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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Another Year Has Gone……I’m Getting Old

It’s nearly the end of the year and I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite photographs that I have taken throughout 2017. It’s hard to choose though but here goes.

January started off blustery with some high seas. It’s hard to believe from this photograph that when the tide goes out I can walk around the base of this marker which is probably about 30ft high. Our tides are quite high at times; combine that with an on-shore breeze an there is potential for flood damage. That’s why we have some very large sea defences. This marker notes that underneath surface there are large rocks, the first part of our defences, positioned to break up tidal surges.

January

February saw me in Chester Cathedral which I had been meaning to visit for some years now, but just never got around to it. The cathedral is very large inside and I was thinking about how to show the scale. So I was really please when one of the clergy cam and sat down right in front of me. If you look really closely you will see two other people, but they are lost in the scale of the cathedral.

February

In the UK we are lucky to still have many of our stately homes in good preservation order thanks to the National Trust, of which I am a member. Although tripods aren’t allowed, photography is is permitted and so I’m able to get some great photographs from inside the houses I have visited. I like this one with the table set for dinner.

March

Back in Chester, this time on the streets on a cold, wet and windy April’s day. With horrible grey skies, street photography seemed the best option. A bit of Black & White, some extreme HDR and there you go….

April

Warmer climes in May, beautiful sunny Lisbon, Portugal. Walking away from the tourist paths I came across a series of street art, that was on doors, the sides of building, even the streets themselves. This one caught my eye, although to be honest I could have included any of the ones I photographed that day.

May

I am extremely luck that in summer time the sun sets out to sea. This can make for some great “big sky” sunsets. Yet in this case, here I am in town, with the sun starting to set and so I decided to go for the silhouette.

June

July caught me chasing sunsets again, this time at Talacre and the lighthouse. Only this time I was trying to capture some long exposures which give the clouds that blurred look and the sea looks as though it has gone flat and milky.

July

When I knew I was going to be visiting the South of France I was determined to get to the Museum of Photography in Chalon-sur-Saone. August was so hot with temperatures in the 40’s centigrade. far too hot to be walking around. Inside the museum it was like a sweat box but I was determined to stick it out and see the exhibits.

August

One of the things I like about Olympus, as well as the cameras, is that they run experience days, where Olympus users can get together with Olympus experts, to ask questions, borrow equipment for the day and usually get some good deals as well. It give you a chance to meet other Olympus users who are likely to be local to you area as well. So in September we were on the Llangollen Railway which is a heritage line running here in North Wales. Apart from the weather, a great day out as we had access to areas that, such as the workshops and signal boxes, that most visitors never get access to.

September

Another overseas trip, this time to Budapest. Of all the photographs I took in Berlin I had to include this one of the Parliament taken from the Buda side of the river. Such an ornate building and well-lit at night, great for photography

October

It was cold, so cold, but a gang of us decided to brave the temperature, to photograph the bridge over the River Dee at Connah’s Quay in November. I had all the gear on that I normally wear for walking in the mountains so I should have been warm, but when you are just standing around you don’t generate your own internal heat the same way. We stuck it for about an hour, then decided to move on to Flint Castle. Never did get that photograph because the snow started to fall and unusually the castle wasn’t lit, as it usually is at night.

November

Unusually for me, I’ve only been out on one photography trip through December and that was to a long-standing engagement to take a walk around the Baltic Triangle area of Liverpool. It’s an industrial area that has many old buildings and warehouses; along with some great street art. What more could a photographer ask for.

December

Well that’s it for this year, for those who take part in the Weekly Challenge, here’s to some new and interesting ones in 2018.

I’d like to thank all those who follow Say It With A Camera. Your comments are appreciated and hopefully I have managed to acknowledge all of your comments over the last year. Finally I wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year – Mike

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Or, for this week….”The Duke Gets A New Livery”.

I have written before about the “Duke of Lancaster” an abandoned passenger ferry berthed just a long the coast from me. Nicknamed “the Funship” it has been used as night-club and a storage facility, but in recent years it has become a rusting hulk, no longer in use. I first saw “the Duke” whilst travelling on the train to a photography exhibition in Birmingham. Instantly, I knew it would make a great subject, all that rust against the white of it’s hull.

Duke of Lancaster

The “Duke of Lancaster” is in quite a good spot to be seen by trains passing from Holyhead to London, it’s visible from the main coast road and the North Wales Coastal Pathway passes along both sides of “the Duke”. That photo was taken over two years ago and since then “the Duke” has got worse

A couple of weeks back I was passing “the Duke” when I spotted something different about it. Someone had managed to get onto the dock, not an easy task, and painted graffiti on the hull.

The Duke's New Livery

It had to happen sometime, it was just too big a target, but getting on that dock is not easy. One side, the side you can see here, is protected by the river and lots of razor wire. The other side has a high fence and razor wire as well, which stretches right into the sea.

No Access To The Duke

To get access to this part of the coast I had to clamber over rocks and rubble which seems to have been dumped to try and prevent access to this particular part of the beach. The razor wire stretches right down to the low tide mark so getting onto the dock would not be easy.

The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that the “graffiti” was not done during the night. First of all the height of that blue piece of art, ladders or staging were needed to reach that high. Secondly, there’s no artificial light on the dock after dark, so some form of lighting would have been required to work at night. It would have been seen from the road.

Further research, led to me a website talking about a project to cover “the Duke” in street art from well-known artists in that field. You can read more about the project by following this link.

So what does it mean for “the Duke?” First of all he’s starting to get famous. As the project grows and more art is added, coverage in the local press has grown.

The Duke's New Livery

Since this photograph was taken, more art has been added and I’ve got a planned trip this week to photograph the recent additions. Access to the dock is still not allowed, but there has been talk of the dock eventually being opened. I think that’s a long way off, as UK Health and Safety rules are very restrictive and a lot would have to be done to the dock to enable it to be open to the public.

Getting to “the Duke” is not easy. The North Wales Coastal Pathway is designed for ramblers and cyclists, not cars. Near “the Duke” it’s slippery and muddy when wet and in the summer months rutted and uneven.

The Bridge

You can see the path here. That bridge carries the main Holyhead/London railway line and is one of the reasons “the Duke” failed as a night club. You can’t get large vehicles under the bridge. It’s too low. I’m 6’ 2” (187 cm) and I have to duck to get under. In an emergency rescue crews would not be able to get their vehicles to the dock.

The project to cover “the Duke” in street art is a great idea. It means I can go and photograph and get different photographs every time I visit. Other photographers in the area are showing an interest in “the Duke” and are visiting to photograph. Local press have been covering the project and eventually it might be picked up by the nationals. This in turn could lead to a renewal of interest in the “Duke of Lancaster” which can only be good for tourism and the local economy.