This week I wanted to photograph some local landmarks in my city of Stoke on Trent. I decided to use a fisheye lens (ultra wide angle) to distort the perspective slightly and hopefully give a fresh viewing angle to well known sites. I also edited the photos in Snapseed on my iPad using filters to evoke the atmosphere that I felt around these sites.
Again I found myself photographing contrasts, more about old and new, past and present.
So I found the old Burslem town hall in early morning overcast weather, a place of cultural heritage and power, in a quiet morning without many cars around. Even this historic building is finding new use as a possible college venue.
A good contrast was the Britannia football stadium as the sun broke through, suggesting new sporting venues of great influence and hope, fragile though that hope may seem year on year. It makes an imposing sight on high ground intersecting two dual carriageways.
The historic railway station speaks of the busy commuter hub between here and London, a modern network inside an old shell of a building. Wedgwood’s statue almost seems to bow in respect to the ongoing flourishing of business, tourism and travel.
The new bus station, on the other hand, looks as though it has been dropped in from space, reflecting the regeneration of the city centre at its southern end. It is the sign of the future and a bold statement of design.
That day I also wandered down to a portion of canal pathway just a mile away from the city centre. From previous walks I knew that there has been house building near the water front amidst the old industrial wasteland. I found what I was looking for within minutes – an old derelict potteries chimney close by state of the art 21st century flats. I had to lean over a high broken wall to get this shot, but felt it captured something of the current flux in our city life – a scarred but tremendous heritage being slowly transformed into modern life and fresh community vision!