Temple – Leeds – The New Holbeck!

A new name for Holbeck

Here is a video version, with the words spoken… or carry on to see the photos and read it for yourself. 

The area south of Leeds station has been rebranded “Temple Leeds”,  probably because of “Temple works”, an iconic Mill building in the style of an Egyptian temple.  Previously this area was just called Holbeck – which is a district of Leeds. 

 I went for a sunset photoshoot, to capture the Architecture and also record the masses of new building going on in the Temple Leeds area. 

I first knew of Holbeck around the year 2000, when I worked in Marshalls Mill. There was very little to report down there, other than a red light district and an annoying 15-minute walk into the city through quite a scary dark Arches area.

This has completely changed now, with a totally new Skyline in the area. The South entrance to the train station transformed The Fortunes of the dark Arches. General gentrification of the Holbeck area is taking place

Copyright of McFade Photography

I managed to park next to the midnight Bell and Crosskeys pubs, so the Temple Leeds journey starts here with a view over the stream that gives Holbeck its name.

Copyright of McFade Photography

 

Most of these photos are taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV,  with a 24mm tilt Shift lens. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

With it being such a lovely calm day I managed to get great reflections in the “Leeds Liverpool canal”, all these photos are on the south side of the train station, you can see the bridge over the canal. 

On the Far Side of the train viaduct, there is a small, white curved Footbridge from which you can get this classic Temple Leeds view over the city. The trees on either side of the bank really are taking hold now, so it feels a little like you are in the countryside, Looking In. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

 

Over the bridge, I joined Whitehall Road. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

 This is a mixed residential and commercial area, with a brand new development called Riverside West, and an almost-complete complex called Wellington Place. Both have gone up recently and seem to be pretty busy. 

Next to Riverside West both the Leeds Liverpool canal and the River Aire pass under some large Bridges. From the bridge, I took this photograph of the canal as it enters the centre.  The old brick viaduct is no longer in use but was part of the old Leeds central station apparently. 

Copyright of McFade Photography

 The building you can see just to the left of this photograph is known as “No 1”, “26 Whitehall Rd” –  it is one of the regional developments down there and has a very distinctive box-like quality.  

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

Copyright of McFade Photography

As you can see, I was on the wrong side for the sunset,  so had to settle for some detailed photographs with the colourful clouds to one side.

For the final leg of the journey I swapped to the 70 to 200 lens so I could get some “detail images”, there wasn’t a lot going on with the sunset by this point, so it was worth changing.

These last few images are from Globe Road, which links you to the Water Lane area, following the path of the canal. 

It’s definitely an area worth visiting with a camera. Maybe do it in pairs because you occasionally do get some “interesting” characters milling around.  As you can see there is a mix of old Victorian architecture and brand new. You also have train and Canal transport to throw into the mix. A bit of something for everyone

When to go….

 I would suggest that the light is better in winter because the sun sets in a very different position! 

 

10 “Must SEE” Leeds Areas for Photographers

If you are planning a trip to photograph Leeds, where should you go?

Like most cities, Leeds Centre and shopping areas are largely bland (with a few exceptions…) and many shopping centres actually ban you from taking photographs inside. If you have a tripod they will definitely ask you to move along.

Having photographs Leeds since 2003 here are some of the highlights I would recommend to every photographer visiting.

All of these photos are from my own archives built up over fast approaching 20 years! The time of day and the weather when you arrive will dictate whether any of the buildings look like any of the following, these are my favourites from probably several hundred trips into town!

Also, please note that these are all copyright to McFade and available to licence if you get in touch via the contact form at the bottom of the page.

1 The Canal and River Aire

Like every city in the UK, the river and is always a great place to start and in Leeds we have, have the River Aire and the Leeds Liverpool canal meeting right in the centre next to the train station – then flowing out east where where it becomes another canal which heads out towards Hull.

The first of these photos is the canal in the west of the city centre, the second is is a Footbridge at Brewery Wharf which is very picturesque and the final on is is on the east of the city just passed the Royal Armouries.

2 Park Square

This is quite an unexpected thing to find in amongst all the streets near the city centre, but you have a wonderfully kept grassy Square surrounded by lovely buildings, the most striking being St Paul’s building which has a Moorish architecture Style.

3 -Leeds City Markets

One of the finest buildings in the city has to be the front Facade of the markets on Vicar Lane. Incredibly decorative Victorian architecture with domes on each corner, little cherubs above the doors and a real feast for the eyes.

4 The Corn Exchange

London has the Albert Hall, Manchester has its majestic library and Leeds has its Corn Exchange.

There’s something about these round buildings which just looks cool, this one was designed by architect Cuthbert Broderick in the Victorian era and now contains lots of shops and food options.

Definitely go all the way around the building on the outside because each angle has a different feel and the light will vary throughout the day so you want to pick an angle where you have have some light and Shadow.

At the time of writing the security staff are more welcoming than anywhere else in the city allowing you to freely wander around with your camera and in most cases you can use your tripod, though it is very bright in there so you probably don’t need to

5 Leeds Museum

Following on from one Cuthbert Broderick masterpiece two another one which started out life as Leeds Mechanics Institute, then in recent years has become the Museum. They do allow you to go indoors with your camera and if you get caught short there is a toilet you can use for free.

The most interesting thing to photograph are the Majestic outdoor reviews of the building, it’s pretty imposing and you can get some really great angles if you move around.

6 – The Royal Armouries & New Dock

Just off to the city centre down the canal, you will find a little city called new dock – it was once called Clarence Dock but they have rebranded recently.

This is home to the Royal Armouries collection in a majestic building called the Royal Armouries, but it’s also a lovely watery dock area with interesting architecture down both sides. It’s probably the best place in Leeds for modern architecture and on a windless day you get perfect reflections in the water.

The security staff will probably approach you if you have a tripod and look professional, but so long as you are sure of them that you are doing it just For Fun, which I’m sure you will be, they leave you to get on with enjoying the area.

7 – Granary Wharf and the Dark Arches

Literally beneath the train station is a rabbit Warren of tunnels which are called the dark Arches, though they are not very dark these days because they have lit them up into a spectacular light show of colour.

When you walk down the tunnel you pass the brand new South entrance to the train station which is a gold bronze colour and a real space age thing to look at, then you finally arrived at the wash where there is a wooden looking building a hotel and a massive cylinder called candle Tower.

You also have two locks and a view of the train lines, so it is a bit of a feast for the photographer.

8 – Victoria Quarter and Shopping Area

The shopping areas are not the best to photograph mainly because overzealous security guards and hordes of people getting in your way.

But the Victoria Quarter is well worth a look if you are prepared to hand hold your camera and move reasonably quickly so as not to become a problem for the security guards.

It is a beautiful arcade on one side cold County Arcade, then there is a second one Cold Cross arcade which runs perpendicular through a covered Street. This used to be a normal Road but they put a massive window across the top which some say is the biggest stained glass window in the world.

The area is full of shops selling fine shoes watches clothing and food.

9 – University Area

The University area is on Otley Road and and is pretty expensive, with a mix of architectural styles from the ultra-modern broadcasting house which uses the same metal colour and Preservation style as the Angel of the North, a Car Park which resembles a cheese grater, traditional neoclassical old building, some concrete brutalist structures and lots more.

You’ve also got ponds in which to reflect things and staircases where you can put models, so it’s a great location away from the masses of shoppers and tourists.

10 – Leeds Town Hall

The Jewel In The Crown of Cuthbert trio of amazing buildings has to be the Stirling Town Hall with it’s neoclassical Pillars at the front and massive clock tower which dominates the skyline in this part of the city.

I’ve convinced the best view of this is from the Mr Foley’s Ale House, if you shoot from here sunset the light comes in from the left-hand side illuminating the front of the building leaving the right hand side In Darkness, giving the whole photograph of 3D appeal.

If it is dark you can set your tripod up there and wait for cars to rush by leaving the light trails in the foreground of your photo.

I hope that’s giving you some ideas and inspiration for your next visit in to Leeds city centre.

We do run workshops around the area so if you do fancy a guided to a please check on our workshops website whether there is anything happening around your visit – or even plan your visit to coincide with the workshop.

Our workshops are all at

www.photographycourses.eu

And if you want to make any enquiries at all just fill in the form at the bottom of the page and we’ll get back to you straight away

7 HDR Photos of Leeds

7 HDR Photos of Leeds – Swinegate & Calls

In Leeds, where the canal and Aire merge, there’s The Calls and Swinegate. Streets on the inner ring road with some fantastic brick buildings to photograph, especially great for HDR photos of Leeds, as you can pull lots of detail out of those walls.

Maybe not the obvious place to go shooting!

Along with the Brick, there are some new buildings going up down there – nice to see cranes back in Leeds, recession finally over ? A fantastic sign – both for the economy and the architecture enthusiast.

Sigma 20mm F1.8 Lens

Anyway – I was down there testing out a Sigma 20mm F1.8 Lens, one I’d got for architecture shooting and low light events. It’s not the fastest thing to operate, having a slow focus system, but its very bright and easy to use, not bad for HDR photos of Leeds.

The light wasn’t great – the sky overcast for most of the shoot. This often results in slightly surreal images – as you’ll see below.

The Photos…

All these photos were taken with my Trusty Canon 5D and the sigma 20mm lens, I have them automatically set at two stops apart using auto exposure bracketing. This makes shooting HDR photos a breeze. The photos were then merged using Photomatix, a HDR program which allow us to do batch processing very quickly

leeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade001Roomzzzz Hotel – Swinegateleeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade010The Elbow Room – Calls

leeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade009Call Lane

leeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade002

Malmaison

leeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade003

 

Blayds Yard

 

leeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade004

Heaton’s Court

leeds-yorkshire-swinegate-hdr-photography-mcfade005

Heaton’s Court

30 Surreal Seconds in Leeds….

Surreal Leeds!

You’d not normally bother with the camera on a day like this was, but here’s what I tried, making a surreal Leeds….

_MG_8650
 

It’s mid-afternoon…

  • The sun is bright
  • There is a slight wind blowing the clouds
  • There are people and cars around
  • I’ve just left a meeting in Leeds…
  • So do I take more bright day shots of Leeds Town Hall – or do I go home….

Then I remember I have one of these “10-stop filters” and the clouds are moving… so decide to get some long exposure shots of the city, something a little different.

The Techy Bit…

A 10 stop filter is to the eye, a piece of black glass you can’t see through – a bit like a welding mask glass.

Its purpose is to reduce the flow of light into a camera. Here’s how it works:-

  • A 1 stop filter stops 1/2 the light entering the camera – so you need to double how long you expose your photo
  • A 2 stop filter stops another 1/2 the light entering the camera (so 1/4 of the unfiltered light) – so you need to quardruple how long you expose your photo
  • So if we go on, the 10 stop needs 2^10 times the exposure – which is 1024 times more exposure time

So if you’re shooting at 1/100th without the filter, you’d need to shoot at 10 seconds with the filter on. 

What they are used for…

So you can shoot really long exposures in bright light – what does this mean?

  • Water becomes smooth and waveless
  • Passing cars disappear
  • Shopping centres look odd – only people who stand perfectly still appear
  • Streets look empty
  • Skies look surreal – the clouds slur across the picture leaving totally alien patterns

So I didn’t stray too far from the Town Hall – just popping around Millennium Square and back

The Photos

 

Leeds town hall_MG_8644Park square in Leeds _MG_8655

Leeds town hall

_MG_8652

Leeds town hall

_MG_8640-2St George’s St Leeds _MG_8638

Leeds town hall

_MG_8656