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Uglyfots

Stephen Budge said something about there being no shortage of lovely sights to takes photos of in Orkney. Of course, he is right. I decided to take this as a challenge and find *not nice* things to photograph. I quickly discovered that I did not have my mind right for this task, that I had trained myself over the years to discover nice things around me to photograph.

My first attempt to find uglyfots to snap had me driving around South Ronaldsay and Burray for 40 minutes on a rainy day and coming back with just one photo I could not resist taking. This one:

I think we can safely say that I was failing rather badly. My eye just could not stop finding things like this to photograph.


Today, however, I had a telephone discussion with my visuals consultant, Paul Morris, who advised me to take my camera with me on the weekly Tesco/Lidl run – that was surely a guarantee of ugliness. I followed his advice on this appropriately grey and rainy day and set about taking photos in the vicinity of these worthy establishements. My first shot was this, just after parking at Lidl

after which I walked out into the parking area beyond

by the old bus station

and the power station

and then going to Tesco

with its little housing estate behind it

before leaving town and stopping for a goodbye snap looking down the road leading into town...

Yet I still feel there is a problem: I like these photos and think that the Orkney light makes them nice uglyfots! Ah well, c'est la vie! Et la vie est bonne!

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I really like that old bus station and agree with you it was the most réussi of the photos. And yes, it seems to speak of times past and the days it was a hive of activity. I think I saw the other day that the council is thinking of pulling it down. I’ll put my photo into a Facebook page called ‘Have a Moan Orkney’ where one can rant about things.

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The photo of the old bus station seems to speak: the world is unfair, I used to be a hub of activity and now noone even comes near me. I haven’t got leprosy! Well, maybe a few blemishes but my old friend the County Council puts on a sticking plaster when needed. So don’t knock me down, please let me continue basking in the sun, I have found new happiness.


Jessica and I saw an exhibition in Coventry of photos of battered or derilict buildings similar to yours, they spoke too. The photographer was prized, wish I could remember his name.

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David
David
Dec 05, 2020

@Stephen. I have to say that, with the exception of the pic of the Tesco car park (which is plain boring), I rather think that is what these photos are.

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Stephen Budge
Stephen Budge
Dec 05, 2020

Perhaps there's another way to look at this. You've heard the phrase, "That dog is so ugly, it's cute!"? Well, maybe you could retrain your eye to recognize this quality, Not so far a stretch?

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I like the photo of the old bus station. Stephan

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