Dalmatian blue

Finally, after many years of good intention, I have visited Croatia. This Adriatic country, blessed with a rugged coastline and peppered with islands, is best travelled on a small cruise ship. That’s exactly how I took in southern Dalmatia, from the spectacular city of Dubrovnik to its sleepy little ports. 

Croatia is truly photogenic, and with its calm seas and early summer skies, blue is abundant. For the first delve into my photo album, I’ve picked out my favourite notes of blue from a memorable trip. It’s a place you should add to your wish list if you haven’t already done so.

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New Manchester

I’ve had my first true taste of summer since moving to Manchester last September. Crowds of sun-hungry people have flocked to the waterways, green spaces and al fresco bars of Castlefield.

With a city draped in piercing blue skies, I turned my camera to the city’s growing crop of contemporary tall buildings – hulks of steel and glass that glint in this light. 

This left out the slender Beetham Tower, Manchester’s tallest building which has enthralled me for months. The colour palette for these shots is overwhelmingly blue, which turns dramatic and even menacing in monochrome.

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What’s in a portrait?

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I’m not a photographer of people. I prefer the ease and reliability of landscapes, architecture and, well, objects. If figures do make their way into my frames, it’s in moments of candour or they just happen to waft into the frame.

So this is a rare venture. Mike is sitting on a favourite armchair in my apartment, gazing out at the canal. He looks serious yet relaxed. While he knew I was there with the camera, the only direction from me was not to pose, just to let the photograph happen.

What’s made me interested in portraiture? Well, it’s when you find yourself a willing sitter who is actually pleased that you want to take their photograph. It helps if you have a connection to them and want to capture their likeness, mood and their moments. Sharing the results with them and ensuring you’re both happy completes the circle of portrait creation. Can you really do this with a building?…

A garden in the north

Manchester is a sturdy, handsome city packed with great buildings and urban power. But it’s relatively quick and easy to escape to the country and find green fields, hills and more.

Dunham Massey is a modest stately pile within the boundaries of Greater Manchester. We made a beeline for the formal gardens, which in Spring are bursting with colour. The tulips and rhododendron are out in force, while it’s that special moment of the year when the native bluebells carpet the woods. It’s soothing for the soul and easy to get snap-happy…

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A walk in Manchester

The canal path linking my Manchester community of Castlefield to the heart of the city recently opened up again. I explored its length for the first time since moving north. Its dark stretches can be a little daunting and desolate, while areas of the Rochdale Canal need tidying up. 

But this waterside walk takes you past the back side of some of Manchester’s powerful industrial buildings and recent musical heritage. It’s a route to the Northern Quarter – a grungy, vibrant place full of life and youthful businesses. This was a great northern photo walk with plenty to capture…

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