In March I was looking at the springs in Redland that lead to Cranbrook, but I hadn’t realised that the Cranbrook leads down to The Arches, and that, according to the Big Blue Map of Bristol, it’s above ground around there. So two weeks ago, Tracy Homer and I went to have a look for it. My (mostly phone) photos are in my flickr album (if you mouse over/tap the photo below, you should be able to see a slideshow…) I have a film-ette and some sounds in the post below too.
Today was the highest tide of the month, one of the highest of the year (11.5m!) and I pulled myself of out bed to get to the very end of the Harbour, by the Entrance Lock, for 9:20 and the high point. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but on a grey, dreich Saturday in February, it’s a big deal. Especially with the Chocolate Path closed. Especially in the rain. But wow, I’m glad I did!
When I got to the river, it was still, that moment of balance that I love, and wish I could find in myself. It’s always a rush to get as many shots as possible in that time, and I was cursing because I’d once again forgotten the cameras I wanted to bring, spare film etc. But it was lovely. I lay on the edge of the Harbour, putting an underwater camera in the river (it’s so much better doing that in summer) and watched the way the misty rainclouds moved through the trees.
I think my favourite part was standing on the Entrance Lock gate, and watching the water move. By this time the tide had turned, and the water, which had flooded over the top of the lock gate, was rushing back out to re-join the river, bringing clouds of silt. I only had my phone to take films, but this makes me very happy:
The clouds of silt always look so magical, and I could have watched this for days. I walked on around the Harbour, and had other adventures too – but those will be in my next podcast…
I’ve been on a bit of a mission to take film and photographs of rain from under the surface of the Floating Harbour, and like all good photographic missions, it hasn’t gone exactly to plan.
This is always the way. My best/worst example was when I was doing a 6 week book arts module on my photography degree, starting at the very end of March, and my plan was to make a book called April Showers, with a page for every day of the month, with photos for the days I was rained on, and blank pages for the days it was dry… and it was this hilarious heatwave with no rain for the entire month!
That’s generally what happens when I have a specific mission in mind, and ever since I’ve borrowed Tim’s GoPro, with a great set of plans for putting it in puddles, the Harbour, rivers etc etc, I’ve been scuppered because when I’ve been out it’s been dry, unless I’m nowhere near water, or the battery’s dead etc etc.
But it’s rained a little bit recently, so I have 2 mini films. The first is from art-walking with Shawn Sobers last week, the GoPro lodged in a crack in the Nova Scotia slipway and the second from today, with the camera attached to a telescopic painting-roller pole, via Tim’s handlebar mount, while sat underneath the slope to the closed jetty opposite the SS Great Britain.
In the first, it stopped raining almost as soon as I got there – in the second I ran out of battery almost straight away, and again, the rain stopped pretty quickly. I was experimenting with having the camera at different depths, which is why the point of view moves.
So I haven’t got the film of my dreams yet, but it was fun sitting on the edge of the Harbour and on jetties with Vik, wondering if it was going to rain or not, it’s always going to be fun trying to get some more.
I’ve been borrowing my friend Tim’s GoPro Hero3, and even though I’ve used one before, I’m just making ridiculous mistakes every time I take it out. Pretty much everything that comes off it is me looking multi-chinned, frowning down at the camera.
But this accident was a happy one. I borrowed the camera hoping to take lots of film of heavy rain in puddles, in the Harbour, on the river… but of course it’s been a heatwave! Yesterday it did rain for a little bit, and before the battery died, I shot a tiny film, 27 seconds of usable, I think – but accidentally slo-mo, which I love! Enjoy some raindrops on the surface of the Harbour, slowed right down. Some mistakes make me happy!