Manchester on mobile

Earlier this year I admitted that I didn’t like using my smartphone to take photographs. That was a good starting point to try to make more use of my phone camera.

My Samsung A51 is classed as ‘affordable’, so its camera doesn’t have superpowers. But it slides into my pocket easily and has been coming on more trips, including daily walks around Manchester city centre.

I’ll admit that I’m getting used to it and the results are fuelling stories on my Instagram account. Editing is minimal and the content is good enough to last for 24 hours.

Everything is still shot in portrait and I spend a lot of time looking up at Manchester’s varied architecture. Despite this progress, my camera has its own life which I still value more.

How do you juggle your smartphone and conventional camera? Let me know in the comments below!

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Link to mikeosbornphoto's Instagram account

Morecambe: Blue and white

When summer comes to the UK, you have to visit the coast. On a sunny day recently, I took a train from Manchester to Morecambe, a Lancashire seaside resort.

Have a look at the photographs, then read more below and let me know your impressions of Morecambe.

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The town sits on the edge of Morecambe Bay, a sweeping arm of the Irish Sea that stretches to neighbouring Cumbria.

This coastal setting is a pleasure to wander around – even when the sunshine is accompanied by a brisk, chilly breeze! I also explored the town’s West End area, where some of the buildings could use a little tender loving care.

But my favourite piece of architecture by far is the Midland Hotel, an Art Deco gem opened in 1933 and reopened in 2008. Curvy, elegant and whitewashed, it’s hard to ignore.

The standout Midland, along with fluffy clouds peppering a blue sky, seemed to be inescapably attractive that day.

Do you ever come home with a set of photographs where there is a distinct colour scheme?

The gleaming white Art Deco Midland Hotel in Morecambe against a blue sky

The Midland Hotel gleaming against a blue sky

Link to mikeosbornphoto's Instagram account

Manchester’s new sky garden

Take a railway viaduct that’s stood dormant for decades and turn it into a brand new green space. Does that sound like a good idea?

Well it’s happened here in Manchester, right in the heart of my neighbourhood of Castlefield. This elevated platform has been turned into a space for all to enjoy. 

Take a look at the images and I’ll tell you more below. Please share your thoughts!

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Castlefield Viaduct was built in 1892 to carry rail traffic to and from the mighty industrial city of Manchester and was eventually closed in 1969. Fast forward to 2022 and this lofty structure has been given a new lease of life with a smooth pavement to carry many pairs of feet.

Elegant gardens featuring a wealth of plants line the walkway – even silver birch trees nestle among the weathered might of the viaduct.

It’s a pleasure to explore the gardens with the expert input of National Trust guides, an organisation more associated with country estates than the heart of the city.

But as a local who’s been observing and photographing the local skyline for six years, I was really struck by the fresh perspective the viaduct provides. New high rise developments like Deansgate Square wrestle with the framework of the structure, and you really sense how old and new Manchester sit together.

The ‘sky garden’ is being piloted for a year and visitors are being asked which direction this slice of nature in the city should take in the future. For starters, there’s another stretch that’s yet to be reclaimed – the possibilities are many!

Visits to the Castlefield Viaduct can be pre-booked here.

Link to mikeosbornphoto's Manchester photo shop

London: A fleeting return

I lived in London for 16 years before heading north to Manchester. The first four years of this blog detailed places around the capital. 

I found myself back in London recently on a very brief stopover. But long enough to ride the Elizabeth Line, the newest artery of London’s Tube network. 

On the way I looked up and captured some new architecture above ground.

Have you been on the Elizabeth Line? Tell me what you thought in the comment section below.

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Link to mikeosbornphoto's shop

Manchester: Ship Canal stroll

My favourite local walk from home in Castlefield, Manchester is along the Manchester Ship Canal to Salford Quays.

You’ll find water (of course), city trams running along the route – and a whole lot of architecture.

The area is being developed rapidly and I like checking on how the buildings and skyline are taking shape. 

Do you like new buildings or should our progress be slowed? Add your thoughts below!

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That evening after I’d taken my walk, Manchester was blessed with a spectral, spectacular dusk. This is captured from my balcony which doesn’t even face the direction of the sunset.

A spectacular dusk over Castlefield, Manchester

Link to mikeosbornphoto's Manchester photo shop

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