Loading...
Search

Tag Archives: igersbirminghamuk

Hi-Vis-Festival, Digbeth 2021

From my social media feeds, you would think that the whole of Birmingham was at the Hi Vis Festival. The date was released with much anticipation and then the BBC Midlands today programme ratcheted up the excitement several notches more by featuring Panda of Graffiti artist talking about the festival. Big Artist names were released and social media was overflowing with comments about the weekend activities.

Hi-Vis-Festival, Digbeth 2021
n_4_t_4 and his astral traveller. Loving the blue colours and the reflections

The festival was held over the Saturday and Sunday in September 2021. I could only make the Saturday which meant that I would be viewing much of the artwork in its early stages. Still that means another visit later in the month to see the finished artwork. Visiting Digbeth always provides photographic opportunities and the Hi Vis festival was no exception. On arrival my first stop was at Milk street where a few artists were working. Surprisingly one of the bouncers at the local club asked why I was taking pictures. I must have looked suspicious! I moved onto Floodgate street – so many artists out painting the walls. People walking around, hen parties, loud noisy cars cruising and street artists. Many of them were intent on what they were creating and were happy to have their photos taken. The street was full of cars but they made for great reflections.

Moving onto Gibb street over the gangway that spans the river Rea. More people plus music and generally great vibes. There was so much to describe and taking pictures with the camera was on overload. Skateboarders provided a gritty backdrop to the arches. Seeing the artists close up and watching them work allowed you to get a good perspective of their approach. Watching @cryola1 paint a vibrant portrait was a highlight.

As you walk into Gibb street, you enter the heart of the Custard Factory and boundless energy is pumped around the cafes and shops. Weddings are taking place at the Old Library and people out enjoying the sunshine. I walked around the arches onto Heath Mill Lane and caught a picture of Panda on his scooter! Thanks to Panda and his team bringing together such variety of street art onto the streets. On Digbeth High Street, there were many more artists painting walls and billboards. Just great to see them in action. I moved back into Floodgate street and saw other well known local artists such as n4t4 and Snub 23 painting. I know I have not credited all of the street artists but I can add names if requested. There was a focus of activity down Little Ann street and there were several artists working including I.am.sprite with her mural of Tiny Roar.

Hi-Vis-Festival, Digbeth 2021
I.am.sprite with Tiny Roar

Ladders and even mechanised platforms were being used to ensure that the painting quality was enhanced. I find it amazing that the street artists are able to keep the bigger picture in mind whilst painting the smaller details. The Pop Art nature of the pictures is a colour frenzy and stand out against the old factories that are a feature of the Digbeth architecture.

Hi Vis Digbeth 2021
Hi Vis festival by plague

Overall the walkaround was very enjoyable, I met several friends, people were friendly and the atmosphere lifted the spirits. There will be a post script on the Hi Vis Festival and all the finished pieces of street art when I get the chance to get down there again. It you are interested in street art then there are a few other blog posts on the street art that I have done including Digbeth Street Art and Digbeth, Digbeth. There is also some pictures of the Bristol scene which I visited in 2020. As you can see, it is a fascinating subject.

Postscript – Digbeth High Street and Selfridges

As I moved back to the car, I thought to myself, “let’s spend 5 to 10 minutes looking around Digbeth High Street” which will include a few pictures of Selfridges in its high visibility cladding. The high street is making way for the tram so it is being dug up. The traffic was stationary and there were pink reflections in the car windows. I was unable to capture the scene well and made do with a couple of pictures of Selfridges.


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.

Sign in Black and White for Moseley markets

Instameets are a great way of meeting fellow Igers photographers. In the virtual world it is difficult to discover the person behind the handle. There is nothing better than an Instameet to bring people together and share photographic stories. There have been few opportunities to venture out on photography meetings during the lockdown period. Now the restrictions are eased, it is possible to hold such popular get togethers again. Igersbirmingham has been running for many years and the latest team put together the successful IgersbirminghamUK group. The UK tag is so that we are not confused with our sister city in the USA 🙂

The meeting was held when the Moseley Farmer’s market opened up for the first time since the easing of Lockdown. The meeting also gave everyone the chance to visit the park and pool which opens up at the time of the market. The start and finish were at the Cuban Embassy pub on Wake Green Road. Two of the IgersbirminghamUK team, @nickywarwickshire and @james_never_Jim greeted us on the pavement outside the Embassy. James set out the plans for the morning and the team had prepared a pamphlet for the Moseley Instameet. There was a brief history of the market, Moseley Park and Pool together with a map. The all-important hashtags were printed out for sharing our pictures. After all the introductions and a catch up with old and new friends, it was time to explore the market.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Three yellow jackets
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Coffee is served

Moseley village is said to be one of the most popular places to live in the country and it has lots of energy. The market was bustling, with people queuing up for bread, cakes and other many foodie goodies. In the triangle next to the junction of the crossing most of the stalls were food orientated. Taking place at the same time is the Moseley Arts Market which is on the opposite side lining up along the Alcester Road. There were several craft stalls, which included jewellery, paintings, photography, books etc. The coffee shops were doing well as people chatted and watched the world go by.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Browsing the Artwork in the Market
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
The Arts market is on the other side of the road with the entry to the park.

Then we walked into Moseley Park. Last week, I remarked that I had not been up the Malvern Hills and this week I find myself visiting a new area of Birmingham. Having driven along Salisbury Road to work, I have passed this place countless times before, so I was very surprised to find this hidden oasis. There are several outbuildings including tennis courts, artwork from Lucy McLauchlin and a 200-year-old Icehouse. It did rain but luckily there was some tree cover, and the passing shower did not spoil the walk around the pool. A very quiet and peaceful place to visit.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Moseley Park and Pool
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Sheltering from the rain
#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Moseley Pool

It was a good contrast for the photography meeting. On one hand there was the hustle and bustle of the Farmers market with the Art market providing an alternative experience on the High Street. Then there was the quiet period of reflection around the pool and the park. I did not have my telephoto lens with me as there was a heron who was looking for fish. There were several other good opportunities for wildlife photography.

#igbuk_meet_moseley with #igersBirminghamUK
Enjoying the peace and quiet

Two hours sped by, and it was time to say goodbye and head home. However the lure of the market pulled me back in and I came away with some nice writing books for the grandchildren, a range of Pip’s sauces for the Sandy to use at the next BBQ and two gingerbread men. My present was an evening editing and putting together the Instameet story. I have missed the IgersbirminghamUK meetings taking place in and around the City. Now the COVID19 restrictions are removed, I look forward to many more. A big thank you to the IgersbirminghamUK team for organising the meeting and good to see so many people taking part. Please follow the @IgersbirminghamUK team on Instagram and keep a look out not only for their Instameets but also the next Moseley Farmer’s and Art’s markets that take place.

Hashtags for the Instameet were #igbuk_meet_moseley and #igersBirminghamUK
Please look them up on Instagram for some more amazing pictures.

Photography approach

I took my Fujifilm x100v to the meeting and this allowed me to me ready for chatting with fellow photographers but also able to catch candid shots. Being with other photographers allows you to relax more as you take the photographs. Even then I was still a bit apprehensive with my shots! I also like to see what other people see and then photograph. Even on the reviewing of the pictures under #igbuk_meet_moseley meeting tag, I see some “knockout” photos and think if only I had taken that one! That is the fun of the Instameet, seeing how others take a picture. My editing was to go Black and White for the Farmer’s market and then colour for the Park and the Pool. I noticed that the logo for the Art’s market had blues and reds in the logo. It opened up the opportunity for some selective colouring included a bit of yellow. Did I have the right camera with me? Yes I did! Should I have brought other cameras with me? Yes I could have done but the truth is I am happy with the pictures that are published here.


View of the City May 2021

Queensway is a busy arterial road in and out of Birmingham so there is always a high volume of traffic thundering along the tarmac.  With my telephoto lens and 24 to 70 mm lens, I went about taking different pictures of an area that is already very familiar to me.  New building projects are always happening in the city centre and the area between the Cathedral and the Canal was an old factory site.  It has been repurposed into city dwelling flats that are being built close to the canal.   

The area is also a magnet for different kinds of people and as I was taking pictures, I was hassled for money, so I quickly moved on.  It is something I am wary of when I am in the quieter parts of town.  I know that I do have to be careful of my own safety.  Still the lure of  taking a few photographs around the buildings on either side of Queensway won through.  I took pictures of St Chad’s Cathedral and also with my telephoto lens up past the Snow Hill buildings.  After that I made my way into town for a lunch time meeting. 

Parking on the top floor of Selfridges Car Park opposite the store provided skyline pictures of both the City and Digbeth, and the skyline bridge linking the two is always fun for a picture or two.    I love the new covering on the Selfridges which is being put in place whilst they replace the discs on the outside.  The covering is designed by Osman Yousefzada,who is a multi-disciplinary artist working in association with the IKON gallery. the pink and black geometric shapes are in contrast with the grey architecture.

It was a day of sunshine and showers and whilst I was outside there was a terrific downpour. 

This then led to the bonus of several puddles for a bit of reflective photography.  The puddles around Selfridges are still there and lend themselves to some nice reflections of the building as it is being renovated

On my way to New Street, there were other interesting images to capture including the queue outside Zara and the photographing of the Electric Cinema.  I lingered around the reflective roof of the entrance to New Street Station. I also took a few pictures of the trams passing through which is something you have to do when in Birmingham. 

So enjoy the pictures and it is good to see Birmingham as it emerges from the pandemic.  The only down side is the weather which is atrocious rain and so unlike May.


Christmas Tree - Great Western Arcade - Birmingham

There are many lovely Christmas trees around Birmingham this year. They are more prominent as they are not competing with other decorations or events where there are crowds of people such as the German Market. However, they do look lonely as the numbers of people in the City centre are down and the Christmas trees are left to look after themselves. I have taken pictures of those trees I have seen on my travels including the one in Knowle where I live. Merry Christmas Everyone and hope you have a lovely time over the next few days.

Christmas Tree - Victoria Square - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – Victoria Square – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - St Paul's Church - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – St Paul’s Church – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - Great Western Arcade - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – Great Western Arcade – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - The Bullring - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – The Bullring – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - St Phillip's Square - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – St Phillip’s Square – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - St Phillip's Cathedral - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – St Phillip’s Cathedral – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - Mailbox - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – Mailbox – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - Mailbox - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – Mailbox – Birmingham
Christmas Tree - Knowle - Birmingham
Christmas Tree – Knowle – Birmingham
Umberslade Park Treeline

The days before Christmas are a time of waiting and getting ready. It is a strange time this year and the weather is not helping the mood much either. Whilst the rain has left the ground waterlogged, it has led to some lovely puddles lying around. These provide excellent reflections when I am out and about with my camera. This series of photographs are from my visit to Umberslade Park. There is a dramatic tree lined drive that provides varied opportunities for pictures. It was very wet and there were some rather large puddles which led to some good reflections in the water.

Reflections in the water
Reflections in the water
Tree line at Umberslade Park
Black and white tree line

It is possible to get some nice symmetrical views with the trees lined up down into a hollow. There is a bridge where the Stratford upon Avon train line sits. It is possible with timing to frame the picture so that there are people standing underneath the bridge, whilst looking down into the hollow.

Umberslade Park - trees and railway bridge
Umberslade Park – trees and railway bridge
Looking up at the tree line
Looking up at the tree line

My recent upgrade of the Dxo Nik processing software allows me to play with River Efex Pro. Therefore many of these photographs have been processed into black and white which fits the sombre weather of the day. The walk is nice and easy as you can park at the Tanworth in Arden village entrance and then walk down towards the bridge then onto the Children’s farm. After passing the farm, I walked straight up the hill to the fringes of the Umberslade Park.

Up the hill at Umberslade Park
Up the hill at Umberslade Park

This part I had not discovered before and there are two pillars which are possible remnants of gates. From here there are good views of the Warwickshire countryside from the elevated part of the park.

Views of the Warwickshire countryside
Views of the Warwickshire countryside

Walking back, I decided to vary the pictures by using my Lensball. It worked well in all the puddles and gave some interesting views. Hope you enjoy the pictures and I will return when the leaves are back on the trees. I suspect it will also be a good place to visit when there is fog and mist around.

Lensball reflections at Umberslade
Lensball reflections at Umberslade
Under the bridge with a selfie in a Lensball.
Under the bridge with a selfie in a Lensball.