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A bird’s eye view from above a pleasure boat in Salford Quays

A bird’s eye view from above the Princess Katherine in North Bay, between MediaCityUK and The Lowry at Salford Quays. I’ve wanted to shoot a panorama from here for a couple of years, as I’ve captured panos from many of the tall buildings nearby and wondered what it would look like from the water, surrounded by the iconic buildings all around.

Amongst other sights, this view takes in the new BBC buildings, the MediaCity studios, the University of Salford’s MCUK, ITV’s offices (and across the Manchester Ship Canal, the new Coronation Street set), The Lowry and the Imperial War Museum in the North. Just beyond lies Trafford Park, and just out of sight, Manchester United’s famous football stadium at Old Trafford.

This was a bit of a challenge to photograph – a side wind meant the boat was drifting and rotating considerably even in the time it took to shoot this – but I still think it provides a cool perspective on one of the most dynamic parts of Salford and Manchester.

Large format print: a gigapixel view inside a studio at Islington Mill

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

A test piece, shot in Maurice Carlin’s studio in Islington Mill, comprising a 1.33 gigapixel, HDR panorama. My first attempt at a gigapixel HDR pano, using 721 x 24 megapixel photos.

Great for highlighting small detail (check out the plant growing on the inside of the window, amongst other features) but slow and challenging to work on, with some visual quality issues. Definitely a technique I’ll continue to progress…

Technical info: shot with Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon 50mm f1.4 lens, Nodal Ninja 5, Promote Remote Control. 7 bracketed exposures per image.

Brittle Crazie Glasse at Islington Mill, Salford

Contemplating Veronica
(featuring Mark Dean’s The Veil of Veronica (offset Halo). 2012)

Custom format large photograph, shot at 15.2mm / f 0.42
Click/tap the image above to view a high resolution zoomable view of the scene in your browser. 

 

Defying Logic and Absenting Certainty
(featuring Alistair McClymont’s The Limitations of Logic and The Absence of Absolute Certainty. 2008)

Custom format large photograph, shot at 18.5mm / f 0.52
Click/tap the image above to view a high resolution zoomable view of the scene in your browser. 

 

Details and elements of the current exhibition at Islington Mill in Salford, showcasing work by a series of artists represented by Man & Eve, and curated by Lucie Newman Cleeve.

After shooting a 360° panorama of Susie MacMurray’s Stratum in July, I was smitten by the attic space in the mill, so was more than happy to accept an invite to come along to Brittle Crazie Glasse to capture a further series of detailed photographs. With such a range of scale and media across the exhibits, it’s a fantastically diverse collection.

As with before, I was as taken by the space which the pieces were exhibited in, as by the works themselves. The contrasts of texture, light and volume across the fifth floor and attic are striking and compelling… and chime perfectly with my interests in capturing light, form and texture.

The title comes from a line in George Herbert’s poem ‘The Windows’. However the section of the poem which resonated most with me was…

Doctrine and life, colours and light, in one
When they combine and mingle, bring
A strong regard and awe…  

The exhibition is well worth visiting, and runs until November 4th 2012. More info at the Islington Mill website. Thanks to Shereen at Islington Mill for all her help.

Look up, duck down: Stratum by Susie MacMurray at Islington Mill

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser.

This installation, Stratum 2011 by Susie MacMurray is made up from around 80 kilos of feather down, carpeting the floorspace of the attic in Islington Mill in Salford in a dreamlike film of feathers. As you clamber up the steep wooden staircase, you emerge into a veritable cloudscape of soft textured down, providing a curious sense of weightlessness. Talk about having your head in the clouds. The contrast between the infinite bright lightness of the feathers, and the textured wooden beams, cobwebs and dark shadows around is incredibly powerful.

Feather and duck down everywhere

The piece celebrates ten years of Islington Mill as a cradle of creativity, performance and inspiration, and draws on MacMurray’s time as artist in residence a decade ago, when she created a similar installation. I’d originally heard about this when working at a client’s in the Mill late last year, and knew it’d make an amazing subject for a panorama. I’d already seen a short video by Ed Baptist, concentrating on the attic’s entropic decay and detail, so the prospect of shooting the exhibit in such surroundings thrilled me even more. I love capturing contrasts in texture and light in my panoramas.

It’s only viewable by appointment, so when found I had two food photography shoots in Salford booked on the same afternoon, with a spare half an hour between them, I contacted Shereen at Islington Mill to arrange a flying visit. I’ve since spent much longer looking at the photos than I had to drink in the detail in person onsite. A good thing, as I’ve since spotted a lot which I’d never have taken in at the time…

However I’d recommend arranging your own visit if you can… while this high resolution 360° photograph gives some idea of the scale, scope and otherworldliness of the installation, only being there and experiencing all the sensory stimuli can really capture the full impact of the exhibit.

Incidentally, one of my friends told me about him and a few others visiting the original installation a decade ago. Despite copious signage, and their protestations, they looked on in horror as one of their friends cast off her shoes and ran, barefoot, amongst the feathers. Obviously I did not do this…

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Bonfire Night across Manchester from MediaCityUK

Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Here’s a sneak peek at some footage I shot on Bonfire Night, as part of a wider collaborative project. I’ve got a long tradition of shooting timelapses of November 5th (here’s a link to an epic one from 2006) but this was particularly fun to shoot.

A grandstand view, 22 stories up in an apartment in MediaCityUK, using 2x Canon EOS DSLRs, and 3x GoPro Heros. The panorama above gives you a better idea of the location, and the attachments for the GoPros. Below are two of the timelapse videos I shot on the night: there are full descriptions of both on their respective Vimeo pages.

View this location in Google Earth by clicking or tapping this icon…