OUTER SUBURBS 175 – EAST STREET

 

 

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Shopping in south Bristol: East Street in Bedminster, on the edge of the city centre, just to the south of the River Avon – and so “south of the river”, a phrase that, particularly on the city’s wealthier suburbs, may not always have been used charitably.  But for me this is a real place, tatty at the edges like Weston-super-Mare its true, but a place with real shops and real people – so much more human, interesting and alive than the large, generic, faceless facades of retail chain stores in the city centre.

And what to see in this first look?  Well, a narrow street; its not pedestrianized, but its mainly buses and delivery vehicles here, with the nearby main road taking the lion’s share of the through traffic.  And then large numbers of totally vandal-proof public seats, and large numbers of litter bins too – this street has a wonderful number of cafés, pubs and other eateries – this is not the gourmet capital of Bristol, those pretensions lie in wealthier neighbourhoods elsewhere, but here there are eateries for people who want good, simple food at reasonable prices – and what can be wrong with that?

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

Technique: TG-5 at 25mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Vivid profile; south Bristol; 21 Jan 2020.
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BIRDS 125 – FERAL PIGEON (MONO)

 

 


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Feral Pigeons on a church roof, under the dark overcast of a wet morning.

Feral (or Town) Pigeons are the descendants of the truly wild Rock Doves that in earlier times were widely kept in dovecotes for food.  They occur in a great variety of plumages, and are widely found in towns and cities.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 75mm; 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Landscape v2 profile; Silver Efex Pro 2, starting at the Grad ND (EV-1) preset, and adding a moderate Coffee tone; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.
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BRISTOL 159 – STREET SCENE 1

 

 

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Out on Bristol’s streets: restaurant frontage decorated for Christmas; early morning.

Click onto the image twice to open an enlarged version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 300mm; 6400 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Pop profile; central Bristol; 29 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 442 – EMPTY SHOP

 

 

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So, what the hell am I pointing my camera at now?  These are the windows of an empty shop, most probably a victim of both the current general downturn in UK retail, together the on going impoverishment of seaside towns.

These are the shop’s windows, with a white, wooden frame between them.  On the left a smaller window adjacent to the shop’s door, and on the right a larger window facing more out onto the street.  Because the premises are empty, the inside of the windows have been wiped with whitewash to deter curious eyes – there may still be things inside the shop worth stealing, or perhaps it is being refurbished.  Seen from the outside, presumably taking some colour from the sky, the whitewash appears bluish.

Then, on the right of the picture, the larger window reflects the terraced houses in the street, a white van, twin yellow “No Parking” lines and the sky’s dull, wet overcast.

Other recent pictures from Weston are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 12,800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 441 – CROSS STREET

 

 


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One of the narrow sidestreets in the older part of Weston’s town centre that I find so attractive.  Streets from my boyhood, I suppose.

Traffic coming up towards the camera is told very firmly by the large white arrow to turn right.  The twin yellow lines down either side of the street ban all parking and, near the camera, are in real need of repainting.  What else?  Well, the bags of refuse on the narrow pavement on the right; two vehicles parked very tightly in on the right further down, and the view right down this narrow street to the parked car at the far end.

Other recent pictures from Weston are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 .

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

Technique: Z 6 with 24-120 Nikkor lens at 24mm; 12,800 ISO; in-camera production of jpeg from the raw file, using the Somber profile; Cross Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset; 3 Jan 2020.

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OUTER SUBURBS 168 – EARLY MORNING 33

 

 


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Bus shelter; and dawn just starting to lighten the sky.

The looming presence behind the shelter is a very congenial (but at this hour very firmly closed!) pub.  To the left, one of the pub’s cosily lit windows and to the right – if you screw your monocle very firmly in – the pub’s illuminated sign, which features Sir Winston Churchill and a Lysander aircraft – not far from here, in the Second World War, was one of the airfields defending Bristol.

And on the far right a road, with traffic receding towards the inevitable and eternal roadworks.

Other images in this Early Morning series – from both rural and urban settings, and from Kenya too – are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 .

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

Technique: TG-5 at 46mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait profile; south Bristol; 5 Dec 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 439 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 6

 

 

Autumn on drain cover

Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them twice to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 2 3 4 5 .

A short history of Weston is here.
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Looking up on the High Street: demise of the seaside holiday, and the economic plight of so many seaside towns

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 Looking into a trendy bar

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Rainy morning: umbrella in car

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BRISTOL 157 – MARSH STREET (MONO)

 

 


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The built environment – rigid, cold, blank, straight-sided – and the barely seen, soft and natural roundnesses of a small, warm, living thing.

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

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 105mm; 6400 ISO; in-camera processing of the raw file, using the Graphite profile; Marsh Street, central Bristol; 29 Nov 2019.
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SOMERSET LEVELS 438 – WALKING WESTON’S STREETS 5

 

 

Looking back at me through autumn leaves – an image confronting an image maker

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Weston-super-Mare, my home town, on the coast where the Somerset Levels run down into the Bristol Channel – the local, somewhat muddy, version of the sea.  Following a recent reunion with age-old friends there (here), I’ve been visiting Weston again, and walking streets echoing with things remembered – sometimes only half-remembered –  from over half a century ago.

Weston is a seaside town and, like seaside towns the UK over, it is experiencing something of an economic downturn – the era of the family seaside holiday in uncertain British weather is long past, due to cheap holidays in warmer and far more reliable, foreign climes.  So, there is to Weston something of the cheap and cheerful, a – to me, anyway – rather attractive tattiness at the edges, that makes walking here with a camera a pleasure – a definite feeling of not knowing what will appear next.  The Ghost of FATman Past perhaps?  Well, if he gives me half a chance, I’ll photograph him …

And so in Nov 2019 to pictures taken with an open mind – pictures which are, for better or for worse, in the main quite different from the preceding 400+ that I’ve posted of the Somerset Levels.  Some of them may be a little obscure / far out / radical / unexplained /  I don’t know… but I did mention photographing with an open mind, which means looking, on the spur of the moment, at anything and everything …    But, whatever, warts and all, I hope you’ll like (at least some of) these images.  (Click onto them to enlarge them)

Earlier posts in this series are here: 1 2 3 4 .

A short history of Weston is here.

View into – and through – a phone kiosk, with the blue doors of public toilets in the background for local colour

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The big, solid, expensive houses of upper class (probably Victorian) Weston, built high up on the southern slopes of Worlebury Hill, looking out over Weston Bay – and solid they are, built of great blocks of the hard, grey Carboniferous Limestone that forms this hill, most probably obtained from the many quarries nearby.  And it was on the top of Worlebury Hill where this geologist – aged about 5 or 6 – found his first fossil, a Carboniferous brachiopod, a type of shellfish, on a limestone fragment in his garden.  Excitingly asking his Mum whether he could bring it into the house, he was told that it was alright as long as it wasn’t alive.  And it was this same Mum who, left penniless after my father disappeared in search of pastures new, scrimped and saved to keep him on at school so that he could eventually fulfil what she knew was his dream, to study geology at university

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Public seating with autumn leaves

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BRISTOL 156 – EARLY MORNING OFFICE, FLOODLIT

 

 


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I joined the morning rush hour, on streets teeming and blaring.  And was approaching Bristol Bridge, just about to cross the river and enter the city’s heart, when to my left appeared these offices –  deserted at this early hour, but illuminated both inside and out, regardless.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window, and click onto that image to enlarge it further.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens at 145mm; 12,800 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Victoria Street, central Bristol; 29 Nov 2019.
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