Abstract Birmingham

Photo School abstracts lamppost

This Sunday sees the fourth and final session (for me) of Photographing the City – Matt and Pete's sociable, how-to photography course set on the streets of Birmingham and featuring a pleasant mix of arty/techy teaching, walking, socialising, photographing stuff (more egs below) and peer review.

More adventures from Photo School…The rain is due to clear up with both BBC and Wunderground (16 day forecast!) showing sun/clouds for this weekend. So if you're twiddling your thumbs, why not book a slot? No need for a fancy camera. Even better, it's a Photo School in a pub! (At the Victoria pub, which does a mean happy hour cocktail).

The rotating four-week sessions work as standalone lessons or as a whole course, depending on what you want to get out of it, and have gone from street photography to epic landscapes to abstract details. This week, it's practical documentary photography.

I may be a bit biased but I have found each one to be a brilliant learning experience. And I've been taking photos for quite a few years, albeit stuck on P/programme mode ( the equivalent of auto).

I've blogged them all so far on behalf of Matt & Pete’s Photo School. But I was particularly happy with my Week 3 abstract detail photowalk. I played a lot with in-camera processing (see the lamppost trio up top) as colour theory was part of the teaching bit at the start, and then moved onto looking for details in the environment that would make interesting photographs in their own right.

Three favourites I took on the day:

1. Blue and orange – opposites on the colour wheel. Impact. Interesting shapes randomised by changing canal reflections.

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2. Vertical and horizontal multicoloured stripes are splashes of colour in the grey-brown environment. Meets street photography. Meets Fibonacci spiral composition.

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3. A colourful detail of Gas St Basin. With orange that pops.

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There are also collaborations to be made between the images. I particularly like these three together, for example.

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The critique at the end of the session is interesting and a chance to see what others in the group took on the same walk – different angles, missed details, new images. Here are three I really liked from the others in the Photo School Flickr group:

1. A thin blue line at New St signal box.

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2. A beautiful detail.


3. What is the story? A win for freedom as no go zone bollards are caged and woman walks free. Or is it the woman who is in the cage caught by ominous no entry signs? Much to read into this one. Makes me ask: 'why?' Interesting.

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What will this Sunday bring? To be blogg-ed.

4 thoughts on “Abstract Birmingham”

  1. But is the woman actually walking free?? Look again and you see she's on a pedestrian crossing – so her freedom has an element of pre-ordination to it.

  2. I really like the collaborative three. Inspirational captures of shapes.

    Series of maths postcards as a teaching resource would be good? Rectangles at woprk … repeating parallel lines … when is a right angle not a right angle?

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