Something different for this take on Mr C’s 9/45 Challenge. Colour and a walk that apart from the first few hundred metres covers an area of Halifax that I’ve not been to before nor indeed passed through as it is an area of back streets beyond the town centre itself. I walked in a meandering loop ending up not too far from where I started.
Starting at Bull Green at around ten past eleven, my first shot was taken as I turned into Gibbet Street and the second at the other end of the same street. The first makes use of the colour contrasts and a bright blue sky. It’s a safe composition but a good start and set me up for the rest of the Challenge, which was indeed more challenging than I’d expected. I’d normally not take a photo walk so late in the morning, especially with a bright harsh sun in a blue, virtually cloudless, sky and this coupled with the environment I was walking in made for an interesting walk. The second image is a historically interesting image, so lets precede it with some history.
The Halifax Gibbet was an early guillotine , estimated to have been installed during the 16th century, it was used as an alternative to beheading by axe or sword. Halifax was once part of the Manor of Wakefield, where ancient custom and law gave the Lord of the Manor the authority to execute summarily by decapitation any thief caught with stolen goods to the value of 13½d or more, or who confessed to having stolen goods of at least that value. Decapitation was a fairly common method of execution in England, but Halifax was unusual in two respects: it employed a guillotine-like machine that appears to have been unique in the country, and it continued to decapitate petty criminals until the mid-17th century.
The device consisted of an axe head fitted to the base of a heavy wooden block that ran in grooves between two 15-foot (4.6 m) tall uprights, mounted on a stone base about 4 feet (1.2 m) high. A rope attached to the block ran over a pulley, allowing it to be raised, after which the rope was secured by attaching it to a pin in the base. The block carrying the axe was then released either by withdrawing the pin or by cutting the rope once the prisoner was in place. Incidentally, the axe head fitted to the gibbet is a replica – the original is in a museum.
From Gibbet Street I turned down Bedford Street North, ending up on one of the main roads into the town centre and the third image was taken on the corner of Pellon Lane and Hanson Lane by the retail park.
I then proceeded along Hanson Lane and from here I wandered, taking turns at random and initially when I sat at the computer I could not be sure where these next few images were taken but Google Maps/Street View has helped me reconstruct the route and I’m now pretty confident on where I took the remaining images. The one above was taken along Hanson Lane looking over the fence into the Hanson Lane Memorial Garden.
A few twists and turns led me to Francis Street, a long, mainly residential street with cars parked pretty much everywhere. I stopped when the phone bade me do so and if I wanted to avoid cars then there was only one direction in which to point the Fuji.
I had just turned into Parkinson Lane when the timer sounded again. This was at the farthest end of the Calderdale College campus and I was grateful that the timer hadn’t gone off before I had turned the corner as the street was full of students and tutors on their lunch breaks. I was therefore particularly pleased with the simple composition I found to my left.
Continuing down the lane I turned left onto one of the main roads back towards the town centre. I quickly took another left though, into Park Road, to get me off the busy, and noisy, dual carriageway. This was a broad, tree-lined street which hinted at the prosperity this part of Halifax once enjoyed. These old villas were largely multiple occupation now or undergoing repairs and the whole area was consequently a little shabby around the edges.
The bright blue sky contrasted well with the stonework of these magnificent old villas. At the end of the road is the entrance to the park which runs along most of the length of the road and from which the road clearly takes its name. I couldn’t resist a peak inside and so my eighth image is taken in the peaceful surroundings of The People’s Park.
Stepping back onto Park Road I then turned right down Hopwood Lane towards my final destination which turned out to be the Elsie Whiteley Innovation Centre, home to a thriving community of creative, digital and innovative businesses, according to their website. For me it was the final shot of the set and another chance to play with shadows and contrasts. I used pretty much all of my allotted minute waiting for someone to walk into frame and whilst I’d hoped for someone approaching along the sunlit strip this was the best I saw before my minute was up and so “snap” the Challenge was completed.
These 9 in 45 walks are challenging me in a way that I was not expecting. I’m forced to resist the temptation to take images which is counter-intuitive. I usually walk the streets looking for images and taking whatever opportunities arise. This challenge focus me to keep my camera in my bag until the appointed moment and I find that hard. Yesterday I was tempted to walk back to one location once I’d completed the Challenge to take an image that had caught my eye earlier in the walk, however a raging thirst and a desire to sit down with a coffee took precedent. Instead I shall go back next week at some point.
The mix of horizontal and vertical images shows I’m not afraid to turn the camera on its side too!
6 thoughts on “9 in 45: Take 3”
I’m finding your 9 in 45 series very interesting and food for thought. May give it a go when the weather cools further; it is still in the high 30’s and feels like mid 40’s even late at night and very humid , not conducive to walking for 45 mins at all!
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It’s a great photo challenge in my view. In the first 9/45 post I shared a link to the 9/45 website, there’s some interesting sets on there
This is a great set of images and I really enjoyed reading the commentary which most allowed me to ‘walk’ with you!
As is the case with this challenge there are some images which for my money are stronger than others. I think sometimes it’s what comes with taking the whole set that the challenge takes on meaning. In this instance they work really well as a set.
The photographs that I enjoyed most from the group are numbers 1, 4, 7 and 9. The first image works really well. Tilting the camera at a jaunty angle can often result in things feeling a bit forced. Your image works so well thanks to the careful composition and it feels completely intentional rather than stylised. The bold colours help too.
The long shadows in the fourth shot help with the appeal of the shot but also made me think it’s a good example of the types of shot the challenge can almost force us to see and perhaps otherwise might miss.
The colours in number seven are wonderful and bring something of the ordinary to life.
I like the composition of number nine with the top of the frame shared by windows on both sides of the street and as you say your intentions were only partly realised by the constraints of the challenge. The converging lines to the shaft of light make the image easy to read.
I’m pleased you have taken to the challenge because I really enjoy the results. I’ve also noticed that others are enjoying your work. Your Hunger Hill to Salterhebble Hill walk has proved to be the most popular set on the Forty Five site! (That is if the number of ‘likes’ are an indication).
I will add this set to the Forty Five site (let me know if you would prefer not).
I’m thinking the site name should perhaps change to Nine in Forty Five or 9 in 45. The website was originally quickly put together simply to get it up an running. I recently overhauled the look and maybe it’s time to modify the name.
Also I will add a list of participant websites / blogs as a side menu.
Thanks for your enthusiasm and participation.
Mr C 🙂
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I’ve just published these on the 9 in 45 site and added your web address to the side menu 🙂
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Thank you Mr C! Away at the moment but hope to get a few blog posts written towards the end of the week. I’m plotting my next 9 in 45 at the moment 🙂
Thank you Mr C!