Creative reflections

Pinnacle reflections

One key part of my ‘create’ theme for the year is to get back into taking photos regularly. I’ve been watching a great set of lessons on Skillshare – Street Photography: Capture the life of your city.

It’s run by photographer Trashhand and consists of 15 short videos around a central 4-photo assignment. In it we’re asked to go out and show our city in four categories – street portraits, look up, motion and night. Each theme is broken down into a session where Trashhand looks at photos he’s taken and talks us through how and why he made the photographs. Fascinating stuff.

You’re then asked to put together your own four photos for an assignment, and comment on each other’s work. I’ve always been a fan of the ‘look up’ photography, especially as Leeds has some fantastic (and some not-so-fantastic) architecture.

I took a few shots on the walk up to work and will decide later which one to submit for my assignment, or whether to take some more. I love the reflections in the one above.

What do you think? Which do you prefer? Not Leeds’ prettiest buildings by a long shot, but interesting trying to get a good angle on some of the more brutalist architecture!


Leeds sunsets

It was three years ago that I started a new job in central Leeds. This was my view.

view over West Leeds

It’s brilliant being that high up over the city. Leeds really has some fantastic architecture (along with some fairly hideous modern stuff. And some fairly brutalist 60s tower blocks).

The best bit about being up that high? You get to see sunsets like this.

Leeds sunset

I took that one not long after I’d started, and I had it on as my computer desktop background for ages. One of my colleagues saw it one day and remarked “you don’t get sunsets like that in this country!”

I pointed out of the window. I’m not entirely sure they believed me.

A succession of spectacular sunsets followed over the years and occasionally I had my camera with me to capture them.

Leeds sunset

Just to prove it’s not all about the camera, I took this one with my little £40 Canon point & shoot. It made it into Flickr’s Explore, which I’m still enormously proud of.


There’s something about that skyline which I just love.


It’s not all sunsets though. Sometimes you get some pretty crepuscular rays. This one made Flickr’s explore too. Looks like it’s not just me that likes that skyline.

town hall

And recently we’ve moved to a new building. The window behind me points in the opposite direction, over towards the south east.

I’ll just have to make do with sunrise photos.


It’s a hard life. 🙂

The Perfect Coffee Stop

Another great post by Ian on Reminds me that I must dust off my plans to visit as many coffee places in Leeds as possible…

Into The Orchard


I’ve recently noticed a new addition on my cycle commute into work which is a mobile coffee shop, housed within a fab little Piaggio Ape 3 wheel van, situated in Park Square.  I’ve whizzed around the square saying to myself that I must stop there and give it a go.  Today was the perfect storm, nice early ride in, no first thing meetings, fantastically warm weather so I rolled into the park unclipped and ordered a morning pick me up.

Now both street food and coffee have been slowly picking up over the last couple of years in Leeds, we may not be in Portland’s class but there are now several very good coffee shops and some great things happening on the quality street food scene, exemplified in my view by No Fishy Business showing that you can understand and sell a high quality product from a mobile kitchen.  It’s no…

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Maps. What’s up?

I was in Leeds with my daughter the other day, and she was asking how far away a particular shop was. I noticed one of the new maps they’ve been putting up[1] recently, and went over to show her where the shop was, and where we were.

Here’s the map in question:

Leeds city centre map, Victoria Gardens

I showed her where we were in Victoria Gardens. There’s us, there’s the library and the art gallery, and we have to go down that street, turn right and it was just…

Wait a second. Let’s take a closer look at that map.

map detail, facing South

Now, eagle-eyed residents of Leeds (or anyone familiar with the city) will notice something interesting about this map.

Go on, I’ll give you a second.

What’s up?


The map is, from a traditional map-reading perspective, the wrong way up. North is usually at the top, right?

However, this map made perfect sense. The map we were looking at was on the north side of the stand, and we were facing south. Therefore, everything in front of us physically was ‘up’ on the map.

We quickly checked the other side of the map display.

map detail, facing North

Facing north, everything ‘up’ on the map was north.

Neat bit of design there, map-makers. Nicely done.

Have you noticed any nifty maps recently? I love a good map. I can feel a blog post series coming on…



[1] someone is now going to tell me they’ve been there for *years*, I’m sure.

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