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Tag Archives: Brindley Place

Reflections in Birmingham

There have been many opportunities over the last couple of weeks to take pictures that rely on reflections. Surface water from all the rain leads to puddles on footpaths and pavements that are a good source for taking reflective pictures. Modern cameras have a flip screen that allow you to get low and take the picture without having to get too uncomfortable on the floor. The placement of the lenses has to be very low to take advantage of the reflective split. On the iPhone 13, the positioning of the lenses allows you to get closer to the water. However take care as in doing this you will find your mobile phone getting a little wet! Straight after the rain, I am always looking for a new angle for my photography using reflections from the water and here are a few examples. Most of them are taken with the iPhone camera. However during the visit to Upton House near Banbury, I discovered a very large reflective pool in the garden that provided a wonderful opportunity for a reflection.

Upton House March 2022
The reflecting pool, Upton House and Garden.
This was featured on the lunchtime weather news of BBC South.

There was some local and national successes with several of these pictures being picked up on Instagram by both National Geographic Traveller and BBC weather watchers. Some were successfully featured in local instagram pages. There are explanations behind all the images shown and whilst you are reading this blog post, I am still on the look out for reflections.

Reflections taken in Birmingham
Taken on a wet night in Birmingham looking up towards the Bullring.
This was featured on the Birmingham.City Instagram pages.
Reflections at Umberslade Estate
The line up of trees at Umberslade Estate becomes the perfect setting for a puddle reflection.
Reflections at Moor Street Station
Waiting for the train home and I happened to catch these puddle reflections which were perfectly placed for the picture.
Reflections in Birmingham
A classic view of the IKON gallery in Oozells Square. The “river” of water provides the reflection.
Reflections in Birmingham
A puddle in Gas Street Basin provides a great reflection. He looks like he is walking on water.
This was featured on the National Geographic UK traveller Instagram pages.

Brindley Place, Birmingham

If you see me walking down the street
And I start to cry each time we meet
Walk on by, walk on by
.”
Song and Lyrics composed by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Hal David

The following images should be viewed when listening to the song by Dione Warwick although there is the alternative version by Isaac Hayes which is worth a listen as well. These pictures were taken in Brindley Place, Birmingham using my 70-200mm lens on my Canon 5D IV. The rising sun casts a shadow against the brick wall and as people walk by it appears as if the shadows are making an arrow. Add in the bonus reflections and it makes for a superb place for street photography. Enjoy the following set of 5 pictures.


Regency Wharf

My first walk around Birmingham this year was an eventful photographic journey. The pictures were taken with my Fujifilm x100v.  It was a cold and sunny day. My walk was a circular route of my favourite photo spots including Snow Hill Car Park and the Jewellery Quarter. Of course I could not forget about the Birmingham canal navigation and I therefore included Brindley place and Gas Street Basin. 

Underneath the arches of Snow Hill Station
Underneath the arches of Snow Hill Station
Train leaving Snow Hill Station
Train leaving Snow Hill Station – lovely light from the sunrise
St Paul's Church
St Paul’s Church with the spire caught in the sun
Brindley Place
Brindley Place catching the light.
Entering Gas Street Basin
Entering Gas Street Basin from under the Black Sabbath Bridge.

The pictures taken in Gas Street Basin went down well and the picture of the reflections at Regency Wharf was long listed in ShareMondays2022 and shortlisted on the Fotospeed weekly competitions. 

Regency Wharf
Regency Wharf reflections.

There were other opportunities for pictures of reflections and I wanted to take those that are popular on the social media pages. People standing in the doorway of the Tap and Spile is popular. The white wall of Pierre Bistro is another one.

Gas Street Basin reflections
White shoes.
Gas Street Basin reflections
Walking the line.

After a refuelling with coffee at the Exchange, I went into the Birmingham Library.  The sunlight was strong for January and with it being a clear day you could see a long way.  I could see the Barr Beacon and the Clent Hills.  It was time to get back to the car and go home and the final part? A walk back through Centennial square and Chamberlain square finished off the walk nicely.

Terrace at Birmingham Library
A different view from the Terrace at Birmingham Library.
Inside Birmingham Library
Selective Colour on the Escalator in Birmingham Library.
Classic view of the BT Tower Birmingham
Classic view of the BT Tower Birmingham from the Library Secret Garden
Old and new view from Chamberlain Square
Old and new view from Chamberlain Square

My Fujifilm camera was on Aperture priority, ISO on automatic and I just moved between f/4 and f/11 depending on the light and what field of view I wanted.  Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Links
If you want to see more pictures of Birmingham then follow @igersbirminghamUK where I am one of the team that select photographs for our Instagram account.

More from my Blog

If you like my pictures then here is a taster of some of my popular posts about Birmingham

The Exchange meets IgersBirminghamUK
Moseley Instameet – IgersBirminghamUK
Digbeth, Digbeth – so good they had to name it twice


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.