The Preview of the Capture Manchester exhibition was held at CUBE (Centre for Understanding of the Built Environment on Portland St Manchester on the evening of Friday 27 March 2009. The exhibition displays over 600 photographs submitted for the Capture Manchester competition.
The competition entries were on show in the basement while upstairs, near the entrance were stunning black and white prints by John Davies one of the leading UK photographers of landscapes and cityscapes.
People were invited to submit photographs or illustrations which they felt accurately represented the unique character of Manchester. Nine images have been selected by a panel of judges, including musician and music journalist John Robb, radio presenter Allan Beswick and photographer John Davies.
All 600-odd entries were displayed. There is no curatorial element, apart from people choosing their own image. Each entrant was only allowed to submit one picture.
A commemorative book containing all the images is also set to appear.
The prize giving ceremony took place at 7.30pm as part of the preview event.
So do the images really Capture Manchester and are they worthy of being put on display Manchester's foremost galleries?
The answer is 'Yes' and 'Yes'. The images are truly inspiring. They capture Manchester from all kinds of angles, both obvious and obscure. As well as cityscapes and architectural shots of familiar landmarks, there are photos of graffiti, found objects and lots more. A scattering of drawings and collages add an extra dimension to the photographs.
The 9 prize-winning images, blown up to large size and framed, were certainly very good, but I picked out quite a few of the post card size photos that I wouldn't mind seeing larger as well.
Redeye director Paul Herrman told me the photos are displayed in the order in which they were received, sorted into portrait and landscape rows.
A tenth photo will be voted for by the public. I found it difficult to choose one or but in the end I plumped for the night time view from Werneth Low with silhouetted figure.
Capture Manchester is a fantastic project as it has involved people in Manchester at a grass roots level. It has achieved a high profile in local media, and no doubt the book will also sell many copies. I understand there will be more Capture Manchester competitions in the future.
Capture Manchester has been sponsored by DLA piper, organised by Red Eye Photography Network in association with Marketing Manchester.Written by Aidan O'Rourke