Saturday 28 November 2015

Suspens(tion) over.

Five weeks ago, I wrote about a clandestine mission to take a photograph for a competition being run by our regional group, the South West Alpaca Group, and of course couldn't say where we'd been. Well, today at the AGM the results were announced, and above, you'll see my entry. As you can see, it is a public place, but adjacent to a built-up part of Bristol, frequented by dog-walkers, joggers and cyclists. There is no on-road parking close-by. We wouldn't take our pregnant or nursing females, or our older un-halter-trained females, and so it was the two young males, who have been to a few shows, but I wasn't going to risk spooking them with dogs off-lead in such an open area, with a cliff near-by! So I took a look at Google Earth and Street-View, and reckoned I could pull onto the grassed area with the trailer - if we went early on a sunday morning, there would be few dog-walkers or traffic wardens, and hopefully we'd be out of sight of the bridge security cameras, and so we planned to leave home at 7.00 to arrive at sunrise, around 7.45. As usual, it took longer to round-up and get away, so we arrived at 8.00, on a calm but dull morning. With the clocks about to go back, and the weather about to turn, we had to get on with it - the boys are too muddy for photograph modelling at the moment.
Knowing the area reasonably well, I had a vision for the photograph that I was after, and so we pulled up the grass bank, which was steeper than it looked on Street-View! There was no-one around except a few cyclists, so we dropped the ramp, Joy got into an uncharacteristically professional photographer pose, and I led the boys to my chosen site.
We tried a few positions, as it's a long bridge, and we needed to be close enough to gain full impact - we also needed the boys to be looking the right way, after all, it was about alpacas, more than the bridge.
Eventually Joy declared that she had enough 'in the can', and we headed back to the trailer as the first dog-walkers were arriving.
I had considered Glastonbury Tor (difficult access, plus too many people), the Pyramid Stage at the Festival site, Wells Cathedral, and Cheddar Gorge. If there is another competition next year, they are up for grabs. I had half-expected to see Durdle Door, Stonehenge, the Tamar Bridge, or the Cerne Abbas Giant.

I can reveal now, that the picture that I entered (top) was runner-up to a picture by Mark Steele at Salisbury Cathedral - well done Mark, and I did like the pictures that Mark took with everyday icons, like the post box, 'phone box, front door and road crossing. It was a good challenge, and carried out carefully, you can show the public how 'versatie' alpacas can be - and get yourselves some good promotional photographs (or Christmas card material).


  1. Great blog Davd and well done, I look forward to next year`s competition!

  2. U wuz robbed! Great photos for the Christmas cards though. Shirley & Robbie