The Manchester photo walk combines a lesson in photography with a walk through the city. I aim to have no more than six to nine people on each walk. It’s suitable for photographers at any level of experience and is a friendly, sociable event. All you need is a camera: compact or DSLR or film. The standard price is £45 for the three hour walk. Walks take place during daylight. Most winter afternoon walks take place during the dusk period.
Meeting point: At the front entrance to Piccadilly Station, top of the Approach next to WHSmiths.
Lesson in Exposure with free handouts and crib card.
Lots of ‘over the shoulder’ feedback from Aidan.
Ask any number of questions about photography.
A friendly, sociable event where you’ll meet like-minded people
£45 per person for the 3-hour walk.
Buy a discounted print copy of my book ‘Digital Photography Rules of the Road
Trying out the controls on the camera
The Old Fire Station
Old Fire Station exterior
Old Fire Station coat of arms of Manchester
‘Over the shoulder’ feedback
Sackville St Building Man Uni
Alan Turing Statue Sackville Park – Photo Jared Hull
Dates and times
Walks take place on a variety of dates and times, generally Saturdays and Sundays, stating at either 10.30am or 2pm. Choose a date from the list on the right. To book simply get in touch via the contact form or text 07779 290082.
Most walks start and end during daylight. There is no set route, we could head towards the Northern Quarter, or along Whitworth Street. We may take the Metroshuttle bus to another part of the city centre. We will find a quiet place or sit down in a cafe to do the lesson in exposure. This is a concentrated lesson in the simple but often misunderstood principle that is the key to photography. We will continue, taking photos as we go along. I will offer feedback, tips and suggestions. We may finish in the centre, or we may go back to the station. The walk lasts for three hours.
Start times 10.30am or 2pm, please check. Walk length: 3 hrs.
There are various routes, we will decide at the beginning.
We will stop in a quiet place to do the lesson in Exposure.
Alternative routes: Northern Quarter, Whitworth St or we will take the Metroshuttle.
Make sure you are dressed for the weather conditions and wear a good pair of shoes!
A tripod is not required for the daytime walk.
Bridgewater Hall Metrolink blurred tram
St Peters Square 1996 with blurred tram
Bridgewater Hall Metrolink blurred tram
Central Library 1998 with firework display
Central Library 2005
The Mancunian Way at dusk
Portland Street at dusk
St Peters Square at dusk 1996
The Mancunian Way at night
Some walks in winter start in daylight and finish after dusk. We meet at 2pm at Piccadilly Station and will then take the free Metroshuttle bus or the tram to St Peters Square. We may go to a cafe – for instance at the Manchester Art Gallery – and do the lesson in Exposure, focusing on techniques for night photography and long exposures. As dusk approaches we do low light photography in St Peters Square, focusing on the relocated War Memorial and the Central Library. We will continue down Lower Mosley Street and take passing trams and the Bridgewater Hall. There is the option of continuing to HOME, the new arts centre and on the bridge over the Mancunian Way for light trail photography. If the moon is out we will photograph it!
Meet at 2pm outside the main entrance to Piccadilly Station.
Free bus or tram to St Peters Square.
Lesson in Exposure focusing on night photography.
Subjects: War Memorial, Central Library
Take photos practicing principles covered in the lesson.
Plenty of ‘over the shoulder’ feedback from Aidan.
A tripod is strongly advised.
Always text 07779 290082 to confirm on the day.
Dusk to Night 4
Dusk to Night 2
Dusk to Night 1
Dusk to Night 3
Dusk to Night 5
Dusk to Night 6
Dusk to Night 7
Dusk to Night 8
Dusk to Night 9
Who is it intended for?
The walks are attended by many beginner, some intermediate and a few advanced level photographers. I will encourage the more experienced photographers to help the beginners. Teaching is a good way of learning. As there will be only four to six people on each walk, it should be possible for me to give plenty of individual attention! My goal is to help everyone at any level to learn, improve and achieve great things. The walk makes a great gift for people celebrating birthdays or as a Christmas present.
Photographers at any level is welcome to come on the walk.
Any camera is okay – compact, bridge, DSLR or film.
It’s a social event, intended for anyone with an interest in photography.
Experienced photographers please help beginners – Learn by teaching!
If you’ve recently bought a camera and don’t know how to use it, this course is for you!
If you want to give a unique gift, the photo walk is ideal.
What people say
‘Thoroughly enjoyed my photo walk in Manchester yesterday. I think the combination of learning about photography and the interesting buildings of Manchester works really well together. Eye opening stuff!.’ Craig Millar
“Thank you for an interesting and enjoyable afternoon. I learnt a great deal that will help me take better photos.” Shirley Black
“Despite the poor weather, I really enjoyed the afternoon and really learnt a lot. Although I understood the theory of aperture,exposure and film speeds from the distant film days, I had never really managed to bring that knowledge into the digital domain. I now feel that I can master the basic controls of my digital cameras and will be able to finally move forward. Also it’s a long time since I’ve visited that part of Manchester and it was great to be able to walk around looking out for photographic opportunity. I’ll definitely have to go back one day when the weather is a little kinder. Thanks again” Tony Stanton
“I just want to say a big thank you for a very informative photographic adventure yesterday around my City, Manchester. I paid for a photographic learning experience – and got that with knobs on! Your short course is put together in such a way as to fit the beginner “Where do I start?” to the more experienced “I had forgotten or never really grasped that”. What I didn’t expect was the insight you provided of a city I thought I knew quite well. So, not just a how-to photography lesson but a how-to look through new eyes at a subject and appreciate the importance of what may be shown in your viewfinder. Thanks again Aidan, and thanks for all you have done, and continue to do, for my Manchester – MY HISTORY.” Geoff Featherston
“Hi, Aidan I just wanted to a big thanks for yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was just what I needed. I will definitely come on an evening walk some time. Thanks again.” Lucy Fenton
“We both really enjoyed it and learned a lot. It’s completely changed the way I would approach taking a picture now.
My dad really enjoyed it too. He said he has never had the confidence to go out and just take pictures, but he said he wouldn’t have a problem doing it now.” Carly Scott
“Just a brief e-mail to say how enjoyable and informative the walk was on Saturday. After previous ‘lessons’ with professionals have been a complete let down for me, it was refreshing to be led by someone willing to pass on his skills rather than just bragging about how good they are. I walked back to the station with a couple more of the guys that echoed my sentiments and I have some interesting pictures to boot. I can even say that the criticism was welcomed as it will stop me making the same mistakes in the future, plus I will now switch from Manual to Programmed more now that I have a better idea of how to use it.” Tony Dickinson
The Manchester Photo Walk was featured in the 2 Jan 2016 edition of Amateur Photographer Magazine next to a listing for an exhibition by Lee Miller, one of Aidan’s all time favourite photographers.
About Aidan O’Rourke
Aidan O’Rourke has been running his photo walks in Manchester and Liverpool since 2010. He has had a serious interest in photography since 1981 and is very experienced with film. He has been using Adobe Photoshop since 1995. He switched fully to digital capture in 2000. He has specialised in documenting the development of Manchester and the North West. His photos appear in a number of books including ‘Manchester Then and Now’, ‘Rebuilding Manchester’ and ‘Around the M60, Manchester’s Orbital Motorway’ which he co-wrote. His weekly ‘Eyewitness’ column appears in the Manchester Evening News on Thursday. He is a fluent German speaker with a background in teaching languages. This experience enables him to explain photographic subjects clearly. He is building a portfolio of e-books on photography.