Take a photo to celebrate life in Holbeck

Holbeck Elderly Aid (HEA) and Northern Monk Brewery launched their True North 2019 photography project at St Matthew’s Community Centre on Friday (31 May 2019).

The aim is to gather a collection of photographs that celebrate life in Holbeck. Twelve photos will be selected to be published as a calendar, with proceeds going to HEA.

“We are asking the people of Holbeck to take photos that capture life in the area, the people that live here and the parts that mean the most to you.”

Sophie Lennon from Northern Monk Brewery talked about how proud the company are to be based in Holbeck and how this project helps them give something back to the community. Northern Monk are helping put Holbeck on the map internationally as they ship their successful beers to 25 countries around the globe, with each can having their Holbeck address on it.

Professional photographer Tom Joy offered the audience some tips and suggestions about taking striking photographs.

He stressed that it’s not about having a fancy camera, you can take great photos on your phone, but remember to clean the lens and turn the phone on its side to take shots in a landscape format.

Tom talked about photographing buildings and places. What is the context around the building? Have the buildings around it changed since it was built? Can you find an interesting angle for your shot? Does it have a lot of glass, or is it near the river – can you use an interesting reflection? Think about the time of day and the light – sunshine overhead in the middle of the day casts a different light to early morning or evening light.

When you are taking pictures of people get them to relax, shake the tension out of their arms. If you want them to smile ask them what they had for breakfast (apparently it always works). Think about the background and what that says about the person – if someone is known for their green fingers take them in the garden or in the park; if someone has lived in the area all their life take them on their doorstep or with a street scene behind them.

If you’re taking a self-portrait, make it a proper self-portrait, not just a selfie. Set up the camera or phone and use the timer function to relax into a pose. Another tip is to switch on the grid function in the phone or camera’s settings. This shows you a grid to help you compose your shot – try offsetting the subject of the photo to left or right.

Finally, the joy of digital photography is that you can take as many photos as you like to get the shot right. Try out different ideas, different angles, different light and see what works.

When you’ve got the photo(s) you want to submit just email it to myholbeckphotos@gmail.com. Include your name and some details about the photo you’ve taken and why it’s important to you. The deadline for submissions is 19 August 2019.