22 Aug 2010

Sunshine after the rain and a trip to the seaside

This weekend we were to make a long overdue quality visit to my mother-in-law’s to spend some time with her and help with a couple of DIY tasks and errands. She’s recently moved to a small flat at South Shore in Blackpool from the centre of the town and this places her a 2 minute car drive from the coastal promenade which has recently been renovated into a very pleasant and safe place to take the sea air. We came from the Blackpool area originally and moved inland when we married almost 28 years ago, but still return to the coast frequently to see family.

The stretch from South Shore towards town passes the Pleasure Beach and has a series of modern sculptures and public art along the walk, with seating at regular intervals and on a brisk summer evening was a very pleasant place to take some exercise in the salty sea air while we worked up a decent appetite for a Saturday chip supper.

Please click of any of the photographs to see a larger view, they look rather dark here on the page.

The Blackpool Illuminations are due to be switched on in a couple of weeks and this Dr.Who tableau at South Shore featured airborne Daleks and Tardises (Tardii?)

Further to my earlier blog about the value of the camera you have with you, the reason for posting this really was to share the photographs I took.

Before we had set off, there had been some discussion about whether or not we needed jackets, it had ended up a very pleasant evening, after a somewhat mixed day and whilst warm enough inland, we suspected it might be quite breezy adjacent to the sea and as the sun set.

But the consensus was to go in shirt sleeves and I therefore made the decision to leave my handbag at home, just putting my phone in my shirt pocket. I picked my small camera out of my bag, decided that it would be too troublesome to carry in my hand as I walked, so left it behind. It was very rare for me to do so and a decision I later regretted.

One of the modern sculptures and pieces of public art along the Promenade. They’re all very different and I like all of them.

By the time we got to the promenade, the evening sun was glorious and after several days of very heavy rain, the sky was clear and a vivid, deep blue and the air was very clean indeed, we could see all the way to Wales and clearly see the turbines turning on the wind farms out at sea. So I was going to have to make do with my phone camera.

The big drop of the Big One roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Whilst the sky was a very intense blue in the golden light of late summer sunshine, the tiny lens in the phone camera has really intensified the colour by underexposing a little. The photographs have not been manipulated – save for compositional cropping and sharpening to counter the reductions in size. The colours, exposure and saturation are as they came off the phone.

One of the trains full of either brave or foolish souls about to drop violently down the roller coaster. It tends to be accompanied by screams and the raising of arms.

I must admit, whilst I would not consider my phone camera as anything more than a social tool for the odd times when a camera isn’t available or appropriate, I’m rather surprised at how well it performed with these images. Especially considering that I had very little to do with it, as the screen on my phone is incredibly hard to view in sunlight, so I couldn’t even see that well to frame the photos decently. I have often wondered if working with such restrictions is actually more likely to lead to improved creativity.

This is half of a two piece circus inspired bronze sculpture by artist Peter Blake. This half is called ‘Equestrian Act’ and is accompanied by the sister sculpture ‘Four Man Up’.