#685. London or Sleepy Hollow?

By pascaljappy | Opinion

Jan 06

Ever since we started collecting images and texts for the coming “Let There Be Light” project, the subject of light has started to grow more and more on me.

In that spirit, here are a few images from a quick walk along the Thames in the area of Putney where I went the opposite way from my usual luminous and contrasty images to darker, less saturated ones. The idea was to create a “Sleepy Hollow” look from an area that offers quite a few opportunities for that sort of imagery.

Two are in B&W and, for once, I systematically prefer the colour photographs, as the green-brown hue suggests much more mood than neutral grey. All the others have been quite strongly desaturated and made rather low-key.



What do you think ? Does this feel like it’s an hour’s walk away from Victoria Station ?


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I love it – first off, available light photography (particularly after dark) is a passion of mine – secondly, I think there’s a real opportunity for ALL of us to go for a relatively short walk from wherever we live (or in this case, stay) and capture all sorts of amazing images, which are there for the taking, for anyone with “the eye” – and finally, I was completely blown away by your choice of toning the colours down, rather than abandoning them for black & white.

    My only criticism Pascal is that it is way too short – where are all the other photos? 🙂

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thanks Pete ! Yes, there are so many treasures in our backyards that we tend to forget about, in search for more exotic locations.

      As for the number of photographs, it is a direct by-product of my typical lack of organisation (and I hope Philippe doesn’t read this or I’ll never hear the end of it 😀 ) : when we started the walk, I realised my only battery was … empty. Those are the photographs the camera was able to squeeze out. Plenty more with my smartphone but night photographs really are one area where phones are still quite awful 😉

  • paulperton says:

    I don’t think you’ll make it to Victoria from there in an hour, despite your long legs, Pascal. Nonetheless, a wonderful set of pictures, taken in an area where I grew up and yet, have never seen before.

    Not, I hasten to add than I am partially sighted, or walked around with my eyes closed. Rather that I’d never seen these places as you have/did.

    A great start to the year.

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    Different moods here…makes my mind wander…

    #2, That garden gate. You’ve made it both inviting and forbidding… Very nice.

    A detail: strange how much that little sign on the gate means for the composition – I hid it, and all more or less fell apart.

    And then I noticed a disturbance…the text…it says “favourite”, contradicting the rest of the picture…
    But that isn’t your fault! 😉

    #4, Makes me think of all the illustrations in story books where two trees frame the subject.

    Which here is another tree.
    I like that!

    #5, That tree, lika a big hand…
    Might this be where Baskerville’s Dog roamed?
    Or the house on the edge of the Old Forest where the hobbits started their long journey?

    #8, A bit of A Story about the River…

    Hoping for more when you have a full battery…

    • pascaljappy says:

      Thanks Krisitan. #2, The Gate was a more ‘intellectual” picture than the others, that’s probably why it ended up on B&W. Also, the yellow light on the green foliage brings up one of the colours my sample of the A7r2 just can’t deal with properly. #5, funny because that’s also what it felt like on the spot. We stopped in a lovely pub just behind the house but that house and tree (actually a lovely library or something similar, by a lovely pond/lake) felt quite spooky. More when I return in the area (February ??) and I’ll go with a full battery and empty card rather than my usual other-way-round 😉

      • Kristian Wannebo says:


        I wouldn’t say “intellectual” about The Gate.
        I find it quite a strong photo with that inviting/forbidding mood.

        (except for that text…but a few strokes with a PP wand and a better word…)

        A pity about the colours, I think I would also like it in that dark, dull green that leaves grow into at late dusk.

        [ “Better word”? …hm..
        Any traditional neutral cottage name?
        Or something just a little suggestive?
        Or even something like
        “Depe Dene”? 😉
        (borrowed from an Edgar Wallace)
        …ouch, I googled and it exists, depedene.com ]

        • pascaljappy says:

          Aha, here it is in colour :

          depedene.com seem to mention forest cottages, t’is rather fitting for that image 😉 😉

          • Kristian Wannebo says:

            I like that.
            I think it gets more alive in colour.
            And those greens look natural (on my Tabpro S Oled screen), so I guess you waved your wand a bit more…

            But some of the spookyness is gone, perhaps not because of the colour, but the b/w looks rather darker and of lower contrast to me (or is that an illusion)?

  • Pascal after reading and seeing your excellent photos it encourages me to return to London (not my favourite place by far may be third time lucky) and do this walk and explore some more Maybe I will. Dallas

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Dallas, after Antarctica and all the other grand locations of your recent trip, you may find London a bit tame. But it’s a very rewarding city when you walk about away from the usual hotspots. Unlike many other large cities, I find that the more interesting parts are actually where the money is. In the areas like spitafields where traders and yuppies congregate, there is art everywhere and it’s hard to know where to look as there is so much to take in. You really need to walk about randomly a lot rather than head for a specific destination as most of the interesting stuff is hidden in courtyards and little alleys. Also, Christmas is incredible in London. They really go all out with the decorations. We could perhaps organise a meetup in London 🙂

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      Only ever went there when I was sent there on business, Dallas. My idiot brother could never understand how I could possibly go there and not go round to see Buckingham Palace. I did walk past one side of it once, though – going to see something else, that I was interested in. It’s not that I have any particular negative views about the place – the weather’s not much worse than it is in Normandy or Bretagne and as Pascal and other members of the group have shown, there’s plenty there to do or see. They even sell you edible food, these days.

      I much prefer the rest of Europe – I could live happily anywhere in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain . . . As the sand runs out of the top part of the clessidra, into the bottom, and there’s not too much left, you focus more and more on what is really important to you, and ignore the rest. And while I’ve had a good life in Australia, I’ve only ever felt as if I was a visitor in someone else’s country – much happier in those countries, and only ever felt as if I was “at home” when I was in the south of France – where dad’s family came from (Gascon – near Bordeaux).

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