A Final Thought…..

I thought my post the other day would be the last for this year, but here I am New Years Eve with another quick one. Yesterday wasn’t too bad weather wise so I decided to take my eldest son, home for the holidays, to show him some of the street art which can be found in the Baltic Triangle of Liverpool. Like me he’s a keen photographer, wildlife is his passion, though.

Some see street art as a public nuisance, others describe it as a political statement, yet more will say it’s an individuals way of expressing themselves. Whatever your view of street art I think it’s safe to say that it attracts attention with it’s colourful, graphic designs. We spent a good 4-5 hours and covered just over 7 km walking around the Baltic Triangle, photographing the various artworks. I’m only going to show a few here as we need to start prepping for New Year. Hey! I’m a Scotsman. It’s an important time of the year for me.

I really do recommend that you click on this first photograph to see it in greater detail on Flickr. It’s made of from a series of photographs stitched together to form a panorama. It’s on the wall of a night-club.

Panorama

One of the great things I have found, as soon as you get of the main roads and turn down the side streets, there is very little traffic. So you can stand in the middle of the road and take time to compose your photograph.

New Bird Street

Colourful to say the least. I could have included so many photographs from yesterdays trip but time is running out…..

Street Art

……..and here’s the downside. I was at this abandoned skate park a few weeks back and I recognise that there has been some new artwork added. The other obvious clue is the spray cans left lying on the ground.

Spray Cans

Well that’s it. An unexpected post but sometimes that’s the way it goes…..Mike

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A Sign Of The Times!

Last weekend I was in Liverpool for a street photography walk organised by the guys from Shoot Mirrorless. This walk was different as it took me to parts of Liverpool I’d never been before. So let’s get on with the photographs. After all that’s what you’re here to see…I hope. Oh! I should mention the walk was around an area where there is a lot of street art, so you won’t see, apart from one photograph, any people this week.

And this is the one. I saw these guys working and with a simple gesture to my camera and a smile they were happy for me to take a photograph. For privacy reasons I have blurred the registration number of the vehicle they are washing.

Car Wash

On the streets there is an amazing amount of art. Some people would call it graffiti. What do you think, graffiti or art?

White

Between the wall and the pavement, sidewalk for my American readers, there are a series of these little paintings that you can see below.  They stretch for some distance along the street with a little figure appearing every so often.

Hello

I think everyone must have heard of Banksy, but if not here’s a link. Go read for yourself.

Banksy

I love this one. It’s one of a series that I found when we were walking around the streets in the Baltic Triangle

The Fox

The Hobo Bazaar, now that sound interesting, but where is it.

Hobo Bazaar

Great sign but no real directions……and there it was just around the corner

Hobo

I love this one. But there’s always someone who wants to ruin the scene with that odd bit of rubbish spray painting to the right of the artwork.

Coke

Another reference to Banksy and there’s one of those little ladies just below.

Steal a Banksy

Well that’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs. I don’t feel as though I spent enough time in the Baltic Triangle so it’s somewhere I’d like to revisit with my camera.

In Search Of Cilla Black

Yesterday I had to be in Liverpool for a very short meeting and whilst I was there I thought I’d go and see if I could find Cilla. Who, you might be asking, especially if you are not from the UK?. Cilla Black of course, long time friend of the Beatles, you must have heard of them, and a UK “pop star” in her own right.

Cilla was born in Liverpool and wanted to be an entertainer. She got a part-time job in Liverpool’s Cavern Club, made famous by it’s connection to The Beatles and her early performances impressed them. During the 60’s Cilla released a total of 37 singles and 15 studio albums making her the best-selling British female artist of her time.

Cilla Black

Unfortunately Cilla suffered a fatal accident and died at her home in Spain, aged 72. Her funeral was held in Liverpool and crowds lined to the streets to pay their final respects. During Cilla’s funeral The Beatles song “The Long And Winding Road” was played as her coffin left the church.

The statue of Cilla represents her 60’s look and was only unveiled on Monday the 16th January 2017. Paid for by her sons, it stands outside the original entrance to the Cavern Club, which featured so much in her early career. On the chequered dress are song lyrics, images and signatures Theres a little flower just to the side of her left foot and the statue is standing on a copy of one of Cilla’s most recognised songs “You’re My World”.

Speaking of The Beatles, just up the street from Cilla and almost opposite the new entrance to The Cavern Club stands a statue of John Lennon. Normally you can never get a photograph like this, because there are always tourists having their photograph taken with this iconic figure. Bot on a wet and miserable day in Liverpool and with Cilla not too far away, John has been left on his own. Good for me as I’ve been trying to get this photograph for some time now.

John Lennon

Have a look at the brick wall behind John, kind of interesting, isn’t it?

That’s it I hope you enjoyed this post – Mike

Fujiholics Liverpool Photowalk–Sep 2016

Saturday saw me in Liverpool for the Fujiholics Liverpool Photowalk. But with my Olympus E-M1 still in for repair I was using a 6-year-old Point and Shoot camera. Not the greatest camera in the world, with a poor battery life, but hey it takes photographs and being small is pretty discrete. But I’ve never really worked seriously with this little camera so it’s going to be interesting to see if I can get some half decent results from it. One thing though, there I am on Saturday morning, no camera bag, no heavy camera, with the advantage of total freedom. Now all I need are some good results.

Today I’m going to be using Black and White for my photographs and I’m starting with the reflection of one of the towers of the iconic Liver Building in the window of a restaurant.

Oh Me Oh My

Good start, but I’m noticing there’s quite a lot of noise with this little camera, especially in the darker areas but you have to work with what you’ve got.

Your equipment DOES NOT affect the quality of your image. The less time and effort you spend worrying about your equipment the more time and effort you can spend creating great images. The right equipment just makes it easier, faster or more convenient for you to get the results you need. – Ken Rockwell – Your Camera Does Not Matter, 2005

Tattoo Shop

What a strange photograph! The shop is in perfect focus. The two ladies are blurred, fair enough, but it almost looks like they are partially see through. I’m not knocking it in any way and if I tried to get something like this with the Olympus, I probably never could, unless I used a tripod and slowed the shutter speed right down which incidentally was 1/30 sec @f3.7

As we slowly make our way around a pre-planned route it’s inevitable that the large group we started with will break up into smaller groups as people stop to take photographs. That’s fine follow the map and you can soon catch up with everyone. But on these photowalks the route can be anywhere between 3 and 5 Km so come prepared

A photographer may not just walk the streets but he/she does a lot of walking, with a purpose, so the most important piece of equipment after the camera is a good pair of shoes. A writer can do a lot of work from a hotel room but a photographer has to be there, so he/she is in for a hell of a lot hiking. – David Hurn

SAM_3298-Edit.jpg

Telephones! Nowadays everyone is one the phone. You can get very close and they probably won’t notice you, especially with a little camera. But one of the things I have noticed, these are very flat, smooth. Probably because they are out of focus. Maybe I’m just too close to people.

On The Phone

Now this wasn’t intentional, because at the time I didn’t know I was getting poor results, but in the photograph below, it’s much more in focus and that’s because I was standing further away

Smokie Mo's

I like the one above. He started laughing and joking with me. He knew I was taking photographs but was quite happy for me to go ahead. Now this next one is the same. it looked so interesting and working on the principle of “if you don’t ask you don’t get” I went into the barbers and asked if it was ok. They were totally happy  to let me take some photographs and just carried on as though I wasn’t there, except of course they guy in the background who sort of started posing.

Haircut

There’s a lot of regeneration going on in Liverpool with old buildings being knocked down to make way for the new.

Regeneration

Finally I’d like to leave you with my only colour photograph of the day. . The bride knew we were coming and so a lot of photographers gathered to capture her and her husband when the emerged from Saint George’s hall. After the Pro Tog had done the official photographers we were allowed to take some as well.

The Wedding

Congratulations to the newly married couple. That’s it from me

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

I’m afraid this is going to be a quickie. I’m safely back from my trip to Germany and The Netherlands, Had a great time, got some amazing photographs but now it’s back to reality. Got to sort through all of those photographs and at the same time prepare for a talk I’ve been asked to give about some of the abandoned buildings I’ve photographed over the years. Meanwhile my beloved Olympus E-M1 has gone to Portugal for repair. It developed a fault whilst I was away, fortunately it didn’t compromise photograph quality but it means I will be using a small point and shoot camera for this Saturday’s Liverpool Photowalk. The good thing is Olympus have a great repair service. DHL pick up the camera, it’s sent to the European Repair Centre in Portugal, where it’s repaired, cleaned, usually within 10 days and then sent back to be delivered by DHL again. All done free under Warranty.

Anyway to this weeks challenge

Reflections

Reflection of a Liverpool city street from last years Photowalk….

Gotta rush – Mike

Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony

If you’ve ever read my About page you will know that I use the Olympus O-MD E-M1 camera and have done now for almost two years. Previously I used Pentax cameras but I found that my trusty old Pentax was getting too heavy to lug around. Maybe it’s because I’m not as young and fit as I used to be. Anyway, the Olympus suits me now and I’ve no intention of changing it in the near future. One thing I will say though;

I’m not into the whole Canon versus Nikon versus Sony argument. I leave that to others more suitably qualified. All you need is your eye and a camera; which doesn’t have to be a high-end DSLR with loads of expensive lenses to get great looking photographs.

Last Saturday, I had invited Sharon Jones, a fellow blogger, for her first ever street walk in Liverpool with the Fujiholics. Neither of us are Fuji camera users but that doesn’t matter. All are welcome and usually about 100-120 photographers turn up at the starting point. It’s meant to be a fun day out  walking the streets taking photographs and chatting to other photographers. So it really p!$$es me off when right at the start a “know it all photographer”, someone you have never met before, comes along and first criticises my choice of camera and then proceeds to tell Sharon how to set up and use her camera. I felt so embarrassed and annoyed. I’d told Sharon what a friendly bunch of photographers we were and the first person she meets acts like a total prat.

Anyway, enough of the rant. Let’s get on with the photographs, which are all from the Liverpool Photo Walk…….

Down by the River Mersey is the Ferry Terminal which takes you across the river to Birkenhead. Some of you may remember a song written by Gerry Marsden about the ferry, called “Ferry, Cross The Mersey”. Surprisingly, there are adverts at the terminal about a cafe dedicated to the Beatles but no mention of Gerry.

Fab 4

In Mathew Street is the famous Cavern Club. Well not quite. The original was filled in and a new one opened just a little further up the street. Opposite the Cavern Club is the cavern Pub and this photograph was taken outside the pub. Have a look at the names on the bricks.

Let's Talk

The docks are a very popular tourist attraction in Liverpool. I wanted to photograph something different so it’d a down low shot for me. Just as well it’s still winter or it could have got embarrassing.

Over the Bridge

Heading past the Everyman theatre walking towards “Paddy’s Sombrero” better known as the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral I spotted these three walking along, totally unaware that I was there.. For me it was the shadows that made the photograph.

Friends

Now at this point you might be thinking “what have these photographs got to do with Harmony?” It’s easy, don’t you see the relationship? As Ruth Bernhard so succinctly put it;

For me, the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny. Whether working with a human figure or a still life, I am deeply aware of my spiritual connection with it. In my life, as in my work, I am motivated by a great yearning for balance and harmony beyond the realm of human experience, reaching for the essence of oneness with the Universe.

Steps

A switch to some architecture now. The fire stairs caught my eye as we were walking around, in fact they seemed to catch the eye of everyone on the photowalk as we were all stopping to point our cameras at them.

Now this is one of those photographs I’m not sure about. Does it have any value? I  don’t mean monetary. I was think more along the lines of what does the photograph actually say. Is it intrusive? Or is it just a moment in time captured by the camera?

Cup of Soup

I shot this one from the opposite side of the street. Here in the UK you can no longer smoke inside public buildings. This includes, bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, the workplace. So you will often see people standing outside smoking. What I liked about this was the stripes. They show up so well in Black and White.

Smokin'

Those Fab Four again. You just can’t get away from them.

Fab Four Taxi

In the photograph below the girl on the phone is my main subject but she was being overpowered so to speak by the steps which where a very light grey. To try and balance this out during the conversion to Black and White using Google Silver Efex I did darken the stairs using the control points to turn down the exposure

On My Phone

This is one of my favourites of this series from Liverpool. In general I darkened the whole image except for the clock face and the words Oh Me Oh My. I really wanted them to stand out……

Oh Me Oh My

….and this is my other favourite. These two ladies had just come out of the pub  for a quick smoke. They saw me with the camera and just started laughing. It really was too good an opportunity to miss and they were happy for me to take their photograph.

Smile

The only photograph I have kept in colour. It’s so bright and would have been lost if I had converted it to Black and White.

Stag Party

Another cafe shot. I like the way they are laughing here.

That's Funny

Now then, all the way around the route for the photowalk we kept bumping into these girls and their friends. In the end I decided to photograph them. They know I’m doing it but don’t seem in the least bit bothered.

Keep Smiling

Emma and John. I wonder if they are still together?

Love Lock

That’s it from me this week. For Sharon’s view on the photowalk around Liverpool follow this link.

As usual, here ‘s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Witrian’s Photofolio Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony
Shots and Captures Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony
Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony – imyesterdaysgirl
Jake Kuyser Photo Challenge- Harmony
The Land Slide Photography Hawaii Five O
Chasing Serenity with a Lens Weekly Photo Challenge- Harmony
Ann Edwards Photography Weekly Photo Challenge – Harmony
Waterfall – Lauras Photos
Through the Lens of my Life New Beginnings
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Lights and Harmony

Weekly Photo Challenge: Connected

Another busy week, I’m only getting around to writing this post, even although I took the photographs last Saturday……..and there’s the first connection. All of the photographs for today’s post were shot on the same day.

See how easy it is to make a photograph or photographs fit a theme.

The Wedding

Last Saturday I was in Liverpool, just walking the streets, trying to capture some interesting photographs. Street Photography is so different from the landscapes I normally do, but it’s a something that I’m really beginning to enjoy.

After intensively exploring many genres over the last 30 plus years I have, in recent years, focused on Street Photography as an outlet for my photographic energies. Street Photography is somewhat of a misnomer as it can be practised anywhere people are photographed in the environment in which they are found. For some, myself included, being a photographer is as much a state of mind. – Michael Dubiner

I'm Getting Married

A lot of people go with their friends to Lennon’s Pub and the famous Liverpool Cavern Club which is a short walk away from here on the same street. It’s perfect for street photography. Just hang around and people sort of pose for you and best of all most of the time they don’t even register you are there. This lovely young lady was calling her friend to join her, seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

I love photographing people, especially tribal and indigenous people. Before I begin photographing I hang around a while to establish some contact, then work closely to illustrate the connection… – Rosanna Pennella

Here’s another connection. Well two actually. Both photographs are Black and White, one is from a wedding and this lady is on her hen night.

For those of you who don’t know what a “hen night” is here’s an explanation from an American linguist in the UK  who makes some  “Observations on British and American English”.

Mickey and Friend

Busted! She saw me just as I clicked the shutter. It’s not so obvious that I’m taking photographs because I’m shooting from the hip almost. I don’t hold the camera up to my eye or anything like that or press the shutter button. No! My camera is paired to my smart phone via a Wi-Fi link. My smart phone is in my pocket and I use that to fire the shutter on my camera.

The Gallery

I think you’re either going to like or hate the photograph above. I’ll leave you to decide….

Every part of the photographic image carries some information that contributes to its total statement; the viewer’s responsibility is to see, in the most literal way, everything that is there and respond to it. To put it another way, the statement the image makes – not just what it show you, but the mood, moral evaluation and casual connections it suggest – is built up from those details. A proper ‘reading’ of a photograph sees and responds to them consciously. – Howard S. Becker

I’ll leave you with this final photograph. Four young girls out on a shopping trip. Totally unaware that I had just photographed them.

Girls

Well that’s it. But I’ll leave you with a question. Is Street Photography an invasion of privacy?

As usual, I’ve included links to other bloggers who are sharing their connections.

https://thedailyblabber.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/connected/
https://mostlymonochrome.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/motorway/
https://kardzbykris.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/say-it-again-spam/
https://angleandviews.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/connected/
https://felixrsv.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/weekly-photo-challenge-connected-kolkata-hong-kong/
https://spiritualdragonfly.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/the-daily-post-photo-challenge-connected/
https://gottatakemorepix.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/wpc-connected/
https://belohorizontedailyphoto.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/wp-weekly-photo-challenge-connected/
https://maryloustone66.wordpress.com/2015/09/04/daily-post-photo-challenge-the-circle-of-life/
https://geriatrixfotogallerie.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/land-line/