Ever since I started travelling I’ve loved to take photos, and the rise of Twitter and Instagram have done nothing to curb my addiction. Nowadays I spend most of my life in the same city, but luckily Leeds is incredibly photogenic and I’m never short of beautiful things to capture. Of course I’m one of the amateurs, and I love to stalk the feeds (just their feeds, before you call the police) of photographers around Leeds who really capture the feel of the city. Here are five of my favourite Leeds Instagram accounts you should be following. Continue reading
Last time on the blog, I was talking about the awesome perks of working for a travel website, the big one being that I occasionally get to go on little jaunts abroad to spec out destinations, take photos and get new ideas for content. Last week I was in Ibiza and Majorca – two islands that I would never necessarily visit by choice, but that I found held their own charms even for me.
Sunsets, beaches and lovely island scenery are basically the standard in the Balearic Islands, but one of Ibiza’s must-visit events is the Las Dalias Hippy Market, held every Saturday in San Carlos. Independent jewellers, artists and designers gather here to sell their beautiful and quirky creations, and I definitely wasn’t prepared for the size of quality of this beautiful market. The thing I came away with most of was photos; the colours of the stalls and the imagination involved were just incredible.
There were so many things to choose from, and I made 3 purchases only after browsing the entire market and agonising over what items to pick. In the end I chose a gold plated ring decorated with gemstones, a canvas print of a hippy girl playing guitar, and a beautiful stained glass bottle. I’m a sucker for pointless pretty things…
Have you visited Ibiza’s hippy markets? What goodies did you find?
This weekend the sun was shining and I had a few spare hours, so I wandered over to Munro House to grab a coffee and check out Justin Slee’s Avant exhibition at the Leeds Gallery. This stunning collection of photos portrays behind-the-scenes moments at Northern Ballet, a project spanning 5 years during which time Slee was given access to shows and rehearsals to observe the dancers and photograph them at work.
I first heard about the project through an article on The City Talking in which the writer compared the exhibition to the work of Edgar Degas, the Impressionist who dedicated more than half his paintings to studies of dancers. Although the medium is different, I was also struck by the similarities between Degas’ paintings and Slee’s photos; like Degas, Slee makes a study of light, often capturing dancers at the moment their bodies are hit by a shaft of light or making use of shadow to create contrasts of colour.
However what I found most moving about Slee’s collection was the amazing candour of the shots; the most memorable photos were not those taken during performances but the unguarded moments snapped during rehearsals. Slee captures the dancers in moments of pure focus, so lost in their work they appear to have forgotten his presence, and these are the shots that encapsulate the incredible discipline and commitment that goes into creating the Northern Ballet’s productions.
The exhibition also reveals the human side of the dancers, an accessible element that lies in stark contrast to the elegant, ethereal beings we see on stage. One photo shows a female dancer taking a break, her face creased with laughter as she sits bent forward with her elbows resting on her knees. My personal favourite depicts what appears to be a warm-up, in which Slee catches a dancer pulling a face at her colleague. These pictures are arrestingly intimate, and it is this intimacy that makes the collection so awe-inspiring.
I must admit I’ve never paid much attention to ballet; I was taken once by my Grandma as a child but as I’ve grown up my interests turned to literature and drama, and my theatre visits have always been to see plays. Maybe I’ll have to give it another try…