Category Archives: Weston-super-Mare

Lacock Abbey visit

The problem with self-employment is that if you’re not careful you can find yourself feeling like you can’t stop – if you’re not working, then you’re marketing and doing all the admin that comes with running a business.  So I made a decision the other week that I would take a day off, and actual full day off, on a weekday too, and took myself off on a day trip out.  It wasn’t totally a day off from photography though as I decided to take a trip to Lacock Abbey and village, near Chippenham, which is the place where William Henry Fox Talbot produced one of the first (if not the first) photographic negative. Although I’ve been a photographer now for nearly 20 (yes, 20!) years, I’ve never got around to visiting Lacock, and as I now live around an hours drive away it was time I made the trip.

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The Latticed Window – replica camera and negative

Lacock Abbey was the family home of William Henry Fox Talbot, and is now owned and maintained by the National Trust.  Inside the main entrance there is a fascinating small museum dedicated to Fox Talbot and the early days of photography – I found it interesting to hear that he started his experiments in capturing and image due to the fact that he couldn’t draw or paint as well as his wife and daughter.  I also got into photography as I’m 03102017-Lacock Abbey-004pretty rubbish at drawing, so photography is one way of creating without having to try and learn to paint! The museum also holds some interesting items and images related to photography over the years since Fox Talbot created his images, including a gold Nikon camera!

Whilst I was there, there was also an exhibition upstairs in the museum entiled “Drawn to the Land” with images by Sophie Gerrard, documenting 6 women living and working in the most remote parts of Scotland. Some stunning images, and I ended up chatting to a lovely couple and giving them a few hints and tips on photography whilst we wandered around looking at Sophies images 🙂

Wandering around the Abbey, it’s a beautiful place, and of course the part I really wanted to see was the lattice window, made famous as the subject of the oldest negative in existence.

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It was very strange to be stood in the same spot as Fox Talbot, and to think that if this invention had turned out differently, who knows what job I would be doing, and to think that from this point back in 1835, came the life of images we have today. Photography and all things that have evolved from it have advanced so rapidly, this photo below (grabbed quickly on my mobile phone) is an interesting representation of who far we’ve come, we take so many more photos in 30 seconds, than were taken in the whole of the 1800’s.  Everyone has a camera in their pocket, and the quality is getting better with each new phone that comes out.  The photo below was taken on my Samsung Galaxy S6 phone – not bad, eh?

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It was quite something standing there, looking at the same window, and taking the same photo that was taken all those years ago.

The Abbey itself is such a lovely place, there’s so much to see, not only the furnished family rooms, but also the unfurnished abbey rooms, which open out into the cloisters.  I found it interesting, reading some of the signs around the place, that some of the external walls were taken out in the 1800’s to create a romantic ruin which opened up onto the main grounds. These walls have since been replaced, but I can imagine how beautiful it must have all looked.

After a walk around the Abbey itself I also took a stroll through the grounds, which were looking beautiful as all the crocus were coming out, the daffodils and snowdrops were still around just about.  There were signs that in a few weeks it could be bluebell central – maybe I should book myself another day off!

Below are a couple of panoramas I shot whilst there, well worth a quick spin!

 

My 2016 in Pictures

Here are a few of my favourite images I’ve taken over 2016 – some are work assignments and some are just for my own pleasure 🙂

Meg Attwood Potential Difference Coaching www.potentialdifference.co.uk

Business Headshots

A couple of images from a recent headshot photo session with Meg Attwood of Potential Difference Coaching, based in Clevedon.  We had a great session, and luckily the weather stayed dry, so we could get outside for some relaxed shots to go alongside the more formal indoor ones.

 

#366for2016 – February

These are my February images for my #366for2016.  These images are a random mix of Nikon D800, Olympus OM-D EM-10, Samsung Galaxy Tab S and Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone.  They’re just my life as I plod on through the year.  February to follow on another blog post.

#366for2016 – January

A couple of years ago I did a 365 project, taking a photo a day for the whole of 2013 – that gallery can be found here: https://heidiburtonphotography.wordpress.com/blog/photogging-365-page and I thought that seeing as we’ve got a leap year I’d give it another go.  These images are a random mix of Nikon D800, Olympus OM-D EM-10, Samsung Galaxy Tab S and Samsung Galaxy S6 mobile phone.  They’re just my life as I plod on through the year.  February to follow on another blog post.

Happy New Year!

It’s 2016, and whilst I’m not so great at updating my blog on a regular basis (once every couple of months seems about average for me!) I have been busy with my work, so I thought I’d do a quick roundup of some of my favourite images from 2016.

Dismaland Bemusement Park, Weston-super-Mare

I love living in Weston-super-Mare, I know the place gets bad press, in the way most seaside resort towns do – people say it’s run-down, full of bad types, nothing to do, a beach of mud etc…. but I love it!  I was more than happy to settle here with my husband when I left the RAF in 2012, to be living 10 minutes away from a couple of great beaches, close to Bristol and on the doorstep of the some of the most beautiful parts of this country, with Somerset, Devon and Cornwall within easy reach.  So when Banksy chose the unused Tropicana outdoor pool on Weston seafront to be the home to his latest pop-up exhibition Dismaland, I was slightly excited, to say the least – this is the biggest thing to have happened to Weston-super-Mare since the old pier burnt down in 2008, and has got people from all over the world talking about our little seaside town, even bringing such stars as Brad Pitt, Jack Black and Jon Taylor of Duran Duran (my teenage crush!!) to Weston.  To think that Brad Pitt now knows where Weston is just blows my mind! Banksy has curated hundreds of pieces of art from more than 50 different artists from across the world, to have so many pieces of superb work, in such a small area, just minutes from my house is just superb.

A few months ago I was driving along the seafront, past the old Tropicana, as I often do, and noticed there was some building work going on up on the roof.  Now the state and future of the Tropicana, which closed down a couple of decades ago, is a constant topic of conversation in this town, with people constanly nagging the local Council to get it back up and running.  So to see work going on inside, I was intrigued.  Local social media groups and online forums began to talk, especially when some caravans appeared on a sports pitch in town, and the story appeared that the Tropicana was to be used as a set for a crime thriller film by the production company “Grey Fox” and the caravans were crew accommodation. Over the next few months things began to appear over the top of the Tropicana, a truck sculpture, ferris wheel and a horse made out of scaffolding – and we all began to wonder “what kind of film set is this??” Then, mid-august the rumour hit that it was a Banksy Exhibition called Dismaland – people linked to Banksy had been seen around the Tropicana, and there were also link between “Grey Fox” and Banksy and Dismaland.  The local paper, The Weston Mercury were given a hammering in the social media for (apparently) not knowing what was going on, and then finally they were allowed to break their silence and reveal the massive secret that they’d had to keep, and had the honour of officially revealing to the world that Banksy, the local boy from Bristol, was definitely coming to Weston, and had returned to the Tropicana, where he used to spend his summer holidays.  The Mercury were also able to give away 1000 free tickets to a special “locals only” day before the place was opened to the general public – I was gutted that I was working away that day!  I managed to get down there 3 days after it opened (in the very appropriately dismal pouring rain) and was blown away by the work there.  My images don’t do it justice, and if you’ve been fortunate enough to visit, then you’ll know what I mean – the atmosphere is indescribable and everywhere you look there is something to catch your eye, and maybe make you stop and think. I went back again the following week with my husband, to see it at night, superb.  Enjoy the photos below, and if you want to see my full galley please visit http://www.heidiburtonphotography.co.uk/Images/Banksy-Dismaland-WSM

And If you want to have a look at Banksys Death on a dodgem piece, you can view a video here: https://youtu.be/K9s30bXQkqs