Photo of the Day
Today’s image is from my current home city, Manchester and features Exchange Square and the Manchester Wheel in the evening.
Click to see a larger image:
Photo of the Day
Manchester’s city centre is surrounded by the Mancunian Way, a sometimes-raised motorway that consistently hums with a steady flow of traffic. It’s rare to find an hour of the day when there isn’t at least an automotive trickle passing along the road.
The photo below might then make you wonder what I was thinking by wandering out into the middle of one of the city’s busiest streets. Well, it wasn’t busy that morning – once or twice a year, road crews block off all traffic and perform maintenance. On just such a morning, I was able to wander along the now-clear street to do a bit of cityscape photography.
Despite knowing that I was essentially alone on the strip of road, my body remained tensed at being in a place it normally shouldn’t be. I feel like this shot was worth a bit of unease…
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While walking late one morning in Castlefield, I happened across some guys practicing parkour on the steps leading down to the canals near Liverpool Road.
I happened to be carrying a Nikon D3 and its nine-frames-per-second glory. A perfect (and lucky) match.
I got to talking with them and they were happy to have me do a few shots while they practiced their moves. They were rehearsing for a short movie one of them was making in which I eventually had a role. If you ask me, I nailed the role of “Man on Bench” and I was robbed when I received no awards.
But I digress…
I had never really seen anything like this in person before let alone photographed it, so I was in foreign territory. Looking back on it, there are a number of different ways I could have approached the situation, but I do find this method interesting.
Click to see a larger version on flickr:
The largest version is here.
With those nine frames per second blazing through the D3, I opted to follow the progress of this jumper without a tripod. I thought it might convey not only his movement, but also his movement within the environment. I’ve seen a lot of sequence shots with a stationary camera, but not as many where the camera is allowed to track the subject. I think either way could have worked and I probably would have played with both methods given the time and a more formal setting.
Putting this together in Photoshop is just a matter of getting all the individual photos onto layers, positioning them roughly and then masking off the bits you want to keep or discard from each layer.
Manchester Cathedral is one of my favourite buildings here in Manchester and I had already photographed it plenty of times (see my gallery of Manchester Cathedral images here). But with the opportunity to use new gear comes the opportunity to shoot old subjects in new ways.
Briefly armed with a Nikon D3 and a 14-24mm lens, I headed over to the Cathedral for a nighttime shot on a super-wide angle. Result!
To follow up on yesterday’s Photo of the Day post, I thought I would give you another view of the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.
This photo and the previous one come from an all-too-brief weekend in which I had the chance to use a brand-new Nikon D3 and a wonderful 14-24mm lens to accompany it. Nikon loaned the gear to the studio where I work so that the photographers could take a test drive. Now if only we had had the budget to drive it off the lot – it’s great equipment and I’d love to be able to use it more. The D3 lives up to the hype on the high ISO front and that 14-24 lens is gorgeous.
For today’s photo of the day, I bring you a bit of architectural photography.
The futuristic Manchester Civil Justice Centre is one of the many ambitious modern architectural projects that populate Manchester. This is but a glimpse of it – pull back and this pattern of squares and rectangles extends way beyond this frame and starts to resemble the armor-cladded side of a science fiction spaceship.
And that’s only one side of it. The opposite side’s massive glass front must badly confuse the area’s birds. And the ends of the building look like a massive glass and steel game of Jenga.
Some people think it’s weird, but I have a thing for old cemeteries. I find them peaceful and beautiful and I don’t analyse it too much beyond that.
The cemeteries in Europe easily trump the ones where I grew up in Canada – their age alone makes them more fascinating just because there is so much history. Not to mention that there just isn’t the same kind of craftsmanship exhibited in newer graveyards – the quality of the sculpture here far surpasses anything I knew in my hometown.
So, in Manchester, Southern Cemetery makes for a good place for me to visit as it’s expansive and filled with lovely monuments. I took my new camera out for a test drive there and I now have a gallery up showcasing the results.
Check out the photos here.
A little Christmas present I’ve given myself is some time to actually work on a few photos. This has given me the chance to put together this gallery of photos of Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. It’s a striking bundle of glass-and-steel angles and I imagine it’s a fine concert venue. I’ve never had the chance to take in a show there, but I look forward to getting the chance sometime. For now, I will content myself with gazing upon it’s fine exterior.
I’ve just posted a new gallery of photos. This time it is a big batch of pictures of Castlefield, the urban heritage park on the edge of Manchester’s downtown core (and a short walk from my home).
It’s one of my favourite areas in Manchester and not just because it’s close to where I live. Apart from the trains passing overhead, it’s a strangely peaceful place for the middle of a busy city. The canals filled with geese and barges are soothing. Watching the locks open and spill out their contents is a patient beauty. The sunlight bouncing from the water into the arches of the many bridges is hypnotic. And all the regenerated red brick architecture is especially pleasing in the brief moments when Manchester sits beneath a blue sky.
Add to all the sense of history that lingers at each turn. The Roman Fort’s remains, the canals, the warehouses and now the updated buildings all speak of different eras in Manchester’s past. It’s a treat to be in the presence of a past that lives on so visibly and has been so carefully integrated into the present.
Please have a look at the photos here.
Pick afros, purple speedos, gold glitter, rainbow flags and a huge party. The essence of a gay pride parade and Manchester’s 2007 festival had all of them. Though getting into the spirit of it all when you’re not dressed the part might seem difficult at first, (and I’m never really dressed for that part…), the celebrations and exuberance of the parade’s participants makes it easy to pick up a rainbow flag to wave.
Of course, the colourful characters make for some fun photos, so I have just put a gallery of some of the fun faces of the parade. Check out the photos of the pride parade here.
The former is still a practicing church in the middle of downtown, while the latter, just outside the city centre, has been transformed into apartments when it fell into disuse (and I would love to see the interior renovation some time in case a resident of the apartments is reading this and would like to invite me around).
I recently did a shoot for the Royal Exchange Costume Hire and since I’m so pleased with the results, I thought I would share a big batch of my favourite photos.
The day featured four great models each wearing gorgeous a Victorian dress. As if that wasn’t enough for a good time, our location was Manchester’s Chetham’s library (see my photos of the library here). As we explored each of the rooms available to us, we were more and more amazed by this wonderful building. It was the perfect combination for a great day of shooting.
Everyone involved deserves a big thank you and I would be more than happy to work with each of you again. I had a blast.
I have just put up a gallery of photos of one of the more unique buildings in Manchester, the Urbis exhibition hall. Interesting angles and curves abound, images of overhead clouds dance on the glass, and the imagination soars at being able to ski down that steeply-slanted roof.
My only potential qualm with it is that it seems a bit out of place surrounded by much older buildings. While a number of these have been updated (the Triangle Centre, formerly the Corn Exchange and now a mall and the Printworks, formerly a press building and now an entertainment centre) they haven’t reached the level of modernism of Urbis’ slope. And accross the way, Chetham’s school and the Cathedral must be wondering what this 21st-century structure must be doing in the same park as them.
But on second thought, that diversity is one of Manchester’s appealing qualities for me. I shouldn’t complain about old and new rubbing shoulders when I’m such a fan of both.
View the gallery here.
While I already have a number of photos available here of the exterior of the Manchester Town Hall, the building’s architectural wonders do not cease once you step inside. The first two floors of the building (at least the parts open to the public) make for a particularly good wander and I now have a gallery of photos of the interior to prove it.
A couple years ago, my wife brought two of her co-workers over to Manchester for a visit. They both worked in the city hall of the small city of Ichinoseki in northern Japan and they were blown away by Manchester’s building. I’m told they turned green with envy because the Ichinoseki city hall, well, it lacks some of the grandeur of Manchester’s municipal headquarters. Not that a Victorian Gothic building would make much sense in small-city Japan… Still, it’s nice when architects give the occupants of their buildings a treat.
I know it has been too long in putting these up, but here they are: a small batch of my first photos from Manchester. Believe me when I say I have a rather sizable bunch of photos still requiring processing and uploading.
Manchester is my new home and, in these first few months, it has been been good to me, photographically speaking. There’s plenty to explore here in terms of architecture and sights, the accessible countryside has plenty more to shoot and the number of events that make their way through here is formidable (the only limit is my cash and time!).
I wanted to be able to deliver a few relatively complete collections of photos before I started uploading, and while I could always shoot more shots of these fine sights, I now have a few solid and somewhat comprehensive collections of images to share.
Check out a few starter photos here and find lots more in the gallery:
I had a couple of errands to run near Manchester’s Northern quarter today, and having heard about the morning’s fire, it seemed a good idea to bring my cameras along. The blaze had been extinguished, but there was still a lot of fuss in the area.
Here are the photos from the aftermath of Manchester’s April 30th, 2007 Dale Street fire. A few more are available on my flickr stream.
Today’s the day I head off to Manchester to start a new chapter in my life. I anticipate being offline for a few days while I get my internet access sorted out, but when I’m up and running, I’ll be providing new contact info and new writings on my adventures in the UK.
I look forward to sharing more experiences with you, this time from England and beyond!