Last Friday after work, I took a stroll around Birmingham’s city centre during ‘rush hour’. It was the perfect opportunity to take some long exposure shots on my Nikon D3400 with the assistance of my trusty gorilla pod.
I set out to capture the feel and emptiness of this once bustling metropolis; stunted yet again by government restrictions on its people and businesses. Whilst I am enjoying the quieter and slower paced streets, I realise this is not sustainable for a city which thrives on flow and chaos. As I look up at the cranes building yesterday’s tomorrow, I hope Birmingham can return to its former glory soon.
My shots capture a city on standby and in survival mode. Public transportation continues as per the timetables and there are take-aways and ‘essentials’ open for business; this resembling some form of normality as I wander aimlessly through the almost empty neon streets.
What is the city but the people.William Shakespeare
I enjoy night photography as it enables me to experiment with long shutter speeds, which is usually ideal for roads crammed with cars; their headlights and taillights creating light beams, which evoke a sense of speed. This time, I found that my long exposure shots took on a more surreal and ghost-like feel with almost empty trains and trams rattling their way in and out of the CBD.
On some shots you can spot people clearly and fuzzy, the latter due to their movement across the lens whilst the shutter remains open. If you look closely in one of the shots, you will see ghostly shoes on the pavement, seemingly left behind by their ghostly bodies as they disappeared from shot; an echo of yesterday’s footsteps.