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Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Posted 12/09/2019 - 16:42 Link
Hi all... was in Blackpool for work earlier this year, and tied it in with a talk at Preston Camera Club. Happened to pass Blackpool Pleasure Beach whilst I was there, on a pretty damp and grey morning. Was struck by many things: the patterns, the size, the scale of the construction, the man made-ness of it, but also the very fact of its existence. Literally 2 miles down the road, at the border with St Annes, the concrete and the metal suddenly disappears, and you're left with dunes, sand, and nothing else. Which Blackpool itself must have been once upon a time. So. This is a project about that. All K1ii, DFA 24-70, DFA* 70-200.

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All thoughts, observations etc. gratefully received as ever...

Posted 12/09/2019 - 18:16 Link
I like the abstract approach you've taken with the framing, 'stuff' seems sprout out from everywhere there and you've done a good job of calming it down a bit. The gap between Blackpool and St Annes was basically where Pontins used to be (closed a while ago and demolished more recently).
Posted 12/09/2019 - 20:45 Link
Really nice set. Like how restrainted the colours are, really capture the atmosphere of a overcast British day at the seaside!
Posted 12/09/2019 - 22:08 Link
Very nice. Love pictures with subdued saturation and high contrast.
Posted 12/09/2019 - 22:10 Link
5/6/7/9 grab me. Well done as always Bill
Posted 13/09/2019 - 21:36 Link
Thanks John, Dan, Ben and Peter... yes, a cold bleak wet May day...

John, useful info re Pontins... and thanks also for observation re “sprouting” etc... vmuch what I was going after... complete contrast to what’s down the road...

Cheers all

Posted 13/09/2019 - 22:40 Link
Great set!
Can we see some from "down the road", please?

The more I look, the more there is to see!
Posted 14/09/2019 - 14:19 Link
Thanks Roger... sorry, no pics from St Anne’s... dropped by for a quick walk, but not enough time for photog unfortunately...

Posted 14/09/2019 - 14:22 Link
Love visiting the coast when the weather's grey and overcast and looking for the less polished areas.

For me I think it all came about from listening to Morrissey's "Everyday's like Sunday" in my youth.

Gloomy Coast

Yours are a great set that really appeal to me.

Pentax KP + HD 18-50mm
Edited by rick: 14/09/2019 - 14:27
Posted 14/09/2019 - 16:56 Link
You have put Blackpool back on the map Bill. Top images as always.

Best regards
Inspiration is rarer than a plate glass camera.....
Posted 15/09/2019 - 16:57 Link
I am quite taken by this set, Bill. As a teenager in the U.S. (where I grew up), I went on several roller coaster trips with my mother, who was an active member of A.C.E. (American Coaster Enthusiasts - right, yes, such a club really exists to this day) and we'd spend full days riding the great 'woodies' (a roller coaster ain't a roller coaster if it ain't a woodie), from Massachussetts to the Rocky Mountains, joining up with other members. I remember counting @130 different coasters under my belt. And of course there was the biennial (or annual, I forget) A.C.E. conference - three days of conferences (historical, iconographic, sociological...) and plenty of exclusive 'ride time'. So amusement parks in general, and roller coasters in particular, are definitely my 'madeleine de Proust'.

And photographically, these are outstanding. The intricacies of 1, the opposition of the signs/tracks in 2, the otherworldly lines of 3 all convey the hustle and bustle of such places, even though they seem to have been taken in their empty, out of season state (maybe they weren't, but you've conveyed the feeling well). 5 & 7 reveal the beauty of the coaster structures themselves (my mother has a huge collection of slides - taken mostly while riding -that I hope she won't throw out before I can convince her to give them to me). 9 is so abstractly evocative I can feel the exhilaration of that first drop!

And these places are eerily beautiful when empty, as is suggested in 6 & 8.

My favorites are the coaster shots, but - as you now know - I am partial
Posted 19/09/2019 - 14:45 Link
Thanks Rick, Gary and Serge...

Rick, yes, I usually reach for the old “no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes” Billy Connolly quote when the weather’s like this... rather atmospheric in its own way...

Serge, thanks for sharing your backstory re rollercoasters... what a story it is too... quite epic... that’s quite a set of rides to have under your belt... happened to be out in California 15 yrs or so ago on a surfing trip, and a couple of our guys headed off to Magic Mountain for the day (18ish Coasters?)... sorry to say I didn’t go with them... am terrified of heights so tend to avoid them like the plague if I’m honest... but hugely impressed by those that are...

You’re right... these were out of season... a wet Thursday in May... and an emptiness that was quite magical... as you say, there is an abstract beauty to these structures, in a brutal, metallic kind of a way, and a fierce logic (mostly defined by gravity)... the first drop and its on/off relationship with oblivion...

Thanks for detailed thoughts as ever... much appreciated my end...

Posted 19/09/2019 - 19:08 Link
I think there are still two woodies at Blackpool, but the most scary was the Wild Mouse. I remember riding Star Jet at Seaside Heights many years ago, so sad to see it in the Atlantic after Hurricane Sandy.
Posted 19/09/2019 - 21:47 Link
thingsthatihaveseen wrote:
... am terrified of heights...

Truth be told, so am I. I can't even go up to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower anymore, nor ride a Ferris wheel, nor walk coastal paths that get any closer than 5 metres from the edge of the cliff (and that's if there is not a hint of wind). But roller coasters... oh yeah! I guess there's so much happening I don't notice the height (well, maybe a bit on the way up the lift hill, but the rest of the ride is just plain fun).
Posted 19/09/2019 - 21:51 Link
johnha wrote:
I think there are still two woodies at Blackpool

I know I've seen pictures of british woodies, but I can't remember where they were/are. All right then, off to the Roller Coaster Data Base.

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