I've lived in Bristol for over 30yrs now, and its only through my photography that I've found the true beauty that the city holds. We live such busy lives at times, that we don't see what truly beautiful sites we have around us.
The city has seen much change over the time that I've spent here, some for the good of the city, some which a few think has been a waste of money. Our park and commons, are a few of the places, which has survived and is cared for by the city.
The common sits on the edge North East Bristol. The road that runs along the edge of the common, use to have Frenchay hospital on the other side, by the design of the old buildings, the hospital was originally a US hospital during 1942 that sits in the grounds of a Georgian Estate, which started life as a tuberculosis hospital (Frenchay Park Sanatorium) in 1921 and then was handed over to the Bristol Corporation in 1931. Before the hospital closed in 2014, it was one of the major brain injury hospitals in the UK that covered the South West. I myself had a number operations carried out at the hospital and it was great to get out of the ward and go to the cricket pitch that sat alongside the road with the common on the other side. The cricket pitch was often used for as a helipad for urgent medical care, and I would be amazed at these helicopters landing and taking off.
The common sits proudly in front of Frenchay Parish Church, also known as St John the Baptist, which in its graveyard holds the graves of servicemen of WWI and 6 of WWII. It has a beautiful cross with Chris at the side of the church and sits in the grounds with beautiful trees of different descriptions.
I've photographed the church a few times, but you have to arrive early in the morning to have the small carpark empty that sits by its side, and also has a school alongside it.
With the drone, your able to fully appreciate the common and church and its surrounding buildings. It obviously was a wealthy area to live in, by the design of the huge houses around the common, but it's a natural beauty of the place that has been kept, yet the hospital has now been taken away and lays bare for new housing to sit on its site.
Blaise Castle Estate.
Blaise Castle sits on the site of the Blaise Castle Estate which has its mansion house sat at the end of the estate. The folly castle is grade II listed, and the word 'folly' transcends to the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs, so it shows it was an extravagant addition to the estate that sits high on a hill of the grounds, which looks over the Bristol Channel with Wales in the distance. It has rich woodlands and a small lake in the valley, that attracts locals for walks and picnics and a great location for photography.
I've only been able in the pass to photograph the house and woodland from a distance, and the gradient of the paths leading to the castle and woodland is too much for me in my chair.
Thankfully, the park estate allows flying of drones and small remote control plane, so I took up the opportunity to go one early morning before sunrise to capture the landscape, castle and woodland.
The Drone has not taken over my photography, even though I have done more with it than my camera of late, but it allows me to put a new view on theses places that has been photographed so many times, but not from above so much. You can make technology your friend instead of your enemy, and use it as part of your tool kit. Confidence in flying is something you have to learn first, before you take to the camera aspect of the drone.
Drones are becoming a big part of technology and has so many uses, which are being used by the emergency services and search and rescue as one aspect, to budding film makers in combination with normal cameras with both producing 4K video. Photographer's like me, are seeing the potential of drones, but with so many in use, there is the worry of the skies being filled too much with them. Sadly drones have been used for criminal purposes and this has made authorities look at who and how drones are used. They can be dangerous in the wrong hands, as some try to fly straight out of the box without looking are the regulations that have been set out. This might lead to extra cost to fly drones or use them from a hobby point of view, rather than from a commercial use that cost to get on top of the cost the drones, which are not cheap for a descent one. But till then I will carry on using my drone and have a bucket list of places that I want to visit and photograph.
To see some images taken click Here.
To see videography taken click Here.