Views 133 Unique 88
Vote 41
Award Shortlist   

Barney #6: The Silver Swan

By KingBee
If The Bowes Museum is the jewel in Barney's crown, then The Silver Swan must surely be the jewel in that of the museum itself. This incredible piece of 18th century mechanical engineering is normally a real crowd-puller but currently is undergoing renovation and restoration, so in answer to Moira's statement yesterday ("I hope you saw the silver swan in action!"), unfortunately, no, I didn't; as in, I saw it, but it wasn't moving.... On the plus side, the museum has commissioned a short film showing how the Swan comes apart, how the mechanism winds, the glass rods which rotate, and a complex repair of the Swan’s head and the fish it bends down to catch. In fact, this is probably the best way to see the Swan at any time, else it would be like visiting The Louvre in the forlorn hope of getting up-close and familiar with "The Mona Lisa".

I'll maybe put up a more detailed profile of the Swan some other time, but today's image was chosen to show this beautiful automaton in its entirety and for its light and reflections. I hope you like it.

Cheers to Kath for her UA yesterday, and thanks also for all votes and comments.

Tags: Still life County durham Barnard castle Teesdale Way The Silver Swan Bowes Mueum

Voters: gentry3951, IainHamer, elousteve and 38 more

Guest Editor's Award Readers' Choice Awards are given to photos that get over 30 votes

Regatta Offer: Save 15% on 'Top Picks' With Code TP15


saltireblue Plus
11 12.2k 76 Norway
24 Sep 2021 8:53AM
Fascinating, Bob.
Hope you don't mind, but I found a short YouTube video which shows it in action...there are several others of varying quality...

KingBee Plus
15 554 2 Scotland
24 Sep 2021 9:12AM
I don't mind in the least, Malc - the video conveys so much more than the still. Thank you for that. SmileSmile
Minty805 Plus
5 43 9 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2021 10:22AM
That's beautiful, Bob. The perspective, lighting and tones really come together. Shame you couldn't see it working, but at least it's an excuse to go back.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2459 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2021 10:51AM
Malc's got in ahead of me, there are several film clips available on line.
Lovely composition. Symmetry works here, and the reflections add to the mystery.
woolybill1 Plus
15 38 78 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2021 11:15AM
Well, I've seen it though in a bit of a hurry (trying to organise a group, some of whom didn't want to be organised) and at a fleeting glance I didn't think all that much of it; mind you, it wasn't in operation. You are changing my mind with this fine photo. It's the strict perspective, the richness of the tones and above all the inclusion of the reflections giving depth and breadth to the image.

cooky Plus
17 6 5 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2021 11:44AM
What a beautiful automaton and you have done an excellent piece of work capturing it Bob. Perfect symmetry and reflections and the lighting must have been a nightmare to get right. I am thinking the drive up to Barnard Castle is definitely worth it! Beautiful image.

24 Sep 2021 1:11PM
superbly done, Bob
and I’m seriously creeped out by the automation video 😱
manicam 17 44 1 Canada
24 Sep 2021 2:33PM
Fabulous low light image

KingBee Plus
15 554 2 Scotland
24 Sep 2021 4:12PM

Quote:the lighting must have been a nightmare to get right
Thanks Kath. I have to say, even although the 10-24 is a stabilised lens, I decided to take a few shots in the hope that one would come out reasonably sharp. Today's upload is the best (in other words, the rest were so-so.......)Wink
mrswoolybill Plus
14 3.0k 2459 United Kingdom
24 Sep 2021 6:58PM
Gets the award for the most magical upload of the day. And it's one where colour actually adds, rather than just being there.
A stunning image Bob and just as I remember this magical automaton from my visit years ago.
24 Sep 2021 11:58PM

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.