A photo walk through the centre of Bristol is full of surprises and details that grab your attention and demand that they become the centre of your photo composition
From its roots in the boom in graffiti and tagging in the 1980s, much of which was considered to be vandalism, it is now more commonly seen to be usually unsanctioned visual art created in public locations. It has developed into many forms of speciality - stencil graffiti, wheatpasted poster or sticker art, and street installation or even sculpture are common forms of modern street art. With modern computer and projection technology has come video projection onto buildings while almost as a counter technology response, traditional knitting has led to yarn bombing. With its development has come a growing recognition and enjoyment by the general public of Street Art as an often high quality, low cost art comparable to government or community sponsored high cost art installations. But its roots in political and social protest still dog it, some authorities seek to ban it and for some people it will always be equated to wanton vandalism.
Street Art: Love it or Loath it
Inside the Cabot Tower a tightly spiralling staircase winds up inside the tower to a platform, to give you wonderful views across the city and the River Avon valley.
Whoever invented tightly spiralling stairs was obviously interested in heavy breathing and choice swear words but moi, I am innocent of such behaviour and instead spring up the steps like a hale & hearty squirrel!
Now, having regained my breath, its time to head to the University. Now the streets start to grow grander, balconies cling to the sides of much of the classical architecture in this area. But look carefully and there is still the occasional glimpse of Street Art.
With a bright blue sky above and the sun casting strong shadows, take your time to look at the shapes of light and dark. Black & White can be ideal in conditions like this. Take your time and explore the camera options, perhaps make a few short video clips to record the sights and sounds of the city.
So the light conditions, as I reached Clifton Village, were ideal for a bit of B&W street photography, capturing some of the people and life near Clifton Arcade and the Primrose Café.
The housing though still in terraces becomes smaller in scale, perhaps more intimate with the small garden spaces that abound the route way down.
For a little while, once we reach the bottom of the valleyside, the walk has to confront the realities of the motor cars' impact on the city, with busy roads clinging to the narrow strip of flat land In their bid to escape the city onwards into the country.
Meanwhile we eventually reach the Floating Harbour and Spike Island where small boat building still has an important role. Interesting photo opportunities abound all around; timber templates, dusty lathes, the feeling of history perhaps more difficult to capture. But within the surroundings of history are the signs of regeneration, office development and colourful new housing, a new museum about the history of Bristol, pubs and a new social scene.