Where I Become Soggy, Bedraggled and Windswept in London

I try to take photos every day, I am a great believer in practise makes perfect. I do also try to set aside some time every week to go out specifically to take photographs. For these trips I normally plan where I want to go and the shots I would like to get. A few weeks ago I set off to London to get my last trip in before much of Waterloo Station is closed for the duration of August. I won't be returning to London until September, even if they are giving out free ice-cream at the station*. 

I had planned, armed with my Fuji X100F, to go and shoot around Covent Garden, and then amble along the South Bank, perhaps with a creative recharge stop involving a nice piece of chocolate cake and cuppa. Having made it up to the Big Smoke it became clear very quickly that the weather was going be against me. It was blowing a gale and looked as though it was going to pour with rain. Often bad weather can give you some great shots, with stormy skies and ominous clouds. Not that day though. It was horrible. Flat grey skies and dull light was not showing London at its best. There was nothing for it, I needed a Plan B. I keep a notebook full of ideas and places to visit which I carry everywhere with me. As the rain started I sheltered under an awning close to the Tate Modern and decided indoor locations were the order of the day. 

Even in bad weather I will walk rather than take The Tube, so despite becoming increasingly soggy and bedraggled I headed off to the Tate Britain. The artwork here is fantastic, but so is the building. I wanted to see the current Tate commission, Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn. The installation is made up of several kilometres of fluorescent tubing. If you can get along to see it, it is well worth it. 

It is a wonderful piece of work, being three dimensional it changes as you walk through it and around it. Photographing it, however, is another matter. You can either expose for the room as a whole and the impact of the shapes is lost, or expose for the tubing and loose all the background detail. I went for the latter. It makes a rather nice abstract photograph don't you think?

Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans, photographed by Helen Fennell

Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) by Cerith Wyn Evans, photographed by Helen Fennell

I obviously couldn't leave the Tate Britain without photographing a staircase could I?**

The Tate Britain is an amazing location both for taking photographs and for getting inspiration, so the next time you are stuck in London with typical horrid British weather, hot foot it to Millbank and have a cultural boost. It is free too. 

The Tate Britain.

The Tate Britain.

 

* I know the closures are allowing upgrades to happen, and there probably isn't any other way, but I fear that Network Rail may have inadvertently provided their customers with a guaranteed ticket to the Seventh Circle of Hell with this plan. I know passenger numbers are lower in August, but it is the summer. It is, well might be, hot which makes people grumpy, and they are already grumpy as it is summer and they are at work and not on holiday. Not to mention all the poor baffled tourists who must be wondering what on earth is going on. 

** It is possible I am developing a bit of an obsession with staircases...