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NonStop Mark
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384 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)


Here is a link to a photo album I intend to update weekly/monthly on the latest milestone developments relating to the Media City : UK development which is the planned new home for part of the BBC. (NOTE: 9 MegaPixel Photographs available on request).

Latest Media City : UK Pictures

Latest Media City : UK Pictures - Backup

This will hopefully provide an insight to the various building stages purely from a pictorial perspective. The projected completion date is 2011. It will be interesting to see if the proposed building estimates are similar in accuracy to IT software development estimates.

Back in the Spring of 2007, the first digger arrived on site followed by more and more heavy construction hardware and materials with each passing day. The site is called MediaCityUK and is based in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester. For Phase 1, it will be home to the University of Salford, BBC North and other media companies in 2011 and will be followed by subsequent phases on the 200 acre site. Needless to say, it seemed like a good idea in May 2007 (one month before the exciting Peel MediaCityUK project) to start an online photographic timeline journal of the entire development.

Nearly 3 years on, a year before the doors open on Phase 1, I have catalogued 12,500+ pictures by financial quarter, month and day. The timeline journal is updated weekly to provide all interested parties (both visitors and those involved in the construction) with a snapshot status of the MediaCityUK development project.

The problem I had was getting close to the large scale development in the quays, that is ‘to be intimate without being intrusive’. Time then to test a modern compact camera with a good optical zoom and image stabilisation. The answer, the Panasonic DMC-TZ7 with Leica DC Lens, 12x optical zoom, wide angle 25mm lens and 10.1 megapixels (I used the TZ5 predecessor before this). The TZ7 packs a lot of power in a small case and consistently delivers great pictures and for this particular project, I chose the intelligent mode option on the dial for most shots.

I have 3 main vantage points to shoot from. The iconic Lowry Centre at the centre of the quays, the Imperial War Museum North observation tower (the 30 metre Air Shard viewing platform ) and the back of the development site, a road called Broadway which runs the length of Salford Quays (about a mile long).

I actually work as an IT Manager about 500 yards from the site and have been based in Salford Quays for nearly 15 years. Each time I pop over for a coffee (too many coffees for sure), I wield the Panasonic TZ7 (easy to pocket) and put it to work by walking a circuit around MediaCityUK. Most of the site, like the rest of Salford Quays is bounded by water and provides a picturesque backdrop to the diverse and ever increasing disparate architecture of the once flat terrain.

When I took up residence in the quays back in the mid-nineties, there were very few landmarks to navigate by. MediaCityUK provides yet another attractive and modern set of buildings to the current eye-catching mix. The BBC North main building provides a full glass façade to reflect the iconic buildings that surround it, and is itself reflected in the water.

Hundreds of new media jobs are being created as part of the first phase opening of the site and to make access to MediaCityUK easier, a new pedestrian bridge is being built to accompany the current Millennium Bridge which crosses over from the Lowry Centre to the Old Trafford side, close to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ football ground.

I would never describe myself as a professional photographer, just an enthusiastic amateur who has fully embraced the digital age of compact cameras (my first in 2000). As you will see from the online photographic timeline, I have been able to get close to every stage of the MediaCityUK build with good clarity as a result of the on-board TZ7 image stabilisation (zooming between 3 and 50 times), not bad from 350 yards distance on each side. This even includes the stage by stage erection of the large cranes on the site, a great spectacle when viewed from the large viewfinder of the TZ7 (I no longer carry binoculars).

For anybody involved in the media or currently at university studying related disciplines including photography and photographic techniques, the MediaCityUK development represents an exciting prospect. I thought readers might like to see the extensive build 1 year off completion in 2011. Around 50% of the BBC staff (for the appropriate BBC departments) are moving from the south to Salford Quays leaving a lot of job roles to fill. This is aside of all the other media companies that will eventually settle at MediaCityUK.

My MediaCityUK Photographic Timeline is located at, www.mediacityuksalfordquays.net/mcuk.htm. This link will always redirect to the current month’s photographs rendered at 800 x 600 resolution so that the web pages load quickly. There is also a link to an abridged timeline of 300 photographs resized to 1024 x 768 resolution. This shows the construction from the same point over nearly 3 years (excuse the Manchester clouds). Each page contains links to related articles and the official MediaCityUK website.








 

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Clean-shaven and foolish
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1,363 Posts
Thanks NSM (and welcome!)

I've not seen some of these renders before...



From that angle the BBC HQ building looks surprisingly good - like the green and the irregularity of the design - not just a glass box as it seemed front-on here...



Also, not sure if I've seen the sketch below before - conceptual?

 

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NonStop Mark
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384 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Great Panaromic shot of Salford Quays Media City : UK

It's OK by me. I started this thread for all photographs relating to the development site as it unfolds. I like that shot. What camera did you use? I have never really experimented with panaromic photos as yet but this shot is another reminder to play around a little more.

I have ordered a Canon S5 IS with a 12x Optical zoom. This should allow me to take some non-intrusive intimate shots of the site as it starts to take shape. Maybe I can creep onto the site with a hard hat and take a few more shots in a few more months time. I will just blend into the crowd although they may get wise when I lay on far too much concrete for my brick laying approach.
 

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Salford Red
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1,561 Posts
Don't mess about do they?
 

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No Fixed Abode
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I'm afraid it is a now old Olympus E-10, but I use a Raynox 180 semi fish eye and a Nikon FC9 Circular Fish eye. I'm due to upgrade in awhile which is why I asked Marky about his camera. I also use a Nikon 5000 (old type) but that's mainly for KAP.

The pano was with the standard lens and rendered in Photovista. Although for more serious work I use PTMac.

The KAP stuff can be found here:
http://www.kap.toadstone.com

Now that I have succeeded in perfecting the video downlink from the camera I'm going to take some serious stuff on the Quays. I'll post them here too.
 

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Registered
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Good shots guys. And welcome Mark. :)
 

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No Fixed Abode
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I had a play yesterday evening at Diggles Diner Truck Stop with my Kite and camera. Several factors restricted my efforts to get some low level aerial shots of the Mediacity site, but here are some of the results. Air Navigation Rules restricted the height at which I can fly but I will try to get a license to fly a little higher.
I've just received my new camera so in a few weeks I will hopefully have better quality images and a better kite is on order.




 

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No Fixed Abode
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Mmmmn Longford, not sure, how far do think one should go?? How about Beetham Tower from G-Mex Car Park?

Perhaps I should become the Urban Kite Flyer.

;-))
 

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Cowboy of Love
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Mmmmn Longford, not sure, how far do think one should go?? How about Beetham Tower from G-Mex Car Park?

Perhaps I should become the Urban Kite Flyer.

;-))
The sky is the limit!
Or at least as far as pesky Air Navigation Rules allow!
 

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I miss a hot dog
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595 Posts
Very Very cool.

I'm guessing those photos must have been taken about 20-25m? Not sure, hard to tell as taken in such an open area.

But then I guess it wouldn't be practical to do this sort of thing somewhere as crowded as Albert Sq. I'm sure the pictures would be phenomenal, but I imagine the aggro from local street urchins would be unbearable and thats before the health and safety nazis acquire you as a target.
 

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Cowboy of Love
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8,096 Posts
There are ancient by-laws forbidding kite flying in built up areas....
......and at night
......and on Sundays
 

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I miss a hot dog
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595 Posts
Surely not. If I know just one thing about the law it's that one Walt Disney film carries the weight of at least 8 dusty text books in a trial situation.

And if I'm not very much mistaken it's a Walt Disney film in which George Banks takes Jane and Michael to go fly a kite in prime central London



What sort of sucker do you think I am? You'll be trying to tell me next that the nanny state has some sort of law stopping rats, mice and other talking animals from being employed in kitchens.
 

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10th February 2008
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56,997 Posts
Lots of activity onsite today. Took some pictures from the viewing platform in the IWMN. I'll post them tomorrow.
 

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No Fixed Abode
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There are ancient by-laws forbidding kite flying in built up areas....
......and at night
......and on Sundays
Its the "Town Police Clauses Act 1847" which among other things prohibits kite flying and the making of ice slides on or near public thoroughfares. :eek:hno:
 
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