Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024

The appearances of poppies near to where I live is becoming unpredictable.  Typically, poppies flower around the beginning of June.  However, poppy fields are more difficult to find as farmers are changing their farming practices to be more competitive.  The once large poppy fields around Worcestershire are undergoing a slow transformation into Heathland under the supervision of the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust.  This makes finding the location of a flowering poppy field challenging, but with the help of friends and careful monitoring of social media, a few fields were reported near to Kinver Edge in South Staffordshire.  The next challenge was the weather and to find a time when there would be a good sunrise or sunset.  I prefer sunrises in the countryside especially for poppies.  The light is clearer and cool but the biggest advantage is the lack of other photographers and people.  If a field is popular then spectators and photographers will flock to the area.  Morning is preferable.

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
There was a mist over the fields before sunrise.
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The beautiful colours of a poppy field
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The white and red mix of wildflowers

Setting the alarm clock for 3am, I made the 45min drive to Kinver in South Staffordshire.  There was some delightful early morning mist and I quickly stopped in a nearby village for some pictures of the misty landscapes.  Arriving at the field, I met Simon Lea, an old friend, who takes some beautiful woodland and landscape pictures.  We quickly caught up on news and then looked to our photography as the sun was ready to make an appearance.  The field was south facing with a gentle slope towards where we were standing.  The land is near to Kinver Edge and so there is an undulating landscape. I had been advised to take my 400mm zoom lens and I am glad that I did.  The owner of the field had fenced the surrounding perimeter with barbed wire and did not wish any trespassers on their land.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The view of the poppy field landscape

The field was nearing its peak and the poppies were set back and interspersed with a mix of white feverfew and purple vetch.  Just before sunrise, the light was cool and the poppies took on a dreamy feel in the mist.  I took several pictures at this time.  Once the sun had risen the light became intense.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
Poppies in the sunlight
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
The heat glare of the sun burns off the mist

Most of my pictures were taken with my Canon 5D MKIV with a circular polariser.  I also had my x100vi with me which I used for a sunrise picture and hoped for the best. The picture taken with the Fujifilm was good and is the front cover of the blog.  As the sun became brighter, I walked, with my tripod and camera, further up the road where there were several pictures still to be taken.  There was one of three poppies against the barbed fence that provided symbolism of previous wars.  The sun catching the petals of the many poppies provided some further pictures.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
Poppies behind a barbed wire fence.
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
An abundance of poppies

Then it was time to go.  The mist in the distance was still lingering and I found a place near to Kinver to take more landscape pictures.  My Waze satnav took me back over a sleepy backwater of the canals along Windsor Holloway.  Then it was back through Churchill onto the main roads and home for breakfast at 7.30am.  On such summer mornings, one is left with the feeling that you have experienced two days.  The first a magical sunrise and then a day where I return to my normal life.  

Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
A view of the Staffordshire canal
Poppy field, Kinver, June, 2024
Mist over the Staffordshire countryside

I have included a link to last year’s field in Bewdley which sadly is not there this year.

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024

Woodland photography is one of my interests as there are several woods near to me that I love wandering around taking photographs with my camera.  The skills that are involved with taking such pictures, I have learnt by trial and error.  However, my technique is rather low key and much of what I do is point the camera and take pictures that look appealing.  The opportunity to learn woodland photography skills arose after a chance meeting at the Photography Show with Miffyohara.  Miffy is a classically trained photographer who has a great love of woodland photography.  We talked about a photography walk and the place Miffy chose to start my woodland photography journey was Hagley Park next to the Clent Hills.

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
The outlines of these branches make a pleasing geometric shape.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
A window created by the tree branches.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Two walkers passing through the woods.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
I included the path which is partially covered with blossom so as to lead to the light.

The park has 350 acres of Worcestershire countryside to explore with an abundance of woodland.  When I arrived, I realised that a tripod was essential.  Never go anywhere without your tripod. This was my first lesson of the day.  Fortunately the light was good and the sun was breaking through the clouds.  During our visit, the sun was diffused by cloud cover although occasionally there were long periods of sunshine. Therefore we waited for these patches of light to illuminate the woodland. Similar to wildlife photography, a calm, non-hurried approach is required.  This is so difficult for me as I do tend to rush around.  For the first 30 minutes, we observed and photographed one tree.  We slowly walked around the tree, looking at how the sun fell on the branches and leaves.  I learnt about “windows” created by tree branches that open your photographs in a similar way to framing.  This aspect of woodland photography is appealing to me as I enjoy taking a picture within a picture.   I found the opportunity to place people into the scene although I acknowledge this is not what woodland photography is about!   The bluebells were in full bloom and offered splashes of blue throughout the day.  Another learning point was the avoidance of man-made structures in the photograph and therefore paths which allow a leading line were not considered but I did occasionally break the rules.  Therefore I used the branches and arrangement of the trees to lead the eye.

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
A tree of interest that tells a story.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
A view of Hagley castle framed by a tree.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
The imposing Hagley castle.

Hagley Park has a circular route that takes in several follies that were placed by previous owners to add a pleasing spectacle to the eye.  The structures follow classical architectural designs as may be seen in my photographs. The current ideas of the park keepers are to reduce the prominence of these follies and allow the woodland views to take centre stage.  The first folly we came across was Hagley castle which is designed to resemble a small ruined medieval castle.  The castle is an imposing structure over this part of the park and whilst it was fenced off, it was still possible to view the architecture.  Leaving the castle, the path dipped steeply down towards the stream that passed through the south of the park.  On our way there were several interesting trees worthy of photographing.  We climbed back up and then came upon Milton’s seat which gave beautiful views of Hagley Hall and the surrounding Worcestershire countryside.  This was a place where one could linger and let time pass you by.  The light was good and it was possible to view the hills in the distance.  

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
A tree with personality.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Fungi patterns on a dead tree.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
More patterns created by the fungi.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Milton’s seat with a view that takes in Hagley Hall and the mountains in the distance.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
The woman in the red jacket had to be photographed.

Our next point of interest was the Palladian bridge which is very photogenic.  You are spoilt with the different compositions that arise from the bridge and the surrounding woodland. The bridge is at the head of the lake and set in a valley of trees.  There are reflections in the lake and the lay of the land offers both high and lower-level interpretations of the scene.  I settled for an eye level view taking in the reflection and the setting of the bridge along the lake.  Processing the picture in black and white provides balance and allows blending between the man-made structure and the woods.  The bridge is at the start of three lakes which lead upwards to the classically styled Rotunda.  On the way past the lakes, there is a memorial to the English poet William Shenstone in the form of an urn.  Again I was drawn into photographing the urn and the Rotunda amidst the woodland trees. There were also other interesting trees to take in and photograph.

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
The Palladian Bridge in Black and White
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
The view over the lake.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Shenstone’s Urn
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
A window onto the Rotunda.
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
The Rotunda blending into the surroundings.

On returning to the café, we discussed our photographs and then discussed how to process the pictures. Whilst proficient at Lightroom, I do need to revisit Photoshop and use the layers function to bring out features in my photographs.  Once again this is all part of the learning process.  

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Details from a fallen tree.

Woodland photography is a genre to visit.  I learnt how to look at woodland scenes, and carefully pick out areas of interest.  The need to slow down and take in your surroundings allows you to seek out new photographic scenes that you would miss if you just walked through the park.  By slowing down, you are also able to look at how the light falls on the woodland.  Looking for windows and diagonals in the branches of the trees helps your woodland photography stand out.  This walk was during the day and the woodland would naturally light up during the golden hours. I will look for future opportunities to pursue this genre of photography especially at the start and end of the day. 

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Tree textures
Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Rushes

At the start, we talked to Alex one of the Park Rangers who gave us insight into the care of the park. Alex also agreed to be part of my 100 strangers project that is nearing completion. Here is a picture of Alex leaning against one of the Park Ranger trucks.

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
Alex a park ranger at Hagley Park.

A final thank you to Miffyohara who was an excellent teacher and guided me through the skills required for woodland photography. In our discussions, subjects ranged from composition of woodland scene to a debate on giving titles to our pictures. The sharpening of my observational skills was one outcome of the day. The final word goes to Hagley Park which is a must visit location and will appeal to everyone not just photographers.

Woodland Photography, Hagley Park, Worcestershire, 2024
An iPhone picture of an interesting tree and thank you to Miffyohara for showing me the beauty of trees.

If you wish to see more of my previous woodland photography then I have added a link below. I will revisit Hay Wood with a different eye to my compositions.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024

Initially the weather forecast for St Patrick’s Day was rain but someone must have had a word with heaven. The rain stopped and the sun started to show itself from behind the clouds. Bradford Street in Birmingham is as straight as a die and runs parallel to Digbeth High street. At the top of the hill by Trinity Church, the floats, dignitaries and people were congregating.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
The Lord Mayor by one of the Irish banners.
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
Getting ready to parade
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
Ready to sing Dirty Ole Town by the Pogues
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The entry code was you had to wear something green and St Patrick was there overseeing the proceedings. The Peaky Blinders were behaving themselves and they had brought their own police force. Irish dancers and marching bands were adding to the entertainment. There were a group of dancers who had flown in from Bolivia. Their costumes contributed to the colourful noise around them. The scooters were polished so well that you got blinded by the reflections from the chrome work and mirrors. The floats were being loaded up and the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress were greeting everyone and having their picture taken. With so many photographers around it was not long before the West Midland Mayor, Andy Street made an appearance. Everyone was so friendly and the atmosphere was one of excitement and merriment.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
The parade on Bradford Street
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
The BRMB bus loaded with dignitaries
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
The Guinness hats were everywhere
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
Having fun was the aim of the day.
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
Which will it be?

Then the parade was due to start so we rushed down the street to St Anne’s church. People were lining the barriers as you went down the hill towards the city centre. Even the dogs were dressed up in the Irish tricolour flag. The parade was long and varied, stopping every so often to let the marching bands and the Irish dancers demonstrate their skills. People waved towards the floats and people in the floats waved back. Everyone was so happy.

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Some of the big names in construction were there including Murphy’s and Mahoney’s. The Irish came over to Birmingham and contributed to making the city an industrial powerhouse. The parade reflected this contribution and everyone reacted to celebrating the rich history of Birmingham. These pictures are my own interpretation. At an event such as the St Patrick’s Day parade every type of photographer is out and about. BBC teams and local newspapers, amateur photography organisations and the casual mobile phone snapper were in their element. Everyone wants their photograph taken.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
The line up in a float
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
The builders’ merchant (even I have used them)
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
I am getting tired now.
St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
It was not just people who were having fun.

The BBC coverage is the best starting point for a record of the day’s events although a quick search of St Patrick’s Day Parade, Birmingham will open up many more.

St Patrick's Day Parade, Digbeth, Birmingham, March 17th, 2024
BBC account of the parade

The next parade in Birmingham will be Pride 2024 and here is my account from last year.

Joy and happiness at Birmingham Pride 2023

Poppy Fields, Leamington Spa, 2021

The Leamington Spa poppy field sprung up in June 2021.  At the time I was just so happy that the field was near to home.  I remember going to the field one barmy summer’s evening to take photographs.  The light was beautiful and the field was so colourful with the poppies swaying in the gentle breeze.  I stayed there late into the evening well after sunset taking many pictures.  I wrote a blog about my time there.  One of my pictures was of several poppies standing proud against the colourful sky.  One picture from that evening at Leamington Spa became a slow burner.  I had two requests from charitable organisations wishing to use the picture to advertise their remembrance day activities.   In 2023, I decided to enter the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) award.  Many of my poppy field photographs were appropriate for the Wildflower Landscapes category.  I entered pictures from my visits to Worcestershire last year and with one entry to complete, I selected the Leamington Spa poppy field picture.  I was surprised and pleased that this was the picture that was shortlisted.  Then I was more pleased that the picture was highly commended in the final judging. This slow burner of a picture had done well and is now included in my slowly increasing portfolio of competition successes.

Well done to the winners and all the other entrants. This link opens up the Wildflower landscape awards section of the competition.

Reflections on my success.  

I can remember taking this picture and the composition was different to my normal views of wildflowers. I had deliberately taken a low down viewpoint and used an onboard flash to pick out the flowers. Initially I was unsure of the picture and almost disowned the view. However, common sense prevailed and I posted the picture on my blog and social media accounts.  I was taken aback that I had requests from different charitable organisations that wished to use the picture in promoting remembrance day events.  When the time came to enter IGPOTY, I chose to add this picture to my portfolio.  Even though the picture was taken two years ago, I thought it may catch the eye of the judges. The picture received a highly commendation award and I received many good wishes from friends about the picture.  What can I say about providing advice about your photographic work.  Never give up on your work. Most of my pictures are taken for personal enjoyment. I also enjoy the feedback from family and friends who enjoy seeing my pictures. Also remember that what you may think is not ideal may strongly resonate with other people.  Finally think differently. By all means take the pictures that look like they are from a postcard but they do not necessarily win competitions. Something quirky or a scene that has not been photographed before will generate interest. Such pictures are more difficult to find but if you keep looking you will find them!

This is my original post from the poppy field in Leamington Spa. A special evening.

Poppy Fields in Leamington Spa

Winning photograph Westside BID calendar 2023

Westside BID organised a celebratory evening around the photography competition for the 2023 calendar.  We all gathered at the Flapper Pub near Cambrian wharf where we met our fellow winners and local business people.  There were councillors from Birmingham City Council present as well.  The pictures were hung around the room and the MC interviewed each photographer in turn.  Then the food was served and there was a chance to meetest people.  The evening sun shone over the canal allowing us the chance to soak in the warmth.  The last few weeks have been very wet, so the sun was welcome.  There were interviews to be done and pictures to be taken.  My picture was the overall winner and is shown above, although any of the other ones could have won as well.  The two videos plus the story of the night provide a great memory of the event.  Thanks to Westside BID for the support of photography through the calendar. 

The Flapper Pub, Birmingham, 2023
A beautiful evening for the WestsideBIDS celebration evening

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I was fortunate to visit Brighton as part of a conference. My hotel was on the seafront and in between…

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022

Visiting popular National Trust destinations does have its challenges if you are a keen amateur photographer.  Hanbury Hall is so photogenic and countless pictures have been taken over the years.  I would guess each season throws up wonderful views not only of the house but the impeccable gardens as well.  Usually, before I visit a well-known property, I check over the web sites and look at other people’s photographs to find out which are the best views.  As it happens for this visit, I did not get myself organised, so I went to Hanbury Hall not knowing what to expect.  

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The commanding entrance to Hanbury Hall.

Arriving by car you pass the front façade of the house and catch a glimpse of the striking architecture.  Walking back to the house from the carpark, the entrance approach provides post card picture views.  The property is operating a timed ticket entrance which limits the amount of people.  This favours the photographer as in this case there are only a few people and not the crowds that may interrupt the pictures.  

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
Lots of tubs with tulips

First stop was the interior of the house, and I met a volunteer who in a few minutes gave me all the information I needed.  Also, I found out that she was a good photographer and took a picture of me on the grand staircase with the beautiful paintings as a backdrop. The building is interesting and there was much activity happening in the house.  The volunteers did not mind having their photographs taken included one dressed up as the former owner of the house, Thomas Vernon.  The staircase is beautiful and the wall to ceiling painting by the English painter Sir James Thornhill has so much to see.  I spent some time moving around using my iPhone for the pictures finding that the wide-angle lens was very useful.

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The beautiful painting that highlights the staircase.
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
An upward view
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
A volunteer dressed up as “Thomas Vernon” former owner of the house.
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
Preparing the table with the silverware.
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
There are some beautiful rooms in the house.

Following that important mid-morning coffee, it was time to set off and explore the grounds of the house.  I am always amazed how the National Trust find gardeners to tend and cultivate their extensive properties.  They are so creative and design wonderful garden designs.  The apple orchard was symmetrically laid out and the trees were just beginning to blossom.  

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The beautiful apple orchard.

The Orangery was a particular favourite of mine.  The sun was shining in through the large windows accentuating the orange glow of the brick paintwork.  I leant that this grade II listed building has red Flemish bond ashlar brickwork which gives the characteristic colour.  There is also a tiled floor. One of the tiles has a dog paw print caused by a disobedient pet wandering around before the cement had set 250 years ago.  

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The Orangery
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The inside of the Orangery
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The 250 year old footprint!
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
A pheasant greeting

The symmetry of the Pareteer garden was beautifully coloured by yellow tulips.  The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes “a Pareteer as the division of garden beds in such a way that the pattern is itself an ornament.”  It is like an Elizabethan knot garden and was fun to photograph.  Linking the gardens is Snob’s tunnel which returns you to the back of the house.  The tunnel allowed servants to move around without being seen by guests of the house.  

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
Love the symmetry in the gardens
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
The house in a lensball.
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
Snob’s Tunnel
Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
Beautiful walks surround the property.

On my way home I visited Hanbury Church which is adjacent to the Hall and has commanding views over the river seven valley.  

Hanbury Hall, National Trust, 2022
A window to the world

If you enjoyed this account of Hanbury Hall, then please visit my blog on Croome which is another nearby National Trust property. The official National Trust website account of Hanbury Hall provides more information.


National Memorial Arboretum

Instameets are friendly photographic get togethers where you meet like-minded people for a social chat and take pictures.  The meetings are also held at fascinating venues around the West Midlands.  My usual patch is IgersbirminghamUK or the Westmidlandsphotocollective. Both hold meetings at venues which provide a multitude of photographic opportunities.  Igers_staffordshire is a group that hold Instameets around the Lichfield area.  The venue for this meeting was the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.  The Arboretum occupies a large swathe of land just North of Lichfield and is well signposted off the A38.  However, it is a place that I always pass by and think to myself that is somewhere to visit in the future.  When Igers_staffordshire advertised the event then I quickly signed up.  The meeting started in the car park which is one of the strategic places in the Arboretum.  Whilst entry to the site is free, car parking is strictly controlled and must be prebooked.  The entrance and the welcome buildings guide you through to the main body of the Arboretum.  I was greeted by the organisers and it is easy to work out who the photographers are as you will not miss the tripods, backpacks and cameras on display.  Once through the entrance we made our way to the most commanding monument which is the Armed Forces Memorial.  It is not difficult to miss as it sits as a raised structure with an attractive circle of trees.  We posed on the steps for the picture of the group and then started exploring.

National Memorial Arboretum
The inside of the Armed Forces Memorial

You find yourself pulled towards the Armed Forces Memorial, up the steps and into the inner parts.  It borrows heavily in architectural design from the Greeks and Romans.  It is impressive, and it was here that I met Kenneth who is a volunteer at the National Memorial Arboretum. We got talking about the Arboretum and Kenneth outlined some of the major features about the place. He showed me where a shaft of sunlight shines through the gaps in the southern walls onto the central bronze wreath on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month #Armistaceday. Kenneth does two days volunteering and is out in all weathers, greeting visitors. His welcoming smile and enthusiasm help visitors to get the most from their visit. Kenneth is one of many volunteers who I met during my time at the Arboretum. I explained to Kenneth about my ‘100strangers’ project and he agreed to being photographed. This picture shows him standing in the centre of the #ArmedForcesMemorial near the central wreath with the #cenotaph in the background.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVqFBz6DwvR/
Kenneth, Volunteer

Next, I set off to visit the rest of the Arboretum.  There were several memorials that I passed along the way including those to the Iraq war and The Polish War memorial.   I did like the Irish Infantry Grove.  The paving stones are set out with a map of Ireland.  From there, I wandered into the trees and was taken with the numerous discs with messages on them.  There is so much to take in and this blog only touches the surface.  I posted several sets of pictures on Instagram.

National Memorial Arboretum
Looking through and remembering

The first is a set of lines and colours that made an impression on me. The #shotatdawn memorial by artist #AndyDeComyn was particularly moving.  Consisting of stakes in the ground representing the young men shot by firing squad.  There are several other memorials captured here.

My other reflection from my visit was the numerous Connections in the Arboretum and this is the link for this series of photographs including pictures with permission of soldiers remembering people behind the names. The sun and the rain connect with the memorials to enhance their stories.

It was a moving day out and I covered a fair amount of the Arboretum.  There is still much more to see.  These are the best of the pictures although there were many more to discover. Several of the memorials have been cleverly designed to catch the natural elements such as the sun and rain providing reflections and opportunities for carefully taken pictures that bring out the best in their design.

Finally a big thank you to @igers_staffordshire for organising this instameet. I also met such great fellow photographers.  Follow #igersstaffordshire_nma for all the pictures taken by the group on the day.

National Memorial Arboretum
A rainbow brings hope and joy

We have never been to Ragley Hall in our time in the Midlands, so when my daughter Natasha suggested visiting on one of the open days then I was easily persuaded. We only signed up for the gardens as we had my grandson, Noah but it was still good fun. The grounds are expansive and there is a lake with forrest. The bluebells were past their sell by date and the path was not passable in places. However, the gardens were in immaculate condition and the Scott Garden with statues was beautifully laid out. We enjoyed the lunch in the cellars at the Hall and next time I must go and visit the state rooms. Hope you enjoy all the pictures that I took 🙂

This is a great community who are active in many different parts of Birmingham life. It is about celebrating inspired people and the success of different communities in the Birmingham area. One are of celebration is in photography. The good people of Birmingham have featured 10 of my best photographs as portrayed on their web site

It is interesting to me what other people like with my photographs. All the pictures taken were featured on Twitter @birminghamweare and received numerous likes.

Taking concert pictures is not easy for me as I am not as young as I used to be and do not like being squashed at the front of the concert. The chance to take some close up pictures came when I went to see Steve Gunn, a guitarist and songwriter, who is prolific songwriter. Steve’s style is influenced by blues, folk and rock and he is a pretty good guitarist as well.

The first song is done

The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, Birmingham is an intimate venue and there is the ability to move through the audience and get very close to the artist. I had my Sony RX100v5 camera on manual settings with a shutter speed of 1/200, aperture f/2.8 and ISO 2000. Getting close and taking the pictures meant that the lighting was a little easier to control. I expect I could have changed the settings a bit more but I am generally pleased with the results. Also we got a selfie with the man himself after the concert.

Lets get to the microphone

The concert had some great music. He was good to listen to and he is an excellent guitarist. The small venue meant that the sound was good and the different parts of the band came together well\\. The guys sorting out the sound were not so happy but it was a good night all round.

The band is working well
I have a few guitars to use yet
Thanks for coming along tonight
Putting that song over
Tuning up
The light garden at the Hare and Hounds
Andy, Steve Gunn and myself