i walk the line


the first birmingham photowalk was probably a resounding success, then...
i spent saturday morning in a mood of trepidation, sure... nearly 30 people had signed-up but a few had already dropped out, citing other appointments that would drag them away... which in itself is fair enough, as that's what happens.
so i dawdled around in a record shop beforehand(although to be honest, it felt more like a funeral home... neil young has that effect on me, i suppose), before heading up to the arranged meeting point.
what brought me here to begin with... well somewhere, back in the distant past i remember reading about scott kelby's great worldwide photowalk, where photographers all over the world would just get out and walk a pre-arranged route together(like a parallel flickr meet), so i mentioned it on birmingham flickrmeet and someone suggested i set it all up and get it up and running(think globally - act locally).
so weeks later, i've got maps, and contacts and i'm stood around the iron man on new street, waiting for no one to attend or to be arrested for organising an illegal gathering...
thankfully - one by one, people emerge out of the crowd and identify themselves as being here for the walk... it's slightly intimidating to see just HOW MANY have turned-up from quite far away - i can't take any credit for this though, as the walk was seeded through various forums related to digital photography and photoshop(both of which i use all the time, but never go on forums about).
there's some older people with cameras(i talk to one old boy who spoke about shooting photographs in the city back in the 60's... which was very interesting to hear about), as well as a few people who'd brought their sons along to take photos (excellent idea!).

regulars from the flickrmeets arrive to bolster numbers, and i hand out maps, before heading off.

being a flickrmeet veteran i guess just how long it will take us to walk the relatively short distance along colmore row, knowing how distractions will appear(i swear i didn't organise the group on stilts!), then a slight pause at snowhill to take in the new buildings and after a quick regroup at masshouse(where i crack a joke about an approaching policewoman, glancing at us and the skateboarders and not knowing which social menace to arrest first...), it's down bull street(which is very busy) and through a tight little alley into a small urban park that leads onto moor street (i'd arranged this, as a contrast to dale end).
we hung around on moor street, regrouped and cross moor street to catch the interesting building on fazeley street.

i shoot a few frames off, and sneak away to the nearby park/graveyard to catch an image of the bullring, but i notice there are some lushes in the bushes, so i make a hasty exit back onto the route.
park street was a little uninspiring i have to admit, too much traffic and narrow paths to really get anything(although i did get the porno cinema with a billboard advertising a family day out), and then through the underpass onto digbeth...

i shoot a few images of the bullring building (i was only being polite here... i deleted them afterwards...that's for being so precious about your ugly building...), and then a quick stop-off near the markets(where one photographer gets shoo-ed awayby a stall holder), and we congregate by the tiny lifts to ascend to the top floor(some hardy people used the stairs, but i'd done that at the previous flickrmeet, and ended-up ascending 180 steep little bastards!!!).

major revelation once we reach the roof, it's wide open and a relief from the throng down below (possibly my favourite moment!), and people gladly get in loads of images of the 360 degree views that we get...
a couple of bored security guards pass thru but spy the camera gear and leave us alone.
nice way to end the route, and i've got about 4 shots left on my memory card.

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