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mr gambles

Today Siobhan and I were lucky enough to secure an interview with Brian Gambles (Project Manager and chief executive at The Library of Birmingham Trust.) Being the man in charge, Mr Gambles was understandably very busy as the preparations leading up to the big opening in September continue!

The interview was held in the new Library on the seventh floor. Walking through the building I couldn’t help but notice an enormous sense of anticipation contained between its glass walls.  This feeling was confirmed by Brian Gambles himself who was obviously eager for the Library to open its doors.  He talked about the new concept behind the Library and what sets it apart from all the others as well as discussing the building’s fascinating artefacts and how they will be brought to life through the discovery season and trail. We also learned Mr Gambles’ thoughts about the future of the Library and how it will affect arts and culture in Birmingham.

Listening to the answers and opinions of somebody behind such a new concept really triggered my excitement for what the future of Birmingham may hold.

The full interview will be uploaded as a pod cast very soon!

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Wednesday afternoon proved to be packed full of valuable tips as we tapped into the knowledge and experience of those already working in the Creative Industry!   As the writers spent time with a freelance journalist, the creative team received a productive crash course in professional photography.

Our shot expert was Steve Gerrard (no not the footballer!)  Steve’s passion for all things photography was clear and this translated into his very unique and experimental photo collection, of which we had the chance to browse as Steve explained the idea and workings behind each image.

Steve’s photography career began in music where he conjured up ways of shooting moody members of metal hammer bands.  This alternative approach to capturing a moment or person soon made Steve the man you need to photograph creative weddings.  For which he produces a huge variety of inspired shots that wouldn’t perhaps please the mother of the bride, but certainly reflects every individual couple in a true, unique and exciting way.

Firstly and most importantly Steve told us not to follow the rules and get caught up in the swamp of posed and samey photographs.  You need to find your own vision!  Much of Steve’s work is chiefly people based and for this the most integral element is finding good light.  Natural is always best, but there are lots of clever ways of creating your own, like light painting with things that flash and quick exposure.  We learnt about everything from light boxes to flash guns.  Steve’s work proved that the right light can give skin a vigorous glow, create curious shapes with reflection or highlight the most integral part of an image.

Steve explained about his love for symmetry, unusual textures and detail.  This got us thinking about the endless backdrops and props we have around us every day and certainly made me look at my daily surroundings in a different light.

With people it’s all about capturing the eyes, they’ve got to be sharp and looking straight through the lens.  Steve told us that he often sneaks a shot when people aren’t looking and that he likes to distract his targets with conversation in order to get that natural smile.  Steve has a gold fish in his camera when working with small kids and endless photographs of little engaged and puzzled faces prove this technique works!

Armed with useful tips we headed out into the rather cloudy afternoon and had a go at taking some photographs ourselves.  Here are a few of the less embarrassing ones, not bad for an impromptu shoot!

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cultureface

As you may know, my ideas for Birmingham in 2022 are focused around cultural integration. They explore the idea of arts and culture bringing about social unity, and allowing people the chance to stand up and confront the forces that really pose a threat to them. They are rather idealistic, but I also feel they are somewhat logical given the way the world is progressing. Anyway, I have posted below my short essay, and my attempt at poetry. Hopefully Alice’s work can breathe some more life into the pieces. Nonetheless, here are the latest drafts of them.

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In my project, I have adopted the same idea as Abbey; that in the 10 years time, we may revert to styles of the past. A mixing of rustic looking styles with technology is already apparent today. Think of the artwork on websites like Dropbox or Twitter. Or our very own Birmingham 2022 blog! There is a trend at the moment of making things look handmade and individual.

Twitter-Whale         dropbox

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