Wander around for a while with – if I may use the phrase – a photographer’s eye, and you’ll start seeing things in a new way. They’ve always been there, of course—indeed, you probably pass them every day. But once you start to really look at things, your mind form associations beyond the mundane. It may be an element of humour, it may be a connection with something apparently unrelated, or it may just simply be an ‘aha’ moment. Continue reading “Sentinels”

The Lowry – an appreciation

I mentioned in my last post that I rather like the Salford Quays area, so today I took a trip up there again and had a wander around The Lowry.

I credit The Lowry with sparking my interest in, and appreciation of, modern architecture. I had long felt that the only worthwhile buildings were old(er), either because I was impressed by the feats of engineering using ‘primitive’ methods or the obvious pride the builders took in their constructions.

Continue reading “The Lowry – an appreciation”

Salford Quays

On the last day of 2012, I went for a walk around Salford Quays. This is an interesting area to visit, since it changes quite rapidly. For the last ten years or so, it has been subject to extensive re-development, from a run-down area of old docks to its present form as the home of the Lowry Centre and the BBC’s new studios at Media City UK.

Continue reading “Salford Quays”

First frost

This morning was the first of the autumn where the temperature was below freezing when I got up. A clear sky, morning “golden hour” light and a beard-like covering of frost on everything – what more does a photographer need?

Roof tiles

Table and shards


Shot on a Nikon D800 with Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens. Processed in Adobe Lightroom 4, using Kodak Porta 160 NC emulation presets from

Autumn rainbows

Not – I hasten to point out – the refraction-through-a-raindrop kind. No, these are rainbows that have autumn as their root cause.

As the amount of daylight decreases and the atmospheric temperature drops, one class of trees protects itself from excessive water loss by shedding its leaves. Prior to shedding, though, the leaves undergo an amazing transformation – one that everyone knows and that everyone looks forward to as a sort of reward for putting up with the loss of summer (assuming there was a summer to lose).

Continue reading “Autumn rainbows”

Decisions, decisions

Colour or black and white? Black and white or colour? Most of the time, this most fundamental of rendering choices makes itself. There are subjects that naturally lend themselves to black and white photography and others that demand colour.

Occasionally, though, I find myself torn. Even comparing both, I find that I still can’t choose which I prefer.

Continue reading “Decisions, decisions”

The Colours of… the seaside

Among my fondest memories of childhood are those summer days spent in Margate on the Kent coast. The seaside was a magical place, especially when the sun shone brightly – hot sand between your toes, bright, whitewashed buildings, getting soaked on the water rides. Ice cream, candy floss and sticks of rock. And over it all, the raucous din of the fun fair: the rumble of the roller coaster puctuated by delighted screams as it began its vertiginous descent, the clangs and whistles of various rides, all overlaid on the background chatter of thousands of happy people.
And then you grow up and you start seeing the peeling paint, the tattiness of the souvenirs, the world-weary cynicism of the owners of the rides. And yet… so what? Isn’t that the glory of the seaside, that it can be a bit tacky and yet be a source of fun and a good day out? The next time the sun shines, get down to the seaside – forget the grown-up ennui and buy an ice cream, kick your shoes off and paddle in the sea. Wear a ‘kiss me quick’ hat and go for a ride on the ghost train. Remember, for a while, the simple of joys of being a child…