I was in town earlier: cold, damp; in a word… yuk. That sort of rain that isn’t heavy, but it goes on and on until everything’s sodden. That sort of cold that isn’t freezing but combines with the rain to lie heavy on the spirit.
The sort of weather that black and white photographs exist to record, basically.
I recently went on a photowalk around Ancoats in Manchester. I don’t know the area very well, so I wanted to get a series of pictures documenting an (almost) first-timer’s impressions of a new area. It’s a simple fact that Ancoats is somewhat run-down, but the late evening light lent a lovely soft quality to the area and helped to enhance the many bright colours to be found. This is not just a region of dingy old buildings – there’s beauty and interest to be found anywhere.
I’ve been doing a bit of walking around the backside of Manchester recently for my final project at college. Following the Bridgewater Way gives you a new perspective on areas that you thought you knew well. Distances change, for example – a long-ish journey by road is actually quite short along the towpath; five minutes by tram becomes half an hour on foot.
What you also see from these alternative paths are some stunning examples of the graffitist’s art. The illiterate scrawlings that pepper the well-travelled areas bear no relation to some of the stuff you can find in these out-of the-way places. Who would have thought that this sits underneath the A56 in Stretford:
Lovely, vibrant colours and sense of joie-de-vivre. It has no point other than to exist, and maybe bring a smile to someone’s face and the secret knowledge that you’ve seen it, but all those thousands passing a few feet above have no idea.
If this project’s done nothing else for me, it’s persuaded me to explore the back ways and byways much more than I have before. You never know what little gems might be out there.
Spotted in Bradford-on-Avon, I liked this image for the texture and colours. I also like to incorporate a bit of biology into my urban pictures (where possible), hence the deliberate inclusion of the tree to help break up the slightly boring right-hand side.
Since I’m hoping to get on a photography course in September, I thought I’d post some of my favourite photos.
I came across this little chap in Frankfurt a few years ago. Apart from the great design of a functional object, I just liked the way it appears to be hiding in the entranceway, waiting to leap out on some unsuspecting passer-by. It’s interesting the way we so quickly anthropomorphise just about anything.
Nikon D70 + 18-70 f3.5-4.5 @65mm; 1/80 @f4.5, ISO 200