Newcastle through the lens of Carl Haynes

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Those of you who know me well (or are regular readers) will be well aware of my feelings about the North East, so I don’t need to write you a love letter about the region. I know very few people who are from the North East and do not take pride in that. Having stayed up here for university, I ended up befriending people from all over the country. Not one of them graduated and didn’t take a little bit of Newcastle back home with them. The region has a lot to offer and some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. There’s something infectious about the inherent optimism of the people up here, and the fact that most people you encounter do want to and will try to help you if they can.

Which is why I am continually exasperated by the debacle that is Geordie Shore. Thank you MTV for reinforcing the ridiculous stereotypes which the media have branded the North East with. Yes, in Newcastle you will find girls in short skirts and five inch heels stumbling up the Bigg market with bare legs in the snow. But let’s be honest, the idiots who they have put on this programme are so ill equipped to truly represent the region it’s embarrassing.* There are so many other things about the North East that are more interesting than the fact you can get treble vodkas and a mixer for two quid… which is why I like to be able to find local talent to share… then it makes me feel like I’m doing my bit to help restore the reputation of our region.

So that being said, let me introduce Carl Haynes, a very talented local photographer and a good friend of mine, who shot these photographs. Two of the images (the third one, “Newcastle Nights” and the last, “Zoom Tyne”) have just been announced as winners of the Big Metro Competition!


newcastle nights


zoom tyne

What I love about Carl’s photography is that he really shows the region at it’s best. His photos have a raw quality that gives a very honest portrayal of the North East, and I think his passion for it really shows. He somehow manages to capture the beauty of Newcastle without glossing over it’s industrial roots, and captures the spirit of the city. Plus his photos do not include public urination or vomiting, both of which can usually be found in the media’s representation of the North. I’ll let you be the judge but personally I don’t think it’s too grim up North. If you want to see more of his photos, you can visit his website here.

* Just to add to my Geordie Shore rant, can I draw attention to the fact that one of them is from Sunderland (making her a Mackem like me, not a Geordie- and if you know anything about the region, you will know that there is an important distinction there), and then there are the ones from Teeside. For those not so hot on geography, if you totally disregard Sunderland and Durham (the two cities in between) then yes Teeside is located right next to Newcastle…


  1. Rocking Magpie
    February 11, 2012 / 10:01 am

    The girl you refer to is from Washington, actually therefore NOT a Mackem which is a name conjured up to describe 'townies' who live IN Sunderland.
    Washington is a major conurbation of historical interest in it's own right and the real home of Nissan to the North of the A19 and with a NE postcode.
    She brings shame onto Washington, but I just thought I'd make the point that we Washington residents are just as independent and proud as the rest of the region.

    • February 11, 2012 / 10:23 am

      Thanks for the comment. I was under the impression that she was from Sunderland not Washington but to be honest I've not researched them in depth! I stand corrected though and had I known I wouldn't have labelled her as a Mackem

  2. February 11, 2012 / 11:55 am

    Wowee photos. Have to admit GS is a guilty pleasure of mine. Be it the ridiculousness or the eloquence of the cast I relish it x

  3. February 11, 2012 / 6:58 pm

    oh wow these photos are so beautiful. the way he captures the lighting is stunning.


  4. February 11, 2012 / 7:36 pm

    My boyfriend lives in Durham and I visit regularly (it takes an age to get there though), and we sometimes pop into Newcastle and I like it, especially the views of the bridges and the water :). To be honest I've not seen much of it, as I've only been there a few times but I liked it when I went! These pictures are gorgeous. xo

  5. Anonymous
    February 12, 2012 / 8:59 am


    Thank you very much for the post! It's nice to see my pictures up there and it was great of you to spend your Friday night doing this!

    Much appreciated, Carl

  6. February 18, 2012 / 7:57 pm

    These are amazing photos! I live near Durham and LOVE visiting Newcastle, hoping to study at the university next year! 🙂 xo

  7. February 23, 2012 / 2:03 pm

    Great slow shutter speed shots. I really would love to take more shots like this. If only I had the time for it or some pretty night spots like this!!!

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