Fragmented thoughts…

Another diptych… this time taken on my smartphone, surprisingly they print up well so will feature in the next Beyond the Image exhibition as my contribution to the ‘Autumn’ theme – well, it rains the Autumn doesn’t it?

These are another pair taken at the water’s edge in Ipswich docks as part of my ‘Fragments’ series. Next time I hope to show some images from my Nikon FE & FM2n in B&W and /or from my Fujifilm GSW690III in color…

Oval Ring

Chain Links

Mooring Ring

Mooring Ring


Been Away Too Long…

In all sorts of ways and for all sorts of reasons my photography and associated tasks have taken a back seat – I have been prompted into action by both Tom, the happy Seagull and Martin, a fellow artist…

I tend to think of myself as an artist who uses photography rather than an outright photographer and of late have been suffering from a lack of ‘seeing’. Not that I have not been out with the camera, recce trips have featured in my itinerary searching out the Gipping Locks for winter image making when the foliage is less prominent and they can be seen…

At the moment the images I have been making tend to be in a square format and in pairs – diptychs? Well I don’t know, short series? Probably…

The first two are obviously waterside on the Ipswich Waterfront, fragments of what used to be…

The second pair are older images taken with my first digital SLR, a Nikon D70S, still have it, still a very good camera featuring as it does a CCD sensor rather than the ubiquitous CMOS in current favour. I still feel that the CCD is more sensitive but as it is more expensive to make has lost favour. Perched on a tripod in the passenger footwell of my departed ‘Bongo’ and using a remote to trigger long exposures whilst travelling on the M40…

I promise to make more regular contributions to our Blog along with Tom – watch this space!White Chain BTI Web

White Chain


Yellow Step BTI Web

Yellow Steps


Routes No2 Web

Routes 1


Routes No1 Web

Routes 2

Ipswich Maritime Festival

Our first visit with a purpose – to try and capture the vibes and atmosphere of the Maritime Festival as part of our Docklands project. In reverse order I will be posting some images that reflect my view of the day (pun intended!).

The climax of the day’s events is of course the fireworks display, now I must admit that this is my very first attempt at capturing fireworks and I was pleased with my results, here are a few to be going on with…

Maritime Fireworks C

Maritime Fireworks A

Maritime Fireworks B

Don’t ask about the technical details – it just seemed to work, taken on my Fujifilm X-E1 with 18-55 set at 18mm, using Trigger Trap App on my Sony Xperia Z1 Compact… between 5 and 10 second exposures, f11 pre-focused on infinity.

HMS Ganges – Entries and Exits

Another set from my Shotley Book – this time the ins and outs of the Navy school, now either locked or fenced off…

Boundary Access

Boundary front gate

Parts of the school perimeter are now overgrown and short sections of recent fencing hide who knows what – there is evidence of steps that were used by Boy Sailors to make their way to the waterside…

Boundary Bollard

Boundary Mast

Boundary No Fishing

The old jetty still remains, the site of embarkation for some who were not to return.

Boundary Jetty



Boundary Old gate

Peter’s Shotley Book – HMS Ganges Boundaries

A while ago I started putting together the beginnings of a book about the Shotley peninsula centred on the old Royal Naval training school ‘HMS Ganges’. The project has grown like topsy and I have decided at the moment to group the images into separate categories.

This first one in our blog relates to the boundaries of the old school – designed to keep 15 year old boys along the straight and narrow. There are two streams of thought – those who enjoyed being there and those who did not, there is a lot on-line about this contentious subject so I’m not going there just think that the images speak for themselves.

It’s very overgrown now and awaiting re-development, although the site has just changed hands again, the spectre (in developers eyes) of affordable housing has raised it’s head once again…

Boundary Marsh

In places there is the natural boundary of the river Orwell Martello Water tower

An old Martello tower, the remains of a long past war has been pressed into use as a water tower; now rusting away

Boundary Steel

The current owners of the site, not wanting to spend unnecessarily use whatever they can to keep people out these days, not young boy sailors in…

Boundary Post

In some places the old wrought iron fence can still be clearly seen

Boundary Garage door

In others an old garage door has been used

Boundary Pallet

or an old pallet

Boundary Dorm

I wonder how many ghosts wander the corridors of the old building at night…

Surprise visitor…

Most of you know that I’ve been busy lately, and apologies for no posts. I was sat having a sandwich at lunchtime yesterday the 3rd when I was surprised by an unusual visitor outside – sorry for the quality, it’s from my phone, against the light and through double-glazing….


Fragments Too

Original post December 30, 2014 By: Peter Ellis

As a newcomer and unlike Tom and Keith, I am still discovering the byways of Ipswich and the way things have changed. I am concentrating on the connection between the Docks and the railways at the moment and discovering more fragments of that association.

This set of images is about one of the links to the sidings that once served the docks and, I believe, a cattle yard. The bridge over the River Orwell is still there and a level crossing on Ranelagh Road. The connection south of Ranelagh Road is still obvious but the tracks that have been left on the north side took a bit of finding – now we need to find a way of getting a good view of the bridge…

Fragments Too 4

Fragments Too 6

Fragments Too 5

Fragments Too 7

Fragments Too 2

Fragments Too 3

Fragments Too 1

Tom Owens · December 30, 2014 Reply

Looking good Peter. You are well and truly into territory that is familiar to me. Underneath the railway bridge that goes nowhere is dodgy at the top of a spring tide. You will need wellies. Local knowledge. This bit of track attracts photography students from UCS, or has done in the past. Keep them coming.

Peter Ellis · December 31, 2014 Reply

Thanks Tom, I thought that it would be worth a visit – need to go back again armed with the RB67 methinks, a lot of potential in this topic.

My sister is investigating her contact at the Environment Agency so fingers crossed…

Tom Owens · January 1, 2015 Reply

Absolutely 6×7 subject matter IMHO. Good luck with the EA. Watching the docks from the orwellBridge does show one how busy it still is especially the grain shipments. The West bank looks to be very busy. I could not help but think of the North docks in Liverpool when I saw the pile of scrap metal. I worked in Gladstone Dock as a callow youth and it was a myriad of eastern products on import and booze by the shedload for export. Now it seems that the money is in scrap.

Keith Locke · January 2, 2015 Reply

Another good set of images Peter, it’s great to see all these wider views of the docks and the traces of the days gone by. We will have plenty to discuss at our next meeting.


Original post December 18, 2014 By: Peter Ellis

These images are the ‘Fragments’ of the title, small reminders of what was once a thriving industrial dockland environment. Although relatively new to Ipswich there are parallels in my home town of Swansea – once the largest port in the UK  Copperopolis. The change from a working port to a leisure based industry is fraught with both success and failure, especially in an economic recession.

These images show reminders of the rail network that was so important to the efficient operation of the Docks, moving goods in and out.

Fragments 4

Fragments 3

Fragments 2

Fragments 1

Ipswich has also seen and experienced these ups and downs and will eventually succeed.

Comments from original blog

Tom Owens · December 18, 2014 Reply

Good to see your work up here Peter. The railway lines were working when I first rolled up here and insufficient cargo gets transported form the current docks by rail these days. Perversely, IBC are talking of a new distribution centre at Sproughton with a new rail link. we will wait and see. I took some railway line images at the weekend on the ‘island’. I have a love hate relationship with them. I love to see them like this but hate them in the darkk on my push bike!

Peter Ellis · December 18, 2014 Reply

Yes, wet cobbles and spilt Diesel – the motorcyclists nightmare. I had to keep an eye out for passing cars and being splashed! Which part do you call the Island – you will have to show me some time, I want to get some images of the railway bridge on Wherstead rd as well…

Tom Owens · December 18, 2014 Reply

Instead of walking straight ahead towards the UCS building just after you photographed these submerged tracks, bear 20 degrees to Starboard and walk towards the Marina office leaving the dock on your Port side. That is the lump of excavated dock that borders on the new cut/Stoke Quay and the dock. This ‘island’ is earmarked for a new innovation park if and when the dock is bridged. It houses the grain shed in the gated area and the motor yacht sheds in the publicly accessible areas.
You can make one of your images a featured image so it displays above your prose. Call me if you want me to explain how to do it.

Peter Ellis · December 18, 2014 Reply

Aah – I didn’t realise you could go into the motor yacht shed area – all is clear now… cheers! Also I couldn’t find out how to re-size featured image, will give you a ring later…

Keith Locke · December 20, 2014 Reply

Great set of images Peter, the light on the rails, especially on Fragments 1 and 4 create enjoyable abstracts.


It was a very misty morning as I dropped Louise off at Manningtree station one day and as I had my Fuji X10 in the car I thought it an ideal opportunity to take an image or two at Mistley. I have always felt that the two towers needed something different…

Mistley 1

I wonder how many people realise what’s missing here, there used to be an Adams designed church in between the the towers, demolished to provide materials for a new church just up the road, before the days when we paid attention to our architectural heritage!

Mistley 2

Mistley 3

Mistley 4