Going into Manchester for lunch I noticed that the fountains were working again. This was taken after lunch when the fountains were actually on. Sadly it had clouded over. Before lunch I have a few photos of the same view with a lovely blue sky but not fountains. For whatever reason I’ve never taken a night photograph of these fountains. They would look even better close up with a very wide angle lens high up. Next time I’m in Manchester at night I’ll make sure I see if the fountains on and light up.
Photographs can haunt you and this is a good example of that. Back in the summer of 2008, I stood in this spot and took one of my favourite night photographs of London. With one flaw. There was a sign in the lower left side of the frame saying “Not safe for public use”. You can see this on my original Trafalgar Square Fountains at Night photograph here. As you can see they’ve now removed this ugly looking sign.
This time I put the camera much lower to make the statue in the foreground stand out more. I’m still not 100% happy with this new photograph. It was cloudy and I didn’t stay out late enough for the sky to get darker. Next time I’m in London and the sky is clear, I will get the version of this photograph that I have a clear picture of in my head.
This is a more complete view of the Albatross sculpture, showing the small enclosed harbour area behind the Wellington Rowing club and boat shed on the left. I like how still the water is in this beautiful evening light. The colourful lights behind the sculpture and to the right are installations as part of the annual LUX festival. The sculpture has been here since 1986 and I’m fortunate in capturing this as I didn’t want the sculpture’s own lights distracting from the LUX and city lights behind. There is actually flood lights underneath that make it glow yellow most nights but I didn’t want that colour tint.
Secondly, I was lucky as there are times when both the light and water aren’t on. Here I got the timing right and the fountain was on without the lights, just what I wanted. The sculpture is by artist Tanya Ashken and is one of her best known works. I found a great comment about this work of art from Francis Sutton “it’s curves evoke the flight of an albatross while the right angles remind viewers of the city nearby, the water falls intermittently and it falls softening the solid forms”. The shutter speed on this capture was 2.5 seconds to give the water that soft ghostly quality.
There are three parts to this image and it was an interesting challenge to try and compose this photograph to incorporate all three. The white sculpture on the right is the Albatross sculpture or fountain. I wanted to include footbridge behind and in the far distance Saint Gerard’s Church and Monastery on the Mount Victoria hillside.
The fountain in the foreground is one of many works of art on the Wellington waterfront. This was another long exposure photograph of 20 seconds at early evening. The bridge doesn’t always have these bright strip lights but this was captured during the annual two week LUX festival. You can see the blur of a couple of people walking across the bridge. The bridge and sculpture are only a few metres apart but the Monastery in the background is much further away.