The river below Bristol Bridge, central Bristol; 5 Aug 2016.

This is a Mute Swan, the species that stays with us all year, which is common on waterways and lakes in towns and cities – especially where they are fed by passersby!  Due to the fact that these birds habitually up end and reach down into the murky waters for vegetation, its head and neck are a little darker than the rest of its plumage.

The reflections in the water are from the side of the Glassboat, which is a floating restaurant moored right beside Bristol Bridge.

And Bristol Bridge is exactly what its name says – because it is thought to be on the site of the very first, Anglo Saxon bridge, a wooden structure that gave the city its name – in the year AD 1063 the settlement around this early bridge was known as Brycgstow, the site of the bridge.  By AD 1200, that early name had become Bristoll.  This bridge, and hence the settlement that grew up around it, were at the lowest crossing point of the River Avon – see this link.

These murky waters also hold a particular memory for me because it was from this bridge, sometime in the 1930s or 1940s, that my errant father, who was both a policeman and an expert swimmer, dived into the river to save the life of someone who, intent on suicide, had jumped off the bridge.

Click onto this image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 305mm (equiv); 1600 ISO.

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.


  1. bluebrightly says:

    Done differently, this could be a peaceful, typical swan image, but you brought a lot of darkness to the table, and I can’t help but think it’s directly related to your father’s history with the place. Sometimes I like it when you tilt images but this one I kind of want to see untilted, too. But I think that would take away some of the foreboding feeling.


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      That’s interesting – there is a lot of darkness here, there often is in my more far out(???) images, but I never thought about foreboding – I was thinking more about a (slightly enhanced!) collection of colours and shapes – but maybe you see deeper into me than I do, that’s not an impossible thing at all. A


  2. krikitarts says:

    As an abstract, it works very well, with good balance and composition. When I take a closer look, though, I have to admit it makes me dizzy!


    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Dizziness sounds good to me – maybe its because its off kilter, tilted to the left. This was partly to extend the diagonal, and thus include those yellowish highlights at upper left as well as a greater length of the “pale blue columns” at lower right – but in fact I ended up liking the skewness anyway, maybe because I see it as adding to the unrealness. A


  3. paula graham says:

    Striking photo with an moving story. Love it, my friend. xx


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