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Tag Archives: Chamberlain Square

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row

By far the most popular venue for the #keyofthecitybrum was Birmingham’s newly built skyscraper, 103 Colmore row. On the 18th floor, there is a south facing viewing platform that provides amazing views of the City’s major buildings.  When the Key started, Instagram was inundated with pictures of the City of Birmingham from this platform.  Many of these pictures were excellent and circulated by the social media team at 103 Colmore Row.  I left my visit to the building till late July and wondered how I could do a different picture from the platform.

Arriving in the foyer of the building with Nicky Warwickshire, my photo companion for the day @nickywarwikshire, we were met by Touwa, one of the volunteers for the Key to the City Brum.  Touwa welcomed us to 103 Colmore Row, Birmingham, England. He explained that the newly built building was a 108-metre tall 26-storey commercial office skyscraper.  We were going to the 19th Floor and above this floor is the soon to be opened restaurant on the 24th floor. We were not going to the viewing platform but to a floor that provides a 360o view.  The floor was empty, and I was able to get pictures of buildings such as the BT tower and the Rotunda.  I even did a panorama to take in the skyscrapers.  It was also possible to capture views of the people visiting who were fascinated with the views.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Admiring the view
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Panorama of the City

My different picture?  I got down low and framed the top of the BT tower in the frame of the windows.  I was pleased as I had got a different view which still conveys the sense of height above the city.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
A different view of the BT Tower
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
My picture on BBC Midlands Today

Finally a few more pictures showing the colours of the City for the Commonwealth Games taken from the 19th floor of 103 Colmore Row.

Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Looking over the City and beyond. What can you see?
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
Colours on the pillars.
Key to the City Brum, Fierce Festival, 2022, 103 Colmore Row
The view with everyone’s favourite the BT Tower.

My Journey with the Key
If you wish to review my journey then I have published all my visits on my blog as follows.


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


Gratitude public art

This amazing exhibition of sculptures pays tribute to the sterling efforts of the NHS and key workers during the pandemic.  The 51 sculptures, each with their own unique take on the days of the pandemic, is on tour around the country.  The first stop was Chamberlain Square Birmingham.  Several artists came together to illustrate each sculpture with a particular theme.  The overall creative ambassador was Dame Zandra Rhodes and there were many different art organisations collaborating on this public art project.  Much of the information is on the Gratitude web site.

The sculptures from the Gratitude public art.
The sculptures from the Gratitude public art.

We had tickets for the August Bank Holiday.  Arriving in the square, the sculptures are placed towards the back.  They are arranged in rows and have a mirrored backdrop.  The challenge was to take photographs that no one else had taken.  I had previously looked on social media and seen all the different variations.  I enjoyed the story telling aspect on each Sculpture.  I want to say statues but that would not do justice to the explosion of art that is on view.  They are fun to wander around and see people’s reaction. 

Gratitude Public Art
Faces of Lockdown or “The Boris Johnson Sculpture”

The Faces of Lockdown referred to as the Boris Johnson statue is an immediate favourite although there are many others included Hans inspired by the Clap for the NHS and my personal favourite Creative Resilience which features a dancer, and her stare is penetrating, grabbing your attention.So here is my photographic record of Gratitude and I have put a caption with each picture to provide a background to the experience of seeing the sculptures. All pictures were taken with my Fujifilm x100v

If you found this post interesting then please visit my account of In Memoriam by Luke Jerram which was exhibited near to Aston Hall

For more information about Gratitude please visit the following pages. There are several websites includint the official Web site, Wild in Art and NHS charities together.

Gratitude public art
There is genuine excitement and interest in the stories behind each sculpture.

This series of pictures features Birmingham centre just after the clocks have gone back. Why is this so important. Sunrise for the next couple of weeks is around 7 am and that is the time that I get into Birmingham. When I took these pictures, I did not have any theme attached to them as I just felt like I needed to stroll around the city and see what is happening.

A lone figure in Victoria Square

There is a fair amount of change happening around Birmingham. This includes the next phase of the Metro tram linking up between Grand Central and Broad Street. There are also many new buildings going up around Chamberlain Square. So many changes happening. I then moved onto Gas Street Basin and caught the light from the early morning sun.

The view to Centennial Square with a lone figure

It was only when I reviewed the pictures that I noticed a figure in each of the pictures. Maybe it is the same person that was following me around the city as I was taking photographs. Whoever he/she or they were, they do add a point of interest and a story to the pictures.

Looking towards the mailbox with a lone figure
Looking towards the sunrise