Eight photos were shortlisted to become the final image of The Big Picture. The eight photos were selected for their unique boldness, fascinating stories, and their suitability to be reproduced into the huge scale work of art.
Through the Camera Phone
The photo was taken on Stephen O’Loughlin’s new SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera to demonstrate depth of field for his college project. Stephen works as a Grants Officer for the ‘Awards for All’ programme part of the Big Lottery Fund has also been getting professional photography experience working with the Birmingham Mail Newspaper.
“I asked my friends George and Vic who work with me at the Big Lottery fund if they would mind if I practised using my new SLR camera on them at lunch one day so I could get some shots for college. I managed to get a few people to pop out in the end, and although, we got a few strange looks we had a laugh taking the pictures.
“Having the sharp picture quality on the mobile phone against the blurred image of George and Vic in the background was used to demonstrate depth of field, which I think is quite a striking effect. I also think it tells a great story of people in the West Midlands taking pictures of themselves to send into the Big Picture. I am very proud to be from Birmingham, I love the fast paced life and my football team; Blues!”
Diane Fellows, 50, from Telford in Shropshire submitted an old school photo from days spent at Beeches Road School in Blackheath. Diane was born in Dudley and still feels a special affinity to her Black Country roots.
“This photo was taken when I was a primary school at Beeches Road in Blackheath, I must have been about six or seven years old. I am now fifty and live in Shropshire with my husband of twenty years. Although, I don’t live in the Black Country now, I am certainly a Black Country lass at heart. I love photography and thanks to my son, who bought me a digital pro suite for Christmas, I have been able to restore and airbrush many old photos including this one. What I love most about the photo is that is reminds me of the calm and happy days of my childhood. My Father worked in the rolling mills of Whiteheath when the Black Country was very industrial; I now work at the Ironbridge museum in Shropshire and have a very keen interest in history, particularly local history.”
Liz Combellack, 26, took the photo on a recent trip to Birmingham’s famous markets. Liz, who lives in Erdington has just finished a course at Sutton Coldfield College in ‘Digital Photography and Photo Manipulation’ and works as a welfare support office for the University of Birmingham, in Edgbaston.
“My partner and I visit the markets at least once a week to buy all our fruit and vegetables, and like to have a good root around the clothes and material stalls. ‘My life in Birmingham – Born and Bred’ was the topic for my final portfolio at college, it covered a wide range of shots which were representative of areas in my life. I feel Birmingham is a city full of culture and history and this shot is a representation of the diversity we see today. The Bullring and markets are my favourite images of Birmingham; it is at the forefront of all the positive things people know and love about Birmingham and is a landmark of social history.”
Graham Allbutt from Chell, Stoke-on-Trent submitted this photo taken on one of his walks around Stoke with his Jack Russell dog ‘Jack’.
“I was on my usual Sunday morning walk with my camera, when I saw a film crew filming a project on street graffiti. The fellow in the photo is a professional graffiti artist who works for the local council, making places like subways look more appealing. I was able to have an interesting talk with his about his work before moving on. The graffiti was being sprayed on a wall in an old walk way which was in the process of being demolished at the time for the regeneration of Tunstall. I have a very keen interest in photography and have been back to college to do a digital photography course.”
All Smiles in Stratford
A family photo from a day out in Stratford sent in by Fiona Rae. Fiona took the photo at one of the Big Picture workshops that took place in Stratford-upon-Avon.
“I took this picture in the afternoon of the Big Picture workshop at the leisure centre in Stratford. I bought my first digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera in February and I would say it’s changed my life. I take my camera everywhere and have taken thousands of pictures – flowers at first and then I found that I like taking pictures of people more. Three generations of an Indian family were walking along the banks of the river Avon on this particular afternoon, I chatted to them and we took pictures of each other. The couple in the photo were grandparents visiting their family here from India.”
Lucy Moore, 17, submitted this portrait of her grandfather to the Big Picture.
The photo was taken in 1926 and is a portrait of Arthur James Bunce at the age of 17, when he was an amateur boxer. From a total of 110,000 images received by The Big Picture, it has been shortlisted alongside seven other photographs to potentially become the final image of the record-breaking mosaic.
Arthur, who had fourteen children, died in 1987 at the age of 78, but the photo has continued to be an inspiration to Lucy and her family.
“I didn’t get to meet my Granddad, but the picture is cherished by all of us and my brother, Michael, even has it tattooed across his back. None of my family box, but my Dad and brother are huge fans, my brother especially. He has posters all over his bedroom wall and Ricky Hatton is his favourite!
“My grandparents were very much at the centre of our family. Since my Nan died a couple of year’s ago it’s caused the family to drift apart as some of us have moved further away. I hope that if the photo does become the face of The Big Picture it will help to bring us closer together again.”
Everybody Needs Good Neighbours
A friendly photo of neighbours sent in by a local teenager, Lydia is in the running to become the face of the world’s largest photo mosaic.
Lydia, 19, from Moseley has the chromosomal disorder; Down’s syndrome. Her mother, Annie, submitted the photo on Lydia’s behalf to the Big Picture. The photo is of Lydia’s neighbours, Willy and Ethel Turner.
Lydia is very snappy happy and has her own digital camera which allows her to take hundreds of pictures of anything of interest to her, particularly her surroundings.
Lydia’s Mum, Annie said:
“Lydia’s favourite topics of photography include; her bedroom, the garden, family members, and the neighbours of course! Anything that is familiar or important to her. Lydia sometimes arranges things such as CD’s or photos in a specific way to photograph them. Every week we go through them and put the best photos on the computer and then clear the memory card ready for her to take the next lot. Lydia took the shortlisted photo one weekend when we were all in our gardens. I thought it was really nice and asked if she’d like to put it on the Big Picture – she was pleased to see her photo shown on the website.
“Ethel and Willy Turner are excellent neighbours and have always been very friendly and supportive.”
Japan Meets Sutton Coldfield
April Boyd, originally from Whidby Island near Seattle, submitted the photo of herself in her garden in Sutton Coldfield pictured in her favourite kimono and Japanese Shiba Inu dog; Cassey. From a total of 110,000 images received by The Big Picture, it has been shortlisted alongside seven other photographs to potentially become the final image of the record-breaking mosaic.
April relocated to Sutton Coldfield in 2000 after meeting her husband across the Atlantic via the internet. She is an active member of the Birmingham Japanese Society.
“I have had a lifelong passion for all things Japanese, I think it is quite unusual for Western women to be seen wearing a kimono but I love them. This one is very special to me as it was sent to me by a friend in London. Although, my husband, doesn’t share my love for Japanese culture we both love our dog Cassey very much!
I could never imagine living anywhere else now. I love being so centrally located in Birmingham, and able to travel to so many wonderful places very quickly and easily.”