I enjoy web sites that speak about their authors’ special regard for places, and I collect some favourite examples here. I hope you too enjoy my little collection.
Warning: some of these sites are rich and complex — you weren't planning to do anything else today, were you?
Drone flight over an aqueduct
The World Heritage Listed Pontcysllte Aqueduct carries the Llangollen Canal over the valley of the River Dee in Wales. It was completed in 1805 and is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.
This video, convinced me that a remote controlled Aibot X6 hexacopter is a great tool for inspecting hard-to-get-to places. I want one.
Also, see this video animation showing how the aquaduct was built.
These deadpan mugshots of darkrooms in London, by photographer Richard Nicholson, brought forth feelings of nostalgia in me, reminding me of time I have spent in other darkrooms. I have especially fond memories of these:
♦ The cramped under-the-stairs darkroom in a neighbour’s house in Dorking in Surrey, UK, where I made prints to show at meetings of the Ockley, Capel & District Camera Club.
♦ The darkroom I made in my bedroom at home, with Masonite blackout panels over the windows, where I made prints for a school magazine.
♦ The pleasure of using a Leitz Focomat enlarger in a darkroom in a certain government department in Brisbane, through the kindness of the father of a friend at university.
♦ The chaotic darkroom at the Architectural Association in London, where I printed photos for my travelling companion Jon Parker. That’s Jon’s Olympus Pen half-frame camera I’m holding in this picture.
♦ The old caravan I converted into a darkroom, equipped with a Leitz Valoy enlarger, and dragged from house to house in the 1970s.
Enough of my reminiscences. Here is part of Richard Nicholson’s explanation of his project:
This project, shot on 4”x5” film, documents London’s remaining professional darkrooms. It is based on my nostalgia for a dying craft (there are no young printers). It is in these rooms that printers have worked their magic, distilling the works of photographers such as David Bailey, Anton Corbijn and Nick Knight into a recognisable ‘look’.
Postscript: On the Guardian website is a short video about this project.
Nothing to see here
This website takes the form of a blog, with short posts about obscure places. It’s the work of Anne Ward and a group of collaborators. The about page cautions that attractions that may not be all that attractive, among other delights, can be found here.
The fact that a Dormouse Hunting Museum exists at all is reason enough to buy a plane ticket to Slovenia. The collection covers the myth and culture of the Dormouse in Slovenian national identity, as well as practical examples and diagrams showing trapping methods. The Dormouse was hunted for its pelts, which were used in dandies’ hats, but the meat wasn’t wasted, and the fat is apparently semi-liquid. The displays are well-laid out vitrines, given a backdrop of leaves and logs, and enlarged engravings of dormouse lore, including an image of the devil seemingly herding the dormouse, to some end.[This text, and the photo in the screen shot below, by Dan Eastwell].
Brazillian rainforest photographed from a kite
I have spent more hours than I like to admit browsing the website of Nicolas Chorier, a French photographer who specialises in kite photography. There is much else to see, but I suggest you start with his pictures of the disappearing rainforest of Brazil. The website does not allow a direct link, so here are directions: in the navigation list on the left of the page, click nature, then brazil. Then click the thumbnail images that appear on the right.
This is a pool of photographs contributed by members of flickr, the very sociable and democratic website for the sharing of images.
A group dedicated to documenting the breadth and beauty of scotland before it disappears forever.
Subject matter includes abandoned or threatened architecture, the story behind the facade, rural, coastal and urban, long forgotton lives, fading grandure, industrial dreams, atmospheric interiors, portraits, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Film or digital, you decide the rest.
This story published in The Guardian (Bell tolls for Hemingway treasures as Cuban house caught in sanctions trap, by Conor Clarke and Ewan MacAskill) includes an audio slideshow: a tour of Hemingway’s house.
Finca Vigia, or Lookout Farm, 10 miles east of Havana, is the place Ernest Hemingway called home from 1939 to 1960, and it is there that the author’s abundant tastes, in literature and in life, are on display. Visitors can see where Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea, where he dined with Errol Flynn and where Ava Gardner was reported to have skinnydipped…
…For the past two years, a group of American organisations has been working to restore the battered house and save the manuscripts and books. But US sanctions against Cuba have hindered the group’s attempts to collaborate with the Cuban government. The Bush administration’s response has been mixed, flitting between acquiescence and obstruction.