Train Station – World War II Style

Concrete and Gothic

Coventry seems a bit of an odd place to me. You arrive in the train station to be confronted by stairs. Lots of them and they are all concrete. Those of you wishing to use escalators should bring their own. A Japanese man who got off the train with two suitcases and a ruck sack was stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of this concrete staircase cum mountain. He cursed profusely in his native language.

From the train station you can access the centre by going through concrete underpasses whose corners are cut sharp with a geometry designed to suggest that an assault is imminent. Once you arrive you discover a grey concrete jungle probably commissioned in the sixties when brutality seemed like the way forwards.

It’s a strange mixture of dark medieval and brutal sixties.  Concrete and Gothic in one square mile.  In this image below they have installed a clock in a brick wall which celebrates the Peeping Tom / Lady Godiva story.  So once an hour, a pervert eyes up a naked woman.  It’s the sort of thing that only borough councils can do this well.  You can bet one of the reasons funding was approved was because this monstrosity will bring tourists into the city centre. I can mock but I spent valuable time waiting for the big event.

This is outside the cathedral.

If we go for the long shot, we can see that it’s an angel’s victory over Satan or someone, so in that context, genitalia and chains are OK.

The medieval and the modern cathedral are right next to each other and they make quite a contrast.

I’ve already mentioned the different architectural styles at odds with each other, but the medieval cathedral has no roof having suffered from Nazi bombing during the war.  It’s a ruin rather than a building.  The problem with Coventry is not that it had to be rebuilt but that it was rebuilt in a style which didn’t match the surviving parts of the city centre.

OK, so it was the style to build in grey concrete at the time, but didn’t anyone have any taste?  Did they really sit down with the designs and think, this will go really well with the old town?

If I spent more time there I may discover its charms but the home of the Sky Blues leaves me perplexed.


A two thousand year old stone carving.

EOS5 Fujicolor with some burning in on the stripes.

The View From The Carmel

Shrine of the Báb

Henry VIII


The port town of Caesarea Maritima was built by Herod The Great and later used by the Romans.  Before you get to the Roman part, used for horse racing, you pass through the gothic architecture of Crusader gates and arches.  More recent developments have included private museums and a golf course.  Most sites in the Middle East have had more than one owner.

As usual, the site is mostly in ruins although it is well preserved and the size of it must make it one of the largest archeology sites in the region.  Much work has been done to update it and it also boast a modern amphitheatre, shops and restaurants.

I am pleased with the results of using 50 speed film on these photographs.  The film was out of date and had been through an xray machine but was perfectly fine and worked very well in the strong Mediterranean sunlight.  It’s not fully appreciable in the scaled down versions of these photos for the web but the film really did bring out the detail and texture of the stone work.  Overall, I think monochrome suited this subject, which doesn’t really have a great deal of colour to it anyway.

Renaissance Baebes

At a recent display, I took these pictures of Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth II and Mary Queen of Scots.  The models were very impressive and the clothes very fine although the light was poor and I was working without the aid of a tripod.  The other problem is that the EOS 5 gave up half way through.  It had an incident with a broken strap and the floor and although I have managed to patch it up, it’s not going to last much longer.

I haven’t had much experience of models before and these two were capable of seeing my camera, taking up a pose and staring down the lens with such confidence that nearly I fumbled the shot.  These two are not intimidated by a telephoto zoom.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lavender Water

My recent post showing some lighthouse steps got a few comments so I thought I’d do another one on the theme again. The interior shots come from the keeper’s cottage and were taken hand-held in low lighting conditions.

I wonder if there are any working lighthouses left in the UK?  It’s probably all done with GPS these days.

Note the fog horn in the foreground. Don’t hear those much these days either.

The lighting and mirrors at the top of the lighthouse.

The coast as viewed from the top.Ilford HP5+ and one of the last outings for the EOS5.

Lighthouse Steps

Aeroplane Art