Saturday, 26 January 2013

Mystic River

About a year ago I went on a little expedition to photograph the deer in Richmond Park, one of my favourite parks in all of London. Depending on your viewpoint the weather was awful. It was bitterly cold and and a heavy fog hung over the entire area throughout the day. This made the deer more difficult to spot, as visibility was below 50 yards, and any chance of nice bright landscapes non-existant. On the upside, it gave the Thames an ethereal quality that was quite magical. Another positive was the way that the branches of trees were highlighted due to the contrast with the overcast sky. I have always been fascinated by the intricacies of how branches grow; the journey, both physical and temporal, from green bud to mighty trunk. I did a module at uni on plant developmental genetics and it was one of the most interesting courses I've ever had the pleasure to do. For those interested, it's all to do with shoot apical meristems.

Richmond, Thames, river, water, London, England,
It was a touch on the foggy side
As you can see, the fog was substantial.

Richmond, Thames, river, water, London, England, reflection, stone, bridge
Richmond Bridge
Richmond bridge is rapidly approaching a quarter of a millennium in age and is still going strong. Thanks in part to a solid original design and partly to a sensitive widening project carried out in the 1930s so that it could cope with the increase in traffic. The upstream half of the bridge was completely dismantled, each brick being saved and labelled, the centre portion extended and then the original facing rebuilt. A single lane on the downstream side was kept open throughout the project.

Richmond, Thames, river, water, London, England, reflection, bridge

I could edit these photos to make them clearer, increase saturation and contrast and remove some of the smothering effects of the fog but I've decided to leave them as is. As they are they do a much better job of conveying the scene as I saw it that day; cold, dank and quite beautiful.

Richmond, Thames, river, artist, painter
An artist I met on the riverbank
This is a chap who will be known to anyone that regularly walks along this portion of the river. Say hello if you see him, he's very friendly and an excellent painter.

Richmond, Thames, river, painter, artist

The war memorial had recently been adorned with its sombre wreaths of remembrance and I took the opportunity to emphasise the colour of the iconic poppies. To be honest, this didn't take much in the way of editing, it was a dark day indeed.

Richmond, Thames, river, poppies