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Friday, 28 February 2014

Tulip Stairs

Isn't this exquisite?  It's a staircase in the Queen's House in Greenwich. It's called the Tulip Stairs because the wrought iron rail has tulip (or probably fleurs-de-lis) motifs in it. It soars upwards for three or four floors towards a glass cupola that lets the daylight shine right down. It seems to look even prettier in the photo than it did in real life, because of the spiral effect. When you are actually there looking at it, your eye more or less compensates in a way that the camera lens doesn't.  Apparently it was 'the first geometric self-supporting spiral stair in Britain' (whatever that means!) It is reputed to harbour a ghost, after a tourist spotted shrouded figures on his photograph in 1966... but  you won't see one on my photo.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich

One of the twin domes of Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. Originally built as a hospital for sailors, it dates back to the 1700s. (See here for more info). It is used now by the University of Greenwich and Trinity College of Music, with parts open to tourists. In the background you can just see The Queen's House. Originally the home of Charles I's wife Queen Henrietta Maria, it is now a museum and gallery.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


A glorious spring-like day in London saw us heading to Greenwich for a wander round. From the hill where the Royal Observatory is situated you get a stunning view across London. The National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Naval College and the Queen's House provide a beautiful and historic foreground, originally the site of a Tudor palace where Henry VIII was born. In 2012 they provided the backdrop to Olympic equestrian events. Together they make up a World Heritage Site (like Saltaire). Read more about it here. Across the River Thames you can see the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Nothing to do but wait

I've just spent a couple of (most enjoyable) days on granny duty in London.  Trains from Leeds arrive and depart from Kings Cross station, which had an imaginative revamp a couple of years ago.  It's now a really nice place to travel through - and even to wait in. I found myself with half an hour to spare before my train home. Seemed like a good excuse to take another photo of the amazing roof, which at night is beautifully illuminated with coloured lights. (See here for a more general view of the concourse.)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Seeing double

A speculative shot through two windows produced some complicated reflections. This is at the entrance to the ArtParade Gallery on the corner of Victoria Road and Albert Terrace. It's a prime site in the village, opposite Salts Mill and beside the railway station, with a lovely view of the tower of Saltaire's church.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Through a window

My February photo theme is "Through a window". Not too difficult on the face of it; there are lots of attractive windows in Saltaire so the biggest decision is 'looking in' or 'looking out'. During my blogging years I have posted several images that would fit that theme (see here, here and here for examples) but mostly I took those on the spur of the moment when the photo suggested itself. It has so much to do with the light. Setting out with my camera, on a mercifully dry and bright day, one of few we've had this month, I didn't find much to wow me. I liked this reflection of Saltaire's famous church. I haven't spotted it before and I like the way the tower fits so neatly into the arc of the glazing bar. But I am not sure it qualifies as a THROUGH the window shot....

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sunday, 16 February 2014


This pretty much sums up for me why I like Saltaire in all seasons.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Down and out in Saltaire

It seems our waterways can get cluttered up with rubbish in the same way as the rest of our world. This near-derelict boat has been floating around on the canal beside Saltaire's historic church for months now, its state of repair gradually getting worse.  Minus most of its windows, it is open to the elements and prey to vandals. It's a shame that the attractive and historic view should be so spoilt. You can't get an uncluttered photo of the church in summer because of the ice-cream boat moored on this stretch. In winter that is moved down the canal to another mooring. Instead, we have this!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Small delights

Sometimes February just feels to me like endless, hostile flatlands, something to be slogged through with my mind fixed firmly on the brighter, more vibrant terrain ahead. But then something stops me in my tracks and reminds me that each season is important and that transition times are necessary to life. I was charmed by the tableau above: autumn leaves clinging doggedly to their branches whilst alongside are bright yellow catkins, shouting defiance to the grey skies and singing softly of spring to come.  Such a gentle patchwork of colour, prettily reflected in the canal beneath. Delightful, don't you think?

Saturday, 8 February 2014


Sometimes I get childishly excited about my photos!  Like this one - just a quick iPhone snap on my way home from work on Friday night. Salts Mill chimney in a puddle alongside the wet pavement seemed to have a certain attraction/attractiveness. I then came home and had an exploratory and contented few minutes applying different effects to it (on my phone using the Snapseed and DistressedFX apps). There were several versions I liked but this was my favourite. Sometimes when you export the pics and look at them on a full-size monitor they lose a bit in translation but I think this has stood up well. I'm happy now... ready for the weekend. :)

Friday, 7 February 2014

View down George Street

Stormy skies and shafts of sunshine show Saltaire at its best, I often think. I love the way the sun illuminates the stonework and picks out the tower of the church against the darker trees.  Rows of parked cars don't exactly add to the view but it is impossible these days to avoid them. I sometimes wish they'd occasionally have a car-free day in the village, but I don't suppose the residents would like that! It must have looked much nicer when the only traffic was a bicycle or a horse and cart.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014


Another of my favourite spots to take photos, Hirst Weir is just a bit further downstream than my previous picture. The sound of water rushing over the rocks was deafening. I often wonder what it's like living in one of the apartments in the converted mill. Perhaps the roar of water is more soothing than the roar of traffic.

Monday, 3 February 2014

River Aire

Time to throw off some rustiness... I was much in need of some fresh air and exercise and thankfully this weekend's weather has not been too bad - drier and crisper than of late. I needed my thermal underpinnings (!) and it was very muddy underfoot in parts but I managed a decent walk on one of my regular routes, along the canal to Dowley Gap and then back along the River Aire and through Roberts Park. Apparently parts of southern England have had their wettest January since 1910. I don't think it has been quite so bad here in West Yorkshire. The river is very full, as you can see, but it's not flooding.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Rust - again

This was the image I eventually chose for the theme of "Rust".  It's just a bit of fencing alongside the canal but I liked the patterns it has. There's something map-like about it, or perhaps something geological. I like the tension of the random rust pattern superimposed by the regular grid.  It all goes to prove that there are photographs everywhere for those that have eyes to see.... though going out looking specifically for rust did mean that I didn't really 'see' anything else. I might have missed any number of other worthwhile images.

How do you go about taking your pictures - do you wait for a photo to find you or do you go out with a photo in mind?