20.11.11, Week 14: The Manchester Wheel

by pbnb

I’ve managed to get out to take pictures a couple of times this week, so I actually have some shots that I thought were good enough to share. I took the one above in Exchange Square in the centre of Manchester, one of the places that I went on the photowalk a few weeks ago and where the Wheel of Manchester is. This year there is a Christmas market running through the middle of the square, which added a bit more warmth and business to an area that is otherwise characterised by steel, concrete and glass.

I’ve been wanting to take a long exposure image of the wheel ever since I first experimented with the technique, but every time I’ve been to take a picture I’ve either been too late or there hasn’t been anyone in the capsules and therefore it hasn’t been running. The City Council have opened the clock tower of the town hall for tours which was the original purpose of my trip into the centre. However, upon arriving, my girlfriend and I were turned away because the tours were fully booked which led to us going for a perusal around the Christmas markets.

I’ve always struggled with getting the balance between the length of exposure and aperture right which means that the ambient or stationary lights are usually too bright in comparison to the lights that are in motion. I feel that with this picture I have got much closer to getting the balance right, although the strings of lights are a bit over exposed. I’m also very pleased with how the mixture of moving and static people in the bottom of the frame visually represents the flow of people through the market. My favourite aspect of the image has to be the concentric circles created by the wheel’s support struts that lead out from the top right hand corner to the line of light created by the rotating capsules.

We’re booked onto the clock tower tour this Wednesday, so I would imagine that next week’s image will be a cityscape from up there. Having said that though, last week I said I’d have a go at doing some ghosting…


      • Date taken: 19.11.11
      • Aperture: f/18
      • Speed: 8.0 sec
      • ISO: 200
      • Focal length: 35mm