I’ve always tended to get up early in the morning but when I’m away from home I like to get out and explore what places are like as city life begins to wake up. Cities feel different at different times of the day and what I like when you wander around some cities in the early morning is that they sound so different, in the case of the Northern Quarter in Manchester you can heard quite a lot of birds, something that is totally obscured during the day. In some places you can even see some birds too…
There’s a new cafe in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, Ziferblat – it’s different from usual cafes, you pay for the time you spend there rather than what you consume.
“Everything is free inside; except for the time you spend”.
I didn’t have time to go inside on this trip, but I’ll be back.
We recently bought a grow-your-own mushroom kit from GroCycle, a social enterprise that has been growing mushrooms from waste coffee grounds. Despite how easy it looked on the website I was skeptical about how easy it would really be to grow mushrooms. Well it turns out it is incredibly easy and very satisfying. After just over a week this is what they looked like!
I took rather a lot of photographs in my trip to Manchester so I decided to split them into two posts. As I mentioned in the last post, it was pleasing to see the popularity of the street food market in Piccadilly Gardens.
I forgot about the ‘Monument to Vimto’ sculpture on south campus.
Of course, Queen Victoria is not only covered in pigeons, but also a traffic cone. There’ll be a few more shots from Manchester over the next week. I made a real effort this time to try and shoot scenes of the city to include people, something I tend to struggle with. I’m keen to try and capture more of the human side of the city as well as the buildings, streets and physical components. This is something I’m going to work on this year.
Even though I’ve now been working in Coventry for nearly a year I realised I’ve never really taken the camera out with me, and on our recently walk to check out Fargo Village I started to started to build what will inevitably be a growing collection of Coventry photograph.
The main square, with lady Godiva on her horse. The legend is that around the 11th or 12th century an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman rode naked through the streets of Coventry in protest over some taxes – and somehow it has become a symbol for the city.
As the academic teaching year draws to a close there is going to be a degree show, ‘This Creative City‘ to display some of the creations of the art and design students at the University.
Something I really value about photography is that it makes me look at places in more detail. I walk down this street nearly every day and I know the wall is covered in this ivy plant but it took until today with a camera in hand to really look at how the plant is taking over the wall.
This week I was back in Manchester for work and it was great to see the sun shining (not always the case in Manchester). I deliberately only took the 40mm lens with my Canon camera in an effort to try and make me see the shots that would fit the lens rather than just take pictures and worry about the framing later. It’s been a while since I’ve really had time to think about photography, or even had the to wander about in a city to take photographs.
There’ll be more from Manchester soon.
Since moving to Coventry we have been wanting to visit Fargo Village, a creative village close to the university. It describes itself as a ‘one stop Village for independent shopping, unique food, amazing coffee, incredible art all in amongst artist’s studios, creative workspaces and unique markets to boot’. Fargo Village opened last year and is still developing, but it is definitely a place to go and visit if you’re in the area. We headed straight for the Urban Coffee Company which not only does great coffee, but has some interesting ideas about room decoration, as you can see below.
Having this place down the road from where I work is great – and I look forward to seeing it develop as more of its gets completed and the creative hub grows!
In an attempt to explore our new home city we made a trip to the transport museum located in Coventry City Centre. A few of the exhibits were closed off on that day (an excuse to go back) but from what was there it was fascinating to see how various transportation vehicles developed over time – some of the early vehicles do not look comfortable.
We even had a patch of blue sky as we left too.
On another visit to Birmingham I decided to experiment a little by taking a few shots and converting them all to black and white. I’ve missed getting out into the streets for photography – there has been far too much work recently and not enough respite. This is something we are working on and hopefully there will be a resurgence of Oblique Exposure activity soon.
I’ve visited Birmingham more in the last few weeks more than I have in my entire life, and the visits are likely to continue. If you’re a photographer from Birmingham or know the area well, where do you like to explore?