London 2012 & Rose-Red Empire

 London 2012

In 2005, this was the view from the Greenway where it crossed over Marshgate Lane; now it looks like this:

with the Olympic stadium taking shape amid a complete re-creation of the landscape. You can see many more of my pictures of the area covered and surrounding the Olympic site from the 1980s to 2005 on my Lea Valley site,  and more current work in My London Diary, for which I try to add a roughly monthly progress report.

I’ve photographed various panoramas around the area over the years, working with several swing lens cameras (and the relatively cheap Ukrainian Horizon 202 is probably my favourite – when the first one wore out after around 10 years I immediately ordered another) and later also with the considerably more expensive Hassleblad XPan equipped with a 30mm lens. This gave close to the maximum angle of view that makes sense as a rectilinear perspective – any wider and the edge-stretching becomes silly.  Swing lens cameras get over this problem, but their cylindrical projection adds another of its own that makes them tricky to work with, giving curvature in all non-vertical lines except for that along the exact centre of the image(where usually you try to place the horizon.)

Now I most often use a normal DSLR, taking several exposures and joining them with PTGui, which allows a choice of projections, including rectilinear and cylindrical but also others. The latest version (8.1.2)  has added more possiblities, including ‘Vedutismo‘ which I used for the above panorama (see a larger version)  which keeps all lines that pass through the centre of the image straight.  There is also a modified version of the cylindrical projection, ‘Mercator’, (added in version 7.0) which is also of interest.

You can see February’s London 2012 site pictures here.

Rose-Red Empire

On Saturday I went to see the show ‘Rose-Red Empire‘ at Danielle Arnaud contemporary art in Kennington, which accompanied the launch of Iain Sinclair’s latest book on Hackney (it continues until 15 March – see website.) Show and book include material on the impact of the Olympics on Hackney,  and a film by Emily Richardson brought back memories of the Manor Gardens Allotments as well as the Bow Back Rivers.  The show does include some photographic work, as well as paintings and other media, but the photography in general disappointed. Perhaps the best was in ‘The Book of the Brook’  by Iain Sinclair, produced as a unique single copy with his own photos tipped in, along with other material, simple honest and un-pretentious records of his observations on walks around the largely hidden parth of Hackney Brook.

Here’s a picture that I think Sinclair might appreciate:

© 2007 Peter Marshall
Northern Outfall Sewer and Lea Navigation

and I made it without a kayak.

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