13th June 2008
It’s Friday night and I suppose many people are sitting down to a well earned rest after a hard weeks work. I suppose I should be as well but instead I’m out with a bunch of friends from the local camera club.
Camera clubs have become unfashionable these days. They used to be really popular but now I think, like many other things, the internet has sort of replaced them a bit.
Such groups used to be the best place to go if you wanted to meet photographic enthusiasts and as such they were a very good way to learn about taking pictures. Although I studied photography full time for a couple of years and even worked professionally for a while I still think I learned the most about actually taking good pictures in the various camera clubs I have belonged to over the years.
These days people use web forums and photo sharing sites, these certainly have their place and are great for certain things, but for actually getting you out of your chair and getting involved, some of the better camera clubs are still hard to beat.
Salford Quays is not far from where I live but somehow I had never looked at it as a photographic subject.
I’d seen a few pictures of the Quays, mostly based upon different views of this bridge, and when I first got there in the early evening it was the bridge and the reflective building beyond it that looked like the most likely picture in the low sun.
Ultimately though, there are only so many ways you can photograph a bridge.
What I was waiting for the light to fade.
Now although I’ve done a bit of architectural photography in my time, it’s not really what gets me out taking pictures.
Landscape photography is much the same in the city as it is in the wilderness. It’s all about light.
As I arrived I had noticed some new construction surrounded by cranes, I thought it looked interesting but it needed a good sky behind it to bring out the graphic qualities of the scene.
What I had also noted was that it was in just the right position for the sun to set behind it at this time of year. Now as the sun was sinking what I was hoping for was the sun to light up the underside of the light cloud layer that lay over the location.
As it happens I was not the only one to have spotted the potential for this shot. A row of photographers were spaced at regular intervals along the rail on the dock side. I was though, one of the only one to have brought a tripod. As the light levels dropped off, slowly one after another gave up on the scene unfolding before them. One or two of us got this result, or something like it. For most it was their last shot of the evening. I still had other plans.
I had parked on the other side of the canal, near to the Imperial War Museum, and I noticed this aspect from their car park.
What it needed was a good balance between the natural light of the evening and the artificial lights on the building. So much for bad luck on Friday the thirteenth.
This is a shot composited from three frames to get the wide angle of view without losing the fine details. Click on the image to see larger versions.