© 2011 Lu Nelson

London some more

On Wednesday, 4/27, I took the Tube to Westminster Pier and caught a boat ride to Kew to see the botanical gardens there.

 

The lighting was unfortunately kind of hard to deal with at Kew. It was a very bright sunny day. I managed to recover detail in this tulip by doing some selective burning over the tulip itself, but it was really catching the sun well vs. everything in the scene that was not white.

 

A fake flower to contrast with the real ones. This was in the indoor palm tree house.

 

This photo has a quirky composition that I like. To me, it looks like the flower is really struggling to keep its head up.

 

The next day, I went to the British Museum, which is just an astounding collection. The antiquities they have on display are mind-boggling. So much of it inspired me to daydream about life when those artifacts were created. Though the biggest draws seem to be the fantastic sculptures and monuments to great men and gods, some of the most interesting stuff to me was very ordinary — receipts for goods, or board games. It lent an extra amount of humanity to these ancient societies that I’m so used to seeing as regal and ceremonial. They certainly were full of routine, humor, and ordinary people, the same as anywhere and any time else. Enough of that, though. On to a couple of photos.

The head of a large statue of Buddha by a stairway. The only lens I took with me on this particular expedition was my 50mm f/1.8 II (my lightest — and cheapest — lens). Kew the previous day had somehow made my right knee feel like it was going to grind away to nothing, and to try to alleviate the pain I traveled light. It didn’t really work — the pain was excruciating while walking down stairs. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with stairs too often this day.

 

Statue of Gudea, a Mesopotamian ruler.

 

The roof of the Great Court in the museum. I ate at the restaurant there and took this picture from my seat.

 

These were the appetizers I got at the aforementioned restaurant: crab, quail egg, and salmon. They were delicious.

 

A crouching statue of Venus taking a bath.

 

A bust of Chrysippos, part of a set of four philosophers.

 

On my last full day in London, I went to the Natural History Museum and Piccadilly Circus. Unfortunately, it was not a very good picture day. I did like this particular shot, however.