I’m a bit obsessed with murky, underwater photography. I shot a lot of photos with really crappy underwater film cameras during my degree, and I love them, but I never did much with them. But I’ve always wanted to do more, and I really wanted to do some filming, so I borrowed my friend Tim’s GoPro Session and headed to the Harbour.
I’ve lived in Bristol for 17 years, and I’d never been on a Bristol Ferry trip on the Avon… until this week! It was very, very wet, so I’ve sped up the film so the raindrops on the lens don’t interfere too much, and so you can see my trip in 10 minutes
It was such a lovely thing to do. The lock from the Harbour to the River seems almost unnoticeable, very smooth. And then, although I’ve cycled up both sides of the river, and walked the Portway, I’d never been this low. I couldn’t believe the river is around 8 metres deep on the way back, as it doesn’t seem like it could be.
It was so meditative, especially once the rain drove everyone else inside, standing in this downpour, watching the water. I never knew herons lived in a colony, in trees, until it was pointed out on the commentary, and there’s something about the mud that I love. Everything was green and grey, with a bit of green, and I really want to do it again.
You can book your own Gorge trip on the Bristol Ferry Boats website. It costs £15, and it took around 2 hours and 15 minutes, but that depends on the tides (we were going against the tide going out, and much faster coming back).
Big thanks to Tim who lent me his GoPro Session, which the film is shot with.
During my photography degree, I made a series of films from the bridge on the Chocolate Path, above the sluices from the Underfall, recording the different ways the water reacted according to the weather, tide, and if water was being released from the Floating Harbour into the Avon. I loved standing still in the same place, watching the water, listening to traffic mingling with birdsong, having these meditative moments just being by the river.
I love this spot in any mood – the rush of water being released at low tide; how it can be so slow one day, and so fast the next; the almost volcanic eruptions when the outflow is released below the surface; the way objects move around this little inlet; watching the rain on the water.
Three years ago this week, my final Degree Show included a long piece, where I recorded the water rising, and the debris on the surface making beautiful patterns. So it feels appropriate to start this new project by re-visiting these films – there are a lot more on my Vimeo, and in my flickr album dedicated to the Outflow, and I’m sure I’ll be back to this spot often, and be making more of these.