I thought I would take a chance on parking in Bath, so set off along the A4, a route I used to use when hitchhiking to and from RAF Yatesbury, I drove right through the tourist-crowded centre and almost out the other side and found a spot at the very end of the road that would take me towards Chippenham, and which meant I avoided a lengthy queue when I finally left later on!
I walked back the way I came, then along Great Poulteney Street till the Bridge, where I took the steps to the riverside. Having navigated those who were enjoying alfresco coffee, teacakes and chat and being bustled by half of humanity, I arrived under the shelter of trees where an artist was well on the way to completing his watercolour of the scene, I checked to see that he did not object to my capturing his work in the foreground, and later was able to capture a couple fascinated enough by his work to discuss how long he had been labouring on it.
I was also able to encapsulate the scene by having a Japanese man directing his partner as to how to take his portrait, a man gently feeling his future offspring kicking or moving within his spouse’s womb, a young mum sunbathing whilst her child slumbered in a buggy, a two-child family resting and a couple ‘chimping’ the most recent digital shot on their point ‘n’ shoot camera by the railings in the background. I promise I did not stage it! Everyone was in their own world, yet part of the whole – bustling serenity.
The roar of the water over the weir was as fascinating for the birds as the human populace who were being brought to the very edge downstream in a pleasure boat, there were two types of gulls and innumerable pigeons and a lone cormorant flew overhead aloof to the smaller birds below. I walked back up the steps and once again passed the couples oblivious to the mass of tourists squeezing past, and walked around towards the centre to choose a higher viewpoint of the weir and the bridge. I spotted that some of the gulls did fly close to the parapet, and hoped in vain I could capture one coming straight for me from the direction of the bridge. Since it was not to be I simply practised catching them in flight regardless, and was quite pleased with my improving success rate.
I spotted a man shooting with an iPad! Maybe, I should consider doing handheld shots using a Sinar P with my old friend Scheimpflug at my elbow! I three times chatted to a photojournalist, Christopher which added interest to my afternoon.
Later, I walked towards the Gardens where the Portishead band was playing in the central bandstand, paid my fee, and joined them to savour the atmosphere and yet a different viewpoint of the Poulteney bridge. My sense of humour came to the fore when I spotted two organic statues, the first which brought to mind Oscar Pistorius of Blade Runner fame in the Olympics, and then another who I imagined to be a black belt in Judo!
The sky had been clouded over for some time, so I chose to return to the car and set off home, so that I could look forward to post-processing probably 20GBs of raw images from the weekend!