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Tag Archives: Brindley Place

Gas Street Basin

Now I am back in a work routine, I take the opportunity to park in the city around 7am and stay until 8am just before the car parking charging begins.  I set myself an area to walk around and aim to come away with 4 to 5 pictures that I can use over the coming days.  These may be for my 365 project or pictures that I can post onto Twitter and Instagram.  Gas street basin is a changing place and there is always something to photography during a walk on the tow paths.  On this visit, it was very still and quiet and there was a hint of mist.  The water in the canal was so still that it provided perfect reflections for my photography.  I had my trusty Canon 5D mark VI and my ‘go to’ lens EF24-70mm with me.  Initially I did not think I would get particularly good photographs but then as I got down low I started to see the photographic possibilities.   

Reflections in Gas Street
The still waters reflect the buildings of Gas Street Basin.
Birmingham - new vs old
Showing the new versus the old in Birmingham
Gas Street Sunrise
Golden buildings in the sunrise

With the reflections of the buildings, I saw that there were many different views.  I took around 20 to 30 pictures and then carefully selected around 6 photographs.  A selection of 4 posted on Twitter took off with many likes. At the last count it was over 20 thousand views.   I see so many excellent pictures of Birmingham and I am not here to say that mine are any better.  These pictures are my own personal view of the area and I am pleased that they make people happy.

Brindley Place
Venturing into Brindley Place for the reflections of the canal waters

The celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the Birmingham Canal Navigation Network took place during the first weekend in November. I took Sandy and Noah, my grandson, along to see the flotilla of boats that were to parade around the canal network passing by the NIA onto Brindley Place and the Mailbox. I am not sure what it was like 250 years ago but Saturday was cold. Luckily the rain held off and there was some occasional sun but it was a case of wrapping up ward. When we arrived there was little activity taking place although there were a few boats moored up on the bank. We made our way to Brindley place where there was a drum trope called “Someone at the Door”

They were very energetic and enthusiastic. My grandson loved the drumming and rhythm so much so that he was tapping his feet in the pushchair. After asking Peter, a nice Canal and River Trust representative what was happening, we knew that we had to head up the Old Canal Line where the boats were getting ready for the off.

The boats are getting ready
…..and they are off.

As the boats made their way into Birmingham there were sounds of hooters and bugle horns from the boats. There was much excitement as they reached the National Indoor Arena where they paused to let the boats go through in an orderly parade down into Brindley Place.

A short pause
Then we are off again
A few more boats head of for Brindley Place
Going another way and I spy a photography friend on the tow path.

I loved the personalities and this is captured in the pictures that show the people involved in the flotilla.

Playing the Bugle
What’s happening?
Checking all is going well
It could be 1769

Sadly it was getting cold and we had been there a few hours. We had other engagements to move onto so it was a few more photographs and then time to leave goodbye. However I do know it is not going to be my last time to join in the celebrations of the BCN 250th Anniversary but that has to wait until another post.

Traffic jam on the water
Water taxi
The Library of Birmingham looks down on the boats
The colour of the boats
The detail on the boats

Oozells Square is just off Brindley Place.  It is a relatively new square and has a faceless RSB bank on the south side with the elegant IKON gallery on the North side.  Either side are a couple of restaurants which have their charms and are enjoyable places to dine the night away. The square is pleasant and whilst not unique does showcase the IKON gallery rather well.  For a few weeks in April, the square comes into its own with Cherry Blossom.  The trees erupt in bright pink and it is an attractive sight.  The flowering attracts most photographers in the area and I happen to one of those photographers that waits for this moment.  This year I wanted to be different by experimenting with a range of in camera methods.  I used several techniques including Intentional Camera Movement, Zooming and Double Exposure.  As an added bonus my iPhone picture was featured in the BBC weather bulletin that evening.

The cherry blossom in Oozells Square. The only downside was the dull skies.

This was using a Zooming technique on a 200mm lens

A double exposure using the original photograph and a larger picture of the IKON tower

This is using an upward Intentional Camera Movement

Picture taken on my iPhone for BBC weatherwatchers

And it made the 6.30pm BBC weather bulletin as well.

It is cold in January and as I was in the City for an evening meal, I took the opportunity to take a few pictures around Gas Street Basin and Brindley Place in Birmingham City Centre.  In a highly photographed area of the City, it is a challenge to take pictures that offer a different perspective of the area.  As I wandered around I did not realise how cold it was and it reminded me to get some special gloves that cover the hands but allow you to use the camera controls.  When I got to meet everyone in the restaurant, my hands hurt as the blood began to recirculate.  At least I had some pictures to look back on and some of them looked worthy for entry into my blog.  The majority of the pictures were done on a manual setting and I used railings and walls as my tripod.  It is difficult to balance the bright neon lights and some of the pictures were cropped to remove the distracting glare.  I enjoy night shooting in the city and I will miss the shortened days as spring is around the corner.

Broad St Canal Tunnel

Window patterns over the Broad St tunnel

Strolling and Cycling along the canal

Colours of the Mailbox

Brindley Place

Towpath to the Mailbox

Neon lights the way

Reflections

Under Broad Street

I had great fun photographing the Dragon Boat Racing in Brindley Place Birmingham today.  Lots to see and do.  It was also possible to get close to the action allowing me to get some close up pictures.  There were Romans, Star Wars, Egyptians and Disney Characters amongst the crews.  There was even a capsize of a couple of boats but I missed that unfortunately as I was checking my pictures.  Lesson learnt 🙂   It would also be good to get involved with it as well.