Station exterior wall

The Train Leaving the Station is . . .

My walk this week has been around the area next to Bristol Temple Meads and at the end of this architectural walk I entered the railway station, not just to view its structure and design but talso to listen to its sounds.

Bristol Templemeads

The start of my soundscape for this walk, like the photos posted at the start of the week, provide some evidence of people – footsteps and voices – but not nearly as much as you might expect for the number of people that were actually there. Perhaps the sounds of human voices and the actions of individuals were being absorbed or muffled by the three dimensional complexity of the city’s architecture and the activities taking place, such as building construction, trains, traffic, etc.

The sounds inside the station were, as you would expect, different. Aside from the echo and reverberation of the cavernous space, the density of people and subsequently their voices and conversations rose to another level. And then the trains arrived and the background ambience changed again – until the train left.

This walk did not involve much in the way of nature and for me there is no question about which is more pleasant and relaxing (a natural environment), but I still find the urban environment of huge interest and I am just as fascinated by the textures, patterns, shapes and colours to be seen and heard around me in the city as I am in a wood or on a mountain – less relaxed but still interested.

Bristol City Soundscape

architectural perspective

The Nuts, Bolts and Perspective of Architecture

On my walk this week around an area of the Bristol cityscape next to Temple Meads railway station, I was attracted by the patterns and perspectives, and the nuts and bolts of the architecture and construction along the riverside.

nuts and bolds perspective

A  passing walker said he liked the view up the river from under a nearby bridge so I made a point of heading that way. Underneath I found I liked the view of the bridge as much as from it, enjoying the rows and patterns in perspective of nuts and bolts and rivets as well as the dark heavy weight of the structure. The design and engineering of structures like this and all the architecture around me was remarkable. The arrangement of the buildings is also remarkable and looking at them from different angles creates a new jigsaw of shapes with every turn of the head.

 

zig zag

Zig Zag and Twisted – Perspective, Steps and An Urban Soundscape

On this, the third side of my triangular urban walk this week, my main focus (or perspective) is on steps. It was a long set of scaffolding steps that I originally wanted to photograph and which turned into a walk round the block that revealed some other angular and twisted (spiral) steps. I was amused by the “floating” gate below which advertises the entrance to The Forge.

spiral steps

As someone who enjoys many different aspects of metal I couldn’t resist the first perspective shot below of the structure and pattern of shop front shutters, but as I turned the next corner I was also taken by the colour, repeating pattern and perspective of the short terrace across the street. I found other perspectives Continue reading

Distant dwellings

Distant Horizon – Reviewing the Walk

In reviewing my walk this week I can see that I have posted another set of very dark images – it must be the time of year! The selected photos from my posts about this walk illustrate both the urban start in a multi-story carpark and the approaching light of dawn on the horizon in a windy Swansea Bay.

Distant horizon

The soundscape for this week backs up the images as always but while it includes the sound of crashing waves towards the end, it does not include the noise pollution of street cleaners and leaf blowers being used at 6 AM. Continue reading

Urban Dawn Walk

My Walk this Week – Early Bird

My walk this weeks starts in a multi-storey carpark in town. By early I mean about 5.55 am, which is why I was surprised that the first sound I heard on getting out of my car in this empty urban space was an early bird chirruping away! It was still dark and I was in an environment as far from natural as possible.

Multi-storey

It was interesting to experience the ambience and light (or lack of it) in this structure in its unusual empty state and I was able to check out the patterns revealed in the gloom. The background soundContinue reading

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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Light and Dark

The view of and colours in the night sky over Middlesbrough changed as I walked around the other, unlit side of Hemlington Lake. The shapes and silhouettes of trees enhanced the reflected colour on the clouds and proved there was light to be seen. However, the footpath on this side of the lake was very dark and it was only because I know the path well that I had no problems seeing where I should walk.

As I came round this side of the lake I disturbed some of the birds roosting in the vegetation at the lake side. So at this point in my night walk, there was a little more sound than perhaps there should have been.

Night Birds

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trees at night

trees and night sky

night sky and lake

Photoshopping – now you see it, now you don’t

I really liked the green block aspect of this building in Swansea’s SA1 quarter. But I did not like the lamp post in front of it!

When I took the photo this object was irritating, but I thought, “never mind, it’s part of the cityscape“. Looking at the image afterwards in Adobe Lightroom made me decide to spend the time taking the lamp post out. I knew it was going to take a little while to do it well, but I thought it was worth it.

What do you think?

Swansea SA1 building

Swansea SA1 building