Dating back to 1766 the Clifton Observatory, which sits on top of the Avon Gorge, gives fantastic views of the suspension bridge and the surrounding ares. The observatory was originally a windmill that was used to grind corn but was later adapted to grind snuff; the Observatory then became known as Snuff Mill.
In 1777 the mill caught fire, this was caused by the sails being left to turn during a gale and the equipment overheating. The mill was then left derelict for about 50 years until a Bristol based artist, William West, rented it for his studio in 1828. William West was responsible for transforming the building into what we see today, he installed a large telescope on top of the mill turning into an observatory. In 1829 the telescope was replaced by convex lens and sloping mirror which is known as the camera obscura; this still works today. Light travels through the lens and is reflected vertically down by the mirror onto a table which gives a true image of the surrounding area.
William west also built a cave below the observatory which leads to a viewing platform in the cliff face about 250 feet above the base of the Gorge. The cave, known as Giant’s cave was opened to the public in 1837 and is still accessible today.
This is a head and shoulders shot of a girl doing an Irish dance. I went for this particular shot to avoid a lot of distraction in the background. It was taken during a dress rehearsal so there were lots of bags etc. on show. This also made for a more dramatic composition. Shot at ISO 6400, f/4 1/400 sec.
This photo was taken during a walk around Brandon Hill in Bristol. The park is home to the famous Cabot Tower and has some wonderful views across the city. The two friends were talking and sitting on the bench and enjoying one of the views.
As the rain continues to stop play outside I decided to have a go at photographing my cat. This is no mean feat as she is either fast asleep or on the go somewhere. This is a natural light photo and I wanted to create an image with a shallow depth of field to draw the viewer’s attention straight to the eyes. As there would be no chance of me getting her to sit still for more than a few seconds, I had to take my chances by sneaking up on her and waiting for that stare when she heard the ultrasonic motor of the lens! I was quite pleased with this image as it was hand held, ISO1250, f 2.0, 85mm and SS 1/20 second.
This shot was taken at Bristol Docks during a heritage weekend. People were re-enacting how the docks used to work. Some of the dock cranes were in action and you had the opportunity to take a look inside. Health and safety was clearly not invented back then as you had to work around large unguarded cogs and pulleys, I wouldn’t want to argue with them as they looked like they could take your arm off without a second thought! The other thing that struck me was the amount of thick black smoke that the cranes were pumping into the air, now that was pollution!
So it is Bristol International Balloon Fiesta time again and I love the balloons!!! The mass assents are an amazing sight with about 100 hot air balloons taking to the skies. This photo is from the night glow where around 30 balloons are tethered in an arena and the pilot’s fire up their burners in time to a soundtrack mix.
I was walking through a street fair in Bristol’s North Street when I came across this temporary bar made from an old pallet. I liked the way in which the bar tender was dressed and the expression of the lady at the bar. I was able to use the edge of a gazebo and a stack of amps to frame the shot. Any comments are welcome!