TIAA #35: “Reign or Shine”

Tosin’s Images & Anecdotes (TIAA) is my self-assigned photography challenge of 2022. The immediate objective is to select one image from my inventory (a cityscape, landscape, portrait, oddity, etc.) each week and write something about it. This “something” could be the story behind the photo, a triggered memory in relation to the photo, or simply a reaction or reflection based on the subject matter featured. The long-term objective is to encourage myself to add more content to “La Vue Atypique”, which celebrates its first decade in publication this year.

"Reign or Shine" / Buckingham Place / London / June 16, 2011
“Reign or Shine” / Buckingham Place / London / June 16, 2011

What can I say about the photograph above?

The news for the past 36 hours has been deluged with reports regarding the passing of Queen Elizabeth II whose rule lasted for an extraordinary duration of seven decades. Even though she was 96 years of age when she died, many people had previously quipped that she might actually outlive the rest of the planet. She appeared to be one individual who was a “mainstay” in contemporary civilization. I would venture a guess that very few people in the world did not know who she was.

Nevertheless, the news of her death has sparked thousands, if not millions, of conversations about her legacy around the world. Opinions about her reign range from benevolent to indifferent, praiseworthy to culpable. I’m not going to use this space to express my own personal views about the British monarchy. Instead, I thought I would share one or two photos from my last visit to London given how monumental this occasion is in world history.

I did visit Buckingham Palace several years ago with camera gear in tow. What I remember most vividly was the weather that day. I couldn’t detect what Mother Nature had planned for the ancient (and previously Roman) City of Londinium. In the skies, there appeared to be a grand and dramatic tug of war between the sun and the rain for dominance. During some moments, the sky was brilliant with radiant rays of sunlight, only to be extinguished by foreboding and extremely murky clouds that sometimes unleashed unforgiving showers upon the city below, albeit very briefly. During the hour or two that I walked around the exterior of the palace, this was the weather cycle toiling in the heavens above London.

Of course, as they say on social media these days, “I was here for it!”

I’m including two exclusive images in this article that never appeared on my official portfolio because, at the time, my post-processing skills were subpar. In retrospect, I am so grateful that I enrolled in courses to learn Photoshop back in the summer of 2014. Photos that I didn’t think I could do much with beforehand are now a pleasure to revisit and post-process.

I really hope I will have the opportunity to return to London to update my portfolio. It’s the one major city that has transformed so rapidly since I visited that my images look historical instead of contemporary. It’s not a bad thing, really, considering how old London actually is. Still, I like to stay as current as I can with my international cities.

See you next week.

"Reign or Shine" / Buckingham Place / London / June 16, 2011
“Reign or Shine” / Buckingham Place / London / June 16, 2011

36 articles down for the TIAA challenge. 16 remain!

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