A Beautiful Mess, Finding Urban Portrait Backdrops


Fran and I decided to spend a few hours in Leeds on Sunday with the aim of developing our creativity in relation to photography, just trying to frame what we saw differently and see what we could produce. To be honest it was an off the cuff thing so we just grabbed a camera and whatever lens was on the body and set off to Leeds.

We decided to try the area surrounding the Royal Armories as we thought it might provide a few creative opportunities, but it was not long before we discovered that the lenses we had on our camera bodies were not best suited to the type of photography we were experimenting with.

Rather than call it a day and knowing that the lenses were better suited to portraits, we decided to start looking for colors and textures that we might be able to use for backgrounds. Lacking the courage to ask the few strangers we did see, we decided to take turns in photographing one another although I am certainly not photogenic.

After about an hour and a half of being in the cold we concluded a coffee would be a good idea. Although our first photographic intention got lost, we did find numerous locations for potential portraits that I have never seen or thought of before. Despite having no flash or reflectors with us, we were not expecting the results to be the best it was more about experimentation really.

However, it was amazing to see the impact that could be achieved from some of the backgrounds we did come across and just using natural light. Some of the backgrounds worked better than others, but it was interesting to see which colors and textures worked better.

If you live in an urban area with old rundown industry or modern redeveloped land you might find some beauty in what is often taken for granted or seen as a mess. I was surprised at just how much photographic opportunities there are on my doorstep.


Author: Fletcher K2Photographic

Fletcher is a Freelance photographer with images featured in Yachts and Yachting, Yorkshire Life Magazine and Equine Health Thoroughbred Owner and Breader. Commissioned work has included the Land Rover Burghley International Horse Trials; Bramham International Horse Trials; Hickstead Derby; The Motocross Nationals; Roger Albert Clark Rally; and the Pirelli Rally. Photography is his passion which is demonstrated through his work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s