Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Observatory Cafe

click photo to enlarge
I'd never been into the cafe at "The Deep" aquarium in Kingston upon Hull until a few days ago. Moreover, until we headed up to it I didn't know that it was called "The Observatory Cafe". When I got there the view of the River Humber, the River Hull, the waterside buildings and the distant shore of Lincolnshire, showed that it was well named. However, as I sat and drank my cup of tea, gazing down through the angled windows, and studying my surroundings, it occurred to me that it wasn't as well named as it could have been.

I imagine the architect envisaged diners looking out at the view and pointing out the passing river traffic. But, the days when this scene would always have had a ship or boat heading up or downstream are long past. The focus of shipping in the port of Hull is now downstream (left) of this view. One or two small craft use the River Hull, yachts and launches moored in the marina venture out at reasonably regular intervals, the occasional small vessel from the Port of Goole passes, and the docks that remain open upstream (right) of the view generate the odd craft. But the fish docks that would have sent deep-sea trawlers regularly past this point are virtually silent, and the smaller commercial traffic of the adjacent docks, has almost vanished.

There's nothing wrong with "The Observatory" as a name for this location, but it seemed to me that "The Bridge" (of either a trawler, a liner or some futuristic starship) was more appropriate. Looking at my photograph on the computer screen only reinforced this feeling. I was in two minds whether or not to turn this almost monochrome image into a black and white shot, but the blue/green tinted glass and the muted colours that just about make themselves felt gave it a quality I liked, so I stayed with colour.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 35mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/200
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: On