M and I had a day in London and I finally made it to the Photographers’ Gallery just off Oxford Street. I’ve wanted to go there for ages as it’s the largest gallery space dedicated to photography in London. We tried to visit before but it was closed for renovation so it was very exciting to find it open this time. Sadly, however, I was disappointed. I realised that I’d set certain expectations of what I was going to see but it turned out that the current exhibited work wasn’t the sort of photography that I warmed to. One floor was collage photographs made from torn up magazines, another was photographs of left-overs from meals turned into arrangements. The works were very clever and the artists highly skilled, but the photographs just didn’t do anything for me.
So we headed for a cup of tea to decide what to do next. Tea is always a good idea.
I’d read in the hotel about an exhibition of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and we realised that we weren’t too far away from the Natural History Museum where it’s being held, so a quick taxi trip and we were trotting in past the huge dinosaur skeletons (they never fail to impress) to feast our eyes on some of the most spectacular photographs I’ve ever seen. There were animals and birds captured in all areas of the world. There were amazing patterns of nature in water and earth and a beautiful macro photograph of cells. Especially inspiring were the winning and commended photographs taken by the younger age categories. One boy in the 11-14 category captured a bird of prey soaring below the faint outline of an airplane and he had also photographed the eyes of a hare peeping out over a snowy bank that made a simple but stunning image. You can see thumbnails of these photos and all the rest here http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/category.do?category=20&group=2 but to get the full impact do go and see it if you get the chance (it’s on until March 3rd).
It was a great bout of January inspiration!
A quick iPhone shot of Snowy London…