31 Jan 15 City Walk

02nd February 2015
On Saturday I’d arranged for my best friend Barry and I to attend a City Photo Walk in Liverpool run by Aidan O’Rourke. Photography in the city is well out of my comfort zone as I’m more at home in a hide photographing birds, landscapes when the opportunity arises or perhaps some indoor photography.

I think there were seven people all together attending the walk. The first 45 minutes or so were spent discussing setting up the camera to get the best out of it, particularly the correct exposure. Four or five printed sheets were also supplied explaining this particularly the relationship between, aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Aidan is enthusiastic and passionate about photography and very patient and spent a lot of time explaining things to the less experienced photographers. His photographs of Liverpool and Manchester have appeared in many books and newspapers, so he is a well-established photographer.

The Walk.

We spent some time around St George’s Hall and although on the face of it there didn’t appear to be a lot to photograph, a bit of looking around reveals lots. Then it isn’t only the taking of the photograph, for me there is also the researching of the subject that’s been photographed, not to mention producing the finished photograph. The really good photographers can take a photograph in camera that doesn’t require any editing in Photoshop but I haven’t achieved those lofty heights yet.

I think I work back to front and instead of going out and taking a photograph that I’ve visualised, I’ll take a photograph and try and make it into something that I like.

The former North Western Hotel is on the east side of Lime Street, Liverpool, England. It is designated by English Heritage a Grade II listed building. The hotel was built in 1871 as a railway hotel by the London and North Western Railway to serve Lime Street Station. It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, and contained 330 rooms. The hotel closed in 1933 and remained empty and unused for over 60 years. In 1994 it was bought by John Moores University and, at a cost of £6 million, was converted into a hall of residence for students, which opened in 1996

Looking along Lime Street towards the Crown Hotel with the Anglican Cathedral in the background. The Crown Hotel was built in 1905 in Art Nouveau style. It is constructed in brick with some stucco, and has marble facing on the ground floor. The building is in three storeys with an attic. It has two fronts, one on Lime Street with two bays, the other on Skelhorne Street, with three bays.It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building.

Part of the wall St George's Hall

The above transformed in Photoshop

After that we made our way to the Anglican Cathedral passing The Adelphi Hotel, the old Lewis’s department store, St Luke’s Church (aka The bombed out church), the Chinese Arch, Nelson St, “Chinatown” and finally the Anglican Cathedral. During the walk Aidan pointed out the main points of interest.

The former Lewis's Department Store and Dicky Lewis Sculpture

The Chinese Arch, Nelson Street, China Town. In year 2000, a Chinese Ceremonial Archway was constructed at the top of Nelson Street. It became a local landmark and a tourist attraction. The structure was imported piece by piece from Shanghai, and then reconstructed by craftsmen from China. There are 200 dragons on the wooden and marble structure with a mixture of stunning gold, red, green and the Chinese Royal colour of yellow. The archway stands at 15m high, which is the largest in Europe. According to Feng Shui experts, it will protect Chinatown from evil, and bring good luck and fortune to the area.

The Chinese Arch, Nelson Street, China Town

Frame within a frame. From the chinese Arch looking back towards St Luke's Church (aka The bombed out church

The Anglican Cathedral from the corner of Upper Duke Street and Cathedral Gate. The cathedral was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880 - 1960). The building of the cathedral was started in 1903 or shortly afterwards and was completed in 1978, twenty-eight years after Sir Giles Gilbert Scott had died in 1960.

The Benedicite Window above the West Door and Tracy Emin's artwork "For You" below it. For You was commissioned by the Cathedral Chapter as the Cathedral’s contribution to Liverpool’s Year as European Capital of Culture 2008. It is a pink neon, written in the artist’s handwriting, with the words: ‘I felt you and I knew you loved me.’ In 2009 Tracy Emin was the winner of the Art and Christianity Enquiry (ACE) Award for Art in a Religious Context for this work. The previous year this work also enabled the Cathedral to win the first Liverpool Chamber of Commerce Arts Award.Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool, Merseyside

All Together Now, a sculpture commemorating the World War One Christmas truce. Two fibreglass figures, about to shake hands, capture the moment British and German soldiers stopped fighting and played football on Christmas Day 1914. The statue was designed by Andy Edwards.

If you are a beginner in photography I can certainly recommend one of Aidan’s walks in Liverpool or Manchester as it isn’t expensive as workshops go, so if this has whetted your appetite you can find out more here:


Thanks for reading.


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