Today I have for you a compilation of my favourite photos from the time I lived in Birmingham. I lived in Birmingham for a total of 9 years, almost to the month, but I was quite happy to leave there.
This isn’t to say Birmingham is a bad place but sometimes you fit into a city and sometimes you don’t. When I lived in Herefordshire I felt once I left school I always fitted in and from the first time I visited Edinburgh I knew it was the ideal city for me.
So here is a compilation of my favourite still shots from that time I lived in Birmingham. Literally just three of the shots were shot digitally and all others with film. I absolutely love shooting film due to the different quality it offers. Some films are contrasty, some have deep saturation, some have gorgeous grain but each has it’s own look. Also medium format lenses tend to be ridiculously good. All of the square images were shot with a Hasselblad 503CW and straight out of the camera the photos are razor sharp and really contrasty.
Hope you like…
Selfridges Bullring Birmingham. The above was taken with a Fisheye lens but I wanted to get that square format look. I regularly shoot with both 6×6 and 6×7 format film but today I only had my digital camera with me.
St Pauls Square is one of my favourite parts of Birmingham. It’s just slightly off the centre but it feels a world apart with it’s surrounding trees and cute church in the middle. A lot of people come here to sunbathe in the summer.
St Pauls Church Panoramic. Ok, this is a slightly cheeky panoramic but it’s basicaly two 6×6 negs stitched together. The scans were a bit small but one day I’ll get this printed properly in a darkroom.
St Pauls Birmingham Black and White. One of my all time favourite photos. I shot this at a point in time where I was really obsessed with black and white. My favourite aspect of shooting film is the darkroom side. I really love developing my own films then enlarging the images onto black and white paper and then exposing onto traditional fibre based paper. The above looks absolutely stunning printed on fibre based paper.
Summer Row Birmingham black and white. Another of my favourite images. Both images above were shot with a Mamiya RB67 but Mamiya’s medium format lenses are really beautiful. They have this really tactile 3D quality.
The above is a scan of a bridge along Summer Row in Birmingham shot with a Mamiya RB67. Film used was Fuji Velvia 50 with no filters at all.
The above was shot on a Canon 5D with a 14mm fisheye. Along with medium format I love shooting anything fisheye. My absolute dream would be to have a Hasselblad 503 with a Zeiss/Hasselblad fisheye but sadly the fisheye lenses cost £3000 plus (last time I checked). Shot wide open at f2.8 and converted to b&w
Birmingham Jewellery Quarter Factory. The above was shot with Kodak Porta 160VC
Gas Street Basin. The above was taken again with Hasselblad 503CW and again with Kodak Portra.
Sadly the petrol pumps above aren’t in Birmingham anymore. This was located on the St Pauls side of the Jewellery Quarter and it’s really sad that these were removed as they are so vintage.
Inside Birmingham Town Hall. I just popped in for a wander around and took this fisheye image of the main entrance to the inside of the hall.