During the summer we organised some photography walks with LASSN (Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network), for their participants on the Connecting Opportunities project. These informal sessions were aimed at introducing people to new areas of Leeds or getting them to look at familiar places in new ways. Participants learned techniques to take more interesting photographs using their phones and digital cameras, learned how to edit their photographs and were introduced to new vocabulary.
Roundhay Park Specialist Gardens
In August we visited the Specialist Gardens in Roundhay Park. These gardens house a number of Leeds’ submissions to the Chelsea Flower show from previous years so it was a good way to introduce participants to an aspect of the British cultural calendar that they may not have been aware of.
We introduced participants to simple techniques of framing, viewpoint, and the rule of thirds, before sending them off with a vocabulary list of words expressing elements of texture and colour to find photographs to take. After the photography session we gathered together to edit our photographs and share our favourite images and how they related to the vocabulary.
Leeds City Centre
In September we met again, this time in Leeds City Square, to explore the urban environment as inspiration for our photographs. We introduced concepts of symmetry, pattern and juxtaposition as ways to consider the visual elements of the image. This was followed by a series of prompts which encouraged participants to look for clues about the functions and history of the space. We reconvened in the Tiled Hall at Leeds Art Gallery to edit and share our images and discuss the things we’d discovered about the area.