Friday, 15 May 2015

Belfast in detail

My eyesight is unhelpfully idiosyncratic - I'm quite shortsighted in one eye and quite longsighted in the other. By and large, the two eyes compensate for each other, but overall the equation balances out at shortsighted. It's too awkward a combination to wear varifocals, and I hate taking glasses on and off all day. So often I just don't see stuff. Much of life, in fact, looks better slightly out of focus.

But with a 100mm camera lens, I see things I never knew were there. The last couple of weekends I've been trailing that lens round my beloved home city, as you may have seen (check out Look upwards and The guardians). I've found a lot of metaphorical and literal angels in the architecture. What seemed like quite dour Victorian edifices are often decorated with bold and intricate stone carvings, elegant lettering and entirely whimsical details when you see them up close. 

Some of these details have stood up well to time and pollution. Some are well into the process of decay, but none the less beautiful for that. All lift the spirits. Every detail matters.

The Jaffe Fountain, Victoria Square

Imperial Buildings, High Street

The Scottish Provident building, Donegall Square West

The Crown Bar, Great Victoria Street

St Anne's Cathedral, Donegall Street

Central Library, Royal Avenue

The Garfield Bar, Lower Garfield Street

St Anne's Cathedral

Drainpipe, Donegall Square East

The Robinson & Cleaver building and the old Richardson Sons & Owden Linen Warehouse, now Marks and Spencer's, on Donegall Square North

Convent of Mercy School, Sussex Place

Gallagher's advertisement, Clifton Street

Imperial Buildings, High Street

Ampersand on the Marks and Spencer's building

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