General Photography

Past & Present

Made it back from London in once piece! Had a very nice weekend at my grandparents – my grandfather is an excellent amateur photographer who has won many awards for his photos (one of which you may have seen on posters in the London Underground last year) and he helped me tweak and print off a number of my better shots on his decent printer. It’s amazing how making a few adjustments in Photoshop can dramatically improve a photo and I was pleasantly surprised how some, which I didn’t think much of, came out. As ever my grandmother cooked up some excellent food, proving that she hasn’t lost the touch since my early visits a fair few years ago now!

I spent today wondering around central London, visiting various places and taking lots of pictures. I’ll upload them over the next couple of days as and when I have the time, right now I’m a little too tired to do it!

Something fascinating which emerged over the weekend was that my grandfather just happened to have a ‘Magic Lantern‘ glass plate slide made in the 1890’s, which he acquired from a second hand shop years ago, of the huge amphitheater at Pompeii that is almost identical to a photo that I took this year on holiday. I’ve arranged them side-by-side below for comparison:

Past & Present
Click for a larger version.

What’s most noticeable between the two images is that the trees have grown a lot over the last 120 years and that whoever did the coloring of the plate (they were individually hand painted as the photo was in B&W) probably hadn’t been there because the color’s aren’t very faithful to reality. It’s weird how these things just turn up at the right moment sometimes!


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and still returns frequently to continue exploring this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

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