You really got a hold on me

I mentioned a while back my desire to photograph Gormley’s Another Place, so when I knew I was returning to Bootle, this time I set off in good time to get there before sunset.  Just.
All the signs in the area direct you to Crosby Lakeside, which struck me as strange since the artwork is on a beach, but once I parked I saw why.  A ridge of sand dunes separated  the sea from another body of water, and it was here that I had to leave the car.  Already the sun was disappearing behind clouds, and the dunes made it difficult for me to guess how much time I had before it disappeared altogether, so  whilst the lakeside was all very pleasant, it wasn’t what I was here for.  _MG_8588-Edit-Edit To add insult to injury it started to rain too._MG_8599-Edit-Edit-Edit
I had come prepared for the beach, I have some waterproof Karrimor trainers that are great for dealing with unexpected waves (unlike my tripod!) and small puddles etc. I I quickly slipped these on without wasting time on fastening them tightly, and hurried around the footpath to where I assumed the sea to be.  Success, and there was my quarry; the Anthony Gormley sculptures looking out to sea.  I took a couple of shots of the first that I encountered and then, seeing a chance to compose a shot with one in the foreground while the sun was setting amongst a forest of wind turbines in the distance I hurried forward across some wetter stuff.  Wetter, muddier, stickier._MG_8647
“Never mind, I’ll grab the shot and retreat.” I thought, so opened camera bag to change lenses and adjusted my balance as I did so.  Wet, muddy, sticky stuff decided to keep my shoe and let my foot come away without it.  So now I’m balanced on one foot, trying to keep camera and equipment intact.
I put the camera into the bag and zipped it up to give me two hands free, and as I did so my balance went.  Left foot and sock now in the mud.  Hmmm.  Decided I needed to free right foot before anything else happened and so by pulling with both hand and foot got it free and closer to the left.  No further harm to be done by putting the left shoe back on, everything was pretty much coated, so repeated the procedure, got both feet free and returned to firmer ground.
Looked around for an audience – no one visibly laughing, clearly all pretending they hadn’t noticed!  Time to grab a few more shots and return to the car – I had a spare pair of trainers and a carrier bag so I should be able to contain the problem.  What I hadn’t noticed was that my photography gloves now had a nice coating from the shoe pulling and so I managed to get camera bag, camera casing, puffer jacket and tripod nicely smeared too.
Got back to the car and sacrificed the shoes and socks to the carrier, stuffed the jacket and tripod in the boot for cleaning later and all seemed good.  Until I noticed the state of my jeans.  Heavy with mud up both inside legs this had begun to dry and crack on the journey back to the car.  Maybe it would brush off?  No._MG_8698
I stood for  a while at my hotel reception waiting to check in while a young Indian man who was staying for 38 days asked every question conceivable.  The receptionist was very patient and dealt with me professionally too.  It was only when I got into the room and looked in mirror that I realised I had mud smeared across my face too!

Advertisements

Time & Place

The last week has seen me making a few journeys cross-country, where I’ve been based in Aintree on Merseyside.  Of course I packed my camera, in the hope that I might have the opportunity to make a short detour to Crosby beach and find a new angle on Another Placethe collection (100 in all) of Antony Gormley sculptures which are installed along the shore here.  Art and a beach?  Seemed like a perfect combination for me.

Unfortunately a different combination of working hours and daylight hours proved incompatible, so that the only occasions where I had time on my hands were when it was pitch black.  A speedlite might have illuminated one of the statues, and with a camera on a tripod and a long exposure I might have caught some ambient light in the sky, but I hear that the beach there is particularly muddy, so the tripod would probably have sunk as I did so.  Another Place will have to wait for another time.

_MG_7095-EditI still came away with some imagery from the trip though.  Only a couple of evenings before a friend had promised me a picture of the willow tree in the grounds of the school where she works so long as it remained snowy until the Monday.  (I’m assuming it didn’t JJ!).  However on my way over the Pennines I spotted a specimen of my own just outside Kirkby Stephen.  There was nothing additional in the vicinity which would make the picture, but it’s an impressive specimen anyway.  It did however have the effect that having stopped to get the camera and tripod out, I was inclined to look for inspiration elsewhere.  I had an inkling of where I would find it too.

The train station at Kirkby Stephen is located on the highly evocative Settle to Carlisle line, and is some way out-of-town on the road up to Ash Fell.  I parked here and went exploring.

Apart from the newly constructed waiting room on one platform the place looks like it has remained unchanged for years, so I shot some interesting compositions, but again I felt I lacked a point of interest.  Where was Jenny Agutter and her red knickers when I needed her?

The light was fading quickly now so I returned to my car and continued uphill when I found my point of interest.  Not sure what the point of this structure by the roadside was, but it brings a whole new meaning to shoe tree!

IMG_7114-Edit