London (UK). London by night: landscape with the London Eye and the Westminster Palace from the Golden Jubilee Bridge.
London (United Kingdom). Night landscape of St. Paul Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge
London (UK). One thing I love about London is its skyline. First of all, every time I watch and photograph it, it’s always different – with new buildings and shapes. But also because the sky of London – with its colours and clouds – is an amazing background, which emphasise the futuristic skyscrapers (among others, the newly built “Shard” and the Gherkin) and the old silhouette like the St. Paul Cathedral.
London (United Kingdom). The last time I visited London was in September 2013: “The View From The Shard” – the popular observation deck on the (currently) tallest building in the European Union – had opened few weeks earlier, and I could not miss the opportunity of shooting landscapes of London from this privileged point. When I arrived there, it was few minutes before sunset and the light was simply perfect: warm and clean as it can be only in late summer. At the end, it was a great photographic experience, despite the fact that The View From The Shard is not an open air place (but thanks God, glasses were quite clean). The City of London, at that time, was growing with some new buildings, which today are part of the skyline: one is called “The Cheese-grater”, for its shape resembling the typical tool for grating cheese on top of spaghetti; another one is called 20 Fenchurch Street and today it’s famous because it hosts the Sky Garden London.
Today, almost two years after that experience, I’m reconsidering and re-editing one photo from that day. Why today? I don’t know… Why this photo? Again, I don’t know… Simply, I was surfing into my photo catalogue, and my attention was captured by this specific one. I’m remarking this aspect because – one more time – it helps me to explain the rationale and the philosophy of Photographing Around Me. I know that today the City of London is different: I guess that buildings are completed and operative, and that cranes are over. But my memory – together with my photographs – is still at that September 2013. Next time I will go to London (I hope it will be very soon) I will capture and share an update. Promised!
London (UK). Ballerinas walk on the Bridge of Aspiration, which “twists” high above Floral Street in Covent Garden and links the Royal Ballet Upper School with the Royal Opera House. Designed by WilkinsonEyre architects, its name – “Aspiration” – refers to the symbolic passage from the school to the theater.
London (UK). One of the city’s landmarks: the House of Parliament, or Westminster Palace.
London (United Kingdom). What does make the beauty of a museum? I mean: saying that a museum is a beautiful one, what can be the main reasons? Have you ever questioned yourself about it? I did it, and I still do it basically every time I visit a museum – which luckily happens quite often because I love going to a museum.
But before giving my answer I want to say something I noticed, and that appears to me quite as a nonsense: for several people (perhaps the majority) the beauty of a museum is given by the number of famous authors (painters, sculptors etc.) exhibiting there. And unavoidably, the result is that a museum with ten Picasso is better than another one with only two. Isn’t it absurd? Oh yes, definitely it is; but it’s also true. So, the consequence is that visitors are much more concentrated on the small label with the title and the author of a painting, than on the painting itself! And they spend the whole visit at a museum curved down on the low corner of the frame, admiring the name of some famous author, without putting their eyes on what could be a masterpiece of art’s history.
For the same reason, I love when I visit a museum and I see someone standing in front of a canvas or a sculpture, writing or sketching on a notepad: it’s a totally different approach, much deeper and in intimate relationship with art…
Anyhow, coming back to my initial question: what makes the beauty of a museum? To me, one of the key elements is its architecture: the visit to a museum is a pleasure not only for what it includes, but also for the spaces where the visitors walk. For this reason I loved the Fondazione Prada in Milan, where people walk in a former industrial site, completely reinvented but with well visible the traits of some structures used in the past to produce spirits. And of course I loved the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, designed by Frank Gehry with his typical futuristic concept of structures. But one of my favorites and that I loved most is the British Museum (in the picture, the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court), with its striking ceiling designed by Sir Norman Foster (based on Foster’s concept for the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin, Germany).
London (UK). The London Skyline during a clear sunrise of September, taken from a terrace of the London School of Economics building.
London (United Kingdom). No need to say: London’s skyline is a perfect mix of old and new. From St. Paul Cathedral to the Shard, this sequence of buildings captures the interest of locals and tourists. Especially at sunset, when the sky softens the light, painting the skyline with a warm orange.