It is one of the symbols of Manchester that has been photograph thousands of times by thousands of people, but I wanted to get something a little different for a poster campaign I have been working on for my University coursework. After going out hunting for light trail long exposures at night I ended the night by taking the camera off the tripod to show a friend what it would look like without the support of a tripod. Shooting hand-held I knew it would be blurred – I guess sometimes blurred is best. Needless to say my tutors loved it.
It has been very changeable weather here in Manchester over the past seven days and this photograph is a testament to that. Last weekend at the BMW F1 event I was able to get some half decent pictures of the cars in good light. Five minutes later there was a large storm that came over, with lightning and some of the heaviest rain I have witnessed since Cockermouth.
It was great to see the water bouncing on the tables, so I took the camera out of my backpack (whilst safely under cover) and took a couple of quick grab shots at 200mm. The vibration reduction really did a good job here keeping the surface of the table nice and sharp. The blue tint was added in Photoshop to give the photograph a little more dynamism.
From my living room window you can look down on the top of a street lamp (because the flat is on the fourth floor) and on Saturday night it started snowing. It was amazing to sit and watch the wind blow the snow in all different directions. It is a very large window (almost floor to ceiling) and whilst sat there I saw this photographic composition in my mind. Grabbing the tripod and camera I was able to position the camera as close to the glass as possible and frame the picture as I saw it in my mind. Using a cable release to remotely trigger the shutter reduced camera shake. Once everything was set up I switched off all the lights in the room so this didn’t reflect off the glass or get into the camera. Then it was just a case of going back to watch the wind.
It was fantastic to be photographing snow and night in the warmth of my flat, sat on my sofa! Experimenting with exposure times and different apertures, I even set the camera to open up the shutter for 146 seconds (currently my longest exposure time on this camera). The above photograph was taken when I decided that the perfect settings were 3 seconds at f/5.6. With these settings I took over 70 photos and this was my favourite. The snow catches the light really well and because of the different wind speeds and directions it makes the whole thing look more like a firework than snow. Unlike the majority of photos on this website it hasn’t been cropped, or had major colour enhancement in Photoshop. The only thing I did was resize the image down to display on your monitor correctly.
Last Saturday was very wet, windy and with dull lighting. We drove down the coast to the village of Aberdaron, but it was so windy we could hardly stand up straight on the beach. Driving over to the north side of the LlÅ·n Peninsula to Nefyn the weather was a little calmer and I took the above photography as an interesting coastal detail. We were stood at the top of a hill looking down to the beach where over a dozen fishermen were setting up to go fishing, this little piece of rope seemed worthy of a photograph. It’s the type of coastal or seaside details I really enjoy both photographing and looking at and I am very much looking forward to getting a nice big print of this to put up on the wall of my flat.