Another year is about to come to an end, and it’s time for the annual look back at my favourite photographs. It’s a slightly curtailed post this year (although there are still twelve images featured – one for each month) for two reasons. Firstly, I’ve done my usual trick and procrastinted leaving me insufficient time to do a proper job and, secondly, because I’ve come down with a cold and don’t feel very well. A sensible person would learn from this and take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again next year. But I can’t find a sensible person willing to write this thing, unfortunately.
So, here are my favourite shots from each month of 2022. As always, this is subjective and could change if I were to revisit the piece again. Some months were difficult to pick images for because I had more than one that I liked. Other months had quite slim pickings due to me not making as many photographs (when I broke my ankle in July, or in December where I’ve only finished one roll of images taken during the month).
I’ve wondered a few times about slowing down my daily output but I expect I’ll be here again tomorrow (and the day after that, and the day after that (you get the idea…)), starting a fifth full year of daily posts.
The north-western plinth in Trafalgar Square, London was originaly intended to be topped by a statue of William IV on horseback but, due to insufficient funds, the piece was not completed. The plinth then remained empty while its use was debated for the next 150 years until, in 1998, three temporary sculptures were commissioned by Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Shortly after this, consultations were carried out to decide the future use of the plinth. It was decided that a rolling programme of artworks would continue to make use of the plinth, and this has been the case since.
To date there have been fourteen artworks displayed atop the plinth since 1998. The latest is called Antelope by Samson Kambalu. It depicts Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley. Chilembwe wears a hat in an act of defiance, as this was illegal at the time. The statue of Chilembwe is larger than that of Chorley to elevate his act of defiance.
Following yesterday’s post, here are three more gallery photographs from the Tate Modern. All three here were taken in the Turbine Hall, a huge space named after it’s previous use when the building was the home of Bankside power station. It really is an impresive venue and can be viewed from several different levels. Looking down upong the other visitors gave views of scatterings of tiny, Lowry-like figures below moving this way and that.
HMS Belfast is a Tow class light cruiser that was built and launched just prior to Britain entering the Second World War. Shortly afer her launch she was struck by a magnetic mine resulting in severe damage (although, thankfully, relatively few casualties – very sadly, one crewman Painter 2nd Class Henry Stanton, died later from the injuries he sustained). The vessel did not return to active service until 1942 but went on to take part in various campaigns (including the Korean War) and was eventually retired in 1963.
In 1971 the ship was opened as a floating museum managed by the HMS Belfast Trust, situated on the River Thames in London just above Tower Bridge. In 1978 the trust and ship ship became part of the Imperial War Museum.
In this photograph, the ship can be seen from the South Bank of the Thames with the towers of the City of London in the background. It was pointed out to me that the ship’s camouflage is still doing a sterling job.
I’ve posted photographs shot inside galleries her on the blog on a number of occasions before (e.g. here, here, here, and here). They are not always the easiest places to make pictures as they can be quite dimly lit, necessitating slow shutter speeds, wide apertures, and the chance of motion blur and camera shake becoming present in the photos. They are, nonetheless, quite appealing locations, I find.
The photos today were shot in the Tate Modern gallery in London.
When I took this picture it was the reflection that attracted me. It was only later, when I scanned the photo, that I realised it looked like a window into the world beneath the ground where the tree’s roots spread otherwise unseen.
I generally try to find a Christmassy photo to publish on the big day. The only recent picture I have that fits the bill is this one of the Christmas Tree being erected in Trafalgar Square in London. It didn’t have any lights or decorations affixed when I took the shot.
Each year a tree is gifted to the people of Britain by Norway in thanks for British support during the Second World War. The tree would feature in the British childrens television programme Blue Peter quite frequently at Christmas, when the presenters would assist in it’s felling and transportation from Norway, and it’s erection in Trafalgar Square. Blue Peter is still being shown – it first aired in 1958 – and is the longest running TV show in the world. In 2008 presenter Andy Akinwolere presented the feature on the Christmas Tree and accidentally dropped the star when attempting to fit it to the top of the tree.
The Shard was, at the time of its construction, the tallest building in Europe, standing at 308.5 metres in height. It has since been surpassed by a number of buildings, including the Mercury City Tower in Moscow, Russia, and the Varso Tower in Warsaw, Poland. It remains the second tallest structure in the United Kindom although the tallest – the Emley Moor television transmitter – is not a habited building.
On the day I took this picture, The Shard’s pinnacle was lost in a shroud of fog. There’s a viewing gallery up at the top, though it probably represented a lesser experience on this date (unless you really like being in a cloud).
Another shot form the grey, overcast day in London. Some interest in the sky would have worked wonders for the picture, I think, but the conditions were what they were.
I have more HP5+ pictures from the day to come, but this second roll was exposed at 1600asa and pushed in development, so I at least got more flexibility in shutter speeds and apertures. Those will start to appear from tomorrow.
I received a surprise today in the shape of a parcel that I’ve been expecting for weeks, but which has been caught up in the Royal Mail industrial action currently affecting us here in the UK. The parcel was sent to my via Special Delivery – a service which “guarantees” next working day delivery by 1pm but which, in this case, has taken a full three weeks to arrive. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to get to me before the New Year so, when it turned up today, it was welcome and a nice Christmas bonus. The parcel contains a new photography related toy which I will start to get to grips with next week. More news to come on this soon, I hope.