With their exhibition images about to be revealed, you may well want to know more about the people behind the shots. Stay tuned all week to meet a number of the featured photographers, as well as the trio behind IGers Birmingham (Beth, Martin and Fraser).
We asked each photographer to tell us a bit about themselves and their exhibited shot, as well as the photo that they are most proud of. Take a look at their accounts to see the photos in their original glory.
Looking for information on a particular photographer? The blog posts are broken down as follows:
- Part 1: Photographers in the printed display with first names from A to H
- Part 2: Photographers in the printed display with first names from J to T
- Part 3: Photographers in the digital display with first names from A to J
- Part 4: Photographers in the digital display with first names from K to T
- Part 5: Beth Astington
- Part 6: Martin O’Callaghan
- Part 7: Fraser McGee
Kalpesh Patel, @mrkalpeshpatel
I am an Architect from Birmingham. My interest in photography started when I was an architecture student, where I mainly took photos of spaces, places and buildings. Currently I feel compelled to photograph anything that stops me or catches my eye, from nature to street life to architectural details. I discovered IGers Birmingham earlier this year in May.
My photograph captures people listening and contemplating at an intimate music event in the round reception gallery of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, with the Archangel Lucifer commanding a frighteningly real presence!
Mark Chambers, @m.a.c_photo
My name is Mark Chambers and I live in Redditch in Worcestershire. I have been interested in photography all my life but started to take it up seriously around 10 years ago. I like to photography many subjects but my favourites are portraits especially of interesting faces/subjects and I also enjoy taking architecture shots with a twist. I enjoy taking monochrome shots. I was introduced to IGers by a work colleagues whose friends are involved too, earlier this year.
My shot in the exhibition was taken with me on the lying floor on a busy Saturday so could obtain the reflection of the church in Selfridges, a shot people have said cannot be done and it must be a composite – it is not it is a straight shot.
I enjoy being part of the IGers community because it is full of great new fresh ideas that I feel are taken by like minded people with no preconceptions of what they should be taking – they take what they like and it works. This is a great change from the camera clubs I have been and still am a member of. I only wish I had found it sooner.
My favourite shot of mine on Instagram is the Holliday Wharf one as it makes the statue look massive by the buildings when it is only small and I like the angles of the building and the fact that there is a window open. I have shown people the actual place I took it – again with me on the floor – and they cannot believe how small the statue is as it looks massive in the shot.
Mark Daniels, @spike_j
I’m a creative type of person which is reflected in my job and photography, I’m a CAD/CAM engineer during the day for a company that build concept and prototype cars in Coventry.
I’ve been into photography for around 9 years but only recently started to put some real effort into it, it’s a way of creating art, I can’t draw or paint but I can take a photo then process into and image I like. My favourite type of image are long exposure seascapes, shot in portrait format to get loads of close up foreground and capture as much sky as possible, I usually like to process with a surreal moody feel to it.
My shot of the BT tower was a challenge to see how close I could get and capture all of it in one shot, getting the shot in blue hour really made this for me, I love the dynamics of wide angle lenses.
I like being involved with IGers Birmingham, it’s a great way of seeing the city through the eyes of others and discovering parts of the city I never knew existed, it’s prompted me to gram my camera and get up there to shoot!
This is the shot I’m most proud of, it’s taken at Westward Ho in North Devon, it’s my favourite place to be and hope to live there one day, the image and how I’ve processed it is how I feel when I’m there, chilled with a sense of surreal.
Matt Dolman, @Mattdolman_
How on earth did this happen? Iv been selected to be apart of the Best of Birmingham Exhibition! I can’t put into words how shocked I was when I received the email!
So here I am writing a blog post for it! I’m Matt, 31, married and live in Wolverhampton. I’m a maintenance engineer by day and a keen photographer any other time.
I’ve been into photography for around 5 years but since joining IGers Birmingham, around 6 months ago, this is when my interest in photography really started to grow.
I normally shoot architectural and urban landscapes, so having Birmingham so close to my doorstep is fantastic. I’m never short of inspiration everytime I go.
I took the exhibition shot on my first instameet at Spaghetti Junction, if I had a £1 for every time I’ve driven over Spaghetti Junction I would be a very rich man, but sadly things like that don’t happen in real life! However, this was the first time I had been underneath and I was so excited! Did I love it? Hell yeah I did! Getting to see it from different angles was great and didn’t take long to inspire me. This is where my love for urban and architectural photography began, without doubt!
With IGers Birmingham, I love the fact there are so many people with a passion for photography and that they are willing to share their knowledge and their experience with others. Everybody there has their own unique style of photography, which inspires me to try out different techniques.
This is the shot I’m most proud of because it shows how diverse Birmingham really is. The Cube in the background that showcases the new era Birmingham is in with all of the redevelopment in the city, and then the canal boats in the foreground show how much history Birmingham’s canals have and how they have been using the city’s waterways for years.
Pete Davies, @petedaviesphoto
My love of photography kicked off over 25 years ago, when I came to live and work in Birmingham from Wales. Whether analogue, digital or mobile, photography is the perfect accompaniment to my broad range of interests in the natural world, including walking, nature, astronomy and industrial archaeology.
My exhibition shot ‘She’s Electric’ was a piece of iPhonography, juxtaposing the modern Radison Blue building with the Beautiful Art Deco Electric Cinema.
I chose this as my proudest shot. It’s from the days of film, shot In Yosemite National Park – it always reminds me of the answer to the question why do I shoot photos.
Ronalds Blums, @mrronalds
I’m a freelance photographer from a small European country Latvia, been living Birmingham since 2007. My favourite type of photography is landscapes, cars & portraits. I have joined #igersbirmingham since they started and I enjoy it.
My exhibition shot was one amazing sunset after a hot summer day in Birmingham.
I like the IGers Birmingham community because I have noticed that since they started #igersbirmingham they grow more interest in local people about photography, with picture of the day being reposted and location meetings. Being involved in this community you can get to some places to take pictures where you couldn’t get before, that’s awesome.
I just like this picture taken with fisheye lens 8mm, because it shows what Birmingham is about, high buildings & planes everyday….
Ryan Beard, @ryandbeard
I am a 24 year old from Kings Norton in the south of Birmingham. My interest in photography really took off last year when I brought an old 35mm film camera on the internet. Since then I regularly take my camera out and about with me to shoot mainly urban landscapes and architecture. I primarily shoot on 35mm film and occasionally on 120 medium format film. I have been following @igersbirmingham for about a year now and have only been contributing for the last few months.
My exhibition shot was a happy accident. I didn’t mean for it to be a double exposure.
I enjoy being part of IGers Birmingham because its a great way to be creative with like minded people within the same city. You can share your work with each other, give / receive advice and generally just have fun.
I would say i am most proud of this shot due to the symetrical composition and contrasting colours of the two subjects clothing. I also think the monochromatic colours make it feel more emotive without the distraction of bright and bold colours.
Sam Henderson, @Shendergram
I’m from Birmingham and live in Stirchley with my wife, Emily. I’ve always loved film and photography but I’ve got more into taking photos over the last few years. Instagram has been a good place to share photos and get inspiration.
I enjoy taking photos of my home city and when i’m travelling. My other Instagram account ‘@Views_and_Reviews’ features some of my favourite places in the UK including beaches and beauty spots, as well as reviews of places to eat, drink and stay.
I recently went to my first IGers Birmingham instameet at the Birmingham Weekender and loved it.
My selection for the competition was taken from the Birmingham Library terrace. It was a bright sunny afternoon creating some hard shadows. I saw a solitary figure walk into the frame and took the shot.
One of my favourite photos is this one from Portheras Cove in Cornwall taken this summer. We arrived late afternoon at this secluded picturesque beach, the sun was coming out after an overcast day and we found that we had the beach all to ourselves. I liked the way the stream was forging a path around the rock in the foreground. You can just make out my footprints in the pristine sand.
Dr Sarah Allen, @sabraham2307
I live in Studley, Warwickshire with my husband, two boys and two cats! I’m a full time Deputy Head Teacher at a very large primary school in Balsall Heath, Birmingham – I started there as a student on teaching practice 20 years ago and never left! I am passionate about education and recently completed my doctorate in Leadership in Education at the University of Birmingham. I joined Instagram in January 2016 and have never looked back! I discovered I loved taking photos of Brutalist architecture and have just recently bought myself my first DSLR camera.
My shot in the exhibition is of the New Street Station signal box, built in 1964 by Bicknell and Hamilton. It’s my favourite Brutalist beaut in Brum!
I love being part of the IGers Birmingham community. It really has changed my life! Through our community I’ve made new friends, visited new places and been given so much positive support and encouragement for taking photos. It’s fantastic!
This is one of the Instagram shots I am most proud of. I was with friends in the Sky Garden in London (drinking a cocktail or two!) We watched the colour of the sky changing in the afternoon as the evening drew in… this shot was taken with my iPhone.
Tori King-Blake, @torikingblake and @portraitsbytorikingblake
I’m Tori, a second year photography student at Matthew Boulton, with a distinction grade. But prior to this 2 year course, I also studied photography for two years at GCSE level, getting my only A* grade in school. Photography was always my favourite subject, so I knew pretty early on this was what I wanted to do long-term. Getting involved with igersbirmingham was something I really wanted to do, as it gives young photographers so much more exposure, friends and opportunities, that we probably wouldn’t get without being in with the IGers Birmingham crowd.
My exhibition photograph was taken one very bright February morning, I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot that day (which is unusual for me, as I normally just wander around and shoot) but I wanted to shoot along that very particular part of the canal, keeping the new Birmingham Uni building in the shot. So I waited for a blue-skies day and set out to take that shot.
I enjoy being a part of IGers Birmingham as I’ve met some great photographers and its better to surround yourself with likeminded people and even better to shoot around the city together rather than alone.
Tomorrow we’ll be meeting Beth, one of the members of Team IGers Birmingham.