Monday 30 January 2017

Return to York

First photography outing of 2017, and a trip back to the National Railway Museum at York.  Another location we visit a lot, but this was a specific research visit for something I'm making (more on the model making blog in a bit).  I only snapped a few 'random' photos this time, and again, constantly revisiting the place means I was struggling a tad for subject matter, but hey-ho.

Shooting in deeply contrasted black and white worked with the shot at the top of the blog, but less so with this Deltic... something about yellow, it never looks right in greyscale.

I really like the archive room, and I'd happily have the signal level panel as some sort of Wallace and Gromit-style apparatus in the house- you know, pull lever to switch on kettle, and so on...

My dream workshop, given I only have a folding table in the living room...

Three streamliners- love the GWR railcar in the centre, lovely bit of design...

A beatirful streamliner facing a Q1, the very epitome of austerity and brute functionalism... a nice design nonetheless.

Finally, a slightly over-cropped image of the 9F "Evening Star".

Friday 27 January 2017

Sent to Coventry...Part Two

The first and before this visit, only, time I (Ben) went to Coventry was a school trip to the car museum, or Transport Museum as it is now.  I fancied going back for another look, and to snap some photographs.  No set plan, just a case of get the camera out and see what inspired. 

The museum is looking very smart- the creative lighting and arranging of the exhibits works nicely, and the route through the exhibits is logical and helps you flow through the place.  However, I'm posting the pics here out of sequence, simply... because of reasons.  There's also no pics of the bicycles, which were very interesting but they were a bit tricky to photograph.  The only slight issue I have with the place is calling it the museum of transportation, as really it is only about cars and bikes- there's a couple of lorries, couple of buses and some armoured cars, but no planes, boats, or trains, but like I say, minor quibble there.

Proper Jam Sarnie police car, something I rather like but then I probably spent too much time watching things like the Professionals and the Sweeny...

Arty shot in the wartime room.

My dream desk, and which cropped up in that fake book cover post I did last week.

I was experimenting with doing some close-ups on the engines, particularly of the motorbikes...

And then a ridiculously close-up shot of a radiator grille.  Slight shades of the credits from "Thunderbirds" with the close-up on the grille on Lady Penelope's Rolls Royce?

I was fascinated by the part of the museum with the car stripped down- nice to see so much laminated plywood like I used to work with in the last job.

When I was building the Jabberwock sculpture for the Alice in Wonderland show at Rydal, I became slightly sadly fascinated with headlamps which had a suitably eye-like appearance, and I got a little bit obsessed on this visit with antique car headlamps.

I do prefer the styling of older cars- all large grilles, and smooth curves, and protruding lamps.

Obviously, being in Coventry, there was a lot of Jaguar about, history, cars, and exhibits, so I photographed a bit of it.  Very interesting bit on the design of cars and the course they run to train designers at Uni.

The thing I was really interested in, the Land Speed Record holders- the "Thrust" cars.

Probably one of my favourite cars, I absolutely love the design of this, with its Batman-overtones.  Just a wedge of car built around a jet fighter engine, but so much presence.

So that was the brief trip to Coventry then.  Actually a pleasant town (and I managed to pick up a couple of Classic-era Dr.Who DVD's at a comic shop nearby, so bonus).

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Sent to Coventry... part one

Part one of a two parter on the blog this week, a trip to Coventry over the Christmas hols.  I (Ben) hadn't been to Coventry since a school trip in the 90's, so we set off for a brief visit with the whole family.

First stop, the ruins of the blitzed Cathedral.  Still just as imposing and moving as it was back when I was ten.

In the bright winter sunlight the new Cathedral looked rather nice in its own way, but we didn't have time to pop in.

Actually I'd forgotten how Coventry, thanks to post-war rebuilding, looks.  It puts me in mind of how in the 60's they thought the future would look, but its kind of a time capsule of that period, and fascinating to photograph.

The pic which inspired the fake book cover project in a previous blog post.  Incidentally the museum opposite housed a Lego exhibition which will be going up on the model making blog soon too...

The famous Lady Godiva statue, which prompted the Youngest Child to shriek "Nudy-rudy!!" loudly enough to echo off the walls of the square.

One of the few old buildings to survive the blitz.

Up next, part two, the motor museum...

Monday 23 January 2017

Cosford at Christmas

What do you do when it is just after Christmas and loads of places are shut, you're in the midlands, your Foster Childs are restless to go somewhere, anywhere, and you've just regained the power of movement after all that roast veg and cooked meats?  You go the RAF Museum at Cosford.

Going to the museum has become a bit of a post-Christmas tradition- its a good museum with an excellent collection, is free (definitely a bonus with three kids in tow), and almost all indoors which again is a good point in the depths of Christmas.

Of course the problem with repeated visits are that you start to run a bit low on photographic opportunities, so this time it was time to try some arty monochrome...  

And abstact close-ups.  The above is a bomb-bay on a Licoln...

...and the rear-side vents on a Leopard tank.

The Cold War hall remains a favourite, a wonderfully dramatic venue for displaying aircraft.  The Vulcan looms over the scene above...

...and personal favourite, the English Electric Lightning.  Actually seeing this prompted the start of a new project which will be appearing on the soon-to-be-rebooted model making blog...

It still fascinates seeing these aircraft strung up like Airfix kits from the roof of the structure.

Again, room for abstracts, with a jumble of wings and roundels.  This is a shot that gets taken every year, but this seems to have been the best angle this time around.

The Javelin, seen from the balcony at the top.  Maddening to have a restricted angle to photograph it though, might have to return with a special lens at some point...

Final abstract, looking inside the tail-end of a Rolls Royce jet engine.

Anything else?  Nice enough lunch, the kids option served in metal mess tins which was a nice touch, and some good books from the clearance sales table in the shop.  Also some inspiration for a couple of art projects, so a decent day out.