Subject #1: Birmingham in Black & White

Happy New Year to you all!

Well, due to (fairly) popular demand, Birmingham {Viewpoint} is back for another year – and is now entering it’s 5th year! I think I say this every year, but when I first launched the project, I never envisaged that it would stick around for as long as it has. And it is completely down to you for taking part and submitting the amazing photos you do, month after month.

It’s great to have the ‘regulars’ taking part every month, as well as the random people who drop in for a month and are never to be seen again. I guess that’s the beauty of the project – you can come and go as you please. But in all seriousness, thank you to each and every one of you for getting involved over the past 4 years – it’s been a privilege to upload such great photos each month. Thank you also for all the kind words expressed over the 4 years too – I’m sorry that I don’t have time to reply to all of your emails / tweets – but please know that they don’t go un-noticed or unappreciated – I thoroughly enjoy reading how you came to choose your photo and hearing about the adventures behind your photographs – please continue to let me know.

So… onto another year! This year I’d like to focus (no pun intended!) not only on specific subjects, but also mix it up a bit with some photography techniques. And I’m going to start the year as I mean to go on.

I do love a black & white photo. I don’t think people quite appreciate the art behind a photo without colour. It’s not as simple as just converting it to black & white – for a photo to truly work in sans colour, so many factors need to come together: exposure, composition, subject – to name just three…

So my challenge to you this month is to take a photo in Birmingham that is in black & white. But not to just convert it into black & white, to take the photo BECAUSE it is to be black & white (if that makes sense?!)

Do you want to see Birmingham {Viewpoint} in 2016!

The future of Birmingham {Viewpoint} is in your hands… Do you want to see it continue in to 2016?

I’ve set up a 24 hour poll on Twitter on gauge if there’s a demand for {Viewpoint} in 2016.

Click on the link below to have your say – you have until about 8am on Tues 22nd Dec…

Subject #12: Christmas in Birmingham

Believe it or not, we’ve never covered “Christmas” as a subject on Birmingham {Viewpoint}! We’ve had the lovely German Market and the Big Wheel, but never Christmas in general.

So I thought why not…

Once again, sincere apologies for not getting the previous submissions up to date. I have a quiet night ahead of me, so intend to get fully caught up this evening. Watch this space…

Subject #11: Something Old & Something New

With all the regeneration going on in Birmingham, there are new things popping up all the time.

During my visit to the city centre for the Birmingham Half Marathon last month, I couldn’t help but notice how amazing some of the old buildings are around town – the contrast between old & new highlighting their beauty.

So the subject for November is simple – in your photograph there must be a contrast between old & new…

The example I’ve given above is merely that, an example, your photograph doesn’t necessarily have to be of buildings / regeneration, as long as there’s a contrast between old & new, that’s good enough for me!

Subject #10: New Birmingham New Street

Bloody hell! Well, this has officially been the worst year in Birmingham {Viewpoint}’s history – I can only apologise for my appalling lack of attention that I have given the project this year.

Thank you so much to those who have stuck by the project this year and given me gentle nudges along the way to get my bum into gear – without you the project would simply not exist.

The subject for October will come as no surprise. The gateway to our wonderful city has had a revamp – and what a revamp! Instagram, Twitter and Facebook has been swamped with various photographs of the new New Street Station, so it was a no brainer that this was going to be the subject for October.

If you haven’t already visited it, go and check it out with your photo generating device and send us one of the results!

I promise that the submissions for the past couple of subjects will be uploaded soon (I’m almost too embarrassed to look at how many months I’ve got to go back!) I have 3 days off work next week, so aim to use part of one of them to get fully up to date.

Watch this space…

Subject #9: Look Up!

This should really be the first rule of photography… Look Up!

So often as photographers we get transfixed with what’s in front of us that we forget to have a look around our environment – more often than not forgetting to take in what is above us.

So this month I urge you all to ‘Look Up’ and take a photo in Birmingham with your camera pointing at a greater angle than 45 degrees!

I’m looking forward to seeing how you all interpret this one…

Subject #7: The Big Hoot

There’s a bit of a different subject time span for Subject #7 this year. And what a reason for it.

The Big Hoot is Birmingham’s biggest charity art exhibition with 89 giant owl sculptures dotted across the Birmingham area. Each owl is sponsored by various companies and at the end of the exhibition, they will all be auctioned off to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. The exhibition is running from 20th July to 27th September 2015.

Your challenge is to take and submit ONE photo of your {viewpoint} of the art exhibition.

Subject #8 will take place at the same time as #7 due to the duration of The Big Hoot. Subject #8 will be announced on the 1st of Aug.

There’s more information about The Big Hoot right here…

Subject #6: The Rotunda

I’ve always liked The Rotunda building, and kind of knew where it was. But for some reason, it was only a very recent trip into Birmingham City Centre that I realised just how close it was to the Bull Ring, and that the entrance to it was on New Street… (I clearly don’t pay much attention to my surroundings when in Birmingham!)

The building lends itself well to the {Viewpoint} project as it can be seen from many different parts of the city, allowing a really varied range of shots (hopefully!)

I’ve seen many different photos of the Rotunda, so am really looking forward to seeing what the Birmingham {Viewpoint} participants can come up with!

On a side note, I am thrilled to announce that our daughter made a bit of an early appearance! Lark May was born on 23rd May 2015 @ 12.50am, weighing 6lb 3oz…


*** Double Subject Alert!! ***

As you may have noticed, there was no subject for April. I can only apologise (again) for taking my finger off the Birmingham {Viewpoint} pulse, but with the recent announcement of Birmingham Loves Photographers going into dormancy, I felt a compelling urge to get BV back on track.

I won’t bore you with excuses (although my wife is 37 weeks pregnant, there’s been plenty of house stuff going on, I ran the Birmingham 10k on Sunday and I also managed to pull muscles in my neck whilst moving a piano!) I’ll just head straight into the AWESOME month that is May!

We have not one, but TWO subjects for you this month…

  1. Birmingham’s Gas Holders: This is a subject I’ve wanted to cover for some time on BV. But seeing recently that a number of the UK’s gas holders are to be removed gave me a kick up the backside to bring the subject to life sooner rather than later. There’s more info right here about the gas holders being removed.
  2. Birmingham Shadows: This is one that just popped into my head, and wasn’t on the list here at BV towers. Looking through the photos on the likes of Instagram / Twitter / Facebook, photographers in Birmingham thoroughly enjoy light. And with light comes… Shadows! It’s the perfect time of year to go with a subject like this – and also think it’ll lend itself to some great photos.

So there you have it…

It’s a rollover! 2 subjects for the price of 1!