Sunday, 26 July 2009


I've noticed, whenever I have submitted photographs to the public forums, just how popluar images featuring angels are. Why this should be so, I'm not quite sure. As a piece of art, it is often slightly parisitical, since invariably one is capturing in light an image that somebody else has already shaped out of, say, marble, or stone. Art from art. And whereas that sculpting has doubtless taken many hours, my photographing it takes less than a second. It seems to me that the final image is disproportionately credited to the photographer. In the case of monuments found in cemeteries and churches, it saddenes me that the artist is so often unknown. I would like to credit the work as a joint effort, and 99% attributable to the sculpter. As for the reason for their popularity, I think angels represent something outside of us that we can fall back on for comfort, reassurance, and hope. We may not necassarily believe that they exist, but we like the idea of them. Angels are friendly, cute, mysterious. They provide a mirror for our emotions, taking our sadness from us, lifting our spirits. We can confide in them, trust in them, rely on them. They are selfless, innocent and everpresent. And they have wings

Saturday, 25 July 2009


One should never, of course, shoot directly into the sun. So, naturally, that's exactly what I want to do. Wandering around the city, the sun is reflected back and forth, from one surface to another, distorting and amplifying. Often, the sun is your enemy, but she can be tamed, and in time, understood.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Sleepers 2

Seeking to take an iconic view of the suspension bridge took my wandering down the little used tracks of the Harbour Railway. Beautifully rusting and rotting, these near abandoned tracks were once the life blood of the City Docks in times past, taking away the goods and produce of the ships that arrived and unloaded their cargos. As recently as the 60s these rails were in constant use. Today, nature has encroached on them, beautifying them and softening them. The only activity now the buzz of grasshoppers and the flitting of butterflys.


I recently stumbled upon a burial ground near my home whose existence I had been completely unaware of: Ridgeway Park Cemetery in Eastville Park. One section is still accessible, but, wonderfully, much of it lies hidden in a wood that has engulfed it. As I carefully crouched and stooped my way among the brambles and close knit trees, I discovered gorgeous Victorian grave stones (the earliest I saw was dated 1884), weathered and overgrown, quietly forgotten and neglected. Nature had taken the sleepers back to itself. As I always do when I visit grave yards, I made a point of reading the inscriptions and whispering the name of the occupants so they would know they had been remembered. Usually, I say 'hello' to the occupant, but sometimes, if I had to step on the grave plot to get past, I would apologise and thank them. I think they would be pleased that somebody took the trouble to visit.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


I used to keep a photoblog on Myspace, but I no longer enjoy using it, so, after neglecting the issue, I've decided to begin a new blog.

ADDENDUM: I am migrating my photoblogs on Myspace to here, so the area below this post will gradually expand with earlier posts.

Saturday, 22 July 2006

Ashton Court Festival

Unable, as I was to afford the hefty price tag for two days, I opted to go up to Ashton Court on one day only. Saturday, as it turned out, with a couple of good friends. I first, of course, had to endure the journey there. The depressingly expensive bus ride that takes you not quite near enough to be useful, and then the arduous ascent to the Festival site. Stumbling up a steep, stoney path in equatorial temperatures, I used up nearly all my bottled water reserves before I even got there!

At the barriers I was then relieved of most of a tenner, and the deeds to my house, so I could gain entry, and was injected into a melting throng of sun-baked punters and chavs. They really need a seperate enclosure for the chavs. I prefer the flies. At least the ticket price reduced their number, being as it was too much of a chunk out of their court fine repayments.

So, after considerable negotiations over mobile phone, I linked up with my friends, and we started wandering around, sampling the stalls, and catching some of the venues. We loved Shorty in the 'dance' venue. We took shelter from the rays in the Colston Hall tent and watched Orquestra Montpelier - a local Salsa band, who were excellent. Listened a while to Rizla on the main Orange Stage, before eventually reaching that point unavoidable at any festival, no matter how much one tries. The need to partake of toilet facilities. There were rather less 'turdis's' than indicated on the map, and so each one had a substantial queue of somber people waiting. It's such a downer queueing for these things. It took half an hour to get to the door, time enough to contemplate the ordeal ahead. And then, when finally it is your turn, and you lock yourself in, you pause. You pause to spend time in sheer horror. You further pause to ponder your disgust at what you have to do. Then you pause to seriously consider whether to abandon the whole thing and hold out 'til you get home. Of course, males have the unspoken 'third' option of a few moments amongst the trees, but my friends, being female, were adamant that this was not a realistic option for them.

I will not speak further of what happened in that confined space, but it was grim.

As the evening drew on, the sun lowered itself to a more comfortable level, and I began to experience a kind of festival-love-in feeling wafting over me. Or, it could have been the Bath Ale doing refreshing wonders within. A pint of Gem is a beautiful thing on a balmy summer's evening. The ghastly-burger I purchased later fell short of that description. So, for the final hours. In the Acoustic Tent I went to see the wonderful Rose Kemp. She was nervous, but delivered a pretty wired set. Then I plunged into the midst of the main stage mosh pit to see a bit of the Go! Team, which went down well, before extracting myself to find sanctuary in the Blackout venue to watch the end of The Heads. Now this I was impressed with. They're another local act, with a heavy progressive / Psychedelic sound and superb visuals. They must rate as one of the least egotistic bands I've ever seen, since they were actually quite hard to make out amongst the projections, being no more than shadows for much of the set.

Then it was time to go home. It took over an hour to get out as thousands of people, who had previously arrived at different times during the day, now all stampeded the exit route simultaneously, staggerering down the previously mentioned stoney path in near-darkness. Until, that is, some clever Security guys let us through a fence into an open field so we could swish through the long grass down to the bottom. Where we met a bigger fence. But, we needn't have worried, as determined punters soon broke that down and got through. I expect they're still rounding up the deer even as I write two days later.

Orquestra MontpelierRose KempGo! TeamThe Heads

Monday, 17 July 2006

Avon Gorge

In searing heat, I decided to venture down to the other end of the Floating Harbour and stroll a little way up the Gorge. The sun was relentless, but rendered the view in stunning clarity, which I could only hope to capture on camera. It was fun to watch the gulls splashing about in the water, trying to stay cool. The chicks whistled endlessly while their mothers floated nearby ignoring them. Chav-Gulls.

I hope these images give some idea of how magnificent this place is. How many other cities can say they have a major geological structure like this next to it, with a Brunel structure added! Bristol rocks!