London Fog

Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs; fog lying out on the yards, and hovering in the rigging of great ships; fog drooping on the gunwales of barges and small boats. Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards; fog in the stem and bowl of the afternoon pipe of the wrathful skipper, down in his close cabin; fog cruelly pinching the toes and fingers of his shivering little ’prentice boy on deck. Chance people on the bridges peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of fog, with fog all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds. ― Charles DickensBleak House

Just a short post this rainy Friday morning.

Jan Rockar added these three shots of London fog to the Flickr pool, which I love and wanted to show you before I run off for more blogging at work.

foggy city

the tallest in Europe

foggy morning

 

Anyone doing anything interesting this weekend besides hoping for some of that promised sun?

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Around Tower Bridge

Following yesterday’s (late!) entry, after Borough Market and Gibbon’s Rent, Jorge and I took a stroll back over Tower Bridge. On the way we spotted a few interesting things. Of course, I took some photos. iPhone photos, but photos none-the-less…

But first I’ll kick it off with a gorgeous (also iPhone) photograph of the area taken by The Photo School:

More London

From Gibbon’s Rent, we walked by German artist Stephan Balkenhol’s wooden “Couple” sculptures on Tooley Street.

Marvelled how interesting the surrounding architecture becomes in the shadow of The Shard:

And of course the immensity of The Shard itself:

And we stumbled upon a few BT Art Boxes as well:

From the BT Art Boxes website:
“Inkie’s artbox ‘Fade to Black no. 2’ is based on tribal patterns and tattoo design with a 21st century pop art twist.”

From the BT Art Boxes website:
“Welcome to London. 230 languages spoken. Exploring the wealth of language in our capital. Vibrant speech bubbles and bustling typography visualise the multinational voices of London. Say ‘hello’ in Dutch or ‘hi’ in Polish; whatever the language, London & Partners send a warm welcome to all that pass through our city.” 

And lastly, a little view of the Olympic rings under Tower Bridge:

Which were actually much better captured and contributed to the LLO Flickr Pool by Sabine Thoele as they were being transported down the Thames back in February:

RingsidePhoto: Ringside by Sabine Thoele

The Bridge, The Dome and The Wharf

“Beauty can be seen in all things; seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”
– Matt Hardy

It’s amazing how a certain approach to photography can make me look at something familiar with a new appreciation. That’s how I feel when I look at Don Kiddick‘s photos like the ones below that he added to the Flickr pool. The way he plays with light and shadows, etc. in his photography creates these pristine images of London icons.

The girl, the dolphin and the bridge

Occupied

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries

I find myself exploring London in a completely opposite way from what these photographs communicate. I tend to seek out the grit and grime, the spray-painted walls and stray banana peels, the eccentric people and misspelled signs. I never really look at London in reality the way Don’s photos allow me to see it. He has an ability to bring out its romantic appeal, and I appreciate that.

(That said, Don’s photos aren’t always so glowingly inviting either; he’s also taken photos of subjects like abandoned morgues…But back to London, if you’re looking for more like these from Don, check out his London rooftops set. They’re just as gorgeous as these.)

Make Way for The Elephant Parade

In a few days, central London will be transformed into an urban jungle with 250 life-size baby elephants standing on street corners, parks and buildings around the capital. Each elephant is a unique creation by an artist, fashion designer, organisation or celebrity, including painter Mythili Thevendrampillai who was featured for London Art Spot at the end of February.

Mythili and ElephantI took this shot of Mythili with her painted baby elephant at her show in March.

Some other artists to look out for include Alice Temperley, Baroness Carrie von Reichardt (who I just mentioned here the other day), Diane von Furstenberg, Lulu Guinness, Matthew Williamson, Tommy Hilfiger and lots more.

The Elephant Parade has been called London’s biggest outdoor art event on record with an estimated audience of an impressive 25 million. Not only is it creative, but it’s for a good cause: conservation of the Asian elephant. In the last 100 years, the population of these wild guys has shrunk by over 90%. Where there were once 250,000 elephants roaming about, now there’s only 25,000 which means they could be extinct by in about 40 years. The Elephant Parade was founded by father and son Mike and Marc Spits in Holland. The parade supports a charity called The Elephant Family founded by trustee Mark Shand after travelling around India on his elephant, Tara.

The jungle beasts are in the city until the end of July when they will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s. The campaign is aiming to raise £2 million for the Asian elephant and benefit 20 UK conservation charities.

There’s a map here. If you find an elephant, snap a photo, stick it in the Flickr pool if you like and I’ll put ’em up on the blog.

More info on everything here!