Islands feature in this blogpost, Brownsea Island in Dorset and Barry Island in Wales. Oh, yes, that title; The old joke “ No man is an island, apart from you Barry”. I can still here my friend from 30 years ago saying that every single time he met someone named Barry.
I’ve done quite a bit of travelling this last week. Firstly and very briefly. My youngest son had a scout camping trip to Brownsea Island (Home of the Scout Movement), almost two hours drive from here, I took him on the Saturday, returned home and repeated the journey on the Sunday, only this time my wife, youngest daughter and the dogs accompanied me. The ferry departed from Sandbanks which at one time was known as the most expensive place per square foot for property in the world. I know, even beating the likes of Manhattan and Hong Kong. Now it’s slackened off slightly and you can buy a reasonably sized house there for between £7 and £10 million! Obviously I took some photos. I’m going to group these in one grid so as not to make this too lengthy, you can open any of them by clicking on the thumbnail.
You can see that there are three shots which are about as close as I got to practicing any Street Photography. I liked that guy on the tour bus and his friends were happy to give me photo;
Let’s move on. Start up the motorbike, over the Severn Bridge that links England to South Wales and head for Barry Island, which is a huge contrast compared to the affluence of Sand Banks. Another of those resorts that have seen better days and the seaside town that was central to the British TV series “Gavin & Stacey”, starring James Corden way before he became a household name in the U.S.
I parked up next to a columned building at one end of the beach which housed a few fish & chip shops and cafes. Grabbed a coffee and the sun was shining, great news. Like the complete fool that I am those first few moments were wasted in the mistaken belief that the sun, and therefore light, was going to last forever. As you can see here, a couple eating fish & chips, lord knows what I was thinking with some kind of shot through a rubbish bin, back to the couple and a Hitchcock moment and then a shot of a guy with his dog…hold on, damn, what happened to the sun?
I walked along the promenade towards the building the other end, past the beach huts and up a little way along the cliff. No light, just flat mid grey. When I was getting that coffee there was an old photo displayed which showed Barry in it’s glory years around 1950. The beach was filled with an estimated 150,000 people. Only as a means to show you where I was and so you can get a feel for the place here’s a not very good photo from the cliff. I started on that columned building to the left and as you no doubt can make out, no light and more importantly no people. The “Pleasure Park” can be seen to the right, where they have one of the giant wheels that no-one goes on (we’ve discussed those things before).
When I’d walked through the columned building on the right I saw that there weren’t any shops, no distractions and it might be a good place to get a shot. I stood there for around 40 minutes or so, willing the sun to come out and actually someone to walk along. I experimented with different angles and perspectives. All I got was this guy walking his dog to the cliff and later on his return.
At least I got a boat in the background on the second attempt;
I decided to walk past the shops and take a look at the “Pleasure Park”. Afterwards and if the sun came out, I’d return. First stop the Pleasure Park….oh dear;
Okay, we’ll forget that and wander down past the amusement arcades and ice cream parlours on the way back to the promenade. It was a bit like a Ghost Town if I’m being totally honest, and I really don’t want to give Barry a bad press because the people I spoke to were extremely friendly and what they do need is more visitors. I see no reason why anyone wouldn’t want to go. Anyway, this is more the kind of thing that photographically speaking I was after.
I’ve been to Las Vegas many many times and don’t seem to remember Caesars Palace looking quite like this. I like that lady looking at me from the car though, perhaps I was putting her off the ice cream, she doesn’t like the look of me that’s for sure ;
Ah, the sun is back out. I almost sprinted along to my chosen spot. There were a few people around and we had light. First shot looking straight out looks as though it’s been edited to within an inch of its life, believe me it hasn’t. Sometimes the camera just renders it that way, that light halo around our passerby for example. You might presume that I’d gone crazy with the sliders in Lightroom or overdone the Radial Filter, I didn’t.
Second one not so much directly into the light works better
Guess what? All that walking around, hanging about for hours and I wonder what was the point. I prefer the earlier shots of this location where the light was flat. Worse than that my favourite photo is the one of “Caesars Palace” from the Barry Island trip.
Next time I’m going to write a post about “Street” photography, perhaps what I think it should be and about my own very big problem of curation, that is being more thoughtful about what and how often I post to Social Media. Just because I can here’s a non-related photo shot in Bristol the other week featuring some of Banksy’s handiwork, it might come under discussion regards my thoughts on “Street”.
I did have some good news this week, that can’t be revealed just yet because I’m not entirely sure of how good it is, it may be much ado about nothing, we’ll see.
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M.
My sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read my blog.