A weekend in Bristol

I recently had a fun weekend in Bristol catching up with some old work friends. It's a much more interesting and vibrant place than I'd expected, even though I'd known the city was becoming more and more well known for it's street art and the like. 

What I hadn't expected was the wealth of interesting museums and architecture from around the time of the industrial revolution.

I chose this particular weekend to visit because it was the Internal Balloon Fiesta. I had my typical travellers luck in that the majority of the displays were wiped out thanks to some high winds, and it was a particularly frustrating Saturday evening with a lot of waiting, a lot of crowding and no balloons. But the afternoon in the city was worth it and we did have a great curry after, so alls well that ends well.

Luckily the last scheduled display of the weekend did go ahead. Whilst we decided not to chance another day at the festival site we did get to see the balloons pass over the canals in the city centre where we had decided to have dinner. 

Hot Air Balloons over Bristol

I throughly enjoyed my time in Bristol and suspect I will return sooner rather than later as there appeared to be so much more to discover. 

Tottenham v Juventus

It's been a while since I was last able to see Spurs play live so I jumped at the chance to see them taking on a club like Juventus at Wembley.

Unfortunately the match wasn't very well attended due to a boycott by a lot of fans due to ticket prices set by the 3rd party promoter. I was one of the lucky ones to get the cheap tickets as soon as soon as they went on sale, but I have to agree that in the most part the prices were ludicrous - £100+ for a preseason friendly?

Juve brought a full strength team and it was great seeing world stars like Buffon and Higuain. Then again these days Spurs have plenty of stars themselves like Kane, Dele and Erikesen - two of whom finished lovely team moves to bring a final score of 2-0 to Spurs.  

Tripper takes a throw-in before being subbed injured.

Tripper takes a throw-in before being subbed injured.

The Alps

I've added an album of mountain photos taken on a recent road trip through the Alps into Northern Italy. It can be found on Flicker here - https://flic.kr/s/aHskUkVwdY

Neil BlakelyComment
I'm enjoying taking photos again.

I think it's fair to say that despite a few airport hiccups, my trips over the last couple of months have reawakened my love of travel and exploration.

It's also had the knock on effect because I'm feeling happy to having a camera in my hand once again. Ever since the twin blows of losing both my archive and my gear I've not quite felt the same buzz. Picture taking has been perfunctory, just a record of where I'd been and going through the motions. That was in 2013 and so that slump has lasted the best part of three years.

It's felt a little different recently. It's felt fun again. Like I've slipped back into a mindset where I'm shooting things how I want to and not because 'it's how you're supposed to take a photo' according those that spend more time critiquing in forums then actually shooting images.

I think mindset this has been helped somewhat by meeting people who have told me that I have to start taking photos again. That they've enjoyed looking at those that I've taken before and so they want to see what comes next. There is one person at work who when I say I've booked a trip they insist I must take my camera and get lots of pictures. They weren't too pleased with me for only taking my iPhone to Amsterdam, but I found it liberating to be working within those constraints and it did feel like I was starting to learn timing and composition all over again.

I've always taken photos primarily for my own enjoyment, but it has been pretty motivating to have complimentary things said and now a couple of months later as I wandered around Faro with my 'proper' camera in hand and a lovely wide-angle prime attached I could feel myself sliding back into a welcome and familiar groove.

Neil BlakelyThoughtsComment