Discovering Morley

Near Leeds

Morley is a large town in the shadow of near-by Leeds, yet had it’s day as a wealthy wool town in the past.

This is illustrated by The Town Hall, it is very impressive, similar to Leeds Town Hall in style; it steals the lime light away from the rest of the centre.

In 2012, pound shops, charity shops and empty buildings line the main shopping street, making it a place I rarely frequent.


However, yesterday was a sunny day, so decided to “Discover” Morley again – taking with me a 28mm and 85mm fixed lens on the Canon 5D.

The 28 was excellent at capturing whole buildings, and as I walked towards the Post Office I got a good selection of images of the shops.

Getting the detail

It was when I changed to the 85mm lens that I started to notice more of the architectural detail on the main street. Features which have been there all along, but never noticed as they are above eye level.

Daily life dictates that we rush between appointments without taking time to take in our environment. Hardly surprising that I never saw the detail above.

Different Effects of Lenses

The images in the gallery below start with the 28mm, then move to the 85mm – note how the 28mm draws attention to the modern shops and pubs, but the 85mm are more “timeless”. The detail shots could be anywhere in the UK, it shows that though the centre may not be the most impressive today, it was once great.

Note also that using a fast (F1.8) lens means you can choose to focus on some parts of the building, and blur the rest – this can guide the viewer to the focal points, and hide the “gremlins” in the shot.

Positive outcome

All in all, it’s a set of photographs I never knew existed in Morley – even after nearly 10 years of living in the city, I’d never captured anything I’d blog or publish. But taking time on a bright day, using a longer lens and shallow depth of field, and ignoring all the funny looks from the natives, I came away with a set that documents the town in a positive light


One thought on “Discovering Morley

  1. I live in Morley and there is some really nice architecture. If you look on the town hall you will see a train coming out of the morley tunnel in the carvings above the door. Also there is a stone beehive on the top of the old co-op buildings on albion street (its now a solicitors), i dont know what that indicates but i have a few shots of it, so next time you are passing by see if you can find them 😉

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