Being a photographer in this city can be quite lonely, we often walk the streets alone looking for that elusive shot of Birmingham that no one has quite captured yet. Whilst the solitude is sometimes refreshing, giving one the opportunity to contemplate their art and take time on their images, it can sometimes lead to such walks being curtailed or a dwindling of inspiration. I know I for one struggle to get myself out in the city for this very reason which is why it was both welcome and refreshing to head out on a photo walk on a cold winters morning this week with fellow photographers Kris Askey and Ross Jukes.
The destination was Edgbaston Reservoir, the time to meet up was well before sunrise! Edgbaston Reservoir is located near to the Hagley Road between Bearwood and Ladywood and provides water for the canals in the city. Thanks to it’s slightly raised elevation the reservoir provides stunning views of the city skyline reflected onto its surface. Catch it at sunrise and the reflection and colours on show are truly stunning. Photographers are welcome at the reservoir however depending on the level of the water you may have to venture down onto the exposed marshy reservoir bed which can be quite slippery, something I am now very much aware of after a nearly very embarrassing slip!
Arriving just before sunrise, we marched around the reservoir and over the marsh to the side that backs onto Selwyn Road. This location provided views of the city against the backdrop of the reservoir at its greatest length which allowed for some incredible reflections to be captured. We set up quickly hoping to catch the sky as the palette of colours from the sunrise began to develop. Dark blues gave way to pinks and then oranges as the sun began to crest over the horizon while the local bird life put on an aerial display which added an element of motion against the stillness of the reservoir and the morning sky.
Along with the usual banter that comes when three lads get together, it was refreshing to discuss settings, composition, equipment and technique with other photographers while out shooting. Both Ross and Kris are considerably more experienced in photography than I am so it was a great opportunity for me to pick their brains. As the morning went on we made our way around the reservoir, shooting the changing landscape as we went and discussing the photography scene in Birmingham and our plans for 2017. The views offered by the reservoir and its surrounds vary greatly as you circumnavigate it with Perrotts Folly silhouetted against the rising sun on one side, and the spire of the Church on Lyttleton Road catching the suns rays on the other.
The presence of other photographers on the walk provided inspiration and some great company, both of which encouraged us to try new shots and to use our camera equipment in different ways. IGersBirmingham is as much about being a community as it is about photography and there is definitely a good stock of photographers out there who are keen to share their photo adventures with other like minded souls. Next time you are heading out on a photowalk alone, why not message one of the members of the IGers community who you have met at one of our events and see if they want to join you?
Kris Askey and Ross Jukes are freelance photographers in the city and can be found on all social media platforms under Kris Askey and Ross Jukes respectively. Alternatively you can see their work on their websites, www.krisaskey.com and www.rossjukesphoto.co.uk
Check out some images from Ross, Kris and myself below.
Words by Fraser McGee
Images by Ross Jukes
Images by Kris Askey
Images by Fraser McGee