In the course of undertaking jury duty (I'm now in the second week) I've visited various buildings and rooms within the Manchester courts complex. One of them is a very modern building with a huge foyer, cathedral ceilings, and several gorgeous large-scale photographs hanging on the walls in front of the main entrance.

I felt immediately drawn to these photographs, went to take a closer look, and immediately realised that I had responded to them in this way because they were taken by Neil Roland, a well-known Manchester photographer. 

I have admired Neil's work for years (his photographs can be found all over the city in galleries, restaurants, cafes, even my local GP surgery) - in fact I like his work so much that I commissioned him to create a bespoke set of photographs of the West Didsbury area, which I gave to Andre as a wedding present.

Neil takes photographs of Manchester and the surrounding urban area - usually with a focus on capturing particular colours, street signs, and types of buildings, which he then displays in sets. He often takes the photograph at unusual or close-up angles, so it's not immediately obvious where the photo was taken, and a little detective work is required to identify the location. He also uses film rather than digital, and therefore has no reliance on PhotoShop to alter his images in any way.

Here are some of Neil's photographs of our local area - Didsbury, and West Didsbury:

And here are some of Neil's photographs of Manchester city centre:

It's very dark and gloomy in Manchester at the moment, so taking photographs is a bit tricky. But if it ever lightens up, I'll take a photo of our very own Neil Roland, which hangs in the living room, above the sofa.

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