I recently blogged about the challenges of photographing familiar vistas without descending into cliché, i.e. repeating the same old shots.  As I was in Birtley today I could see what is one of the North East’s most famous landmarks and so the gauntlet was thrown down.

The Angel of the North, whilst originally the subject of much scepticism has been largely embraced by the population here, who have purloined it for business names, corporate logos, and a shorthand for anything to do with the North East.  Anthony Gormley‘s towering sculpture has even suffered the indignity of wearing an oversized Newcastle United shirt.

Unsurprisingly when I arrived there were other photographers about, though most of the camera phone variety.  There are plenty of good angles that you can shoot from and depending on the time of day and prevailing light get some variety, but the reality is that they’ve all been shot before.  The planting of bushes and positioning of fences around the base of the giant reduces the options of originality still further.

So while Clem (a fellow photography buff) and I were waiting patiently for the crowds to move out of shot he took the opportunity to photograph a passing Bernese Mountain Dog, and I took the opportunity to photograph him.My shots were acceptable but unremarkable so in my processing I’ve tried to make them different.

There was one exception though.  I have no idea what this was all about, but the man on the sofa and two young girls set this up just so that one of them could photograph and video him on her iphone.  Having gone to all this trouble I might have expected something a little more professional however advanced Apple’s baby might be.As they manoeuvred their furnishing back to van, doubtless to some other photo opportunity, I heard them refer to the Angel as she, which confused me as I’ve always though of the figure as male.  Is there a definitive answer?


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