The Empire Strikes Back: The British Museum with my M9

The regular visitors among you may realise that recently I visited the British Museum with my E-PL5. While there (and I did only have about 30-40 minutes last time) I decided I wanted to come back and (naturally enough) look at more of the exhibits, but also to spend more time capturing the people visiting and their interactions with those exhibits.

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Controversy surrounds certain exhibits, but I wasn’t really there to look at the Elgin Marbles (et al) again. This was a visit to look at, well, other stuff…

Entrance Hall

The staircase and the sculptures on it are such strong features I wanted to make sure I picked them up this time around. I particularly like the lions.

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Great Court

The rather fantastic covered great court is a wondrous place. People are bowled over by the exhibits, the space, the light and the glimpses of the other galleries.

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King’s Library

This is the former library of King George III, now converted into an permanent exhibition of the enlightenment.

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Ancient Egypt

It’s almost impossible to visit without finding yourself drawn to the Egyptian exhibition. I think that most of the exhibit is amazing, except for the Rosetta stone. Why oh why is it sealed up in a glass box right in the middle as you walk in? It ends up being like the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, a bit of a rugby scrum.

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Middle East and Asia

Had to spend some time in here. It’s not a geographical area or historical periods (Assyria, Babylon etc) I know lots about, but that’s why I wanted to see it and learn about the sculpture and art of the area which, after all, is the true cradle of civilisation.

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Anglo Saxon helmet

We’ve visited Sutton Hoo in the past but I was struck by the beauty of this modern reconstruction of an Anglo Saxon Helmet based on the remains of one dug up at that site. Unfortunately the original helmet remains were badly obscured by reflections of lights so I cannot show them here.

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Taken with my Leica M9, Summilux 50 + 35 and my Zeiss 18mm.

9 thoughts

  1. Wonderful pics! I was in this museum on Friday myself. May I ask if these were also shot with the E-PL5? If so I must say the sensor is very impressive. I shot with the E-P3 and Pana 14mm and struggled to get clean images (it was around 4pm, so quite dark nowadays). Thx.

    • Thank you for your comments. No, I’ll confess that these were taken off the back of my street photography efforts with my Leica M9. I became frustrated and decided to go and do something else for a bit…

      I know what you mean about the E-P3. Lovely camera at base ISO, but show hit a hint of general darkness in the British winter and the image quality breaks down quite quickly. I can happily report that the E-PL5 sensor holds up much better (see my other British Museum post, particularly the shot of the easter island head which was taken in very dark conditions).

  2. Fantastic collection of images, with a location like this offering so much choice you’ve done a fantastic job! I’m looking forward to going with my G5, E-P3 and OMD. I love the E-P3 but would potentially be looking at the E-PL5 one the price drops

  3. The Great Court is such a beautiful and iconic place – I miss places like that, and they are part of my love/hate relationship with London.
    The helmet looks very familiar. My mother was a history teacher, and visits to Sutton Hoo and other dig sites were a regular part of my childhood. Good memories!

    • I’ll confess I couldn’t live in central London anymore (I need to see green occasionally), but I would find it hard to move out of greater London. I suspect that’s my symptom of the love/hate thing you mentioned…

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