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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009
A new Manchester every day

A street artist at work on Market Street
Paul Capewell documents both permanent and transient Manchester

When you wander around a city every day, it's easy to take it for granted and stop seeing the great buildings and tiny details that make it special.

That's not something that's going to happen to amateur photographer Paul Capewell though, as he is on a one man mission to document the big and small of Manchester.

Inspired by other city photo blogs, Paul has taken it upon himself to run Manchester Daily Photo, a website that gives a new shot of the city every day.

And he's found that there are a lot of people interested in checking out just how he sees his home city.

He opened the site at the end of October this year for several reasons, not least of which he says is that he felt that Manchester was missing out.

An old building on Stretford Road
I love to look at photos of cities I know well in the hope that it will shed new light on familiar locations as well as revealing hidden gems
Paul Capewell

"I started it primarily because of my love of taking photographs and always seeing things in Manchester that inspire me to take more.

"I knew that there had been at least one Manchester daily photo blog in the past, but that it had ceased updates a year ago.

"That happened quite soon after I moved to Manchester to study at Manchester Metropolitan University and the thought crossed my mind to take up the task.

"However, I was too 'new' to the city to do such a thing and the idea vanished.

"Fast forward to October 2009 and my love for city daily photo blogs - particularly in New Zealand cities and European capitals - reminded me of the lack of a Manchester equivalent.

"Having been involved in student media the previous academic year and made connections around the city, I felt like I was ready to start Manchester Daily Photo.

"I sat down one Friday morning over several cups of coffee, and by the afternoon I had a web address and a basic website up and ready to launch the following Monday."

His first post, a photo of an old door buzzer on the Palace Hotel buildings in Whitworth Street, remains his overall favourite - he says he will "occasionally stumble on tiny details like that, which I instantly fall in love with" - but in a month, he'd already covered everything from the Beetham Tower to the top deck of a Magic Bus.

An old buzzer on the side of the Palace Hotel in Manchester
Paul's favourite photo is his first post - an old buzzer on the Palace Hotel

This variety of subject is key to what Paul hopes to achieve with the website.

He says it is as much about showing locals hidden details of their own city as encouraging people who've never been to Manchester to take a look.

"I hope they get the same out of my website as I do when I look at other city daily photo blogs; I love to look at photos of cities I know well in the hope that it will shed new light on familiar locations as well as revealing hidden gems.

"But I also like to see photos of cities I've never visited - I like to be 'shown around' new places, with the photographer as my tour guide.

"With the latter in mind, I have been a little surprised by the amount of visitors I receive who are from Manchester - but it's definitely been a pleasant surprise, and their comments and support have been extremely encouraging!"

Not that he needs much encouragement to continue. Paul might not be a born and bred Mancunian, but he says he has an ever-increasing affection for his adopted home.

"I grew up not far from London, so I was always used to having a big city nearby, but I couldn't really see myself living there.

"Manchester's a big city that feels like a small town - with a heart.

An old sign in the Northern Quarter
Paul admits he loves capturing old signs

"I love the history and heritage, and how proud it is of itself.

"I love so much of its creative output, from music to photography, art to literature and beyond.

"I love that so much of the architecture has stayed true to its roots, with grand mills and factories still standing proud, and yet it has also made room for strikingly modern buildings and design.

"Things like Manchester International Festival and FutureEverything also ensure that Manchester looks forward just as much as it looks back.

"I also love that moving here means I've met some really wonderful, inspiring people."

It seems we couldn't ask for a better ambassador to spread the photographic wonders of Manchester across the worldwide web.




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