Sunday, 22 April 2012

Not Just Belfast - Titanic Belfast

Though I've had this site up for almost two weeks, all I have to show for it is a single post that (only kind of) explains my hopes and intentions.  That's mostly because I am still trying to figure out the best plan of attack.  At this point in time, I must figure out how I'll layout the posts, what sorts of shots I'll allow myself to use (just tilt-shift or regular as well) and if I will also have video.  I figure most of this will be things I will figure out as I go.  I also have to decide on how I am breaking down the posts... my plan is to post different cities from the same country individually.  That means more information per location.  That's the plan, at least - for now. 

And now, for this post, I'm going to totally disregard that plan.  Today's post is on a very specific part of a city which will be featured in many more posts to come: Belfast, Northern Ireland, where I'm currently living.   When travelling, one can only get a basic understanding and a limited photographic approach to the places they are travelling to.  Living somewhere lets you get below the surface and break a city down into a few good tilt-shifted posts.

2012 is the centenary of the maiden voyage of the Titanic and the fateful collision that resulted in its sinking.  The Titanic was built in Belfast, a city known for its shipbuilding.  The Titanic sank on April 15th, 1912 and so, one week ago today a new memorial was revealed on the grounds of Belfast's City Hall.  A plaque with the names of everyone that perished, in alphabetical order so as to not discriminate by race, creed, age or wealth, was unveiled alongside a memorial garden filled with numerous types of flowers.  The flowers, in their diversity, reflect the diversity of those who met their end 100 years ago.  

"In Memory of those who died on the 15th April, 1912."

This memorial lists all of the names of the victims...the first memorial to do so.

This statue can also be found on the grounds of City Hall.  Called the Titanic Memorial Statue or Sculpture, it was unveiled in 1920.

"In the diversity in the fragrance and colour of the flowers of the memorial garden, may there be an acknowledgement of the diversity of humankind."

In that this year marks the centenary, Belfast also decided to open "Titanic Belfast"...a museum, of sorts.  The exhibitions are also referred to as the Titanic Experience, for it is a multi-media and multi-gallery adventure that takes you from the bottom of the building to the top (at one point you must clamber into an ancient looking elevator; at another point you take "an electric dark ride that uses special effects, animations and full-scale reconstructions to recreate the reality of shipbuilding in the early 1900s").  But this "experience" is so much more than just rides on things that resemble early 1900s equipment.  You get to see the detailed plans of the ship, the daily life of those who built it, back stories of the passengers (old and young, rich and poor), the specific messages radioed from the Titanic to other ships, and the other ships' messages back, and so much more.  I was extremely lucky to be living here when it first opened, and to get to visit it while the centenary memorials were taking place.

 Titanic Belfast
This is the first photo on this post, that isn't a tilt-shift photo.  I have decided to use photography that isn't tilt-shifted so long as I have some tilt-shifted shots from whatever country, city, state, territory or whatever it is I am writing about.

Back to the tilt-shifted photography.  Even the building resembles the Titanic.  The parts that jut out are supposed to be reminiscent of the hull and bow area.

This statue is called "Titanica."  It is located in front of the Titanic Belfast complex.

Here is a perfect example of the multi-media approach.  This video is of one of the exhibits, an attempt to create the illusion of a glass bottomed boat.  There are monitors in the floor (you can see me walking on them) through which they play a video of an underwater view of the Titanic wreck site.

The area where the Titanic was built is now home to two of Belfast's icons.  Dominating the horizon from many different points of view in Belfast are two massive yellow shipbuilding cranes, Samson and Goliath.  They were not around when the Titanic was built, but they stand as a reminder to an industry that once boomed in Belfast.  Also, they continue to be used on current ship repairs.


From a distance

From the Gasworks on the River Lagan (you can see both of them in this shot)

...And that is the past and present Titanic Belfast

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful banner at your site as well, I am reminded of some wall paintings by the Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, such as this one You browse more murals of his at