It’s encouraging to drive along a road and see some inspirational words on a wall. In Belfast, it makes a nice change from some of the darker, paramilitary or terrorist inspired murals. Ant when you are ‘getting on a bit’ like me, this wall on the Newtownards Road is particularly appropriate – a good incentive to keep going!
This area of Belfast is known as ‘Ballymacarrett’ – an ancient townland name, and the home of many of the old Belfast industries, most notably the famous Harland and Wolff Shipyard, Short Brothers aircraft factory, the Belfast Rope Works and the Scirocco Works.
The mural features everything that is good about East Belfast, its community and renown, including CS Lewis, born in East Belfast. Also included are a ballerina, Belfast City Hall, and a group of children playing in the street, a boy releasing a dove, symbolising peace.
The main text on the mural is:
You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.
When I drive I keep the camera beside me, usually with a medium range zoom lens fitted. When I stop at traffic lights I wind down the window and look around me. If something interesting is happening, I shoot it. So this was the scene today at the bottom of the Limestone Road.
I liked the symmetry of the men’s postures.
Removing the colour made the image less fussy and distracting.
Time for my annual visit to the Belfast Christmas Market, clustered around the veritable ‘Dome of Delight’ itself, Belfast’s historic City Hall. This year again, it was the evening when I visited. I took the Fujifilm X-T30, small enough to be unobtrusive and powerful enough to make eye-watering images. I had the ISO at 3200 throughout the evening. Despite the fantastic X-T30, the market was so busy it was difficult to make any decent images, but here’s a few…
Saturday 9th September 2019 – the morning was wet, for heavy rain has been lashing the British Isles, causing flooding. Thankfully Northern Ireland has been spared the worst effects, unlike parts of England, where flooding has ruined homes and even led to loss of life. It’s too wet to go out on the streets, but I had a sort of a back-up plan. In Belfast is an old Victorian Covered Market, ‘St George’s Market’ (built in the 1890s) – and I thought a visit might bring one or two photo opportunities.
Following my earlier post ‘The Smoker’s Rest‘ – illustrating that in most modern businesses smokers are very much less than welcome, I was intrigued to find at least one shop in Belfast where smokers are most definitely welcome!
Miss Moran’s shop in Church Lane, Belfast is a traditional tobacconists, with a huge stock of cigars, snuffs, pipes and tobaccos; not just a resource for those addicted to the weed, but a huge tourist attraction in Belfast’s city centre. Continue reading Smokers Welcome.→
If you are fortunate enough to ever visit Belfast, Northern Ireland, you can get around the city easily and quickly on a ‘Belfast Bike.’ Download an app, pay a small fee, and borrow a bike! Take it from one side of the city to the other, and park it at the nearest bike-park! Easy!
A rack of public-access bicycles at Botanic Gardens, Belfast.
I captured this scene in a reasonably affluent part of Belfast, an area full of life and vibrancy where students from across the world mix with young professionals in coffee shops and bars. Where the streets are teeming with people enjoying friendship and a casual happy lifestyle. Where the side streets are student flats, posh detached homes and family terraces. And where a man lives on a pavement in a grubby sleeping bag.
If any picture can speak a thousand words, surely this one does. What does it tell you about the man on the ground? Why has he positioned himself there? What conversation is taking place between the man and the woman at the bank machine? She doesn’t look threatened – in fact they seem to be having a pleasant enough conversation. He’s sitting beside a ‘meal deal’ sign – would anyone go into the shop and spend some money on a ‘meal deal’ for him? Is that why he’s there?
I love photographs like this, not only documenting real life on the streets as it happens, but exciting the mind – raising questions; seemingly incongruous juxtapositions of objects and subjects, apparent conflicts of themes and interpretations.
Fujifilm X-T30, F=55mm, f/5 @ 1/125th sec on ISO400, shot in ACROS film simulation mode.