Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024

With the long summer nights upon us, the IgersbirminghamUK team came up with the idea for a photowalk that started at St Paul’s Square and finished at St Philip’s Cathedral. Along the way we could photograph interesting views of Birmingham. The walk went down Ludgate Hill, over the Pedestrian Bridge towards Church Street finally arriving at St Philip’s Square affectionately known by locals as Pigeon Park.  The call went out a week before on social media and on the evening a group of photographers assembled outside St Paul’s Church.  A list of some interesting places and buildings had already been circulated on our social media channels. Many of these suggestions were taken up by our band of photographers. I usually have my iPhone and my Fujifilm x100vi on any city walk. I just find these two cameras so useful to tell the story of the streets as they are easy to carry and use. They also take good pictures.

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The walk started with lovely warm sunshine and St Paul’s Square looked good in the evening light.  As we moved down Ludgate Hill towards the Birmingham Canal, the sky clouded over but it did not stop us taking pictures of our favourite Brummie locations.   

Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Steps on the canal

The canal passes underneath the BT tower. There is graffiti and concrete posts yet the canal locks blend in well with the surroundings. Further along, the pedestrian bridge is always a favourite photography location. The light was dimming so it was possible to practice a few long exposures of the traffic passing underneath.  

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As we approached St Philip’s Square along Church Street, we could see the recently installed Big Wheel lit up against the late evening light.  Then came the rain. Just as we reached the square, the heavens opened and we got very wet.  Some of us were fortunate as we had brough a water proof coat or umbrella. Others were less lucky.  We first thought that this was going to be a miserable end to a good evening of photography.  After the initial heavy downpour, we saw that the rain had created reflections on the surrounding pavements. The Big Wheel was lit up in different colours, and the resulting images with the reflections gave a range of interesting effects.  Also people were walking past with umbrellas casting their shadows in the puddles. The picture opportunities were unending. After a while no one minded the rain or the fact that they were soaked through.

Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Part of the ramp from the bridge. Not the best part of Brum.

Those of us that were left behind after braving the rain finished our walk at the Wolf pub on Constitution hill. During our well deserved refreshments, the IgersbirminghamUK team planned our next adventure.

Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
The Wolf Pub

This are my own pictures from the @IgersbirminghamUK walk. If you want to see the pictures of all the other talented photographers that took part then follow the link #igbUK_meet_sq2park

The walk back from the Wolf pub to Snow Hill station was short but interesting and here is a set of five pictures showing how the light and reflections after the rain can create a wonderful range of colours.

Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Looking across the street at Old Snow Hill
Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Warm lights on Water Street
Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Under the arch
Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Lights and reflections on Lionel Street
Square to Park, IgersbirminghamUK Instameet walk, May 2024
Puddles at Snow Hill Station

If you have got down to here then there are other IgersbirminghamUK meetings to read about on my blog. Enjoy reading about our activities. The team at IgersbirminghamUK look forward to seeing you at one of their future meetings.

Pedestrian Footbridge, Great Charles Street Queensway, Birmingham, March 2023.

As you hurtle down Great Charles Street, Queensway, heading south out of the city, you will emerge from one of the tunnels keeping your eye on the traffic filtering in from the left. As you are concentrating on the road ahead, you will most likely miss the blue footbridge crossing the road. Constructed from concrete and steel this pedestrian bridge links Church Street and Ludgate Hill. When you stand in the middle of the narrow bridge, you can feel the structure vibrate from the traffic pounding the tarmac below.

Pedestrian Footbridge, Great Charles Street Queensway, Birmingham, March 2023.
Standing on the footbridge looking up to the lights on Ludgate Hill.

The bridge is best visited at night especially if you are a photographer. There is a super opportunity for a long exposure as you look south. The symmetrical road structure with the tunnel ahead of you makes for an ideal canvas for car light trails. Cars peel off to the left and if you time the traffic lights correctly then cars filter in from the right. Using my x100v resting on the flat metal railing, I am ready for the long exposure. Camera settings of ISO160, f/16 and shutter speed of 30seconds will give good results. The north view is also interesting but does not have the same symmetry as the south.

Pedestrian Footbridge, Great Charles Street Queensway, Birmingham, March 2023.
Looking north with the light trials from the traffic.

Whilst I was taking photographs, a group were running over the bridge and this allowed me to take a few street shots as they came down the ramps. I am sure there will be plans to replace this metal structure with a larger one and a search on the web mentions this is being explored. Until then, it remains a great place for those long exposure pictures.

Pedestrian Footbridge, Great Charles Street Queensway, Birmingham, March 2023.
Running over and down the bridge.
Pedestrian Footbridge, Great Charles Street Queensway, Birmingham, March 2023.
Looking towards Church St.

If you fancy a walk around Birmingham then be sure to follow more of my blog entries. The link below is a good starting point.

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With the long summer nights upon us, the IgersbirminghamUK team came up with the idea for a photowalk that started…