Missing Manchester and City Photography

Before taking up photography full time I usually worked for large organisations. Sometimes I was a paid employee and other times freelance. I’ve been lucky to work in some wonderful locations around the world, but my favourite is probably Manchester where I started and finished my career. But even though I’ve left the corporate world I would frequently visit Manchester. Sometimes to meet with friends and sometimes to photograph the city.

Well, it’s now been just over 12 months since I’ve visited Manchester and I miss it. In fact, I’m missing it so much I’ve been looking through my archives of old city shots where I found this.

Manchester City Centre at night. Canon 400D with Sigma 10-20 lens

I shot this image back in October 2008 and it seems like another life. The building on the right is the Printworks and is still there, although I think a lot of the businesses have changed. The large green/blue glass building in the background was the Urbis gallery space. Unfortunately, this has since closed and the building (which I think is wonderful) is now home to the National Football Museum.

I shot the image using a Canon 400D camera. This is an old 10Mpixel consumer DSLR. Despite it being old, entry-level technology, the RAW files are exceptionally clean and sharp when processed with today’s technology. The lens I used was a Sigma 10-20 at 20mm. I had the camera mounted on a tripod for a 4-second exposure at f/8.0 and ISO100.

This Week’s YouTube Video

Another reason for sharing this photo is that I used it for this week’s YouTube video.

Serif recently released Affinity Photo v1.9 which had a couple of new features that might interest photographers. One of these is the Divide Blend mode which can be useful for correcting colours. As this image had quite a colour cast to it from the orange street lighting it was the perfect subject.

If you want to know how the Divide blend mode works and how to use it for colour correction, watch my video on YouTube (https://youtu.be/eEaPq0aaDCU). Even if you use Photoshop rather than Affinity Photo, it’s worth watching as Photoshop also has a Divide blend mode.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

16 thoughts on “Missing Manchester and City Photography

  1. Hi Robin
    I have a similar feeling like you, albeit about another city (Zurich), where my wife and me spent important years between ages 20 and 30. We now live in the countryside, pretty exactly 100km away. Before Corona we visited „our“ city about once a month, which we sorely miss since one year already. We enjoy our mountains now and wait for the end of the pandemic,
    Nice and colourful image, I „know“ Manchester only as the place where United and City are at home and have their stadiums😉. But a lengthier visit to the English, Scottish and Welsh countysides is in the waiting too, so maybe we build a city or two into our journey. There are so many wonderful places on those islands! Shame, before we only visited London a couple of times, but since I follow your site it motivated me to search other british landscapers on Internet and there are many outstanding ones! Their work seems to be somehow nearer to me than US-works – different countryside perhaps and different way to express oneself, somehow less extreme and loud, more moody.
    Stay healthy and keep well!

    1. Photography is certainly more difficult in the UK (in my opinion). The weather seems to get in the way much more than when I’m in the US. If you do make a trip to the UK there are some great cities to visit but don’t miss the Lake District and Highlands of Scotland. Cornwall is great as well. Oh yes, and Wales. Northumberland is worth a visit as well. I should stop there or this will become a very long reply.

      1. 😉 You forgot Snowdonia, Shetlands, Ireland, etc. 😉 … Impatience is rising…

      1. Well, I have not been able to make I work on my botanical photos. I must be doing something wrong…. where it’s supposed to be sharp, looks blurry to me.

      2. I’ve just tried it out with a micro43 RAW file and a Fuji RAW file. At first glance, the results appear very impressive. I did notice a little more noise in the Fuji RAW file than usual so tried running it through Topaz DeNoise AI. Interestingly if I applied any sharpening the image quality seemed to fall apart. This needs more investigation when I can find some time.

  2. Hi Robin,
    I found the you tube video very informative, and I hope that you can carry on with future projects.
    Ian Jenkins

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