05.02.12, Week 25: Under Piccadilly

by pbnb

As I wrote two weeks ago, my housemate has recently bought himself a DSLR which has allowed us to go out taking pictures together. As it happens, he is more interested in videography and is currently getting to grips with that medium. We’ve been interested in urban exploration as a result of a number of influences: the UK Urban Exploration Forums, playing post apocalyptic video games like Fallout and Half Life 2 and watching a collection of YouTube videos which take advantage of abandoned places. The latest of these my housemate found and prompted us to try to find some underground parts of the tram network in Manchester, without being as suicidal as the pair in that video.

I remembered exploring underneath Piccadilly Station on an outing last year and that there was a pedestrian crossing through the middle of the tram tracks. We spent a fair while on the platform and on the crossing taking footage and images of trams and people, after which we went upstairs into the station to continue taking pictures. We were surprised to find that we weren’t kicked out for using cameras, the usual procedure for any security staff in such a place. This image is one of several long exposures I took of the trams, but it is my favourite.

Unlike the other images I took, there were two trams in very short succession, which is why the light trails appear to be flowing from the tram as it travels towards the camera, rather than following it. I haven’t taken a long exposure which has created this effect before so I’m very pleased with the variation as it is a technique I tend to overuse. The composition is good as the light trails draw the viewer’s eyes across the frame to the tram which is the subject of the image. The background has a blurred effect as a result of the lit interior of the first tram being recorded as it progressed past the camera which adds a more interesting feature to the image. I also managed to capture my housemate filming the tram going past from the edge of the platform.

There has been a lot of snow this weekend, so I have been out taking pictures of that as well as a few macro images. Quite a flurry of activity to round off a photographically uneventful week. Hopefully next week I will either be provided with some more opportunities or will make some of my own. I might even get around to that elusive new technique I was talking about last week.


I haven’t listened to a lot of music this week, but I have been trying out †††’s (Crosses’) new EP, EP ††. The second EP from the Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno’s most recent side project starts off pretty much where the first one ended. The music is beat orientated and very electronic but with some metal undertones. It reminds me a lot of How to Destroy Angels’ first EP, providing an odd balance between relatively down tempo music and dark themes. I do prefer EP †, but its follow on is a welcome addition to my music collection and provides further good backing music to the task of sorting photos after a day of shooting.


      • Date taken: 03.02.12
      • Aperture: f/22
      • Speed: 10 sec
      • ISO: 200
      • Focal length: 35mm