Bristol from a vantage point

While I was out taking my panorama of Bristol at the weekend, I also packed a long lens and went to see what I could see. This was also the first outing of my “new” Canon FTb, which I bought mainly for astronomy. Paired with a 400mm lens, it’s an excellent combination.

As a cyclist, I frequently curse Bristol’s steep undulations. But as a photographer I love them, because they let me take shots like these. This one centres on the campus of Bristol University.

This one shows a tower block in Bedminster and a slightly more distant office building in the centre.

The cranes on the horizon are being used to construct the new hospital at Southmead, and are almost five miles away.

The tower block in Bedminster again, this time seen with the rounded building in Cabot Circus and the square one at Castlemead.

Cabot Tower, on Brandon Hill.

Here’s Purdown BT tower. It’s almost 4½ miles from where I took the picture.

I’m not quite sure where these houses are, but I like the higgledy-piggledy arrangement of rooftops.

A little bit more zoomed out, here we see Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge towering over south Bristol.

The prominent central buildings, (e.g. the University, Broadmead and Clifton Suspension Bridge) are about three miles from my vantage point on Nover’s Common. Three miles through the atmosphere of a city causes a lot of haze, and the pictures are lacking in sharpness and contrast if you inspect them closely. Given that the majority of urban haze is in the ultraviolet and blue regions of the spectrum, I could probably achieve much better sharpness with an orange filter, which would not register the blue end of the spectrum. It didn’t look that hazy to the eye, but human eyes are less sensitive to ultraviolet radiation than camera film, and it’s also surprising how good the brain is at showing you what you want to see!

The images are also quite grainy. This is probably due to the fact I overexposed a little and pulled the films in development. Next time I will be more careful with my metering!

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