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Memories No 07: from Stanmore to Mill Hill East

My seventh blog outlining the stories behind my ‘Pictures of the Day’. For this week’s review, I travel to the ends of the DLR, Jubilee, Northern, Overground and Tfl Rail lines through from late February to April 2019. This series also sees me celebrating my first travelling anniversary.

If I were to try and categorise this week’s portfolio, maybe it would be a mix of Patterns and Stations. But that would only be an artificial coincidence as I’ve not gone out on many days set on fulfilling a particular brief. Nevertheless, it is curious how now on reflection, I can create a link. I may return to this coincidence at a later date.

But for now, see what you think and please tell me which is your favourite picture, and why. You can contact me through any of my social media channels. So here goes for week 7. Please let me know what you think?

#43:Stanmore – ‘Gold on Bronze’

'Gold on Bronze' - a side view of the Novotel hotel in Wembley Park

28/02-2019 – This shot reflects the geometric pattern of the windows on the side of the Novotel Hotel along the Olympic Way from Wembley Park underground station heading towards Wembley Stadium. The sun was just showing itself before dusk after a gloomy day of rain and overcast sky. So the opportunity of getting the sun to highlight the colour was too good to miss. This is one of a sequence of shots, but for me this stands out as you have to look closely to realise they are windows. The pattern and colour combination, I believe, are quite striking.

Although not a picture taken in Stanmore, I remind myself that my ‘end of the line’ destination is actually the start of my journey. And my Picture of the Day reflects my journey of the day: from all the pictures taken today, this one for me stands out by a country mile.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ5.6; Shutter Speed – 1/200; Focal Length – 55mm; Film Speed – ISO160; Google Photo Filter – Palma

#44: Liverpool Street – ‘Pillars & Lights’

'Pillars and Light' - a long view down platforms16 & 17

15/03/2029 – I didn’t expect this to be my picture of the day when I took it but the more I looked at it the more I felt it reflected my visit to Liverpool Street Station. It’s also a stark reminder of the view I’ve seen so many times, having passed through the station over the years as a seasoned commuter.

I’ve taken this shot from the very end of Platform 16/17 and aiming up at the vaulted canopy looking down the length of the platform. It’s almost a black & white photo, but small splashes of colour such as a streak of red on the train carriage to the left, and the colouring at the platform concourse (bottom centre) tells you otherwise.

A wide angle shot to get the width of the platform, and it is one of a series of shots. I’ve picked this one because of its stark black and white contrast which creates a somewhat atmospheric and moody feel.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ3.5; Shutter Speed – 1/80; Focal Length – 21mm; Film Speed – ISO200; Google Photo Filter – Auto

#45: Chingford – ‘Yellow Boxes’

'Yellow Boxes' - bright yellow seating in Chingford Mount

28/03/2019 – This is a seating area in the centre of Chingford Mount, by the war memorial and bus station. 

Today’s bright sunshine accentuates the colour of the seats, which on one side is occupied, but this side is free. The combination of the colour and shape makes for an interesting shot; and I’ve tried to draw a parallel with the offset nature of the individual seats and with the straight edge on the left.

There’s also a measure of movement with the slightly blurred passer-by in the top right hand corner. I took several attempts to get the composition right by changing the shutter speed but maintaining the depth of field at a time someone walked by in the corner of the frame.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ32; Shutter Speed – 1/30; Focal Length – 55mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Bazaar

#46: Tower Gateway – ‘Tower Arches’

'Tower Arches' - a view at Tower Bridge through a collection of cycle stands

03/04/2019 – I seem to be developing a creative theme of low, pavement level shots to capture a slightly different angle of the subject. Sometimes with a slow shutter speed to give the effect of movement when people/vehicles are moving past, or as with this shot, to create a different perspective of a well known landmark.

This is taken on the cobbled path between the Thames and The Tower looking towards Tower Bridge in the murky background through a bicycle stand set out as an array of metal hoops.

I’m trying to showcase the ruggedness of the cobbles, particularly as it has just started to rain so the light effect on the ground has just changed. Amazingly, as soon as it rained, everyone and I mean everyone suddenly disappeared and there was no one around. I took a few shots to get the framing right and played around with the settings to create the stark contrast in Black & White. A slight reddish filter helps to highlight the wet surface of the cobbles.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ10; Shutter Speed – 1/40; Focal Length – 30mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Blush

#47: Paddington – ‘9.32 pm’

'9.32 pm' - an empty Paddington Station looking up at the roof and a grand Victorian clock

10/04/2019 – An iconic picture taken inside Paddington Station at 9.32 pm on Wednesday the 10th April 2019.

This is one of several shots I’ve taken to get the composition and effect  just right and the settings I’m using achieves that. The particular challenge is to get the shutter speed right. Too short and the picture is dark, and too long gives a whitewashed effect. Camera stability with a 2 second exposure is achieved using the camera mounted on a low lying tripod.

This striking image, taken in black and white, shows off the iron work which is captured in fine detail right throughout the station. The clock to the left, in grand Victorian style, offsets the symmetry of the picture just enough and helps draw the eye down to a statute of Paddington Bear. The long exposure also helps to create the starburst effect with the overhead lighting which a faster exposure failed to achieve.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ16; Shutter Speed – 2 sec; Focal Length – 18mm; Film Speed – ISO200; Google Photo Filter – Metro

#48: Shenfield – ‘Past Recollection’

'Past Recollection' - and old and abandoned railway caboose on the sidings at the station

18/04/2019 – As soon as I saw this wagon I knew it would feature as my picture of the day, but I wanted to make sure I could create the right mood for it, capturing its age and abandoned state.

The wagon stands alone off platform 1, now disused, and cuts a sorry and unloved image ignored by most passengers walking into the station. This shot is one of a long series of pictures taken naturally and with a harsh B&W filter on the camera, the latter portraying an image reminiscent of an early newspaper picture: bold and stark – but I’m looking for something different.

If you’re familiar with Google Photos, you’ll know it comes with simple, but very effective edit features. One of which consists of 14 different filter settings. I’ve often questioned the purpose of the Modena filter as it places a yellowish tint across the whole picture. However, that’s precisely the effect I’m looking for: one that mimics old film stock, and this time it gives the feel of an early wild west colour movie.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ/5.6; Shutter Speed – 1/200; Focal Length – 29mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Modena

#49: Mill Hill East – ‘Pink Petals’

'Pink Petals' - a street strewn with cherry blossom petals

24/04/2019 – Mill Hill has proven difficult to select today’s picture as I’ve taken so few. Nonetheless, I’ve chosen this one to serve as a reminder of my first lodgings in Devonshire Road. And because it’s a windy spring day, no sooner has the Cherry Blossom burst into an abundant display of pink, it’s quickly blown away.

The pavement covered pink palate is forever changing as the wind swirls the petals on the ground.

This picture is taken from ground level and captures the yellow dandelions in the foreground to help with the colour contrast. Timing is crucial too and this one captures a travelling car just right as it appears between the tree line. I would like to have had more time to play with the aperture setting to extend the depth of field, but the changing conditions made this challenging.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ/5.6; Shutter Speed – 1/200; Focal Length – 36mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Reel

Categories
Overground TfL Other Services

#45: Chingford – 28/03/2019

The Station

Serving the north east of London out of Liverpool Street, this Overground line terminates right at the edge of Epping Forest. Built in the Victorian era, the station still reflects its original charm with three platforms and many sidings.

Chingford sits within the Borough of Waltham Forest, who have cleverly remodelled the Underground Roundel to promote itself as the first London Borough of Culture. I think the use of the roundel is quite creative.

As with many Overground stations, attempts to green up the station are well intended, with bursts of planting providing a colourful interest, but unless looked after, the flowers soon decay and look somewhat dishevelled. Sadly, Chingford station is no different.

A Royal Connection

Turning right out of the station, I’m confronted by a welcome sign into London’s Great Forest – Epping Forest and I’m immediately drawn to an elaborate looking building in the distance up Ranger’s Road. Alas when I get there, it’s a faux tudor style Premier Inn (yuck) but next door is The View, a visitor centre cum gallery, and Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge. Both turn out to be worthy of visiting for different reasons.

The View provides visitors with a wealth of information about the Forest and offers interactive displays about the Forest and it’s upkeep. I learn, from one of the exhibits, that the social reformer Octavia Hill, who also co-founded the National Trust believed that good environments make better people and proclaimed: ‘…we want four things. Places to sit in, places to play in, places to stroll in and places to spend a day in. The poor should never be denied beauty…’

The View also housed an art exhibition which had paintings inter-dispersed amongst these displays. What strikes me is the quality of the artwork especially when I learn they have all been painted by students from Bancroft’s School. Sadly the exhibition is no longer there, but if you ever get a chance, I highly recommend seeing their work; or maybe the school will put them on their website? Here are a couple of examples.

A hunting lodge, built by King Henry VIII in his later years stands proudly overlooking the forest, and the lodge was re-modelled by Queen Elizabeth I on her succession to the throne. Used as a starting/end point for royal hunts, it’s alleged that Queen Elizabeth after one such hunt, rode her horse up the stairs to the top floor. There’s no evidence to dis/prove this, but it does add to the colourful character of the building.

My journey to Chingford Mount

I return to Chingford and somewhat disappointedly find little of interest. A long winding street, typical of London, full of independent shops and a variety of religious buildings, however the architecture offered little of interest. My eye catches one spectacle in the window of Solution, a high class clothing alteration service – that of a window display full of buttons. I stepped into the shop and the seamstress seemed quite proud of the display which had been built up over the years.

Further down the road, I pass Chingford Assembly Hall and stop to view, not the building itself, but a mosaic commissioned for the millenium depicting twelve scenes with a local interest. If you look closely at the outlining design, and apply your imagination, you could be right in seeing the underground ‘roundel’ has been incorporated as well…or maybe that’s just my imagination.

From here I head south to Chingford Mount via the Ridgeway, and on this hot sunny day, it is a slow walk through row upon row of typical London houses. My only stop is a brief diversion into Mansfield Park to view the scene overlooking the Lee Valley and its reservoirs.

I later forayed into the Lee Valley Regional Park looking for a short cut, but soon realised this was not possible and had to do a U-turn. Passing a very uninteresting London Energy centre, I did find one item of interest that became a contender for my picture of the day. Not for its beauty, but more for its symmetry. This shot is taken directly under, and in the centre of an electricity pylon that straddled the road.

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs)

By now it’s late afternoon and I’m feeling weary and ready for home, but I notice in the distance looking southwards as I was standing on the North Circular slip road (safely and on the pavement) that I can see the new Spurs ground. I decided it would be a shame to be so close and not visit so a short hop by bus takes me to Fore Street and I walk through Edmonton – a familiar location where I once worked.

As I approach the stadium, I know it is soon to open as it is hosting an exhibition match on the coming Saturday and its first home game the following Wednesday. However as I climb the open staircase, I am challenged by security who explain the ground and the raised walkway are still deemed a ‘building site’ and declared out of bounds to the public. Nevertheless, as the stadium is right on the pavement, I am able to walk right around this impressive, expensive and late opening stadium. I have no doubt though that these facts will soon be forgotten once football returns to White Hart Lane.

I speak at length with one of the security guards who is happy to share stories of his time working here and he highlights some of the high tech features of the ground. Much has been made of its retractable pitch which reveals an artificial pitch for NFL games and concerts. Here’s a collection of some of the pics I took.

I ended my journey at White Hart Lane overground station, a station which will soon have a name change to Tottenham Hotspur station. This photo-opportunity is a homage to the new stadium in the shadow of the old station name.

Picture of the Day

This is a seating area in the centre of Chingford Mount, by the war memorial and bus station. 

Today’s bright sunshine accentuates the colour of the seats, which on one side is occupied, but this side is free. The combination of the colour and shape makes for an interesting shot; and I’ve tried to draw a parallel with the offset nature of the individual seats and with the straight edge on the left.

There’s also a measure of movement with the slightly blurred passer-by in the top right hand corner. I took several attempts to get the composition right by changing the shutter speed but maintaining the depth of field at a time someone walked by in the corner of the frame.

Settings: Camera – Canon EOS 200D; Aperture – ƒ32; Shutter Speed – 1/30; Focal Length – 55mm; Film Speed – ISO100; Google Photo Filter – Bazaar

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