This Sunday I had the pleasure of being the volunteer photographer for this year’s Vintage Velo bike ride. This was the fourth annual edition of the Tweed Run-style jaunt which is held each year as a fundraiser for the Bristol Cycle Festival. My bicycle Petal and I both got a bit dressed up for the occasion. You can see here Petal’s lovely bunting, which I made for her, in between snapping pics, at the ‘Bunt up your Bike’ stall near the registration area. She’s looking rather sweet, don’t you think? (There is no photograph of her rider, I’m afraid!) Well over 100 cyclists donned their vintage finery and took to their two-wheeled steeds (of any and all vintages) to ride through the sunny Sunday afternoon to our mystery destination… …which was the rather grand Kings Weston House to the north of Bristol. I say! All in all it was a lovely day, even if I did end up at one point stranded briefly behind a doubledecker sightseeing bus circling the Downs, after stopping to photograph my fellow cyclists. If you did want to see a photograph of me on the ride, you can ask the tourist at the back of the bus who took my photo as I pedalled to catch up to the group. I smiled very nicely! I do aim to entertain. Late afternoon, once I’d had taken in my fill of sunshine on the lawn, I departed for home, riding back along the Portway. I couldn’t resist stopping to snap a shot of our iconic suspension bridge. And our muddy Avon too. Bristol love!
I went on a ond-day reportage photography workshop last Saturday. I’d attended one on portraits previously and it had been a good experience. One cool thing about that portraits one was the way a handful of strangers came together one day and sort of bonded over the act of taking each other’s pictures. It’s a funny feeling, too, being the model. I went all giggly, posing in front of a tree with my hair gently wafting in the breeze, thinking ‘everyone’s focusing on me, weird!’
Anyway, the reportage workshop involved telling the story of a place through photographs. The place we’d be using was St Nicholas Market here in Bristol. I see St Nicks all the time, as I work near there, go the farmers’ market there, just really feel I know it. Well, of course photography is all about looking. Really looking. And so of course, you know what I’m going to say, I hadn’t really, really seen the market before, well not as well as I was going to see it now! (I also thought, how will we manage to fill all these photography sessions he’s got planned; surely we’ll run out of things to photograph? Well, amazing, they were easily filled and there is always something else to photography. Until you run out of steam and sit down for a coffee. And then you see more again from that vantage point. And so it goes. And on the walk home afterwards your eyes won’t stop ‘looking’! It’s almost an overload.)