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Tony Grist

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The Things I Photograph [Feb. 2nd, 2013|11:02 am]
Tony Grist
I take pictures with a view to posting them at wikimedia commons. This gives me a focus. (My archive- I'm poliphilo over there as well- is getting to be huge.) My choice of subjects is governed by (a) my own interests (b) what I think other people might find interesting and be able to use on their websites. This second stipulation has pretty much cured me of my juvenile taste for whacky camera angles.

It may seem as if I have a particular thing about churches. Well I do, but they're only a sub-section of a larger category called Old Things Made of Stone. It just so happens that churches are common and accessible. I am equally enthusiastic about bridges, manor houses, preaching crosses, monastic ruins, prehistoric monoliths and things like that; it's just that they're thinner on the ground. I make an exception for castles and large country houses because I find them oppressive and vainglorious. I am an not an admirer of Sir John Vanburgh. A few days back we were in the neighbourhood of Castle Howard- and every time we came to a sign-post pointing to it I recommended we take the other fork. My least favourite building on the planet is Versailles.

I like old things made of wood as well, but they're rare- for obvious reasons.

I don't despise modern things. I have a prejudice against Victorian churches (I find them insincere)- and I wouldn't be particularly bothered if they pulled down the Houses of Parliament- but I'm keen on the relicts of the industrial revolution. Give a Victorian architect stone to build in and he imagined he was wearing hose (or a toga) but give him steel and glass and he became modern and took risks. I revere Brunel.  I admire the market hall in Ashton. I'm keen on piers. 20th and 21st century stuff I'm picky about. Whereas I'll photograph anything medieval that gets in front of the lens a contemporary building has to grab my attention by being weird or outrageous or beautiful or storied.

Ah, yes, stories. I'll photograph anything with a story attached. The Richard III Tea Rooms in Scarborough ticks just about every box. It's old, it's made of stone and it has associations with one of my favourite historical characters. I've been known to take photographs of statues. And I'll go out of my way to visit battlefields even though they rarely look anything like they did when they were being fought over. Of all the battlefields I've visited the most atmospheric was Towton. 

I sometimes take landscapes, but they're rarely pure. There's usually a building somewhere in the frame- and very often there'll be gravestones in the foreground. Gravestones have always been a passion of mine. I like rivers. I like the sea. I like boats- especially boats with masts because of the strength of the verticals and the tinkling sound the hawsers make as they tap against the mast.

And now we're straying off the subject...
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Comments:
From: cmcmck
2013-02-02 12:45 pm (UTC)
If you want to see what pics I take, I've been putting up some reruns recently over on DW and I have you set up so you can get access via open access as I do all my eljay flist.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-02-02 01:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll enjoy looking at those.
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[User Picture]From: basefinder
2013-02-02 04:32 pm (UTC)
I didn't know about wikipedia commons, so I've learned my new thing for the day. Thanks!

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-02-02 05:39 pm (UTC)
It's a remarkable library of images- all of them free to use. It gives me a kick to see my pictures turning up on other people's websites.
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[User Picture]From: puddleshark
2013-02-02 05:43 pm (UTC)
I have occasionally thought about posting to wikimedia commons, but I'm not sure my photos are up to scratch. But when I'm loading photos of gravestone inscriptions to Flickr I try to remember to remove the copyright, just in case anyone wants to use the image for research.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds Castle Howard nightmarish.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-02-02 10:02 pm (UTC)
Your photos are easily up to scratch. You should consider it.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2013-02-02 05:56 pm (UTC)
I'd a friend who visited the site of the Battle of Bosworth and found it a deeply spiritual experience and felt something there. Have been on a few battlefield trips, there is something about them - I don't know if I was vulnerable to psychic attack but I crashed horribly after returning from one of them.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-02-02 10:07 pm (UTC)
The batlefield at Towton is one of the few places where I've captured an orb on film. It seemed to be hiding in the bushes as if watching me go by.
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[User Picture]From: internet_sampo
2013-02-02 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I like your photos and I bookmarked your contributions on wikimedia.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-02-02 10:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2013-02-02 08:24 pm (UTC)
It just so happens that churches are common and accessible. I am equally enthusiastic about bridges, manor houses, preaching crosses, monastic ruins, prehistoric monoliths and things like that; it's just that they're thinner on the ground.

This is like the best personal advertisement I have ever read.

And now we're straying off the subject...

I suppose. I think there are reasons for the sea in everything.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-02-02 10:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

One can never have too much sea.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2013-02-03 07:43 am (UTC)
One can never have too much sea.

Amen.
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[User Picture]From: wyrmwwd
2013-02-02 11:21 pm (UTC)
What a great idea! It never occurred to me to post on Wikipedia Commons. But I tend to photograph stuff that has to do with religion... especially odd or unusual stuff. There could be a need for that... Hmmmm...
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