Category Archives: Urban Ephemera

Urban: of a city or town. Ephemera: short-live duration or interest. Urban ephemera: the transient juxtaposition of things is our daily lives. The perfect subject for the voracious camera? It negates ephemera by rendering it permanent. Photographing ephemera is oxymoronic.

Red

Monday: a Egglestonesque moment in Balzano’s car park, and reading Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red flashed into my mind In the novel: ‘Two Europeans (“Franks” to the Turks and, to this day, Farangi to Iranians) stroll through a meadow. … Continue reading

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Gothic House, Cottenham

‘A couple must pay more than £1,100 in fines and costs after letting a Grade-II listed building fall into a dangerous state of disrepair. …. Franco Basso and Katherine Fleming failed to carry out essential repairs on the dilapidated 17th … Continue reading

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Agapanthus

The agapanthus derives its name from two Greek words: agape, which means love; and anthos, which means flower. Together, the agapanthus is the flower of love. In the traditional language of flowers it meant ‘love letter’.  Maybe this flower suggests … Continue reading

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Talking Pictures 3 – John Szarkowski

Yesterday’s post suggested that Szarkowski’s Looking at Photographs is still relevant to the way we discuss photography, but that’s not to say that everything has stayed the same.  He treats all photography as conceptual before the introduction of dry plates … Continue reading

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Security Cameras

When I went to the Out Patients of our local hospital a while back I was greeted by a disembodied voice saying, ‘For your safety and security this entrance is monitored by 24hour CCTV’.  I hadn’t felt the least bit … Continue reading

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Totem

A totem pole is carved and painted log, mounted vertically, constructed by the native people of the north-western coast of the US and Canada. They come in seven main kinds: memorial poles; grave markers; house posts; portal poles; welcoming poles; … Continue reading

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Einstein in Sheringham

Seeing this mural in Sheringham induces a double take: is it really Albert Einstein or some old crab fisher with an uncanny likeness to the great scientist?  And if it is him, what’s he doing here?  It is indeed Einstein, … Continue reading

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Vandalism or Art?

Is this graffito vandalism or public art?  If vandalism, it’s done with great skill and design flare.  If public, art it’s not very public, out along a path frequented only by occasional walkers, riders and farm tractors.  Such an urban … Continue reading

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Bra Stories

What’s the story behind this bra tied neatly in the hedgerow along the path to Quy Fen.    A retro feminist protest?  A bragging misogynist’s trophy?  A numbed and forgetful snow bather? Photo: Quy Fen, March 2018.

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Craquelure

I came across a new word recently, ‘craquelure’.  It is the fine pattern of dense reticulated cracking formed on the surface of materials, especially paintings, either as part of the process of ageing or of their original production.  Where it’s … Continue reading

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Boundaries

I once spent an afternoon walking along Victorian terraced streets in Cambridge photographing windows.  I was intrigued by the way something a fragile as a pane of glass could so definitively and effectively separate public and private spaces.  It reflects … Continue reading

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Deckchair

I sat in the sun I moved my chair into sun I sat in the sun the way hunger is moved when called fasting. Jane Hirshfield Photo: Green Park, London, 2011

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Transformations

A door is a door.  A photograph of a door is a faithful representation of it.  But not always.  Move in closer and the door becomes an abstract impression of light and shade, textures and tones, forms and planes.  Look … Continue reading

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Grave Humour

Fritz Spiegl trawled Britain’s graveyards and collected a mass of comic and curious memorial inscriptions.  They were collated into A Small Book of Grave Humour, first published in 1971.   Among the entries was: ‘Here lays John Tyrwitt, / A learned … Continue reading

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Flags

This house in Berlin, Maryland, displays three American icons: a stoop, a Bald Eagle and the Stars and Stripes.  I can’t claim to know the United States very well – just three visits as a tourist – but I get … Continue reading

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