Photophile: One who loves photography, carries a camera everywhere and posts to photo sharing websites all day. Named after the biological term for an organism that loves light, or functions best in it.

Architecture: Birmingham Library

In response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Architecture

The new library in the UK city of Birmingham was a building I was really looking forward to visiting and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The interior is as stunning as its exterior, with the added surprise of outdoor gardens on each tier giving great views of the city and beyond in all directions.  It is set in Centenary Square across from the the city’s state of the art Symphony Hall which has world-class acoustics and music for all tastes.

More information on Birmingham Library can be found here.

birmingham library
Birmingham Library ©HelenBushe


Looking into Centenary Square
Looking into Centenary Square ©HelenBushe


Birmingham's Symphony Hall
Birmingham’s Symphony Hall ©HelenBushe







Dereliction and Dilapidation

I’ve always been drawn to photographing old doors, fences, gates, windows and all that sort of thing, so when I see a whole house in a state of utter dereliction and dilapidation I am over the moon. Or if not literally “over the moon” then definitely over the road, in the middle of the road dodging traffic, sprawled on the pavement or getting into various other risky and ungainly positions  to try to capture it from all angles.

This property in the main square of the old town of Sliema (Malta) was in total contrast to the modern concrete, glass and steel structures of the hotels and restaurants on the seafront of the resort. It is also the only property in the square which hasn’t been converted into, or rebuilt as, shops.

When I look at these pictures, a hundred and one questions come into my mind:

How old is this house?  What is it like inside?  Why has it been abandoned?  Who last lived here?  Who first lived here?  What is it not for sale?  Will anyone rescue it?  Does anyone care?  Does it have an internal courtyard and, if so, what is that like?  Will someone come and board up the broken window upstairs?  And so on……. up to……How can I get inside for a look?


Sliema Malta ruined house
Number 50 ©HelenBushe


50 50 50
50 50 50 ©HelenBushe


Railings at No. 50
Railings at No. 50 ©HelenBushe


Hatch at No. 50
Hatch at No. 50 ©HelenBushe




Net Curtains and a Potted Plant


It’s Monday Windows time again and here are a few more from my recent trip to the Mediterranean island of Malta.


barred window geranium 124 Malta
A Geranium at no.124 ©HelenBushe


window green shutters malta valletta
Green Shutters ©HelenBushe


net curtain potted plant Malta
Net Curtains and a Potted Plant ©HelenBushe

Cashmere Espadrilles?

It doesn’t get much more OddBall for Cee’s Challenge than cashmere espadrilles.

Are they the latest designer “must have” or what?  Certainly at this shop in Malta there was no cashmere anywhere in evidence, but there were plenty of espadrilles in every size and colour.  Perhaps the sign about cashmere refers to winter stock which is long since gone. Or perhaps woolly sandals are for cooler evenings when you’re dressed up and you don’t want to wear socks.

cashmere espadrilles shop Malta
Cashmere Espadrilles for Anyone? ©HelenBushe

Maltese Monochrome

I’m still playing around with my pictures from last week’s trip to Malta.

I’ve viewed so many (hundreds) of files of brightly coloured doors and windows, blue skies, turquoise seas that it’s time for an hour or so in monochrome.

These images lend themselves to the Black & White treatment as they were both taken when the sun was at its strongest and the light bouncing off the pale-coloured buildings was giving some “blown out” results.

So here are my first b&w’s from Malta; both high-key and fairly minimalist.

Valletta minimalist high-key
Man with Pram ©HelenBushe


solo in Valletta
Solo ©HelenBushe

Jubilation & Celebration

In response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Jubilant 

Jubilant, adjective:

showing great joy, satisfaction, or triumph; rejoicing, exultant.

Here’s a picture for each of those words. (And in that order too, if all goes according to plan)

boy flag Manchester pride
JOY ©HelenBushe


segway scooters Amsterdam



supergirl Edinburgh fringe festival
TRIUMPH ©HelenBushe


dancing in the street


carnival queen preston caribbean
Exultant ©HelenBushe

A Tail and a Tongue

This week’s subjects for Cee’s Black& White Photo Challenge are “Tongues and Tails”

If, like me , you have two pets in the house, this would seem to be an easy challenge. As easy as falling off a log I thought. Tongues at the front, tails at the back, DONE, SORTED, READY TO POST.  Needless to say, neither cat obliged with either a tail or a tongue to be seen.

Delving into the archives produced only one picture of a tail, or to be precise a fishtail which was never attached to a fish; and the second picture, which involved me taking my shoe off this morning, is of a tongue which has nothing to do with a mouth.

fishtail seat Blackpool
Fishtail Seat on Blackpool Promenade ©HelenBushe

“Located at Blackpool’s newly regenerated South Shore Promenade, the “Rotating Shelter” by Ian McChesney is an 8-meter-tall wind vane that will counter the strong sea winds and shelter the inhabitants sitting at the base. The shelter is finished with resilient “Duplex” stainless steel and stands tall at eight meters. Sitting on a turntable (4-meter diameter) with a built-in damper to control the speed of rotation, the shelter is designed to rotate according to the prevailing wind direction. The radical shelter works around two key elements – the vane, which rotates the structure – and a baffle that protects the occupants from the furious sea wind. The shelter is not just functional in use, but also boasts an artistic design, which bestowed it with the prestigious Civic Trust Award.”

(This seat really is fabulous and does afford shelter, turning slowly in the strong winds which often blow in from all directions)


My second picture shows (a) the tongue of my shoe and (b) my sheer desperation/determination to fulfil the remit of this challenge, and to do it TODAY:

tongue shoe black white Clarks
The Tongue of my Shoe ©HelenBushe


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