Introducing #Brumscape


John Lewis celebrates Birmingham’s changing skyline with largest-ever photograph of city

Iconic photograph marks two months to go until £35m department store opens

John Lewis has today revealed the largest panoramic photograph ever taken of Birmingham’s iconic skyline.

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A small snippet of the magnificence

Commissioned to mark two months until the John Lewis Birmingham regional flagship shop opens on 24th September, the super-high resolution panoramic has affectionately been termed as a “Brumscape” and was taken from the Staying Cool apartments at the top of Birmingham’s Rotunda tower.

The gigapixel format, also known as deep zoom, allows viewers to pan across the skyline and zoom in on Birmingham’s city centre, discovering the smallest details of the city, as well as up to 15 miles in the distance.

The photograph is an 80 megapixel image made up of four rows of 33 separately-taken shots, meticulously stitched together to create a unique photograph stretching across Birmingham’s evolving cityscape. Iconic landmarks including Edgbaston Cricket Ground, the new Library of Birmingham, the BT Tower and the new John Lewis shop at Grand Central can be seen.

Lisa Williams, Head of Branch, John Lewis Birmingham, “Birmingham is a city undergoing a huge transformation and this striking image truly captures this.

“The support we’ve had from the local community since we announced the new shop has been fantastic and we thought this was the perfect way to mark the two month countdown to opening with something special we hope people will enjoy.”

The photographer, panoramic specialist Will Pearson, was one of the earliest adopters of the deep zoom format and is considered a pioneer in the field. Speaking about the gigapixel shot, Will said:

“It was obvious when bringing this image to life that Birmingham is a constantly evolving city – from the chimney stacks across the skyline echoing its industrial past, to a city centre of new, innovative schemes. “

John Lewis Birmingham is the business’ first full line department store to open in four years and will be one of the biggest John Lewis shops outside of London. The 250,000 sq ft department store will be the anchor tenant of the new Grand Central retail development, which sits above the redeveloped New Street Station.

The shop represents a £35m investment by the business in the city and will be John Lewis’s most innovative shop to date. It will showcase the best of the department store’s offer, allowing customers to shop from more than 350,000 products from the retailer’s full range, including those leading the latest fashion, furniture, homewares, beauty and technology trends.

The image can be viewed here:

Key facts and stats about the image:

  • The photographer spent a day and half stitching the 33 shots together.
  • One of the furthest visible objects is a hot air balloon to the far left of the shot, just above the tree tops. It is up to 15 miles from where the photograph was taken and was totally invisible to the naked eye.
  • The photograph captures key Birmingham landmarks from Edgbaston Stadium right across to One and Two Snow Hill.
  • The tallest building visible is the BT Tower which stands at 152 ft and 31 floors high.
  • The Clent hills, in Stourbridge Worcestershire can be seen in the far distance, over 11 miles from where the photograph was taken.
  • The Rotunda tower where the photo was taken stands at a height of 266ft.

Birmingham International Fashion Week

Millennium Point March 2013

The second city rocked its first ever international fashion week on the 9th and 10th of March. Designers from all over the world came to showcase their pieces on the catwalk.

I particularly loved the work by Tijana and Mila Popovic, their outfits were edgy and grungy and their show had complete flare. Ricardo Ramos was also a pleasure to meet, I got chance to speak to him about his ventures in Germany, Berlin and everywhere around the world working on his 2013/14 collection.

After being invited to attend and take pictures at the glamorous official press launch at Mechu Bar and Grill, I got the pleasure of being asked to carry out a photo shoot for the Birmingham International Fashion Week head office team on the day of the event.  My task was to head out on to the streets of Birmingham city centre and get a ‘style during BHMFW‘ collection of images to be uploaded on to the website. The images aimed to show what the very stylish public were wearing during the event and people who participated were given a free ticket with a guest to Birmingham International Fashion Week.

The shoot was challenging as it was very cold outside and the weather was not particularly brilliant, but I had very good fun and learnt a lot! Approaching people was daunting for the first few times, but once they were told that their style was great and that they could get tickets in return for a picture they soon agreed and became part of the weekend.

Tijana and Mila Popovic 2013

Tijana and Mila Popovic 2013

After being out on the streets in minus degrees and returning with a memory card full of sassy styled bods, I finally ended up at the end of the catwalk snapping the designer’s shows. This was a different experience entirely as the fast paced collection  didn’t leave me much time for error. However I had a privileged position in the press area and a camera in my hand and I made sure I got as many shots as possible.

An amazing weekend all round! Check out the website for the 2014 Birmingham International Fashion Week information.

Cheap and cheerful ways to get creative with your lens

This is a good idea for a cheap photography trick for us students, using crafty things to improvise and add some artistic flare to your images without the hefty price tags.

Have a peek, you might like it too.