Top 10 Things to Photograph in Leeds for Beginners

1. Leeds Town Hall (Postcode: LS1 3AD)

Features to Photograph:

  • Architectural Details: The Leeds Town Hall is a marvel of Victorian architecture. Pay attention to the intricate stonework, columns, and the clock tower.
  • Interiors: If you can gain access inside, the grand hall and staircases are a must-photograph.
  • Statues and Surroundings: The area around the Town Hall features statues and green spaces that can add context to your architectural shots.

Leeds Town Hall is not just a civic building; it’s a symbol of Leeds’ rich history and a testament to its architectural heritage. As a beginner, you can practice your architectural photography skills by capturing the grandeur of its façade, the intricacies of its design, and the play of light and shadow across its surface. Don’t forget to explore the area around it, as the statues and green spaces offer excellent opportunities for contextual shots.

2. Kirkstall Abbey (Postcode: LS5 3EH)

Features to Photograph:

  • Ruins: The abbey ruins against the sky can make for some dramatic shots.
  • River Aire: The river running beside the abbey offers opportunities for landscape photography.
  • Flora and Fauna: The grounds are often home to various species of birds and plants.

Kirkstall Abbey offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty. The ruins themselves are a fantastic subject, providing opportunities to experiment with depth of field and different angles. The River Aire that flows beside it adds a serene landscape element to your portfolio. Don’t overlook the flora and fauna; capturing the local wildlife can add an extra layer of interest to your Kirkstall Abbey series.

3. Roundhay Park (Postcode: LS8 2HH)

Features to Photograph:

  • Lakes and Ponds: The park features several bodies of water, each offering different opportunities for reflection shots.
  • Gardens: From flower beds to themed gardens, there’s a lot of colours to capture.
  • Wildlife: Keep an eye out for birds, squirrels, and other local wildlife.

Roundhay Park is a treasure trove for nature photography. The lakes and ponds offer excellent opportunities for practicing long exposure shots and capturing reflections. The gardens are a riot of colours, especially during spring and summer, providing ample opportunities to practice macro photography. Wildlife is abundant, so keep your shutter speed high and your eyes peeled.

4. Victoria Quarter (Postcode: LS1 6AZ)

Features to Photograph:

  • Stained Glass Roof: The roof is an artwork in itself and offers a unique perspective.
  • Shops and Displays: The high-end shops often have intricate window displays.
  • Architectural Elements: Look for arches, columns, and other architectural details.

Victoria Quarter isn’t just a shopping destination; it’s a feast for the eyes and, by extension, your camera. The stained glass roof is a masterpiece that can be captured in various ways, depending on the time of day and the light. The shops and their window displays offer an excellent opportunity for indoor and still life photography. Don’t forget to capture the smaller architectural elements that give the Victoria Quarter its unique character.

5. Leeds Dock (Postcode: LS10 1PZ)

Features to Photograph:

  • Water Reflections: The calm waters offer excellent opportunities for reflection shots.
  • Modern Architecture: The area is a mix of modern buildings and open spaces.
  • Boats and Watercraft: These can add an interesting dynamic element to your shots.

Leeds Dock is a modern development that offers a different flavour of photography opportunities compared to the more historic parts of Leeds. The calm waters of the dock are excellent for practising reflection shots and long-exposure photography. The modern architecture around the dock is sleek and offers a contrast to the more traditional buildings found in Leeds. Boats and other watercraft can add a dynamic element to your photographs, offering practice in capturing moving subjects.

6. The Corn Exchange (Postcode: LS1 7BR)

Features to Photograph:

  • Dome Structure: The unique circular design of the building is a marvel.
  • Interior Details: The wooden balconies and staircases offer a vintage look.
  • Exterior Stonework: The stone façade is rich in texture and detail.

The Corn Exchange is one of Leeds’ most iconic buildings, offering a plethora of photography opportunities. The dome structure of the building is unique and can be captured from various angles to create compelling compositions. Inside, the wooden balconies and staircases offer a different texture and feel, perfect for practising interior photography. Don’t forget the exterior stonework; its texture can make for some interesting close-up shots.

7. Street Art in the City Centre

Features to Photograph:

  • Murals: Large-scale works that cover entyre walls.
  • Graffiti Tags: Smaller, but often intricate works.
  • Context: Capture people interacting with the art or wider shots that include the surrounding area.

Leeds city centre is a canvas for some fantastic street art. From large-scale murals to smaller graffiti tags, these works of art offer vibrant and dynamic subjects for your photographs. Capturing people interacting with the art can add a layer of depth and context to your shots. Street art is ever-changing, so there’s always something new to capture.

8. Bridges over the River Aire

Features to Photograph:

  • Architectural Design: Each bridge has its unique design elements, and there are 4 footbridges now, all slightly different.
  • Reflections in the Water: Perfect for long exposure shots, especially by Knightsway Bridge and the wier there.
  • Activity: Boats, birds, and sometimes people can add life to your bridge shots.

The bridges over the River Aire offer a mix of old and new architectural styles. Whether you’re capturing them during the day or at the golden hour, each bridge offers unique elements that can be highlighted in your photographs. The water below provides opportunities for reflection shots or long-exposure photography to smooth out the water’s surface. Don’t forget to capture any activity on or around the bridges, like boats or birds, to add a dynamic element to your shots.

9. Leeds University Campus (Postcode: LS2 9JT)

Features to Photograph:

  • Modern Buildings: The campus has some state-of-the-art buildings. The car park near Nexus is a study in abstract photography day or night
  • Traditional Architecture: Some older buildings offer a contrast to the modern structures.
  • Student Life: Capture the hustle and bustle of student life to add a human element.

Leeds University Campus is a blend of the old and new, making it a fantastic location for practising different styles of architectural photography. The modern buildings offer sleek lines and interesting design elements, while the older structures provide a more traditional look. Capturing the hustle and bustle of student life can add a human element to your architectural shots.

10. Leeds Market (Postcode: LS2 7HY)

Features to Photograph:

  • Stalls and Vendors: The heart of the market, full of colours and textures. The food hall is impressive these days too.
  • Architectural Details: The market building itself is a historic structure. The domed facade is amazing
  • People and Activity: The market is usually bustling, providing ample opportunities for street photography.

Leeds Market is a hive of activity and offers a wide range of photography opportunities. The stalls and vendors provide an array of colours and textures, perfect for close-up shots or wider scenes. The market building itself is a historic structure with architectural details that are worth capturing. The people and the activity level provide ample opportunities for street photography, capturing the essence of daily life in Leeds.

The Ultimate Photography Course in Leeds: A Beginner’s Guide to Mastering the Art in West Yorkshire

If you’re a budding photographer in Leeds or anywhere in West Yorkshire, this is the article for you. We’ll delve into the ins and outs of photography training, specifically tailored for beginners. From workshops to one-to-one sessions, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to take your photography to the next level. Read on to find out why this is the only guide you’ll ever need.

Article Outline

  • Why Choose a Photography Workshop in Yorkshire?
  • What Can a Beginner Expect from a Leeds Photography Course?
  • How to Book Your Spot in a Photography Workshop?
  • The Importance of Learning Camera Settings
  • Mastering Shutter Speed and Aperture
  • Exploring Different Types of Photography: Landscape vs Street
  • What Equipment Do You Need?
  • How to Take Control of Your Camera and Get the Best Shots
  • The Role of a Tutor in Your Photography Training
  • Where Else in West Yorkshire Can You Learn Photography?

Why Choose a Photography Workshop in Leeds, Yorkshire?

Yorkshire is a photographer’s paradise, offering a diverse range of landscapes and urban settings to capture. Opting for a photography workshop in this region provides you with the unique opportunity to learn while also exploring the beauty of Leeds and other parts of West Yorkshire. Workshops are often tailored to various skill levels, making them ideal for complete beginners and those looking to refine their skills.

Our Leeds workshops are all about technical skills, learning settings, architecture, street and portrait photography.

What Can a Beginner Expect from a Leeds Photography Course?

If you’re a beginner, a Leeds-based photography course will teach you the skills you need to get started. Expect to learn about camera settings, ISO, and depth of field. You’ll also get hands-on experience with a tutor guiding you through the basics. These courses often offer shorter, bite sized, 2 to 3-hour sessions, giving you ample time to grasp the fundamentals.

How to Book Your Spot in a Photography Workshop?

Booking your spot is usually straightforward. Most workshops in West Yorkshire allow online booking at the time of booking. Some even offer one-to-one sessions if you’re looking for more personalized photography training. At McFade you can book everything you need on our main booking page here

The Importance of Learning Camera Settings

Understanding camera settings like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture is crucial for any beginner.

These skills and techniques control how your photograph will look and capture Leeds and mastering them will allow you to take your photography to the next level.

Mastering Shutter Speed and Aperture

Shutter speed controls how long the camera’s shutter is open, affecting the amount of light that hits the sensor. The aperture, on the other hand, controls the size of the lens’s opening. Learning how to balance these settings will help you capture stunning photographs, whether you’re into landscape photography or street photography.

If this is all new to you, we’ll spend time explaining it and giving you tips on how it all works.

Exploring Different Types of Photography: Landscape vs Street

Leeds and the surrounding areas offer excellent opportunities for both landscape and street photography. From the Victorian architecture in the city centre to the natural beauty of the Peak District, there’s something for everyone. Cityscapes and street are great fun to try in Leeds, so we’ll show you how we do it.

What Equipment Do You Need?

For beginners, a phone is good enough to start, though a DSLR camera with manual mode is usually recommended. You may also need additional equipment like a tripod and a 200mm lens for specific types of photography, such as long exposure shots.

How to Take Control of Your Camera and Get the Best Shots

Taking control of your camera involves understanding its manual mode. This allows you to adjust settings like ISO and shutter speed to get the best possible shots. Workshops often include practical exercises to help you master these skills.

The Role of a Tutor in Your Photography Training

A good tutor can make all the difference in your photography training. They can provide bespoke guidance, helping you understand the technical side of photography without drowning you in jargon. It’s Yorkshire, so expect difficult concepts explained in terms of beer and fish and chips.

Where Else in West Yorkshire Can You Learn Photography?

Apart from Leeds, other locations like Bradford, Wakefield, and Huddersfield also offer photography courses and workshops. Each location offers unique photographic opportunities, making West Yorkshire a hub for aspiring photographers. We occasionally run night photography workshops in these towns.

The Benefits of Group Workshops vs One-to-One Sessions

Group workshops offer a communal learning experience where you can share ideas and learn from your peers. They’re often more affordable and provide a broad range of perspectives. One-to-one sessions, on the other hand, offer bespoke training tailored to your specific needs. Both have their merits, and your choice may depend on your learning style and budget.

Exploring Locations Around Leeds for Photography

Leeds city centre isn’t the only place to capture stunning photographs. Nearby locations like Harrogate, Wakefield, and even the Peak District offer unique opportunities to capture landscapes, architecture, and more. Each location has its own charm and challenges, making them perfect for honing different photography skills.

Understanding Light and Composition

A crucial but often overlooked aspect of photography is understanding light. Whether you’re capturing light trails in the city or the golden hour in the countryside, knowing how to use light can make or break a photograph. Composition is another key element; learning the rule of thirds or how to frame a shot can significantly improve your photographs.

Post-Processing: An Introduction to Photoshop

Once you’ve captured your photographs, the next step is post-processing. Basic knowledge of software like Photoshop can help you enhance colours, correct errors, and even create beautiful composite images. While it’s not a substitute for good photography skills, it’s a useful tool in your arsenal. On our Youtube channel you’ll find all kinds of tutorials.

How to Make the Most of Your Photography Course

To get the most out of your photography course in Leeds or anywhere in West Yorkshire, come prepared. Bring all the necessary equipment, be ready to take notes, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. The more engaged you are, the more you’ll learn.

Additional Key Takeaways

  • Group workshops and one-to-one sessions each have their own set of benefits; choose based on your learning style and budget.
  • Don’t limit yourself to Leeds; explore other locations in West Yorkshire for diverse photography opportunities.
  • Understanding light and composition can significantly improve your photography.
  • Basic post-processing skills are a valuable addition to your skill set.
  • Come prepared and engaged to make the most of your photography course.
  • Yorkshire is an ideal location for photography workshops, offering a variety of landscapes and urban settings.
  • Beginners can expect to learn the basics of camera settings, including ISO, shutter speed, and aperture.
  • Booking is usually straightforward, with options for one-to-one sessions.
  • Equipment like a DSLR camera and a tripod may be necessary, depending on the type of photography you’re interested in.
  • A good tutor can provide invaluable guidance, helping you navigate the technical aspects of photography.
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