lasting monument to her mother.

Apparently there has been some yard work done in the last ten years, as there is now a small octagonal pool around the foot of the statue, and the area looks (in recent available photos) to be much more cleanly landscaped than in this photo from April, 2006.

#Travel #England #London #KensingtonPalace


City Hall

Home of the Greater London Authority.

A day spent around Tower Bridge might- should- include adequate time to thoroughly explore the Tower of London, take a tour of Tower Bridge and its overhead catwalks, and the area just across the river where this interesting building stands. I haven't been to London since The Shard went up, but that's not far away, and would probably be seen in this shot if it were made today- this was April 2006.

The hardest part of editing this photo was getting the verticals right. The main object is no help in doing that! Nice thing was the weather, although a few more clouds would have been nice. This is about as straightforward a shot as you'll see from me. Beyond some straightening and standard #LightroomCC adjustments, there was little to do.

#Travel #England #London


Jubilee Bridge

May 2005

I have had several great trips to England with the bulk of time spent in and around London. There are common sights that everybody takes photos of, and I am certainly no exception.

This view is from just south of the London Eye. In a few minutes we would be walking across that bridge ourselves, on our way to Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square by way of the house where Benjamin Franklin stayed while he was in London.

I thought that this picture benefited greatly from a panoramic crop from the original framing. It just goes to show that sometimes a more-or-less "tourist snapshot" can benefit from a bit of creative editing.

#Travel #England #London #JubileeBridge #CharingCross


St. Pauls Cathedral, London

An oft-taken shot of an iconic location.

This is the one good frame I shot on Thursday, 6th of May, 2004. The week had begun badly, with my cheap little camera having been accidentally set in close-up mode and losing an entire day of photos. Then it happened again on Thursday.

There is a lot of work done to bring out a picture this good from the original capture. The camera (that I have complained bitterly about so often) did its best, but its best wasn't very good. Cheap is as cheap does. Anyway, the advances in #Photoshop and #Lightroom technology, as well as the building up of my bad photo rescue skills have enabled me to revisit some older shots and drag them into presentability.

#Travel #England #London #StPauls #Cathedral