Subject #3: Independent Birmingham

For the month of March, I wanted to highlight one of my personal highlights of Birmingham – the Independents.

From the moment I stepped foot in Birmingham, I was taken back by the power, motivation and resilience that Independent businesses have in this city. It’s hard to go anywhere without coming across one. Be it a clothes shop; cafe; restaurant; pub; graphic designer; photographer; or even a photography project looking at The Different Ways Different People View The Same Thing.

On a personal note, it is truly inspiring to see individuals being allowed to run with their passion and to see a city embrace their dreams. You only have to follow an ‘Independent’ on social media to see how driven they are, and how much they are needed in this city.

So for the month of March, I want you to showcase your favourite Independent. Feel free to tell me why you chose this Independent as your subject and I’ll do my best to include it with your submission. If you don’t have a favourite, then I urge you to research the Independent market within Birmingham and check some of them out.

Hopefully you’ll be as inspired as I am by what they’re doing for this city of ours…


Please note: This subject is in no way linked to Independent Birmingham. If, however, you wish to show your support for Independent companies in the city, or you’re struggling to find a subject to photograph, Independent Birmingham would be a great place to start…

Subject #2: The Bullring (Selfridges end)

Firstly, apologies for the site being down for the past couple of weeks – shame on you if you didn’t notice! ;) The theme being used decided to auto-update and the format of the theme changed completely, which didn’t suit the layout used. Long story short, life has been busy and I’ve only just gotten round to sorting a new one.

Hopefully you like the new layout – it’s pretty similar to the old one. Thanks to Ross Jukes for letting me use his image as the header for the site – this is something that I aim to change on a monthly basis, using a photo from previous months as the site’s image…

So, onto the subject for February. As you might have noticed, we’re already 15 days into February, so I had to pick a subject which was easily accessible to all on short notice. The Bullring (in particular the Selfridges end with all the discs) is possibly one of the most photographed landmarks in Birmingham – it was also going to be Subject #3 in Year 1, before I learned of the imminent fate of Island House, so it sadly got dropped as a subject and never returned… That is until now!

As is the whole concept of this project, it amazes me how many different photographs I see (pretty much on a daily basis) of the Selfridges’ discs that are different to each other. I think this is one of those subjects that really brings the project to life as everyone views the building so differently.

So, without further ado, you have 12 days in which to get your photo… Apologies for the delay, fingers crossed everything will be on time from now on.

Cheers, Pete…

Subject #1: Selfie!

Happy New Year to you all!

Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to this project over the past THREE years! I can’t believe it’s lasted this long, and yet it only feels like last week that I had the idea about starting a project that looks at The Different Ways Different People View The Same ThingIt goes without saying that this project wouldn’t be a success without those people who take part, and its great to see new faces popping up amongst the old faithfuls (no reflection of age intended whatsoever!) So thank you for getting involved.

It occurred to me over the Christmas period that I actually know very little about most of you. It’s lovely to get messages along with your submissions and I’m so sorry that I don’t reply to them all the time. Please know though that your kind words, stories behind your photos and suggestions for future subjects mean a lot and I really enjoy hearing from you all.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d do something a little different to kick off the new year of Birmingham {Viewpoint}. Rather than it being about a subject in Birmingham, this month it’s all about you! I want to see what you all look like! The only request I have is that it must be obvious that the photo is taken in Birmingham. Other than that, it’s entirely up to you how you go about it.

So get yourself from behind your camera for once and get in the photo you submit!



Subject #12: The Birmingham Wheel

It’s that time of year again when the infamous German Christmas Market descends on the streets of Birmingham. We’ve already done the market as a subject, so I thought we’d go a bit more focussed (pun completed intended!).

One thing I’ve noticed (more so this year than any other) is the abundance of photos taken of the Birmingham Wheel, which is located outside of Symphony Hall in Centenary Square. The other thing I’ve noticed is the range of different {viewpoints} people have taken in shooting the wheel.

Both of these should lead to this being a pretty successful subject, and it’s also a good excuse to head down to the market, take a photo and then get some German beer down your throat! Or, if you’re brave enough, have a few German beers and then take your photo…



Please note: Please be aware of ‘opportunists’ at the market. It’s an incredibly busy place, so please ensure your safety and the safety of your belongings is the main priority. The German Market is open until 9pm each day, and also finishes on Monday 22nd December (you still have until 31st December to submit your photo).

Subject #11: A Real Birmingham Family

The subject for November is A Real Birmingham Family – a bronze sculpture which is located outside of the Library of Birmingham.

The sculpture, which was unveiled on Thursday 30th October,  is the work of Birmingham born, Turner Prize winning artist, Gillian Wearing. It is the result of Ikon’s four year project to find what it means to be a ‘real’ family in Birmingham, with no limits put on how the twenty first century family might define itself.

Love it or hate it; agree with the depiction or think it fails to represent what a ‘real’ family means to you, the sculpture is certainly a talking point and has created many differing views – I walked past the sculpture on Friday evening and it was very interesting to hear the comments being made, and also those viewed on social media.

From a Birmingham {Viewpoint} stance, I think the sculpture makes a great subject. It’ll be interesting to see how you all tackle a relatively small subject matter, and I look forward to seeing your {Viewpoint} of it.



You can find more info about the statue here: A Real Birmingham Family

An apology from Birmingham {Viewpoint}…

Where does the time go?! Before you know it, it’s the 7th of October, there’s 2 months worth of photos to upload and a new subject to announce…

I’m very sorry that I’ve let Birmingham {Viewpoint} slip so much over the past couple of months. Commitments elsewhere have sadly needed to take priority and I just haven’t had the time to keep the project updated. It’s of no surprise that the number of submissions has dropped over the past couple of months – and I feel awful that the project that I absolutely love running is in fear of being no more.

But there’s no way I’m letting that happen! Birmingham {Viewpoint} is here to stay!

Thank you so much to those who have continued to submit photos, sending me tweets and emails of encouragement to get the photos uploaded and new subjects announced. It means a lot.

I am determined to turn {Viewpoint} around and get it back to where it belongs – a photography project for everyone to get involved in, and I’ll make sure that everyone knows about it (with your help as well).

So without further ado, the submissions for Months 8 & 9 are now on the site and the subject for October has been unleashed. All that’s left is for you lovely lot to share the heck out of the site / project and get people involved (oh, and take a photo each month too!)

Thanks again for your continued support, and a big apology for letting things slip.


Subject #10: Long Exposure

At the start of the year I promised that some of the subjects this year would push your photography technically… So far, I haven’t really lived up to that claim. So this month, its all about a photography technique that is close to my own heart…


With the nights drawing in and the days shortening, it’s the perfect time to play around with the exposure on your camera. So get creative. Push the boundaries of your camera’s exposure. Take a photo of anything you want (providing it’s in Birmingham) using an exposure of more than 1 second…

I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.

Subject #8: Birmingham Pubs

Hopefully this will be popular with a few of our regular submitters (is that a word?!)

So, the subject for August is ‘Birmingham Pubs’ – make of it what you will… Interior, exterior, new pubs, old pubs, pubs that are no longer pubs… The options are endless!

Just make sure you have a pint for me at some point…


Subject #7: New Uses For Old Buildings

So, here we have another suggestion from a Birmingham {Viewpoint} participant – New Uses For Old Buildings – and I love it!

This may take a bit of research on your behalf, but there’s loads of them around Birmingham. It would be great to have a bit of info to link to your photos, so feel free to send the background to the building (old & present uses) and I’ll add them underneath the photos to give them a bit of context. Really looking forward to seeing the photos for this one…

Subject #6: Water

When thinking about a subject for Birmingham {Viewpoint}, I keep my eyes open when walking / driving through the city and make a note of anything that catches my eye on my phone. One of the subjects covered in the first year was Canals, which gave us some great shots.

I’ve wanted to do Water for some time now, but needed to leave enough of a gap between these subjects as I think quite a few submissions will be of the Canals. I’m hoping though that people will get imaginative with their photos and go for a more unique take on the subject…

This is also a bit of reverse psychology, as we had the dullest month this year when ‘BrumSet / BrumRise’ was the subject, so I’m hoping for a drier month in June!

Looking forward to seeing the submissions for this subject…