The tallest building in Belfast is the Obel Tower which was opened in 2011. By New York standards it is hardly a skysIcraper at 85 metres (28 storeys) but it is the tallest we have in my home City & as a photographer I am always looking for new perspectives to capture images of the City. So when I was given the opportunity to get onto the roof of this building to watch a beautiful sunrise, I obviously couldn't resist.
I don't really have a head for heights, I even kept my eyes closed in the glass fronted lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. However my desire to get the shots meant I was determined to get up there and get the job done!
I arrived at Tower 1 on a crisp Saturday morning at 7.30 and got the lift to floor 28. The access to the roof is via a short vertical ladder through a small hatch - so with camera bag & tripod secured to my back - up I went.
My first views of the city were, well literally, breath-taking. I have lived in Belfast all my life but have never been able to see it from this perspective before. The shape of the roof means that you are first presented with a view straight down Belfast Lough, with the Scotland Ferry terminal on the left and the Odyssey, Titanic Building & the H&W cranes on the right.
The sun was already starting to rise a little higher above the horizon at this stage and the colours were wonderful and constantly changing.
I set up the tripod and starting shooting panoramas of the Belfast hills from Black mountain to Cavehill & then the Odyssey & Titanic Quarter. A layer of mist hung over the hills in places & this just added to the shot.
As the sun rose a little higher I moved my attention towards Strangford Lough & the views towards Scrabo Tower in Newtownards. There are a couple of lovely shots of this vista in my collection.
All the while the sun was slowly rising higher & when I turned my attention to the South across the rooftops of the Victoria Centre & the Waterfront, I was met by a stunning view of the Mourne mountains bathed in the early morning soft light - so once again I took both individual shots and panoramas of this which you can also see in my collection.
Unfortunately the best conditions for this photo opportunity were now over - known as the Blue Hour - you catch this at the first and last light of the day. So tripod and camera packed up, I descended the ladder & returned to the ground...... Enjoy my images.... I'm already looking forward to my next trip to the roof!!