Belfast’s built heritage

This is Cromwell Road in the university district of Belfast.  Now a rather run down district inhabited mainly by students and now more recently by immigrants.  The architecture and style of this particular terrace demonstrates its grand past, a reflection of more prosperous times.  When I consulted a 1901 street directory I noted that the inhabitants were recorded as accountants, engineering chemist, agents and a RIC Sub Inspector.

bradley--2

Many now converted into flats the interior of the houses will have been subdivided.  I hope that our city planners will have the good sense at least to preserve the facade of the terrace!

bradley-

A casual walk around the streets of south Belfast reveal a wealth of material to photograph.  I remember visiting one of these houses over thirty years when I was a social security visitor, good to see the terrace is still standing!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

The Somme Remembered

bradley-5119

Yesterday (1 July 2014) was the 98th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the usual civic remembrance was held within the grounds of Belfast City Hall.  In documenting the event I took 85 exposures and from these I have selected just 13.  In making the selection I took the deliberate decision to exclude politicians and other civic dignitaries because I wanted the Armed Forces on parade to be focus, after all it was their forefathers who paid the supreme price!

Her Majesty’s Forces on parade were drawn from the Royal Irish Regiment and the Irish Guards.  The series of images commences with army personnel assembling, the series continues with the parade to the cenotaph and it concludes with an establishing shot taken through a window from a second floor cafe adjacent to the City Hall.  

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission  

Click on the link below.

http://ulsterphotography.co.uk/?page_id=5207

Rainy Belfast – what’s new?

Ins’t it odd that few people take photographs when it’s raining?  Some time ago I saw a photograph of a very wet Belfast street scene and it has always stuck in my mind and challenged me to go out and do the same.

Taking a walk around in the rain presents very different opportunities, such has people sheltering under cover, people taking cover in coffee shops which you can photograph through the window and people just going about their every day business with raised umbrellas.

Of course for the photographer rain produces marvellous lighting, reflections, deeper colours or if your shooting in monochrome a different dynamic range.  Capturing the rain as it falls allows you to play with shutter speeds and also adds to the mood the images. Here is a small selection of images shot yesterday.

bradley-4999

bradley--2

bradley-5006

bradley--3

Next time it rains go out and give it a go!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission   

 

The patience of a street photographer!

My wife tells me that I don’t have any patience and she is never wrong!  But to be a street photographer you really do need patience to allow scenes to develop.  So while I have been wandering around Belfast I have tried slowing down or even taking a seat and allowing things to happen around me.

So I tried an experiment, I took a photograph and then waited to see what would change within the scene before taking another photograph, even pausing for ten minutes made a difference.  Here is the result:

bradley-4803mono-

Ten minutes later:

bradley-4806mono-

A bunch of American tourists showed up and gathered around the tourist information board, the girl never flinched and the two unrelated elements provided a contrast or tension within the frame. 

Try giving it a go!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission  

 

Brownlow House Classic Car Rally

There is nothing like a classic car rally to being back memories of the 1960s.  In my day I owned a succession of MGs, Midgets and MG Bs.  So I was naturally drawn to the MGs on display of which there were many.

It was unfortunate that the EU forced rubber bumpers as the earlier cars fitted with chrome bumpers looked much better.  Of course the real classic MG was the MG A, and a 1959 model was on display.

bradley-4672

bradley-4666

bradley-4674

There were of course some vintage models view, although I was particularly drawn to the MGs.

bradley-4678

I met one real character who was directing traffic, an RAF veteran who kindly allowed me to take his photograph.

bradley-2

All colour images taken with a Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera fitted with a 35mm 1.4 lens, all exposures were ISO 400, 1/250 second at f8.  The monochrome was taken at f2.8 and 1/1900 shutter speed.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

The world cup and all that!

Here we go again, another world cup and no doubt wall to wall media coverage to bore us completely silly.  You can tell that I am a football fan!  

However walking around Belfast I see that bars and restaurants are getting in to the mood. The photograph below is taken in one of Belfast’s old entries, in this case Pottinger’s Entry which connects Ann Street with High Street in almost a straight line. The principal attraction is the Victorian pub, The Morning Star.

In a city where the flying of flags causes so much controversy I was amused to see The Morning Star public house bedecked in so many national flags to get its customers into the world cup mood.  Spot the Union Flag!

bradley-4648-

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

 

What makes an image speak?

Having just spent two delightful weeks in Turkey I am now reviewing the images I have taken and this one keeps coming back to me as if the character in it is haunting me! Taken in the Izmir bazaar it is to my view a powerful image that sends out a message.  My only consideration was how to process it.

It was taken in raw format and obviously in colour, but I think that a monochrome version of the image is much stronger as the colour in the original photograph was distracting. Here is the photograph:

Izmir Bazaar

Izmir Bazaar

So what is my interpretation of the image?  The image is un-cropped and appears as it came out of the camera.  The blurred lady in the foreground is dressed in western clothes and laden with shopping bags.  Behind is a blind man with hand out begging and behind the beggar is a smiling Muslim mother carrying a child.

There is so much to be read into this photograph.  Recently I heard a photographer say that he doesn’t take pictures but pictures find him.  How true!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

Getting to know who you photograph

Ever been to a foreign location where you have photographed before and wanted to go back. Perhaps thinking you can improve upon those earlier photographs taken on the previous visit.

Well this is what I am doing, going back the that little fishing town called Foca in Turkey. My last visit was in November 2012 and returning some 18 months later I am curious as to how the town and it’s people may have changed. I thought that visiting in May there will be more tourist, when I visited in November there were virtually none. Thankfully I am wrong, most visitors to the town seem to come down from Izmir for the weekend!

On this visit my objective is to meet more of the local people I photograph so that more meaningful images can be produced. The following image is of a beekeeper called Arif. He cannot speak English and cannot speak Turkish, but I learned something about him. He has been keeping bees since he was ten years old. He now has several hundred colonies and can harvest honey up to five times per year. I have met Arif on a number of occasions, this photography was taken at the weekly Tuesday market in Foca.

20140507-105644.jpg

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission

 

Sinclair’s Department Store

Sadly Sinclair’s Department Store closed in 1972, but the building still stands proud. Sinclair’s was once one of Belfast’s most prestigious department stores. The store on Royal Avenue as seen today was built in 1926 in the classical style. By 1935, Sinclair’s was extended with an Art Deco-style addition by Belfast-born architect James Scott, who had previously designed the 1926 building.

bradley-6377

Since January I have taken a great many images of Belfast buildings, in so doing I have been trying to depict them with open space surrounding them to show their locational setting and perspective.  Apart from the images taken at the very beginning all have been taken with a Nikon D700 fitted with a AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G lens.  Having taken well over 500 images with this lens since January I have come to value its qualities.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.  

Donegall St Congregational Church

Over the past number of weeks I have been steadily engaged in photographing various buildings in Belfast.  Today I came across Donegall Street Congregational Church which is worthy of mention.

The original church on this site was completed in 1860, with additions in 1871 on either side by Luke Macassey. There were extensive renovations in 1898 before it was largely destroyed by fire in 1931. Rebuilt in 1932, it was rebuilt yet again by Samuel Stevenson & Sons in 1955 following extensive bomb damage during the Belfast Blitz of World War II.

bradley-6125 bradley-6128

There are numerous examples of older buildings sandwiched modern structures, maybe this is a theme I should run with!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission.