I gave a day-job talk at the Ritz on Tuesday. My subjects were twofold: the first was a reminder that the purpose of eDiscovery is to find evidence and improve one’s understanding of the case, not merely to find documents; the second was to suggest that whilst civil justice seemed to be going fast down the pan thanks to a combination of an ignorant Justice Secretary, a useless Ministry of Justice and some Court of Appeal judges whose idea of real-life bears no relation to real life, there were nevertheless opportunities for those ready and willing to take them.
My next meeting was close to the Tower of London, and I came out of it into the beginnings of a glorious evening with time on my hands before my train. It was an opportunity to merge two of my passions – walking city streets and photography – and I have some new camera kit to get used to. I entirely buy Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that you need hours of practice to be good at anything and I need to practice in the same way as soldiers learn to dismantle and reassemble their guns so that it became second nature. Equipment includes a tripod, the camera, a wi-fi trigger and an iPhone, all of which takes some assembly even before you get to the controls and settings. It is also slightly cumbersome to carry amidst the tourist throngs of Tower Hill
You don’t need all this kit to take decent photographs of the Tower and the Thames on a sunny evening. What I do find, and it is one of the reasons why I carry a camera, is that I become much more observant if I have a camera with me. I am not sure, for example, if I would have noticed this arrangement of two Wren churches and the Monument if I had not been equipped to photograph it.
No one, however, could miss the hideous bulk of the new buildings now rising in the city. The Gherkin and the Shard have elegance. Those shown in this picture have merely bulk and ugliness. We are threatened with 230 more towers to spoil the London skyline. I wonder what induces these approvals.
It is hard to take a bad photograph of sunsets and water, particularly when there are cranes, towers and steeples to enliven the skyline. I liked this juxtaposition of a 19th-century crane and the Shard.
I like the idea that smart London still has stretches of foreshore with the stumps of old pier supports showing through.
I particularly like the way PhotoShop allows you to remove the junk street furniture and leave the view as it should be. Street lights serve a purpose, I accept, but they are ugly, and always in just the wrong place. PhotoShop to the rescue:
I tweeted about this taking of photographs, and someone said jokingly that I would probably be arrested as a terrorist. I am ready for that in London with a copy of an official letter addressed to the Met’s police officers, reminding them that photography is not a crime. It was at a different place on a different day this week that somebody impeded my right to take photographs – more on that here.