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Photography: In the Black Country


Narrowboats at Waterside Place, Walsall

It was early afternoon on Sunday when we set out to take photos of narrow-boats at the waterfront in Walsall. A blue sky with a little cloud should have given us good pictures. There is a lot of grey in this photo though.

Narrow boats near the art gallery, Walsall

This look a little better, but it’s a shame about that huge, horrible grey box. What were the planners thinking of when they allowed that? At the least the colourful narrow-boats contrast with the greyness of Walsall.

Narrow-boats at Walsall waterfront

Zooming in on the colourful narrow-boats helps to make the picture more colourful. The pale grey building is Walsall Art Gallery and Costa Coffee.

Walsall Canal

You can see a shadow in front of that sign. These apartments get some light when the sun’s setting, but then I am shooting into the sun (shooting west here).

Narrowboats near the art gallery in Walsall

It was hard to avoid getting that horrible grey box in the picture. It seems to dominate the landscape, but it does fit in with the rest of grey Walsall. I’m not against modern buildings, in fact I like the hospital which is close by.

Narrow boat trader relaxing on her boat

All the boat owners trade and this lady, who does palm reading told me they had been to Wolverhampton (Bentley Bridge) and will be in Birmingham City centre next week not far from Gas Street Basin.

Narrowboat traders at Walsall

Golden Boyz Doggie Gifts

I bought a glove puppet from this lady who is also a roving canal trader. She is also a poet and writer and has a website and a Facebook page. Sandra also writes poems about her dogs.

Traditional narrowboats trader at the waterfront in Walsall

This close-up almost obscures the grey buildings. I think the colourful decoration of the narrow-boats fits in with a setting that should be associated with art. It’s not pickled sheep, it’s not stuffed animals and it’s not suitcases hanging from the ceilings. That stuff is in the art gallery for the Costa Crowd and the grey people of Walsall to wonder at.

Lockkeepers cottage, Walsall in the Black Country.

As you go  far away from Walsall Civic Centre you can find more scenic buildings on the canal. This is a lock keepers cottage on the Rushall canal.

What do you think of this week’s photos? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Mike, You’re making it difficult for me to choose a favourite this week! You look like you had beautiful weather for your photo shoot.

    Colour me crazy, but I actually like the gray building, but maybe it’s the artistic way you shot your photo. My favourite photo this week is the second one. I love the reflection of the building in the water against the actual building. Plus, the photo is bisected by the classic house boats.

    My second favourite this week is Golden Boyz. I like the angles of the concrete pavement tiles against the angles of the gray building. Bisecting these are the curved and flowing lines of the sock puppets. So cool!

    June 24, 2014 at 23:58

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    Narrowboats are great because of the colours. I usually photograph them against a scenic green and blue background. I don’t like grey skies, unless it’s a very pale grey; they don’t reflect the light and here everything in the background was grey too. I was very aware of it and trying to break up the grey! The other side of the art gallery is depressing. It’s a deprived area, with two cheap pound shops wishing 100 yards of the gallery. The pound shops are busy, the expensive shops are nearly empty. The weather was good when we got there, but cloud quickly came overhead. We have to be quick to take the shots some days!

    June 25, 2014 at 08:40

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