Open City Photography: a day in the sun

It was a tropically sunny day for Manchester’s Open City photography day today, and the city centre was heaving with red-faced, skimpily-dressed Mancunians enjoying the rays. I was assigned to Andrew Brooks (pictured just below), who creates the most amazing hyper-real photographs using Photoshop.

By taking numerous images of the same scene, including wide lens shots, close ups and different weather conditions, he layers different parts together to create a type of ‘photo painting’. The result is a very deep and detailed image full of atmosphere. Take a look at his photo gallery for all the images, including fantasy images created from Andrew’s imagination using different component photographs.

Open City Photography Day Manchester

After a quick demo of Andrew’s skills we were set loose in Manchester, around Exchange Square and the cathedral. The weather created some beautiful light conditions, and with the arrival of the new Mayor at the cathedral with a gaggle of police motorcycles, there was plenty going on. The whole idea is that you should be able to take photos anywhere in Manchester without getting any hassle from the authorities, so we tested this fully by taking lots of photos of the police – and fair enough they didn’t bat an eyelid.

Below is a quick shot of @technicalfault snapping away over the River Irwell.

Open City Manchester Photography Day

However, I would have liked some structure and a theme to the afternoon with some specific guidance around it. If we were working around a theme, it would have been really interesting to compare styles. I took plenty of images, but got a little bored and sun-wilted so went home early to lie on the sofa, erm I mean download my images.

So here’s a few pretty photos that I took this afternoon.

Open City Photography Day Manchester

Open City Photography Day Manchester

Open City Photography Day Manchester

Open City Photography Day Manchester

Open City Photography Day Manchester

Open City Photography Day Manchester

Open City Photography Day Manchester


  • May 27, 2010 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    It was a brilliant idea, I had a really good time wandering around Manchester on Sunday, was a great excuse.

    Agree it could have perhaps had a little more structure or more tuition but perhaps not practical with the number of people involved. However, it did take me out of my comfort zone as I was in the portraits group, which I’ve never done. Thanks very much to the people of Manchester (and further afield) who stood still for me though!

    My efforts are on Flickr. Not sure how to post the link?

    Look forward to seeing if any end up in the gallery in July.

  • May 27, 2010 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    I seem to have messed up my link there to Flickr, sorry. Please feel free to edit.

    I guess it should be Flickr.


  • carolynh
    May 28, 2010 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Brill, just had a good look through your pics – some really good ones there. Looking fwd to seeing the exhibition – will try to remember to post something when I get the info through.

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