Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Leaving of Liverpool

The Cunard Building being used as a giant screen

QM2 - a firework farewell
The Leaving of Liverpool

The last day highlight of Liverpool's Festival of the Waterfront (8-15 Sept) was the evening departure of the Queen Mary 2 - Cunard's magnificent star of their fleet. There were thousands lining the Mersey at the liner terminal - and the QM2, lit up against the night sky, looked spectacular. A firework display was Liverpool's farewell gift to the great vessel followed by the strains of The Leaving of Liverpool, Sailing, You'll Never Walk Alone and (ludicrously) Z-Cars. At the opening bars of this last tune the QM2 made her excuses with several blasts on the ship's horn (I think they call it a whistle - whatever it is called it makes a lovely, mournful sound) and began a gentle glide from her berth.

I watched as the great lady slowly sailed away and grabbed my last photos of the day. For the geeks my night shots were all hand held at stupidly high ISO and f5 - I had a tripod and all the necessary gear for remotely fired long exposures but there was no chance of setting it up in that crowd and the vantage point really needed to be much more elevated.

An unexpected bonus of the evening was the utilisation of the Cunard Building (the middle one of the 'Three Graces' - you know, the less 'showy' one) as a screen for Cunard images from past and present. I love it when images are projected onto buildings and grabbed lots of pics on the way down to the river. What a great evening - must find out when the next Queen will be dropping in.

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