7 thoughts on “Birmingham

  1. What stupendous wonder, what glory, what magnificence!

    I find myself in the state of Narcissus (except that I am transfixed by an image other than my own)-a state of pure, unadulterated appreciation for genius photography!

    I care not how such wonders are created. I am content to merely sample the fruits of such sublime talent.

    You may know of one who calls himself Mark Sephton: mentor, speaker, author, and international celebrity.

    He is, like you, a Warwickshire man (of sorts)…although that’s where the comparison ends. This man is not fit to tie your shoelaces. You, Sir, are a man of real talent, whose works are destined to shake the very foundations of artistic photography.

    I can only hope that I survive long enough to see this happen!

  2. I recently had lunch with a good friend of mine, Justin, who just happens to be a retired professor of mythology. Himself a great lover of heritage photography, the conversation eventually turned to your wonderful site and the contribution you have made to preserving Britain’s fine industrial past.

    Drawing on his considerable knowledge and love of mythology, Justin made the following observation about your quest to capture the creative potential along Britain’s canal network: “Although it may seem far-fetched,” he opined, “I do see certain parallels between Mr Grimes’ artistic and historical canal enterprise, and the labours of Hercules.”

    Whilst I was initially taken aback by such a surprising revelation, his qualifying remarks did make a lot of sense, and his explanation concerning the ‘process of transformation’ proved especially intriguing: “By conquering the rugged landscape around him, and presenting it as an artistic offering, Mr Grimes is playing out an inner artistic struggle, which, as the fruits of his labours clearly show, he overcomes quite beautifully”.

    As you would expect from someone steeped in the rich imaginings of myth, his musings on the Herculean analogy provided for a fascinating lunchtime discussion. There are too may details to relate here, but one particular highlight was when he compared Hercules mighty club to your camera, which he described as “the overcoming device by which he is able to subdue the world around him.”
    Just like Hercules in fact.

    Doubtless there will be many closed-minded philistines who will not allow for such poetic license, but I am confident that an artist of your stature and sensitivity will immediately recognise the heartfelt appreciation behind such imaginative musings.

    Finally, if I had to describe your site, it would be as a wellspring of joy for those who appreciate the unifying force of a shared creative interest. Talking of which, it is quite evident that you have attracted a discerning and loyal following, and I sincerely hope that you achieve some national recognition for your extraordinary talent…it can only be a matter of time.

  3. A peach, a pearl, a corker and a triumph-there are not enough superlatives when it comes to this picture: you’ve created one of those marvels that compels the viewer’s attention and draws them back time and time again.”That’s what genius does,” explained my wife, and reflecting on her astute observation, I am forced to concur. We now have this picture sitting proudly on our large computer screen as the chosen wallpaper. Not only does the screen cast a lovely ambient light across our bed, we now have the added delight of being able to feast our eyes on your magnificent artwork at any time. The combination of the light, and instant access to the lantern picture, has injected a welcome creative frisson into our relationship. Thank you Mr Grimes.

  4. Came across this photo by chance after seeing your winter scene picture on a Twitter site. It wasn’t long before I was using this image as a screensaver on my laptop. Hope you don’t mind; it was so good I just wanted to keep looking at it.

    Can’t believe i’ve only just discovered your photography. You really should be shouting from the rooftops with pictures this good!

  5. The first thing that came into my mind was the intriguing curiosity of the open window, that is the window on the gas lamp. It really has fuelled my imagination as to just what the artist has tried to communicate by this feature (is there a word for a such a window? – shutter perhaps? Answers on a postcard please!). It was then the whole drama materialised before me. Clearly the wall, which is here beautifully depicted in a manner that reminds me very much of a vastly overrated talent from the Warwick area (namely, one Leigh Lambert, but the less said about that the better!) is masterfully illuminated behind the lamp, and its brightest point lies directly behind the lamp. How curious thought I. The section of wall is illuminated in such a way so as to give the impression of the lamp’s having been the source of the radiance, where in actuality it cannot be. Careful observers will note that the lamp is unlit, and that any effulgence must, therefore, have some other source. This observation had me articulating in the most audible manner that famous Churchillian refrain, ‘This is for a certainty a riddle wrapped in an enigma shrouded in mystery.’ And upon reflection I am more than content for it to remain a mystery.

  6. I have to say this picture is a real squawker! Let me explain. We recently bought a 56″ Samsung smart TV and soon had it wired up to the worldwide web. Guess which site we headed straight to? None other than this one. It was quite an exciting moment in our household as the page appeared on the well nigh cinematic screen. My excitement was really heightened when I noticed that there were additional pictures uploaded to the site, namely, this one called Birmingham (could have been a bit more imaginative with the name I think). I clicked on the link, and in a matter of seconds a huge black and white photo of an ancient gas lamp appeared on the screen.

    Now let me explain my opening comment regarding the word squawker.
    We have a parrot in our living room, he’s an old little guy now by the name of Chunk (we call him that because he very nearly bit a chunk of a friend’s ear off when we first got him), many of his feathers have fallen out and he is completely bald. Well, when I put this photograph on the Samsung he erupted into squawks like i’d never heard! He went absolutely mental, flying round the room until finally he landed on the clothes horse and was just transfixed by the image on the screen.

    A few seconds of silence was followed hot on the heals of frantic high pitched squawking. He even appeared to be jumping up and down on the clothes horse, so excited was he. I was intrigued. I turned the channel over to a program with Ross Kemp about street gangs, and he fell completely silent. Nothing. Back to the picture of the lamp. All hell broke loose. Squawk squawk squawk!!

    I have to say it wasn’t a squawk of distress but rather, I am sure, of absolute and unbridled ecstasy. I have no idea what invoked such a response in a our feathered (mostly fallen out) friend. My wife has a theory that the lamp resembles a cage with the door open and that that caused the response. I reserve judgment on that one. Thought your readers might like to hear that little story.

    Gareth, and of course Chunk

  7. There can be little doubt that this photo represents the very apotheosis of lantern imagery. I agree with Mr Simpson that this picture is so thoroughly imposing and detailed that it does indeed have the look of a staged composition. I would also add a serious note of caution regarding the viewing of such dramatic scenes and the taking of prescribed medication.

    I made the error of viewing this picture after taking my usual sleeping pills; nothing could have prepared me for the visions that ensued after I was artificially transported into the arms of Morpheus…

    My dream began with my being chained to the canal path below the lantern. I could hear the footsteps of someone approaching my position, but stopping just a few steps behind me. There were lots of flashing lights coming from all directions, accompanied by the rapturous applause of ghostly figures hovering above the lantern.

    Suddenly the mysterious nearby figure jumped into view and proceeded to release me from my chains! I jumped up and screamed with relief; my eyes were irresistibly drawn to the lantern, which was now pulsating with a brilliant green light; shadows of naked ladies were dancing on the wall…

    I won’t proceed any further, but I hope this is enough to convey the overwhelming nature of my Birmingham Canals inspired dream and the sheer hypnotic power of Mr Grimes’ photography.

    It’s heady stuff and should be treated with respect at all times.

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