This view from the 'less-photographed' side of Saltaire's historic church is only really possible in the winter, when the bare branches of the trees allow the detail of the lovely tower to be seen. Light reflected off the snow illuminates this Victorian gem, opened in 1859 and now a Grade 1 listed building.
Had I been able to get out last Sunday (sneezing and sniffles prevented me) this is more or less what you would have seen. We had about this amount of snow, but it has all disappeared again now. Had I been out on Sunday, I might also have tried to get the shot without the railing in the front... one can always improve things with hindsight.
Jim and Betsy said in the comments that they'd like a closer look at the prints in my exhibition, so I've decided I will take the opportunity to show them here. I hope that won't spoil it for anyone who intends to call in at the Half Moon Café but it will neatly get over the fact that I have very few 'new' photos stocked up at present - and little opportunity to get out and take some more. Most, though not all, of them have been on my blog before but some of them were featured quite some time ago.
So here it is! My first solo exhibition of photographs was hung on Saturday, thanks to help from some good friends. Left to my own devices I would have struggled, as I have been overcome by a very heavy cold and have spent the entire weekend sneezing prodigiously and working my way through not one but two entire boxes of paper tissues! Bleurgh. Never mind, I shall soon bounce back, I'm sure, and will then pop along to the Half Moon Café in Roberts Park for a proper look. It will be interesting to watch and listen to what people have to say.... Thanks so much for all your good wishes.
We had a heavy snowfall on Saturday too, the first of this winter, which didn't exactly help matters. I would have gone out with my camera later but I really didn't feel up to that. The promised sunshine didn't happen so there isn't much sparkle and the snow is melting fast now. On the whole, I think I'm glad it's not staying.
I've mentioned the community-owned Half Moon Café in Roberts Park before; it was attractively refurbished a couple of years ago. Saltaire Cricket Club, who oversee the running of it, have built it up into quite a successful venture, with the help of a manager and a lot of volunteers. It has limited opening hours during the winter (Wed to Sun: 10am - 4pm) but seems to remain popular... you often see people sitting outside, even when it's quite cold, though it's very pleasant inside too.
For some time now, they have had a regular programme of exhibitions of work by local artists, which provides a point of interest along the long, curved wall inside. I'm pleased to announce that the exhibition during February and March will be some photographs of mine... my first solo exhibition. Sounds really grand, doesn't it? It helps that the organiser of the exhibition space is a good friend, but I do know she wouldn't have asked me if she hadn't thought my work was up to scratch. It's been quite a process trying to decide which photos to display (and due to the nature of the space I had to choose mostly 'portrait format' prints). In the end I decided to use my blog as the theme and to concentrate largely (though not exclusively) on photographs of Saltaire, as I think they will be interesting to most of the folk who drop into the Café. The prints are all prepared and framed - they will be hung this weekend (unless we get snowed in!)
If you live locally, do please drop in and see them and enjoy a coffee and a cake in the Café whilst you're there. All the photos have been shown on my blog at some point in the past, so if you're not local you're only missing the fun, not the pictures!
(This has blown my cover now, hasn't it? But it didn't seem quite right to use 'jennyfreckles', my blog identity, for an exhibition. In the beginning I was ultra cautious about blogging but I don't think I need to worry any more.)
Final photo in the series from Bingley Five Rise Locks when they were emptied for repair work. Another close study: stone, wood, metal, moss and weed - all provide interesting textures. Don't be fooled by the scale though... these are huge structures! The portion of the gate showing in the top photo is about ten feet (3m) high and the whole gate is something like 23 feet (7m) tall. The men in the photo below were both around 6 feet tall and only just reach the third horizontal beam.
It was an interesting climb down through Bingley's Five Rise locks. I was mostly looking out for the best way of capturing the scene as a whole - the height of the walls, the sheer size of the space inside those five lock basins and the steepness of the rise. In some ways you get more sense of the staircase from further away, down the canal, than you do when close up to it (or in it!) Along the way though, I also became enthralled by the textures and shapes. The new wood and metal of the gates was lovely - so solid and beautifully crafted. The moss and (sea?) weed on the stone walls, usually underwater, also provided some interesting colour and texture.