A passion for for photography and digital communication with a background at the BBC and ITV.
Currently director at the School Media Club making cinema films for schools and working for Oblong Leeds a community development organisation. Also a member of All Saints Church in Ilkley and involved with communications in the parish.
This blog features posts about photography including some of my photos, while the media posts will include thoughts about filmmaking and online media - particularly to do with PR activities.
School Media Club
Category Archives: Photography
I’m sure that journaling our stories through images consistently and over the long term will lead to an invaluable resource. A catalogue of images that truly reflect our organisation’s values and activities can help celebrate achievements and protect our future.
I’ve been working with the Woodhouse Community Centre in Leeds and a number of local churches in Bradford to improve the presentation of their communities online.
The one big stumbling block, it seems to me, is the availability of decent images. Community organisations are about people, what they do and how they relate to each other. The use of images can show who you are and what you do much more powerfully than endless paragraphs of explanation.
Text heavy websites or magazines are simply not going to be engaging enough for the majority of people these days. Of course we do our best to find images we can use but they are often of poor quality and don’t represent the range of people and activities in our communities.
The safeguarding issues around children often mean that children are not represented on websites at all, or at least very little. The photos we use rarely represent smaller groups where the presence of a camera may be intrusive.
The absence of images can make us invisible – for example whenever my wife an I go on holiday you’d think she went on her own by the absence of photos of me! Our churches may seem to be populated by older people who stand in rows smiling and looking towards the camera but not actually doing anything.
If we are going to do this properly we’ll need three things in place.
- A policy for obtaining photos and using them online. This means understanding what we can and can’t show, how we obtain permission and what the copyright rules are, among other things.
- People who know what they are doing – i.e. photographers who understand the rules, the needs of the website and how to take a decent photo. Publishers who know the history of the photos and can make good decisions about how they are used.
- A place to store and catalogue the photos so they can be accessed by the people who need them.
Here I’m going to suggest that we use Flickr to store and catalogue images. It’s only a suggestion and I’m open to any other thoughts about how to manage an accessible library of images for use on the web and other publications.
Heres a video. To see it properly you may need to use the ‘full screen’ button bottom right of the player.
What a great couple of days we’ve had. Yesterday we went to see some friends who have recently moved into a farmhouse on Addingham Moorside, an absolutely superb spot. From there we walked up to Windgate Nick and it really looked like we were in the Alps.
Today we went to the Hockney exhibition at Cartwright Hall in Bradford – highly recommended with some work I hadn’t seen before. There’s a great photo of a young DH appearing in a Methodist Church play as a robot. He has a box on his head so I trust it was him.
Here’s an Easter meditation I photographed at the wonderful Calvary at Middleton, Ilkley.
The stations of the cross there are hidden away in the trees and a great place to reflect, pray, look, listen. The music for the mediation is by Tino Alberti who gave me permission to us it. At first the music seems random and formless but out of it comes amazing grace.
If you would like to use the video a download is available via Proost
I’m writing these notes because I’ve been having discussions with our media volunteers in Woodhouse about sourcing images on the internet, so I hope this will be helpful.
Finding great images for the website or for other publications is, of course, really important. excellent visual content can engage, inspire and communicate in a very powerful way.
Many websites are let down by the choice and presentation of images. If you don’t gave the confidence or opportunity to take great images yourself, then there are free resources you may be able to use.
Downloading image from the internet is easy to do but stealing work and breaking copyright is quite wrong. However there are many high quality images you can download for free under Creative Commons licensing. This means the owner is giving you some rights to use the image – perhaps in a non commercial setting or with a credit. You will need to be aware of what rights the creator is offering. Otherwise other people’s images can only be used with their permission.
For a full explanation of Creative Commons and a search tool for finding images and other media you can use here is a link to -
Creative Commons Search
This photo was taken in Middleton Woods, Ilkley. I seem to be taking a lot of these dark scenes. Maybe I’m going through a dark phase, or is it just winter?
I’m really enjoying looking for new things in the woodland scenes, and in this one the pale bark of the small tree contrasting with the Victorian blackness of the surrounding woods. Overhead light.
I do love black and white – or should I say monochrome. There’s something honest about it. What you are looking at is actually there (more or less) – the form and tones, the subject. This is a little gate at Christ Church in Ilkley. Actually it’s the one Deborah and I went through 22 years ago when we were married.
We don’t often go on visits to stately homes and less so guided tours. Usually it doesn’t appeal, but I must say that Ripley Castle is surprising and fascinating. We were taken round by an enthusiastic chap whose name I don’t know, but he looked like he could be the naughty brother of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Ingilby family history includes a rebellious preacher (and prospective saint) executed, a plot to kill James 1st, and inside connections the Guy Fawkes plot; Respect. I wonder if they’ve calmed down a bit.
The grounds are lovely.
Came accross the Art 21 channel on Youtube. Art 21 has the mission to “increase knowledge of contemporary art, ignite discussion, and inspire creative thinking by presenting artists at work and in their own words”. Here’s photographer Robert Adams
I seem to have been under the influence of Atkinson Grimshaw again, mysterious paths leading through darkness with tangled trees overhead. This was taken a while back not far from Kilnsey in Wharfedale. Uninspiring in colour but comes alive in monochrome.
Ilkley Photographers will be gathering again on Sunday the 14th of October at 10am Cafe Nero, Brook Street. Are you up for the On the Spot Challenge?
We made the observation that we are different from the Ilkley Camera Club because we have “photographers” not “camera” in our group title. So the meetups are possibly more about being social and seeing the world through the eyes of the photographer rather than necessarily the camera. The discussions are wide ranging.
In an attempt to promote at least some photography we are holding a monthly challenge which we’ll discuss retrospectively at each meetup. The current challenge is the On the Spot Challenge. Please download the map, stand at the locations described and take the most creative shot you can. This is known as a restraint which has the effect of enhancing your powers of creative thinking.
Any photos you take you can upload them to Flickr and tag them onthespotchallenge