Here is the chain of consciousness that led me to post this photo:
- I’m not impressed with the options available on TV
- I check my DVR for possibilities
- I find that I have recorded 9 episodes of “Lonely Planet,” a travel show
- I start watching the first one, which is set in London
- Half-way through, the travel guide takes us to Kew Gardens
- I remember that I have some Kew Gardens photos
- I stop watching the TV show
- I find this photo and work on it
- I post it here
That sounds like a disciplined mind hard at work, doesn’t it?
I apologize to those who are subscribed to my blog posts via email: I have posted 9 times in the last 12 hours. And that means that you are getting bombarded. But don’t give up on the subscription. I promise that I won’t get quite so far behind in this blog any time soon.
You’re looking at an acrophobic’s nightmare – a walkway 30 feet off the ground with a relatively low railing that takes you through the tops of a little forest in Kew Gardens, London. But if you can stand the height, it is well worth it, for it gives you a bird’s eye view (or squirrel’s eye or [name an arboreal animal]‘s eye view) of trees.
It’s the London Eye, of course. This is a shot I took several years ago on a trip with students that took us to London, Paris and Rome. The Thames looks really brown in this photo, but some of that is due to the HDR and contrast process I applied to this photo.
Canon 5D 1/200s f/10.0 ISO250 24mm
The London Eye may well be one of those metal things that are built for special occasions and then end up being iconic – such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Space Needle in Seattle. The good thing about the London Eye is that if you take a ride in it, you get a great view of all of the other London icons, though if I had it to do over again, I think I’d like to go up around sunset.
To someone from the US (and much of the rest of the world), one of the many endearing idiosyncrasies of England is that they drive on the “wrong” side of the road. One would think that this would have little impact on the pedestrian but that would be wrong. For example, which side of the sidewalk do you walk on? How about people movers at airports? Escalators? Etc.
As a pedestrian in London for the first time, I appreciated the courtesy of the warnings painted at many crosswalk because more than once, I looked left as I would at home, stepped into the crosswalk and then was aware that traffic was bearing down on me on the “wrong” side of the road.
Incidentally, without trying to sound pedantic, 34% of the world’s population drives on the left. The French used to drive on the left but Napoleon changed it. I don’t know why.
Humans don’t flock, of course. They march or gather or group. And “drafting,” as mentioned in yesterday’s post, only occurs at relatively high speeds. Thus, the guys playing the flutes are only able to get by with less effort than those in front of them because they were smart enough to pick little instruments. Notice the white leg guards on the drummers, by the way. I wonder how long that piece of equipment has been part of the uniform?
I should mention that this is the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London. Tourists flock there on a regular basis to witness the spectacle. Did I say “flock?” I meant “gather.”
I’ve been told that the London Eye is not a Ferris Wheel because Ferris was a Frenchman and the French and the British have their differences. So don’t called it a “Ferris Wheel.” Whatever you call it, the London Eye is an impressive feat of engineering and technology. And it offers a very comfortable Ferris-Wheel-Like ride. It was expensive (over $20); but it is certainly worth it.
The clouds in the background add interest to this photo. Another things that is interesting to me is the tiny airplane that seems to be flying through the spokes.
Canon 5D 1/1000s f/14.0 ISO250 73mm (Canon 24-105 f/4.0L IS)
Scott Shephard Photography