Archives for posts with tag: clock

In April, my husband and I honeymooned (thank you, Hollingsworth v. Perry) for two weeks in the south of England and Wales. We spent a few days in London on our own, based at St. Ermin’s Hotel just around the corner from Buckingham Palace, doing Tourist Things (theatre, the Tower, the British Museum, the British Library, Westminster Abbey, the fabulously old and author-frequented Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, a gaslight tour of the neighborhood around Parliament et cetera, et cetera), but the bulk of our time was spent being ferried about by our private guide, Michael Osborne (operating as Unique British Tours).

The great thing about engaging Michael was that we saw a whole different England than we would have seen on our own. Oh sure he took us to Stonehenge and Bath and Oxford, but we also drove off-highway along winding country roads that took us through alarmingly lovely little villages, complete with thatched-roofed houses in which real people actually live. He arranged overnights for us in assorted Wolsey Lodges (unique “luxury” bed-and-breakfasts that were mostly repurposed olde manor homes–including a horse farm in the country, a village great house, and (by far the best one) a converted 12th century mill) and a modern four-star hotel overlooking Cardiff Bay. He showed us things we hadn’t expected to see, like Avebury, a World Heritage Site with aged and worn monoliths that–unlike the more popular Stonehenge–visitors can actually wander up to and touch. He hosted us for beer at local village pubs and for a fancy-pants (and delicious) afternoon tea at the stately Manor House Hotel in Castle Combe.

Hazeland Mill in Wiltshire

Hazeland Mill, Bremhill, Calne, Wiltshire–the best of the places we stayed!

Of course pictures were taken, and since that’s what this blog is supposed to be about, let’s get to it. I hope some of these come off as something somewhat north of vacation snaps (for all our sakes). So Let the Travel Photography Begin!

For more travel and other photography, click here: www.ebutterfieldphotography.com

Big Ben at Night

Big Ben at Night

Tower Bridge viewed through a window

Tower Bridge viewed from the Tower of London

Gaslit street in Westminster, London

Gaslit street at night in Westminster, London

Gears in a mill in Wiltshire

Mill gears in a 12th-century mill in Wiltshire

Oxford Street

Street in Oxford

Avebury monoliths

Avebury monoliths

Close-up view of Lewis Chessmen in the British Museum

12th-century Lewis Chessmen, British Museum, London

Fan vaulting in the nave of Bath Abbey, Bath

Fan vaulting in the nave of Bath Abbey, Bath

Ruins of Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales

Tintern Abbey, Monmouthshire, Wales

Cardiff Bay, viewed from the St David's hotel

Cardiff Bay, viewed from the St David’s Hotel

Exeter College, Oxford

Exeter College, Oxford

Raven in the Tower of London

Raven in the Tower of London

Interior of the clock tower at Bath Abbey

Interior of the clock tower at Bath Abbey

Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff Castle, Cardiff, Wales

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire

 

For more travel and other photography, click here: www.ebutterfieldphotography.com

There’s a Harry Chapin song that goes, “All my life’s a circle / Sunrise and sundown.”  And there’s a folk hymn made famous by the Carter Family, among others, that asks, “Will the circle be unbroken…” Dead or Alive described how “You spin me right round, baby / right round like a record, baby / Right round round round.” Blood, Sweat & Tears told us about the Spinning Wheel (that’s got to go round), and Tommy Roe’s head got all Dizzy (and it’s you, girl, making it spin),  and the Lion King reassured us all about the Circle of Life (which, of course, keeps great and small on the endless round). So many songs about circles.

Well, enough of that. If it’s not obvious by now, I’m obsessing a little bit about circles. Last time, I wrote about a recent trip to Japan, and I’m still thinking about that trip, for a number of reasons. So while I was looking at my photos from the Great Japanese Adventure, it occurred to me that there were a lot of, well, round things.  An unusual number of photos that featured circles, or circular objects.

Now admittedly, my compositions often tend toward the geometric, whether or not they’re abstract. I’ve frequently caught myself carefully cropping in the viewfinder, trying to split an image precisely between, say, wall and sky, or to catch just the exactly right angular perspective on part of a structure.

(I like cropping in the viewfinder, by the way. It’s helpful, at least to me, to think about what the final image will look like as a photo (photo qua photo, as one might have said back in graduate school, when one was pretty much utterly unbearably smug and self-important, as opposed to what one is now, which is–well, never mind that). That is, I may be looking at reality, but the viewfinder helps me think about the art I’m finding in the reality. But more on that some other time. For now, it’s all about circles.

And of course, I’m not opposed to circles on principle.  I have been known, from time to time, to capture circular compositions over the years.

But this many circles in a one-day photoshoot—that’s something sort of new and unexpected for me.

Now, it may be that there are just more circular things in Fukuoka than anyplace else, although that seems unlikely. It may be that in my cultural and linguistic panic (described previously), I sought the homey, snuggly, psychological comfort of round objects more than hard-edged angularity. Or it may just be utterly random, one of those little happy chances that sometimes occur without need for elaborate explanation. That’s probably the most likely explanation, but where’s the fun in that?

In any case, it is—to me at least—an interesting bit of kismet that for whatever reason my eye gravitated toward round stuff in Japan. Oh, I took my share of hard-angled geometric shots, of course, but the raw ratio of round to angular in this collection is…surprising. I’m open to suggestions regarding why this happened. A general bored disinterest is also, of course, always welcome.

Anyway, make of it what you will, here are Some Round Things, fresh from Japan:

Decoration on the gate to a Buddhist cemetery

Manhole cover in an alley. Fukuoka, Japan.

Clock on the facade of the Hakata rail station

Incense urn at Tochoji Temple

Roof of Jotenji Temple

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