Visit to Blists Hill Victorian Village

In the summer the intention to have a club visit to either The Black Country Museum or Blists Hill got to the point of plans being made. From the original interest shown the plan had been to hire a small coach. Nearer the time conflicting dates, and, possibly the time of year and the numbers meant that we went in 3 cars. Thankfully no one reported back of their having caught the cold that was addling my brain on the day. With my having seen various photos on the Midlands competition and lecture circuit of both Blists Hill and The Black Country Museum it was definitely somewhere that I wanted to visit. The day started cold but bright. It continued cold but with some clouding over at times giving some rain.

The incline that leads down from the canal to the Severn

Many of the buildings have small windows which when it was sunny let a lot of localised light in. The overcast times gave much more manageable contrast inside but very low light levels. Difficult lighting conditions. Using a reflector during the sunny times might have helped but there was little space to manoeuvre and using flash just removed the atmosphere. I concentrated on seeing what a new lens was capable off. That is probably where I ‘went wrong’. I concentrated on photographing the people but having to use the lens at or close to wide open meant very limited depth of field To make the most of the setting I really needed to go wider than the 105mm that I was trying to use as much as possible.

Given the requirement now that any texture layers / screens used in competition photographs must have been taken by the photographer it proved to be an ideal place to get stocked up. Presumably white layers and gradient layers used in images have been produced from images taken by the photographer and not just added in Photoshop ?

One of the parts that had to be visited was the chippy. Renowned for the quality of their chips and I was not disappointed. Thankfully I saw the portion size served up to Wendy and her daughter prompting me to ask for less. Despite being very good chips there is a limit to how many chips I can eat these days.

There were quite a few other photographers there including a group of 7 to 10 from another camera club. When I saw that group I was glad that we didn’t have a full coach. With their going around as a group it seemed at times like it was the scrum at The Photography Show when a model makes an appearance.

In the parlour. I should have asked if it would be possible to remove the ball of wool ……….

Before leaving I upgraded my day ticket to a ‘passport’ that lasts for the year. It is somewhere to go back to when it is warmer and generally brighter. We were there on the last day before some parts were shut down for the winter with consequently fewer costumed people around.

Recce done, roll on the next visit.

In the copper workers workshop at Blists Hill
Talking with the people who bring the place to life is both appreciated by them and is likely to give the opportunity for better photographs than if there is no engagement.
Lace maker at Blists Hill
Lace maker
Fairground stall holder at Blists Hill
Fairground stall holder
In the print works
Using the mirror to get a reflected candid of the Victorian singsong in the pub.
Photographer and educator based in North Staffordshire near to Stoke-on-Trent. Social photography - Portraits, Weddings and Events are specialisms although I used to do a lot of still life photography with which I was very successful.