EXPLORE PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE CITY on the 'Eyewitness' Photo Walk in Manchester or Liverpool with Aidan O'Rourke Tutor Photographer

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Reader Contributions Page Two

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I love to receive comments and feedback, and I aim to reply to every message by return. Please help me to develop and extend this site by sending your comments and suggestions for publication here. You can also make picture requests which I'll do my best to fulfil. Please use the contact form. The material here was originally presented via the Guestbook, which I had to remove due to a small but significant amount of misuse.

Name: Edmund B Balaoing
e-mail: edmund.b@mac.com
message: Dear Mr O'ROURKE,

Thank you so much for sharing the 100+ images of Manila & other parts of Central Luzon in the Philippines. I have recently developed a deep longning to trace back my cultural heritage & my childhood days w/c was spent in Olongapo City/Subic Bay slightly northwest of Manila. I have googled my way to many a website about the Philippines & found yours to be, by far, the most superb.

Each picture is of top quality w/c is further enhanced w. your insightful captions; tech specs & data sheet (especially you spilling out some of your Photoshop tricks of the trade). This is very inspiring for amateur photographers like me.

I love the young lad in you: always intrigued w. man-made airplanes, trains, lorries, buildings & the natural wonders that surround man. I like billboards like you do as well as license plates & flags such as the pair of Union Jacks in the wing mirrors of a Manila jeepney (F1 style).

You're a very busy man for sure but if you happen to have some idle time, perhaps you can critique my photo albums of Greece/Italy/NYC on my personal website @

Even if you never make it there, that's still OK - I totally understand. Until I find something else better in the internet, Aidan O'Rourke Photographer Writer is now my MOST FAVOURITE photo essayist.

May your eye stay at its sharpest through the lens,
Oakland CA 94609 USA

P.S. I have bookmarked your site for many more return visits. Do you have a frequent visitor rewards program like Qatar & Malaysian Airlines' for their frequent flyers? Again, MARAMING SALAMAT PO (that's many thanks in our native tongue). You're the best!

Thanks very much indeed for the positive feedback. Hardly anyone is contacting me at the moment, though I've generally received very good feedback from the Manila Philippines portfolio. I've not received anything at all from the Berlin portfolio. At the moment I'm starting to run out of usable Philippines photos. I will be going there again next year with Ann (from Lagro Quezon City) and Adele (born 2001 in Manchester). Interesting you talk about the 'little boy'. I think I get most of my inspiration from childhood years. I have very vivid memories, and I still have a sense of wonder at things, whether it's a Boeing 747 taking off or a water lily in a pond! Thanks again for your very kind comments, I appreciate them very much!

Name: Patricia Corbitt
message: Dear Mr O'Rourke,
I have in my possession a number of quite beautiful photographs - Man Ray, Gabor Eder, Andre Duisf - plus one photograph backstamped Conde Nast. The model in these photographs has the christian name Lilliam. I would be grateful for any information about the above.
Thank you for your time,
Kind regards,
Patricia Corbitt.

I have no idea who this might be. I'll post your message and maybe somone 'out there' can help.

Name: Glenn Solis
message: I just chanced upon your website and I was surprised and impressed by your travel photographs. They were so real to me especially that you had pictures of Vinzons and Daet, Camarines Norte -- my hometown, and my old school -- University of the Philippines. I live in Washington, DC now and have not been home for a long time. Browsing through gave me a good treat. More power!!!

Thanks very much I really appreciate your comments. I have had some very positive feedback from the Philippines portfolio. It's a fascinating and to Europeans little-known country.

Name: Sheila Lyburn
message: Your website caught my eye, and I just wanted to tell you how much I like your photographs. I am from Glasgow, but am currently living in USA. My good friend John, a budding young photographer trying to get recognized in the field - check out his website www.johnsanterre.com - has gotten me interested in photography. Your pictures of Glasgow brought a tear to my eye and I wanted to say thank you.
Warmest Regards,

Sheila :-)

Wow thanks! I'm very high in the search engines for 'Photos of Glasgow' but I don't deserve to be, as I only have a small number of pictures and I've only been there three times. There's something Ireally like about Glasgow, perhaps it has some things in common with my home city Manchester. Thank you very much indeed for your comments, I appreciate them. Hope to add more Glasgow photos soon.

Name: John Harrison
message: I drive the Liverpool tram No.762. and thought you ought to know that it was built not in the 1920s, but in 1931 at Edge Lane works Liverpool.
There is a 1920 tram at our Transport Museum, but that is a Wallasey Bellamy tram. We also have a 1901 Birkenhead open topper, a Lisbon single deck tram (this is being restored now) and two Hong Kong trams built specially for our tramway in 1992. There are also several horse trams, part of a Dundee trailer tram and (just delivered) the remnants of an ex Warrington double deck tram.
These can be seen any weekend between 1pm & 5pm at Wirral Transport Museum, 1 Taylor Street, Birkenhead Wirral, Merseyside, CH41-1BG.

Thanks very much for the correction. I will definitely visit Wirral Transport Museum soon. More info at: www.wirraltransportmuseum.org.uk

Name: Sweeney
message: hi! im Sweeney from Philippines. I saw ur pix on the jeepney. i was just wondering if the jeepney from the Philippines in that picture is there in UK? It's just surprising to know that there is jeepney already in UK =) hope to hear from u. Thanx!

No no no! The jeepney is not here in the UK! This picture is a piece of digital photography montage. I have cut the image of the Jeepney photographed on the street in Cainta near Manila out of its background, and pasted it into a picture of a street in Glasgow, Scotland. To my knowledge there are no Philippines jeepneys in the UK, not on the road, not in any museum either. My picture is very convincing but it is not real! It would be great to bring a jeepney to the UK to put in a museum or even carry passengers, so people here can see how nice they are. Thanks for your message

Name: Jan
message: Although I have not visited Manchester, I enjoyed browsing through your beautiful collection of photographs Manchester Salford and conurbation. I love taking photos with my digital camera and love 'before and after' photographs of places. Keep up the good work.

Thank you very much for your kind comments. I also love 'before and after' photos and intend to do many more. I'm glad you liked looking at the photos even though you've never visited Manchester. Maybe you'd like to come and visit some time.

Name: sarah
message: Hi
I have just recently become interested in VW camper vans and although I'd love one, after reading your story maybe I'll think seriously before thinking about buying one. I know they're not all unreliable, just some more than others!
Anyway after reading the last bit of your story (in italics) the lady called Paula (previously Paul), I'm sure she's the very same who appeared on This Morning one day this week, it did ring a bell there somewhere. She was on because she really regretted her op and felt like she was stuck somwhere in the middle. Who knows?!!
Great site and pictures!! Hope you have better luck with the vehicle you own now, if you have one!
Sarah :-)

Thanks for your message. Yes my car now is a normal family saloon car, a dark green Skoda Fabia, very unobtrusive, comfortable and reliable. As I'm often out and about photographing, sometimes in less than salubrious locations, I need a vehicle that doesn't stand out from the crowd!
Thanks for letting me know about Paula appearing on This Morning. I would like to meet up with Paula to find out how the van is doing, and perhaps even take a few photos of it 7 years on!

From: Paula
Subject: Burj Al Arab Hotel
Gostava que me enviassem imagens do interior dos quartos do hotel. Estou a pensar conhecer o Dubai e quero ver imagens do hotel Burj Al Arab-Dubai, assim como preços.

I would like to be sent images of the interior of the rooms of the hotel. I would like to know Dubai and I want to see images of the hotel Burj Al Arab Dubai, as well as prices.

Sorry I don't have any photos of the interior of the rooms of the hotel. You can find out more at the official website of the Burj Al Arab Hotel www.burjalarab-hotel-dubai.com/

Name: Helen Auerbach
message: Hello Aidan

Just to say, enjoying your website very much, and have told my (similarly expat UK ) members of family over here in California about it. I live in Santa Monica, California. I have just driven across country from California to Toronto and it was a lovely adventure, through Texas and Oklahoma and Arkansas avoiding tornadoes (wrong month to travel in those states - June).

The old Route 66 is legendary in the US, as you probably know. Before Interstates it was the way to drive across country from Chicago to LA. Now it is in some disrepair, with abandoned little diners and gas stations...

I drove to Amarillo, Texas, up the barren Panhandle of Texas, especially to see the Cadillac Ranch (you may have heard of it). Eccentric millionaire's art work - 10 half buried Cadillacs in the middle of a field. Covered with graffitti so it always is changing. He doesn't mind a bit That and the city of Detroit were highlights of my trip. Downtown Detroit is a shell of its former self from the 'glory day's of the automobile industry, with many dilapidated and/or deserted buildings including the main train station, now closed, and a formerly posh hotel, the Cadillac, just standing there empty.

I am not a photographer but I know subjects when I see them! I also am fascinated by ruins and deserted buildings.

If you ever are thinking of coming to California let me know, if you don't know people here I would be glad to familiarize you with Los Angeles, the desert towns and surrounding area as I drive all over the place at weekends and love to show people downtown LA and the amazing skyscrapers. Most people from UK say it is not as they imagined it would be - a lot more interesting and beautiful (and safe) than LA is presented in world pr!
Best regards,
Helen Auerbach
Santa Monica, California

Thank you very much for this wonderful account of your trip across the States. In August 1989 I travelled on the Green Tortoise tour bus from San Francisco to New York. We went via Pyramid Lake Nevada, the Badlands in South Dakota, Devil's Rock, featured in Close Encounters, then Chicago and finally New York. I would love to drive across the States again and plan to incorporate the route into this website. Many thanks for your offer of hospitality, I may well take you up on it. You can read the story of our camper van, which we bought 8 years ago and sold five months later. Click here to view.

Name: Dominic Valerioti
St Augustine's
message: I was wondering how to convert pounds into American currency. My grandfather fought in WWII and has his signature in a bible in that church, and would love to see pictures of it.

Which St Augustine's Church are you referring to? The one in All Saints Manchester or the one in Pendlebury Salford near Manchester? To convert pounds into dollars I recommend xe.com

The church that I am referring to is in Manila Philippines.

Aha! Of course! That St Augustine's church! There are St Augustine’s churches all over the world! I’ve had a look on Google to see if there is a website for St Augustine’s or San Agustin Intramuros Manila but all I can find are my own pages.

Perhaps you could go and visit Manila yourself and see if you can find the find the Bible. I’d also recommend visiting the island of Corregidor, which I’ve written about.

Thanks for contacting. Perhaps someone out there may be able to help you get a picture of the Bible your grandfather signed. Can anyone help?

Greetings from The Ancient One
Hello Aidan

I was surveying the magickal instrument which is cyberspace when I was blessed to come upon your positive and inspiring site. I found your personal soul song to be vibrant and creative. May soul directed energy guided by spirit nourish and embrace you always.

My name is Micheal Teal. I am a Psychic, Poet, Spiritual Advisor and Freelance Writer in Hamilton Ontario Canada. I honor what you have accomplished. Yours is a song worth singing. I wish you a quest of joy which renews the mind and educates the soul.

May the heavens watch over you and be a source of upliftment.
Yours in Humanitarian Spirit
Micheal Teal
The Ancient One

Thank you - I've never received a message quite like yours before. I suppose there may be a psychic element to what I do - Sometimes I photograph an old building and return a few weeks later to find it has been demolished. I take inspiration from landscapes, such as the deserts of the United Arab Emirates with their fine red sand, or the rolling green countryside of Cheshire, especially at night when the stars are out. I also have ideas which have yet to be presented on the portfolio site, to do with the paranormal - stereo photographic reconstructions of UFOs and other unexplained sightings. So thanks for your message and all the best.

Name: Martin O'Brien
Message: Hello, Just looking through your site, and wanted to say that I think the photos are just great. I love all the Irish scenes and signs. Thanks.

I appreciate that - I haven't got a very large Ireland portfolio yet, I hope to spend more time there in the near future. Last week I received an abusive message from someone from Ireland who misread some of my comments and apparently didn't like the photo of his home town. So I'm especially pleased to receive your comments, thanks.

Hello Aidan,
I was searching on line for information on Baron de Meyer, Edward Steichen and Richard Avedon and came across your site.
I am a makeup artist and have been trying to make my way into the fashion circle. Though I have worked with photographers such as David LaChapelle, Adam Weiss and Rafeal Fuchs I wanted to research some of the true fashion photographers of the past so I may better understand the art of fashion photography. I believe it will help me with my own work.
I was hoping you would refer me to some museums or galleries where I may see their work for myself. I am only an hour outside of NYC.
Any information you would provide will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Candice Jackson
Candice Jackson page on www.artistnow.com

Thanks very much for your message. Unfortunately there seems to be no gallery either in the US or Europe where the great fashion photographers are displayed all together. Their work seems to be displayed in temporary exhibitions wherever and whenever and you just have to watch out for them. The exhibition “Fashioning Fiction in Photography since 1990” April 16–June 28, 2004 has just finished at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I think the best way to see the work of the classic fashion photographers is to go to either a bookstore or a library and look at their photos in books, either monographs or compilations. I will keep an eye out for any exhibitions and add a note about that to the feature. Thanks very much for your enquiry.

Subject: great pictures
Date: Saturday, July 3, 2004 23:58 Hi Aidan, I like all the pictures you have taken from my country, the Philippines. I was there six months ago for three years working for Ford Motor Co. I am now back here in Canada. Looking at your pictures makes me want to go back for another visit. All your pictures reminds me of everything that went through my life. I am also an amateur photographer, using HP Photosmart 945, R707 on the digital side and Nikkormat FTN for film shots. I wish you the best, more power to you.

My Best Regards,
Ron S. Bernardo
Fleet Operations
Ontario Patient Transfer

Thank you very much indeed for your comments. It means a lot to me when people from the Philippines send positive feedback about my photos and articles. I'm glad to hear my photos make you want to go back! A photo is just a bunch of pixels on a screen, but it can have a lot of power.

Name: David Burrows Location: United Kingdom posted: 05.06.2004 12:08
Hi Aidan like the web site, and like the panoramas. Can I ask what kind of software do you use to stich images together with, do just use Photoshop or one of the specialist programs?

Thanks very much - I use Photoshop to merge photos into panoramas, as I prefer to do it by hand. I enjoy it and I think it gives better results. However I may use software stitching - I prefer to call in merging - in the future.

Ian Yates
Location: Los Angeles
EWM April 04 quiz picture one, Classic use of the three primary colours Red , Blue & Yellow make this an exceptional picture!

Aidan's reply: Well lit was pure chance - the bus train and truck were taken from three different photos. Co-incidence rather than creative intent. See the feature and photo here

Tom Ronson
United Kingdom
posted: 22.05.2004 23:07

Hi Aidan,
Woody (Dave Wood) of Liverpool Pictorial fame recommended your website in a recent radio interview. He's a big fan of yours. Thank you for your amazing photographs. Any plans for another trip to the Philippines?

Aidan's reply: Well I had no idea that I was being recommended in radio interviews! Thanks very much for your comments and for letting me know! Liverpool Pictorial is a great source of pictures - factual, documentary, very comprehensive - I'll do a review and weblink soon.

posted: 04.05.2004 22:55

Hey Aidan!

I accidentally bumped into this webpage and the photos are really cool plus your comments are interesting, it made me smile knowing that tourists appreciate my country, thanks a lot! And sorry to hear about the food poisoning experience you had...I hope you had more fond memories of my country than otherwise...=)
Best regards,Rosalina

Aidan's reply: Thanks very much for your comments. I usually get foodpoisoning when I go anywhere in Asia, so I was expecting it! The Philippines is a fantastic place, that more people should visit.

Andrew Taylor
Location: United Kingdom
posted: 27.04.2004 11:12

Hi again Aidan. Enjoyed having a good sniff round your site again! Love the old NYC images, from 1981. Noticed a typo, on the Liverpool Chinese Arch you say it is bigger than the ones in Liverpool and London! I'm sure you mean Manchester. Regards

Andrew I love to receive comments and feedback, and I aim to reply to every message by return. Please help me to develop and extend this site by sending your comments and suggestions for publication here. You can also make picture requests which I'll do my best to fulfil. Please use the contact form. The material here was originally presented via the Guestbook, which I had to remove due to a small but significant amount of misuse.

Aidan's reply: I could fill a whole book with my typos. This one is now corrected. That's the problem when you're writer, proofreader and editor all in one. Thanks for your comments! Talking of sniffs, hope some time to include smells on the website, like the wafting aroma of oriental food around Greenwich Village New York, or the smell of popcorn near the entrance to the Al Akariya Shopping Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia! Thanks for your comments!

Bobby Singh
Location: United States
posted: 01.04.2004 21:30
Hello again, We have been out of touch, but I was going through my old book marks and kept going back to your old webpage for Dubai (which is not up anymore) so did a search on your name in Google and voila!
Anyways, as always simply superb and great job on Dubai pics, my most favourite place in the world and your pics never let me feel that I am away though I miss it a lot.
Good Luck and carry on the good work. Hope to see more Dubai pics (especially with all the changes happening there now)

Aidan's reply: Nice to hear from you again - Hope to make it back to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates preferably on a commercial-related assignment in the near future. I appreciate your comments very much and please keep visiting this website

If you've enjoyed reading these contributions, please send one of your own via the contact form. I look forward to hearing from you

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