A Manchester photographers date days…

We live in a society that travels along at breakneck speed…the invention off ‘date day’ came along, making sure you make time for your significant other.

Having two children and a busy life means you need to make time. So for the most part Wednesday is our ‘date day’. So once the kids have been packed off to school, work stops. Being a photographer, my long suffering wife  [married in Maui in 2002] knows that date day is the three of us, me Wifey and camera. To be fair my wife does like taking photo’s as well and is a dab hand at iPhoneography. I am quite good though, and do restrict myself to one camera with a fixed lens, that fits in my pocket. This is more fun for me and helps stretch your creativity.

Luckily, living in Manchester we have some fantastic places to go and visit ( and photograph !) all on our doorstep…and still be back in time for the afternoon school run.

These are my visual record of our day’s out, they are not meant to be artistic masterpieces, I generally get 2 seconds before we move on, as it’s not a photography day out…really :-)

Today I shot with a Fuji X100F. This is the most fantastic little camera there is. It fits in my pocket. Has a fixed lens. 23mm f/2. 35mm full frame equivalent. [ I did pick up the X-H1 but put it back in the bag…the F has been left out recently ] I shoot mainly in black and white, though the odd one will be processed in colour too. These are always JPGS. I don’t shoot RAW very often. Even my wedding photography is shot as JPGS. It is quite rare that iI shoot RAW files any more. I have no need for them.

The little Fuji whilst having a fixed lens, you can buy a wide and also a tele converter to give you a bit more flexibility. I do have them. These were shot with the wide-angle converter [WCL2]. This gives me about a 19mm frame [ 28mm full frame equivalent ] This is a great combination for wandering around street shooting.

amnchester-architechture

The architecture is stunning, we tend to just wander and see where we end up.

manchester-street-art

This has a great 3D feel to it.

We are very lucky and have an electric car [30kw Nissan Leaf] She’s called Sparky. So when we are out and about we do look for charge points…it becomes a way of life. Whilst we were wandering around Manchester Sparky was on charge in an NCP carpark. Manchester Council currently provide free electric charge points all around Greater Manchester in conjunction with Charge Your Car Network [CYC]. A great perk if you have an electric car.

manchester-road-sign

Vicky spotted this fantastic piece of artwork. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take a photo too :-)

manchester-canal

This is shot from the bridge over the canal. The Fuji X100F has a built in 3 stop ND filter [sunglasses], this allows a photographer to darken the scene and force the camera into a slower than normal shutter speed. This then allows us to blur the motion of the water. No other gear is allowed on date days [my rule] so no tripod. To do a long exposure photo like this the camera must remain completely still this was a 0.6 second exposure. There is no great time setting this up. Shot’s like this are straightforward, it’s just a case of getting the shutter slow enough to give you the effect you want. We walked onto the bridge, stopped took the shot and went again, in less than 30 seconds.

Some photographers are not fans of blurry water shots. Using a faster shutter speed allows you to freeze the motion of the water, this shows the ‘force’ of the nature a bit better. It gives it a different feel all together.

manchester-condoms
manchester-lewd-sign

One downside of having a fixed lens and not a camera bag full…means sometimes you have the wrong equipment for the shot that you see before you. We had headed up towards Piccadilly station and we saw this chap cleaning the windows. Unfortunately he was way over on the other side of the road and I had a wide angle lens. Fortunately, even with the wide lens on at 26ish megapixels there was plenty of data to allow me to fix the convergence and crop in.

manchester-windowcleaner
manchester-firestation
manchester-court

I did get told off for this one. Not by the subject but the wife :-) Those of you that are photographers, especially those that do or like street photography will know that it’s just instinctive. I have my camera in hand when walking, saw this chap coming towards us..camera raised and a shot was taken as we passed. Sometimes people don’t like having their photo taken. I for one am not a fan. He didn’t seem to mind and just carried on walking. [Note to self: no invasive street photography when with the wife :-) ]

manchester-skull-face
alan-turing-staue-manchester

It was a very grey day in Manchester. If I had taken this shot in colour it would have still looked the same. I know you should be grateful having a job, any job…but I really wouldn’t like to be locked up in one of those little boxes everyday.

manchester-office-prison
manchester-buildings

I have seen this written around Manchester for years. I have no idea what is is/means. Is it just a ‘tag’  a name ? Feel free to leave a comment below if you know what it is…

manchester-guaranga-noidea
manchester-bee
manchester-euro-bee-sign
manchester-litter-sign

The sky was looking very stormy in the distance. Fortunately it seemed to blow away from Manchester City Centre.

manchester-moddy-sky

Mary’s got a bit sweary since leaving bakeoff… I do love the street art that’s all around Manchester.

manchester-mary-berry
manchester-window

One of Manchester’s oldest camera shops. Full of vintage gear. We had a quick wander in. Though don’t shout at me, this is a first. Not somewhere I would go into on date day. But I had already been told that we were having a look in Claires Accessories so it evened itself out.

manchester-camera-shop
manchester-aflecks-posters
manchester-afflecks
manchester-bowie
manchester-george-michael
manchester-trump-sign

I know we’re not meant to mention politics or football. But this made me smile.

manchester-trump-build-a-wall
manchester-heart
manchester-hearts
manchester-old-fashioned-typewriter

Our date days generally involve a lot of walking, to build up an appetite. Wednesday is cheat day. The diet doesn’t come with us. There are so many fantastic restaurants in manchester that it’s hard to pick where to go. A bit of goggling the day before led me to a top ten burgers made in Manchester. This one is called “The BIg Manc”. Very much a Man vs Food type challenge. I won:just. I had it with a side order of Halloumi fries, they were very yummy ! Never had those before. Vick [wifey] had a steak…great chef’s, we like well done, which most are rubbish at cooking. If you fancy trying a Big Manc then don’t eat for a week before and then head over to Solita in The Northern Quarter. [ Oh and if your other half likes Cookie dough, then get the Deep Fried Cookie Dough Balls for desert ] They go down a treat.

the-big-manc
solita-restaurant
manchester-flower-shop
manchester-love-sign
manchester-mod vespa
manchester mod vespa scooter
manchester mod 1969 mod scooter
manchester mod vespa union jack
manchester ska mod wheel cover
manchester school girl bug garden
manchester building

Sometimes we get a blue sky in Manchester…so I get the odd one in colour !

manchester building
manchester nightclub
manchester club
manchester fountains
manchester fountains

14,000 steps or so later and it’s back to see Sparky who had now topped up nicely ready for the school run. Enjoy every minute of life. More date days to come soon. If you were after gear reviews and posts they are here. If you wanted wedding blog posts they are here. If you want to chat I’m here.

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