Saturday 31 August 2013

Photo of the Week: The Cornerhouse in Manchester

©Anne-Marie Marshall 2013 

I have a long history with The Cornerhouse in Manchester.  Years ago I used to work at the Palace Theatre across the road from The Cornerhouse.  Sometimes, when I was working a matinee and an evening show, I used to pop across for a soup and a salad for tea.  Before the Internet they used to have a really good noticeboard for all the cultural activities in Manchester.  Now it's just a white painted wall opposite the toilets.  I still think it would still be good to have.  I also used to wander around the art gallery as well as go to see the odd independent film at the Cinema.  Admittedly never any of the foreign films as I hate reading subtitles and end up missing the action. Weirdly I'd rather watch a foreign film dubbed rather than subtitled so I can focus on the images and action.

This place is a stalwart of the Manchester cultural scene with it's cinemas and galleries.  It's really worth checking out the cinema listings regularly as they sometimes have after show Q&A's with the film makers.  We've been to a couple and they are really good.  They also run cinema and arts courses, which are worth having a look at.

It has a great little shop that sells books, magazines and cards.  Definitely the place to pick up that obscure arts magazine that WHSmiths don't stock.  I think they would do well if they sold some interesting sweets for the cinema goers.  This is the only cinema I know that doesn't have a confectionery stall.  Admittedly there is a little Sainsbury's opposite so there isn't far to walk to get stuff.

The bar is good and stocks interesting beers and upstairs is a relaxed restaurant.  I haven't tried the restaurant in recent years, but the cakes look delicious.  You also get fab views of Oxford Street from there, so it's good place to people watch.

I've struggled to get a decent picture of The Cornerhouse.  You practically have to stand in the middle of the road to get one.  Not wanting to get hit by a car (done that before - not recommended) I managed to get this shot outside the Palace Theatre leaning over the traffic barrier.  On Instagram someone pointed out my photos tend to be moody.  I never realised this, but it's because I like to have cloudy skies as they give added interest to the pictures.

The Cornerhouse will be moving in a few years as there is a new arts centre being built off Whitworth Street West on First Street.  I hope they can do justice to The Cornerhouse as I think this place is wonderful as it is.

All images the work of Anne-Marie Marshall.

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Photo of the Week: Imperial War Museum North and the Media City Footbridge

Salford Quays has become an excellent place to take architectural photography.  20 years ago these docks were a wasteland, now they have been radically transformed into an architects playground.

The Imperial War Museum North is an amazing building inside and out.  I love how it stands on the edge of the Quays looking like a ship resting in dock. Inside they have some of the most effective exhibitions about war - I never leave the place with a dry eye.

As part of the Media City redevelopment a new footbridge was built, imaginatively called the Media City Footbridge.  I love the sleek design and believe it or not, but it's also a swing bridge.  So beautiful and yet so practical.

The bridge designers had an inspired moment designing this bridge.  I swear they were standing where I took this picture and thought an asymmetric, cable bridge would be wonderfully offset by the museum.  To me these two structures transform into modern day clipper ship in this picture.

I got lucky with the weather this day as the clouds add drama to the photo.  It was also a windy day and so the Quays were quite choppy, which adds texture to the water.

This picture was processed via Instagram.  I double filtered it - I'm not sure which ones, but probably X-Pro II and Lo-fi.

Salford Quays is one of the best places to visit in Salford with plenty of photo opportunities.  So take your camera, but remember take a jacket as it always seems to be windy.

Monday 5 August 2013

Photo of the Week: A view of Victoria Bridge from Trinity Bridge, Manchester

©Anne-Marie Marshall 2013 
This is a view of Victoria Bridge over the River Irwell, taken from Trinity Bridge on the border of Manchester and Salford.  This to me is a pretty epic shot, not in terms of view, but in terms of colour and reflection.  The shot has been triple filtered through Instagram.  It's a mix of lo-fi and hefe.

Most Sundays I go to Manchester to have a wander around the shops and have coffee either in Starbucks St Ann's Square or Caffe Nero on Deansgate.  I park on the Salford side of the River Irwell near the Lowry Hotel as there is free parking.  As a result I cross over Trinity Bridge nearly every week and always end up taking a photo or ten. 

This place has become a muse to me as there seems to be lots of photographic opportunities here.  The Sunday I took this I noticed there was a really good reflection on the River Irwell of the sky and surrounding buildings so I took a shot. 

The triple filtering was an accident, a happy one at that.  I forgot to hash tag my second shot so I thought 'What the hell' and filtered it again.  What I've noticed with Instagram, when you get to the triple filter stage you tend to get a painterly effect and the colours really intensify.  I really love strong colour in photos, even if it's used sparingly.

My favourite living artist is David Hockney and he has an amazing use of colour.  In his latest works of the East Yorkshire countryside there is a colour intensity which is thrilling.  He seems to see colours that most of us don't notice.  Using colour intensity effects like lo-fi and hefe brings out those hints of colours.  The yellow, oranges, greens, blues and indigo just zing out of this picture.  Whilst in reality this view can be considered a little pedestrian, I think these filters really transform the view into something else. 

Whilst I think the purpose of photography is to capture a moment of reality in time, photography has the purpose to transform something ordinary into something special.  I hope I did this here.

All images the work of Anne-Marie Marshall.