I have no idea why, perhaps because it was a place I'd never visited or the fact that I knew it was home to a Pier or it would be a good ride out on the R1200 GSA. Either way, yesterday I headed for Swanage on the Dorset coast, unsure what to expect I was pleasantly surprised. The 70 mile journey down there passed without incident, even though I travelled via Shaftesbury (the crime scene from "Brush with the Law").
Swanage has two piers, an old one and a new one, built in 1860 and 1895 respectively, one could hardly describe the one still standing as "New"! A couple of images ( you can click on any and view full size) -
To say I was cold on the way there would be an understatement, bloody freezing would be more precise, so first stop was somewhere warm with coffee. Unlike most of the UK there wasn't a Starbucks or a Costa which was refreshing and so it was that I sat in the "Earthlight Cafe", very nice it was too and reasonably priced. Feeling much warmer I set off to the Pier(s) and met two very happy gentlemen, I asked for a quick shot and they were delighted to oblige; "Two Old Codgers" was their idea for a title not mine by the way -
They were an absolute pleasure to meet, albeit briefly, no pretensions, simply high on life and I can see why; Swanage was relaxed, carefree and a superb place to simply be. Onto the Pier and an entrance fee of 0.90p which goes towards upkeep and renovation. Well worth every penny in my opinion and they really should double it, I'm sure people would pay. Almost every single plank on the walkway had a plaque, with inscriptions from frequent visitors "Happy Days" or "Enid and Bert's Favourite Place", you get the idea. So I found myself alone, apart from a couple having a stroll and a fisherman at the end of the pier. More photographs next, this is supposed to be about photography -
A chat with our fisherman confirmed what we now know, Swanage is indeed "a very nice place". On my way back to the bike I noticed that even the quietest seaside towns can have a slight edge about them. A derelict building was adorned with some excellent art. Now, it has to be said that I don't like photos of other peoples art, what's the point? however, I've included them here out of pure interest and admiration for the Street Artist involved and thank them for pointing out that "this is a photo opportunity" it's there in black and white if you look for it -
So, a successful trip. I met some extremely pleasant people, the BMW and Leica worked perfectly (ok, a little pilot error in both instances is expected and accepted!). I managed to warm up eventually once I returned home and began to think about my next trip. My parting shot was an attempt at the "three" theory, whereby any image with three appeals to the brain and therefore eye. Not sure about that, but here's the photo anyway -
My thoughts so far on this project I've embarked upon - It's sincerely liberating doing your own thing photographically; to start with time is used much more valuably, there's a sense of achievement once outings are completed and a series of photos made, mission accomplished. You've rightly or wrongly assumed that no one is actually looking at your photo blog, so you produce work that you like without any real concern of what others may think which in turn continually defines and enhances your own personal style. I strongly recommend it to anyone, you're on your own doing what you like, with (literally in this case) no "Peer Pressure".
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