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Photography: Competition images

2 fishing catch

I’ve been asked to represent the Black Country by entering a waterways photography competition and so I had my waterways shots planned out on Sunday. This stretch of the Walsall canal faces north so I wanted to be there close to midday. This Black Country lad caught a pike so I had to record this event for posterity! It’s not a great shot, the sun went in for a little while!

2  winter at Ocker Hill resize

I have entered this shot for the competition, but without the frame. I have taken this shot before, but it was much colder last time and I was shivering. There is also a busy road beyond those trees that causes vibration. I doubt if I could have got this image any better without using a tripod, which is a little awkward on a tow path.

2 four bridges

Here you can see the junction from the Walsall canal to the Tame Valley canal. The sign says Rushall 3.5 miles. From here the canal runs under those bridges to Wednesbury and past Moorcroft Wood and around to Darlaston then on to Walsall and eventually ends up at the wharf outside the art gallery. In the other direction it links up to the Birmingham canal. On the right of the picture you can see a newer bridge under the Black Country New Road. That canal goes over the River Tame and then through Wednesbury past College Fields and then runs parallel with the River Tame for a while. Farther on it  crosses the River Tame again over an Aqueduct at Tame Bridge. The canal then splits and the one goes to Rushall through the Yew Tree and Delves and the other canal is the Tame Valley canal, which crosses Sandwell Valley and through Perry Barr to join the networks of canals in Birmingham. It’s a complex system and a feat of engineering (and hard graft).

2 competition view

If you want blue skies like this then shoot in the opposite direction to the sun. In this case I was shooting north. No, I didn’t cheat and use Photoshop to get a blue sky, I wanted that cloud!

222 111 competition shot.

Some photographers call the first hour of the day and the last hour before sunset, the ‘golden hours’. I wanted this shot in late afternoon, because the sun would be farther west and shine down the canal. It kept going behind a cloud. This was the best shot and I think it stands a chance of being used for the calendar in the waterways competition. You can double click these pictures for a better view, but they have been resized. The original pictures were 6,000 pixels wide, but for the internet I made them 1,000 pixels wide.

Which picture do you like the best? You can share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter for updates.

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