My Walk this Week – Brynmill Park

My walk this week was taken on a day that held a number of meetings for me, not least the Swansea Walking Forum meeting in Brynmill Park. Having a gap between other meetings in the morning, I was able to take my camera and sound kit around the lakeside and found the place being well used during the school Summer holidays.

Brynmill Park

You can’t tell from these shots how well the park is used but perhaps the sound clip below will prove the existence of people (and traffic) in this city park.

A Sneeze in the Park

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Hereford Cityscape – Reviewing the Walk

Back at the start of my walk this week and you can listen to the soundscape while viewing the images. The image below shows two parts of the same alleyway – despite the graffiti the walkthrough is kept pretty clean.

Hereford walkway

Hereford City Walk Soundscape

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Features of the Modern Cityscape

Returning towards the starting point of my walk this week I passed All Saints Church of England church (which is also a cafe) and admired the stonework of the architecture. The patterns and textures of old stone combined with the insertion of more recent stone worked well for me. I was going to take a detail shot of some of the patterns and as I was selecting my angle a person slipped into the frame and huddled in the corner of the church for a smoke.

This is a distinct feature of any modern cityscape in Britain today – individuals or small groups of smokers huddling in corners to keep out of the wind or rain – it seems to me to defeat the purpose and is what enabled me to give up after our first child was born. Giving up smoking is not an easy thing to do but going outside every time I wanted a cigarette certainly helped me to do so. Good luck to those of you who are trying.

Church wall and smoker

Church wall and smoker

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Seeing the Signs and Hereford Marketplace

Yesterday I ignored (or cropped) the signs, today I am looking at them. My walk this week around Hereford city centre has returned me to the alley that precedes Church Street and leads out into the city’s markettplace.

Seeing the Signs

Seeing the Signs

I have a soundscape for this walk which, as with the photography, was recorded on my iPhone. The clip below is one I recorded in this marketplace – it was not a market day but there were still plenty of people about.

Hereford City Centre

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NB If you are wondering what is going on in the panorama shot of the market place below, this is the result of using the “pano” facility on the iPhone in a scene where there is movement of people. The camera is panned around to take multiple shots of the scene which are then stitched together by the software. Without any “ghost” correcting, this can be the effect you get – it looks pretty odd but rest assured the pregnant lady has not been chopped in half other than in the image.

Ignoring the Signs – Walls, Flowers and Brickwork

Not so much ignoring the signs as cropping them out – all these photos required me to either choose an angle or make a crop that avoided the inevitable street signs for restricted parking, no entry, and restricted access. I couldn’t avoid the cars and I didn’t want to avoid the peeling paint of the gable end brick wall to this building of formal design that is typical of this part of Hereford City centre.

I like the patterns, colours and textures of the wall at least as much as I do the flower displays.

Hereford City Walk-17

Hereford Houses

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Cathedral in Bronze

Reaching the end (or the entrance) of Church Street on my walk this week around Hereford city centre, I took another of many looks at the cathedral. In front of the building is a paved area with a brick mosaic design set into it. While this is interesting, I was much more intrigued by the unusual bronze model of Hereford set on a plinth near the cathedral gates.

Taking a closer look at some of the architectural details of the cathedral could take a long time (which I didn’t have) as the building is so intricate in its embellishments.I wasn’t just taken with the designs created by the stone masons, but also with the patterns and textures of the stones themselves. Presumably these have been produced when cutting the blocks for building.

I’ll be able to take another look at the interior of the cathedral next week, not for the purpose of posting on this blog but for my younger daughter’s graduation from Hereford College of Art – well done Hannah – you can see her work at hannahduncancreations.com.

Hereford in Bronze

Hereford in Bronze

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My Walk this Week – City Centre Walk

Sticking with the urban environment, my walk this week describes aspects of a different city centre to last week. This is Hereford City centre and as Hereford has a cathedral, it can legitimately be described as a city. Strange but true (sort of), though I certainly don’t have a problem with Swansea being called a city even if it does not have a cathedral. Actually that is a little simplistic so here is a Wiki article that will explain in more detail.

All photography for this week’s walk was done on my iPhone.

Hereford City Centre

Hereford City Centre

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City Street – Reviewing the Walk

One thing (several in fact) that was often in the background of my walk this week along a city centre street were the gulls. As previously mentioned, it was a bin collection day and the sea gulls were pretty active. Much of the time their calls were largely hidden by the other sounds of the street, but they are there.

gull

Street Walk Soundscape

Play the sound clip and look through the sequence of images at the same time. If you would like to hear more of the subtleties of any of my soundscapes, listen through headphone. Having said that, I always edit the soundscapes with the expectation that most people will listen without.

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Seeing it as it is – details of the bigger picture

Nearing the end of my short street walk this week I was considering how useful a camera can be in helping to pick out aspects of an environment. Without peripheral vision plus the ability to select a point of focus it is possible to present reality as abstract. I have not taken todays photos that far and the subjects of all these images are identifiable, but seeing it as it is does not necessarily mean there is an understandable context.

If you have seen my previous posts this week you will know that the context is a city centre street along which I have been walking, looking and listening to my surroundings. But taking the images of today’s post on their own, there is a great deal of contextual information they do not give. This means the photos almost force you to consider their more abstract elements and forget about the street or town they may be in – peeling paint, the pattern of broken glass, marks on a road surface and lines in a wall.

street markings

The penultimate photo below is in a specify location in a specific town / city. It can only be one particular place but at the same time it could be anywhere. I like the vertical columns in the background set behind the horizontal pattern of parked cars but wanted to bring some more attention to them give the image a little more individuality. So with a monochrome conversion, a little digital manipulation and a tighter crop . . .

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Reflections, Angles and Timing

The photo below does not show the “Elysi m Galley”. It shows the building which houses artists’ studios which are part of the Elysium Gallery with the gallery itself being down the street and round the corner (so to speak). If I had chosen a different angle I might have been able to capture the whole name.

I found an angle In the photo sequence below to capture a reflected conversation in the street but the timing of my walk this week proved a bit rubbish – it was rubbish collection day and inevitably the gulls had taken advantage and managed to spill some of it across the pavement.

Elysium Gallery

I like the mixture of signage and reflection on the doorway shot and although I cannot remember what the shop is open for, looking at the details I can see that they are advertising English lessons. And thinking of languages, the trees lining the street in the last image, and their bark, remind me of France and the profusion of plane trees they have lining so many of their streets.

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