A visit to Techniquest in Cardiff

As the school summer holidays entered their final couple of weeks, I asked the kids if there was anything they particularly wanted to do. The response took me by surprise: “We want to visit Wales.” Earlier this week I took it upon myself to fulfill this slightly surprising wish. Before heading on to Porthcawl for a night, we spent a morning in Cardiff where I took these pictures at Techniquest on Cardiff Bay.

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One of the displays at the Techniquest Science Centre at Cardiff Bay. That’s a ball of air slowly rising in a chamber of viscous oil.

It may seem like a very excessive wish to grant, but I was going to take the kids to visit family in Somerset anyway. We simply extended our stay by a day and ventured over the Severn Bridge.

Techniquest is, frankly, awesome. It’s a selection of science exhibits and they’re all interactive. It’s aimed at educating children so they can play with exhibits focused on the body, heat, air pressure and so on.

Nothing will ever knock London’s Science Museum off its perch as one the best attractions in the world, but its popularity is also its curse. If you go during school holidays it is heaving whereas at Techniquest, we were able to take our time and being much smaller, I didn’t have to worry so much about Helen and Izzy wandering off and getting lost (the other big difference is that the Science Museum is free to visit where you have to pay at Techniquest).

That aside, the picture above is one of the exhibits at Techniquest. It’s a ball of air that I pumped into a chamber full of viscous oil. The blue object in the background is one the cranes from the days when Cardiff Bay was a working dock.

The picture below is of exactly the same ball of air, It was simply taken a few seconds earlier so there are some differences between the two images.

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The same ball of air, taken just a few seconds before the image above.

Just to give you some idea how slowly the ball was moving through the oil, each image was taken with a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. I thought this was too slow and that it wouldn’t work. As you can imagine, I was presently surprised when I saw the results!

I will be adding this blog post to my favourite photography blogging linky, #MySundayPhoto. You can visit youself by clicking on the badge below. I strongly suggest you pay a visit, especially if you likre photography, as some of the imagery is superb.

 

Photalife

 

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26 Comments

  1. September 2, 2018 / 6:43 am

    Wow! I thought that was your lens ball thingie. That’s amazing. It sounds like a brilliant place to visit. Glad you had fun. #MySundayPhoto

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:07 am

      Yes, the image has confused a few people. Not a lensball at all. I merely thought it was a very distinctive photo.

  2. September 2, 2018 / 7:13 am

    I’ve been passed and often wondered what it was like inside. Your photos are great. Perhaps I’ll go in next time.

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:06 am

      Well why not Fiona? There are certainly lots of attractions to play with.

  3. September 2, 2018 / 7:20 am

    Fab photos and i hope the kids are happy now they got their wish to visit wales! #mysundayphoto

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:06 am

      Oh they were delighted to visit Wales. I think the highlight was the beach at Porthcawl but Techniquest was a very close, second.

  4. September 2, 2018 / 7:58 am

    I thought it was a lensball at first. I’ve only been to Cardiff for a speaking gig and never actually explored it.

    Have a good Sunday and thank you for linking up to #MySundayPhoto

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:05 am

      No, not a lensball on this occasion, but the effect is similar. Note, however, that the crane is not upside down as would happen with a lensball. No idea how the light refraction works!

  5. chantelle hazelden
    September 2, 2018 / 8:07 am

    That’s one clever photo and it sounds like a fantastic day out!

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:04 am

      Thank you Chantelle. I couldn’t believe how I could get a useable shot at such a low shutter speed but it worked!

  6. September 2, 2018 / 8:30 am

    What a fantastic photo. At first I thought it was a metallic lens ball. Sounds like a great family day out.

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:04 am

      Yes, it does look like a lensball and I thought it may confuse people. It was a brilliant family day out.

  7. September 2, 2018 / 9:02 am

    There is always so much more to Cardiff than I remember. This looks like a fascinating place to visit – and I love these images! #MySundayPhoto

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:03 am

      It was a great place to visit because there was so much for the children to do. Taking those shots was great fun. I had no idea if they’d work but I was pleased with the results.

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:02 am

      Oh the kids had the most amazing time. We killed a good couple of hours at least.

  8. September 2, 2018 / 9:39 am

    love these shots looks a wonderful place to visit

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:02 am

      Oh it is a great spot to visit, especially with curious children.

  9. September 2, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    Interesting shots. It’s always a shame the science museum’s always so full. Think Tank’s a bit better, but again you have to pay for that, and rainy days in school holidays are a definite no.

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:01 am

      Think tank is a new one on me but I shall check it out. The trick for the Science Museum is not to go during holiday periods if you can.

  10. September 2, 2018 / 8:00 pm

    Wow, these are brilliant images

    Mollyx

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:01 am

      Thanks Molly, glad you think so and thanks for stopping by.

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:00 am

      Thank you Merlinda, hope you are keeping well and thanks for commenting.

  11. September 3, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    the kids used to go to techniquest on their school trips, but to Bristol as we lived in England. i’ve not been to Cardiff for years, despite only being 40 miles from there when i’m in the UK #mysundayphoto

    • John Adams
      Author
      September 8, 2018 / 5:00 am

      I hadn’t appreciated there was more than one Techniquest. Helen and Izzy certainly loved it. We’ll be back!