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I Have Started To Say

Thursday, 7 February, 2019

Happy Birthday today to Barry O’Brien, who was around nine when he was included in the photo below. It prompts thoughts of I Have Started To Say by the great Philip Larkin.

I Have Started To Say

I have started to say
“A quarter of a century”
Or “thirty years back”
About my own life.

It makes me breathless
It’s like falling and recovering
In huge gesturing loops
Through an empty sky.

All that’s left to happen
Is some deaths (my own included).
Their order, and their manner,
Remain to be learnt.

Philip Larkin (1922 – 1985)

Barry


Blue Monday

Monday, 28 January, 2019

Jan Erik Waider devotes himself to “Atmospheric landscape photography of the North; Norway, Iceland, Greenland and beyond.” He titles his collected works Northlandscapes and he captures their cold and damp, chillingly, beautifully.

Blue Monday


Bird’s-eye Shanghai

Sunday, 27 January, 2019

Created by Chinese company Bigpixel Technology, this ultra-high-resolution image of Shanghai offers a 360-degree panorama that allows users to pan across and zoom into, so that even people at ground level appear identifiable. The image’s extraordinary clarity results from its 195 gigapixels (195 billion pixels, or 195,000 megapixels). Note: the latest iPhone XS camera takes photos at 12 megapixels.

Shanghai

Shot from 230 metres up on Shanghai’s Oriental Pearl Tower, the image is put together from thousands of smaller photos taken by a range of cameras with 600 millimetre telephoto lenses. The project’s 8,700 photos added up to a massive 2.6 terabytes storage, by the way.


Håkan Strand: Silent Moments

Friday, 4 January, 2019

In his foreword to Silent Moments by Håkan Strand, the sublime Swedish photographer, French critic Olivier Delhoume writes:

“In our modern society, time is accelerating. We are constantly being bombarded with trivial or commercial images, and through the media and internet, we are even affected by human, economic and geopolitical situations far away. Håkan Strand offers us a different approach to experiencing the world and ourselves. His photography offers us a refuge from the racing whirlwind of our thoughts.

Håkan Strand’s calming approach is reflected through his use of traditional black and white analogue photography, which pays tribute to the tradition of the great masters. This is his own way of battling the fast pace and excesses of modern life.”

Snow  in Sweden


The second post of pre-Christmas 2018: February

Friday, 14 December, 2018

As we continue with our review of the year that began yesterday, it’s worth noting that along with the word, the image is mission critical, as the jargon merchants say, at Rainy Day. On 15 February, the subject was a black-and-white photo taken in Spain during Holy Week by Michail Christodoulopoulos.

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For its Black and White Quest, 500px asked for submissions that were stronger without colour. The winner is Michail Christodoulopoulos with this evocative Semana Santa image. Why did the judges pick it? “This is a perfect use of black and white — it emphasizes its mood and tone. The shallow depth of field and composition makes the viewer’s eye go back and forth through this line of men and their expressions.”

Semana Santa

And the story behind the winning entry: “This photo was taken in Malaga last year during the Semana Santa / Holy Week,” says Christodoulopoulos. “I’ve been living in Spain for almost 14 years, but I never miss the processions from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, where the confraternities of Malaga carry their floats, representing the Passion of Christ from His entry into Jerusalem to His Resurrection.”

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Tomorrow, here, the third post of pre-Christmas 2018 review is from March and it’s about the great piper Liam O’Flynn. “His absence is like the sky, spread over everything,” to paraphrase C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed.


Hungarian grill

Sunday, 25 November, 2018

Seen in Budapest, where cosmetic dentistry, especially the porcelain veneer business, is a nice little earner. According to the manufacturers: “NORITAKE SUPER PORCELAIN EX-3 is superior to other dental porcelains because its coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) remains stable during repeated bakings… Its fluorescence is ideal and it is highly resistant to silver-induced greening.”

Budapest dentistry


Smartphones are almost everywhere

Sunday, 18 November, 2018

It’s estimated that 40 percent of the world’s population now has a smartphone. For three billion people, writes Alan Taylor in The Atlantic, “these versatile handheld devices have become indispensable tools, providing connections to loved ones, entertainment, business applications, shopping opportunities, windows into the greater world of social media, news, history, education, and more.”

Here, Nigerian refugee Aicha Younoussa poses with a smartphone in front of her tent in a refugee camp in southern Chad.

In Chad

Here, attendees take photos of President Donald Trump as he attends the 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit in the East Room of the White House.

President Trump in the White House

Here, three women take selfies in the Piazza del Duomo in Milan.

Piazza del Duomo


Ye soft pipes, play on

Saturday, 17 November, 2018

“Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on.” — John Keats

Water music


Pine Wood at Montenero

Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

The photographer George Tatge was born in Istanbul and now lives in Florence. He studied English Literature at Beloit College in Wisconsin and moved to Italy in 1973 to work as a journalist in Rome before focusing on photography, which he does mostly with a 5x7in Deardorff view camera.

That mid-West study of English Literature was repaid when his Italia Metafisica won the Ernest Hemingway Award sponsored by Lignano Sabbiadoro, a town in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-eastern Italy. The story goes that when Hemingway was exploring the lagoons around Venice, he discovered Lignano Sabbiadoro and fell in love.

Presences – Italian Landscapes is the title of a photo series by George Tatge currently on display at the Catherine and André Hug Gallery in the heart of Saint Germain des Prés. This is the beautiful Pine Wood at Montenero and it was taken near a famous Catholic sanctuary perched on the Livorno Hills in central Italy.

Pine Wood at Montenero


Believe in miracles

Thursday, 11 October, 2018

Healing wells were traditional shrines dedicated to the miraculous powers of water, which is the fons et origo of life itself. They were incorporated by Christianity and country people still make pilgrimages to the holy wells to seek relief for a variety of ills from rheumatism to cancer. A great many wells are supposed to cure eye problems and it’s customary for the petitioner to leave a token piece of clothing, usually hung on a bush or a tree, so that the healing power of the water can act through it.

Believe that a farther shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney (1939 – 2013)

At the holy well


Apple anecdote

Thursday, 4 October, 2018

“The doctor’s wife ate two apples a day, just to be safe. But her husband kept coming home.” — Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories

Apples