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Tag Archives: Street Photography

HiVis Festival, Digbeth, 2022

The HiVis festival this year was at the Tea Works on Canal street. The wide open setting allowed for a range of Graffiti artists to ply their trade on the surrounding walls. I went to the festival with my family on the Saturday afternoon.

The graffiti painters were in good form as well, with many ready to chat with you and let you know what they were painting. All the walls were in action and several artists were already working when we arrived. Seeing Annatomix painting was a bonus. The family were keen to get back to the shops and I only discovered her working on her scorpion design on the way out. There were many different art works on display but due to timing, most of them were works in progress. I will go back later in the week to check out the finished artwork. Stay tuned. The queues for the children’s graffiti painting were slow moving and we did not get a chance for the grandchildren to try out some painting. There was just a high demand in that area and we will be ready for next year.

We loved the skate boarding and the energy around the place. The skate boarders were excellent and there was the opportunity to get up close and see them in action. There was a gap which the skaters jumped over before turning around on the ramp. All the skaters negotiated the RedBull Road gap successfully and there was also a rail to skate along as well. The boarders are very skilful and also fun to photograph.The HiVis event is organised by Graffiti Artist and I am already looking forward to the next event in 2023.

If you want to see my report on the HiVis festival 2021 then please take a look. All of my Birmingham Graffiti posts are popular and I love to support the artists’ work and the HiVis festival.

HiVis Festival, Digbeth, 2022
Welcome
Photographing Southampton

I always enjoy visiting a new city and I was excited that such an opportunity arose through my research work. The City was Southampton.  Arriving in the city via the train station, it is quickly apparent how much of it is new and there is little in the way of old pre-war structures.  Blechynden Terrace is one of several reminders of the German Blitz during WWII.  Whilst interesting, it was not in a great state and there was a large metal ring which held the wall together.  The ring was a memorial to the past but the park was neglected and a refuge for the fringes of society rather than remembering the past. 

Photographing Southampton
The arch in Blechynden Gardens is a memorial to lives lost in the Blitz on Southampton.

The Southampton civic centre features on many photographs of the city.  The buildings are set in a public area and serve several functions.  I did not have time to visit inside the Civic centre and made my way around to the Guildhall Square.  Next to the square there is what appears to be an old department store building called the St James Mathews Building.  It is owned by Southampton Solent University and the part that I liked is all the Street Art on the outside of the building with some of it being very colourful. 

Photographing Southampton
Walking upwards to the Civic Centre
Photographing Southampton
Graffiti around the Solent University

I only had small parcels of time to get any photography done and, on the morning of the meeting, I got up very early and went down to the Mayflower Park to see which cruise ships were in.  these floating cities are quite monstrous in real life, and one wonders how they float yet alone sail.  My pictures show the Spirit of Adventure in the early morning light.

Photographing Southampton
Spirit of Adventure in Southampton docks

The meeting finished early, and I had a few hours before the train home.  I walked down Portland Terrace setting off from the Civic Centre.  The street is very non-descript with a range of shops and facades that would make you think you could be in any city.  I passed through Bargate and discovered more of the old city wall.  There is the Arundel tower of the old city and the forty steps.  I particularly liked the statue of one of the former mayors of the city looking over the old walls.

Photographing Southampton
Passing through Bargate
Photographing Southampton
Looking over the City walls.

The next point of call was the remnants of the old town and the Tudor House and the church of St Michael the Archangel.  Another part of the old area of Southampton and although only small in area full of history.  There was a passageway that led down to the Pig in the Wall pub and other interesting artwork including the outlines of merchant ships Western Esplanade and memorials of the voyage of the Mayflower.  I was now back at Mayflower Park and saw another of the big ships was in with the Spirit of Adventure.

Photographing Southampton
A view of the Church of St Micheal the Archangel from Tudor House
Photographing Southampton
Pig in the Wall pub set in the old City walls.
Photographing Southampton
A view through the misty afternoon from Mayflower Park
Photographing Southampton
Watching the ships

Time to catch my train home and as I walked to the station, I passed derelict areas where planners of large shopping centres had not realised that a change of tastes and economy would make them quickly redundant.  Southampton is a city to visit but it does portray a history of a changing city.

Photographing Southampton
The demise of Toys R Us

Pictures were taken mainly with my Fujifilm x100v and Silver Efex was used for the black and white conversions.

If you enjoy the Photographing cities and countries series then here are a few links to get you started.
Photographing Royal Leamington Spa
Photographing Oxford
Photographing Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Finally there is always the Visit Southampton webpages to follow up any interest that I may have generated 🙂


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.


Mural Leamington Spa

I just love taking pictures of street art around the West Midlands. As a companion piece to my photographic walk around Royal Leamington Spa, this is a detailed look at the street art around the Grand Union Canal area.  There are several wall murals that are worth highlighting and many are curated by the Brink Street Art group.  Each is interesting and whilst I know some of the artists, the vast majority I am unsure about.  I have put down the Instagram link to Brink Street Art Group if you wish to find out more about these images.  I will update the blog to give the recognition to the artist and their mural so please contact me. If you are visiting Leamington Spa, then they are worth a visit to see.

Leamington Street Art
Those eyes!
Mural Leamington Spa
The pen is mightier….
Mural Leamington Spa
Almost Neon light eyes
Mural Leamington Spa
Cheese, cat and a mouse. @JulesMuck
Mural Leamington Spa
Balancing
Mural Leamington Spa
Across the canal.
Mural Leamington Spa
A pair of eyes.
Mural Leamington Spa
Crow in the moonlight.
Mural Leamington Spa
The beauty of swans.
Mural Leamington Spa
Colourful street art by N4t4

If you liked this then take a look at the street art in these cities.
Birmingham – Digbeth Art and Hi-Vis festival 2021
Bristol – Clifton to Bedminster

Some of the artists featured Jules Muck, N4T4, (to be continued)


Birmingham

I have been documenting the Lockdowns over the last year and we are a few days away from April 12th when shops will reopen. My last blog entry was all about Digbeth. I was interested to see what the city centre looked like and therefore, after taking pictures in Digbeth, I walked into Birmingham city centre.  As expected, It was quiet except for all the ‘Just Eat’ guys on the steps eating during their lunch break.  Their bikes were all strewn around the concourse overlooking St Martins church.  Other pictures taken on my walk included some headline photographs of the Electric Cinema looking sparkly from nearby reflections, trams and masks in Birmingham and the covering of the Selfridges store. Here are a few highlights of that stroll around the centre.

Walk to Birmingham
Walk a mile in my shoes
Walk into Birmingham
This is a cheeky street photo
Walk into Birmingham
Selfridges is slowly being covered
Birmingham April 2021
Texting but not just eating
Birmingham
More of the Just Eat Guys
Birmingham
Street
Birmingham
Just Eat again
Birmingham
Signs of the times

Do you want to read more about Lockdown in Birmingham
Birmingham Lockdown #2 – a visit to the Mailbox
Venturing into Birmingham

The custard fatoiry, Digbeth

Another of my regular visits to Digbeth found me taking pictures of a few of my favourite street art murals. I also got to see several new paintings as well.  Recent visits have been anything but normal and this visit was taken during Lockdown#2 and there were few people around. Parts of the Custard Factory were cordoned off only allowing access to Gibb Street. Parking my car in Floodgate Street I made my way through the alleyway over the river Rea to Gibb street. The area is always changing and I wanted to see The great reset by Gent48.  A van was parked partially blocking the mural but I was able to get a close up of it. The artist does capture the mood of the times with the phrase “the sky is falling down”

The Great Rest
The Great Rest

Following this I made my way under the arches and on the way captured several murals. The car park is empty at this time of the day so I was able to get a picture of the Spiderman mural followed by an old favourite Golden Boy. My list of photographs was almost complete but I had one more to do and that was the Black Sabbath mural in the car park by Digbeth Coach station. As I passed the station I saw how deserted it looked with no buses inside, I like the picture of the empty coach station as it sums up the Lockdown#2 atmosphere prevailing around Birmingham. All pictures taken with the Canon 5D markIV and my 24-70mm lens. I try to take different views of Digbeth, as it is so often photographed.

Digbeth Fazeley Street
Looking up Fazeley Street near to the start of Floodgate street.
The custard fatoiry, Digbeth
The Glory of Custard
Map of Digbeth
There are maps available part of the street art
Golden Boy on Hack St
Golden Boy on Hack St
Palm Oil equals...
Palm Oil equals…
Birmingham Coach Station Empty
Birmingham Coach Station Empty

I love the new features of Word Press and being able to play around with before and after images of the street art is great fun. My first go is with the Black Sabbath picture that is amazing street art by the Artist N4T4.

The positive and the negative of Black Sabbath
Spider Man Street Art
Spider Man Street Art, Trinity Street Car Park
Heath Mill Lane
Heath Mill Lane
Gent48 on Floodgate Street
Gent48 on Floodgate Street
Thinking about Rankin Roger
Thinking about Rankin Roger
Birmingham Screwdriver Factory
Down the River to the Screwdriver Factory
Street Art and Birmingham Icons
Street Art and Birmingham Icons

Further Browsing
Do you want to know more about Digbeth?
Visit InDigbeth for the latest news and views
Try my past blog on Digbeth Art as it too has some nice pictures and links


My way back to Temple Meads train station was long and tortuous.  I took pictures of the Clifton Rock Railway which is no longer operational but I saw the upper and lower part.  There must have been some interesting stories about the making and running of the cable cars whilst it was in operation. All that can be seen is the outside structures which are intriguing but lost in time. The upper and lower parts of the Clifton Rock railway are connected by the Zig Zag footpath. It is a steep tortuous path that offers great views of the bridge but is very steep.

Street level entrance
Closed but still has a history

I headed up the Avon River, pausing to take pictures every so often.  The north bank is very picturesque with its colourful houses on the hills. My first destination was to see the Banksy picture of the Girl with the Pearl Earring. It is hidden down an industrial alleyway and there are several scribbles on the wall where several people have commented on the painting.  The work has character and charm and you are drawn into the painting.  The paint drops caught my eye and the sweeping way that the brushstrokes link together. I was pleased to have seen it.

Underfall Yard
Looking northwards from Spike Island
View of the water

Then onto North St in the district of Bedminster where every street corner has street art associated with it.  I did not use my large Canon Camera as the area was a touch edgy and so my iPhone 11 served me well for taking the pictures of the street art.  The street artists are very clever with the expressions and detail of their creations. Personally I am a great fan of street art but I am not happy when I see some of the beautiful creations simply tagged with vandalistic paint. I hope the photographs that people take preserve the spirit of the pictures for others to enjoy.

Greta Thunberg
The Power of Women
Captivating
Imposing
Here’s looking at you
Suitcases on a Beetle
Fruity streetart
Archway
Unsightly tagging

Then it was back to the train station to leave Bristol and head home. A short stay but many photographic memories.

Bristol Temple Meads
On the platform

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

It is said that somewhere at the turn of the century, a horse and cart loaded with Treacle upended and the cargo split all over the streets. The treacle was immediately scooped up by the locals and the term “Treacle Town” literally stuck. Now Macclesfield is a thriving market town famous for many other important historical facts. In 2010, the Treacle Market was established on the last Sunday of every month and people travel far and wide to the market. It is a craft market with lots of energy including live music and street food. There is a large range of craft stalls selling many different often unusual goods. You can check out the web site to find lots more information. Treacle Market

We were visiting friends and the weather was inclement but that did not stop either the traders or the shoppers from packing the town centre. I loved the day as it was a gold mine for street photography and the collage is just a few of the many pictures I took. If you are ever around the area when the market is on then definately worth a visit.

Here are larger pictures of the above gallery