BRISTOL 59 – SHADOWS ON THE WALL OF A CHURCH (MONO + COLOUR) … AND MEMORIES OF WAR

USE YOUR PC’s F11 KEY TO VIEW THIS PAGE FULLSCREEN

.

.
Shadow of a tree on the wall of a church near Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 9 Jan 2014.

One of the church’s windows, complete with a saint or some such worthy, is seen near the top of the shot – I’ve restored the reflected colour of the blue sky.

When I look at this picture, I get the impression that this window is floating above the wall and the shadows – can anyone else see it in this way? 

Bristol grew up around the area where Bristol Bridge is now, at the lowest crossing point of the River Avon – in 1063 AD, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle named this spot “Brycgstow”, which is thought to mean “the site of the bridge” – and hence the origin of our city’s name.

And family legend has it that my long dead father, when he was a policeman, leapt off Bristol Bridge to rescue an attempted suicide from the water’s clutches.  This is probably true, as Dad was certainly a very strong swimmer, a competitor in swimming events.  Every time a bus takes me over that bridge, I think of that – it would probably have been during the war years, sometime around 1940 when, as well as being in the police, Dad spent nights up on Bristol’s rooftops as a firewatcher – looking for where the high explosive and, particularly, incendiary bombs, raining down from the skies, caused fires to erupt in the city.

The wall shown above belongs to an intact church.  But, on the other side of the road is another church which, hit by incendiary bombs in WWII, is now a skeletal shell, having been burnt out.  It is preserved in this fashion as a memorial to those dreadful days.

When I was a young boy, I had a passion for collecting “antiques”, which consisted of any old things that local junk and “antique” shops would sell me.  I remember finding a german incendiary bomb in one of these shops, and being thrilled by it.  But, even though the fuse and detonator had been removed, Dad – who’d had far too much experience of such deadly devices – forbade me to buy it.  And exactly the same thing occurred when this little boy found a hand grenade – minus its naughty bits – for sale.  It was still far too dangerous for my Dad.

I still marvel at the fact that Word War II – and all the appalling things that happened in it – only ended a very few years before I entered this world.

Canon G11 PowerShot at 28mm (35mm equivalent); 100 ISO; Silver Efex Pro 2’s High Contrast Harsh preset.
.
.
.

About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

31 Responses to BRISTOL 59 – SHADOWS ON THE WALL OF A CHURCH (MONO + COLOUR) … AND MEMORIES OF WAR

  1. Sonali Dalal says:

    drama! pure drama! wonderful POV.

    Like

  2. LensScaper says:

    My first thought was that the shadow must be on the ground (because that is where most shadows tend to be) but then the window didn’t make sense. Then I read the text. Yes, it does feel as if that window floats off the page – a clever image that plays tricks with your eyes.
    My father was an ARP (Air Raid Protection) warden in London during WW2 – also a few years before I arrived. Sounds like we have something else in common besides photography.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, shadows tend to be on the ground – I certainly didn’t take this with visual trickery in mind, Andy, but the processing has certainly – and also unintentionally on my part – helped!

      We are off that post-war generation. Did your dad talk much of the war? Mine didn’t – but then, thinking about it, I’m not sure he talked much about anything! 🙂 Being London must have been far worse than being in Bristol.

      Like

  3. krikitarts says:

    A bit late here–I have a new, but temporary charge to take care of and will elaborate soon. I’m in full agreement with the Bananabatman. The long, straight shadow that parallels the lower edge of the window looks like the shadow of that edge to me, causing the enchanting impression that the window is hovering ethereally, somehow separated from the wall itself, and your blue restoration adds to that illusion. Wonderful work, Adrian. And thanks for the interesting personal and local history, as well!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Maybe it was hovering ethereally, I mean, maybe I caused a miracle to happen, in which case I may be The Immaculate Misconception ->>> but you can call me “TIM”!

      Thank you for your kind thoughts, Gary! 🙂

      Like

  4. I DO see it, Adria. Believe it or not! Fabulous shot.
    (Oh and another bit of soul-mating – my dad rescued a young man from drowning when I was about 10. I remember it well. I don’t recall much these days, but that I remember.)
    Hope all’s well. ATP

    Like

  5. Meanderer says:

    What a wonderful and very dramatic image. It looks to me as if the branches of the tree are holding aloft the beautiful stained glass window.

    I enjoyed reading about your father, too. It’s wonderful that you have that story and the memories to recount to us today.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, the branches holding the window aloft – you’re right – good thinking – thanks, M! My thoughts about my father are often ambivalent, but age is softening my attitudes, and I’m more at one with him now. A

      Like

  6. Yes, the window floats. I like the bits of color in this image, the yellow wall of the church and the blue in the window. It’s far more appealing and interesting than mono alone. Well done, Adrian! 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Thank you very much, George! As I’ve said, the blue is restored colour – but the yellowish tinge is a tone – an artificial colour – added to the mono. Hope you’re fine, Texan Lady! 🙂 A

      Like

  7. icastel says:

    Interesting angle. It makes the wall look like it’s the ground 🙂 I like it. The tree’s shadow makes it look a bit ominous. Like something is about to happen. Very nice shot. And the narrative, well, in true Adrian fashion, it was great!

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Igor, these are kind thoughts – thank you! Others have said it looks like the ground too – I was up quite close to the wall, with the 28mm. And ominous – yes, I definitely agree. Thanks again! A

      Like

  8. very nice image, Adrian. like it a lot!

    Like

  9. Malin H says:

    I get the same impression as you, Adrian (that the window is floating above the wall and the shadows) .
    This is a fantastic image, and I also love photographing tree shadows. Very powerful image my friend!

    Like

  10. bananabatman says:

    Super post Adrian. I really enjoyed the family history story as well as the image.

    Yes, it does look as if the window is floating above the wall and the shadows. This is because the ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ shadows of the tree branches appear to be of the window’s own ‘frame’ and give the impression of levitation above the wall, which itself seems like the ground. I didn’t put that very well, but I know what I mean, and you spotted it anyway. Dave.

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Dave, I see exactly what you’re driving at – thank you, that explains it! Glad you enjoy the post – I wish very much that I’d got to know my father better, but our family split up when I was in my mid-teens and that was that. Adrian

      Like

  11. Sue Vincent says:

    Not only does it look as if it is floating, it gives the impression that the shadow is on the ground, a horizontal plane. Maybe because we expect shadows of trees on the ground…

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Yes, you’re right – thanks for the insight, Sue, hadn’t thought of that! I guess Nick’s on his way now, isn’t he? I very much hope it all goes well – a very courageous guy! We’ve been exchanging emails. Adrian

      Like

      • Sue Vincent says:

        He’s mid air and we have a passport crisis..he has the old one… but having unsuccessfully ransacked his home at 4am to get the new one scanned and couriered out… I’m thinking he must have both… hoping so….

        yes, he’s something special… and not just because i’m his Mum either 🙂

        Like

  12. Helen Cherry says:

    This is a truly wonderful photo Adrian, very effective and your words are poignant..

    Like

This blog has two pleasures for me - creating the images and hearing from you - so get your thoughts out to the world!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: