Leeds Airport – The Start of a Photographer’s Dream

Leeds has undergone many changes over the last 20 years making it one of the most vibrant cities of Yorkshire. The combination of old town bridges, hidden parks, and the rising city center make Leeds one of the most sought-after cities to learn and experiment different techniques in photography. It was a successful industrial city for many years leaving behind great buildings that have now been repurposed to showcase art and history of Leeds. It’s the perfect place that balances work and play. It’s not overly hyped which boggles a curious mind. It all starts at the airport as soon as you arrive after your flight. As a photographer, Leeds Bradford airport will take you to a lot of amazing spots to give your portfolio a much-needed upgrade.

Airport Lounges

You haven’t even been out of the airport yet and you already get to enjoy taking stunning photos of the vast space, glass walls all around giving you a peak of the airplanes that come and go and three of the most amazing airport lounges you could ever find. Leeds Bradford airport has three brand new luxury lounges, The Yorkshire Lounge, The White Rose Suite and The 1432 Runway club to welcome you with drinks, complimentary food, newspapers, and magazines for entertainment. Where else can you sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee or maybe a few beers and spirits while taking great photos of the runway?

Arrival and Departure Areas

The arrival and departure areas are some of the great spots to set up your camera and capture real emotions of people bidding adieu to their friends and family as well as people welcoming their loved ones with laughter and an embrace. These rare moments beat any studio pictorial a hundredfold. It’s a great opportunity to take portrait shots in a completely new environment.

The Runway

It’s any photographer’s dream to have access to the airport runway and take great photos of giant airplanes taking off. The image of the sun beaming through the rows and rows of airplanes is a rare opportunity to experiment with light and exposure. Even at night, the play of light coming from the moon and the bright interior lighting from the airport creates a stunning effect to the airplanes parked near the gates.

The Hallways

The airport hallways are fitting if you want to take photos that tell a story. From an outsider’s point of view, a hallway is just this permanent gap between walls that don’t really serve many purposes except for people to walk by. However, from a photographer’s perspective, it’s the opposite. Airport hallways are perfect for capturing the hustle and bustle of different people from businessmen with their carry-on suitcase, a middle-aged woman with a huge backpack finally mustering the courage to go backpacking alone, a group of teenagers going out of the country to follow a rock band or a family of six children taking some time off and enjoying a weekend getaway. The thick mirror walls create a great contrast with the silhouettes of people rushing through the hallways.

Food Courts and Shopping Areas

Food courts, shopping areas, and waiting areas are usually full of people and any ordinary person will find the chaos to be exhausting. But for a photographer, there are a lot of photo opportunities from taking photos of still objects, to the flickering letters and numbers from the flight status boards, rows of seats, crowded cafes, and a great selection of collectibles that can be bought in airport malls.

I hope that gives you a good run down on the new features to look out for when visiting the airport next!

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Aerial Photography

Aerial photography is gaining popularity as a new way to take pictures, rare do photographers get the chance to shoot scenery from above like that.  The novelty of the helicopter ride certainly doesn’t hurt either.  In fact aerial photography is not really a new phenomenon, it has been around since World War II.  Photographers would grab a ride in war planes in the hope of getting a shot of a plane being shot down, or capture shots of enemy fire.  Photographers can be a morbid bunch.

Aerial photography will always be something that most photographers would give their eye teeth a chance to try, they can create magnificent pictures if it is done correctly.  The sheer number if different settings you can capture all over the world that look so much different from the air, rather than on the ground.  Photographers lucky enough to work for news agencies get the opportunity fairly often and have taken some incredible aerial photos.

Aerial photography at its heart are really collections of landscape shots, but from the air you can capture the tops of mountains, the colours of the desert, the steep slopes of the Himalayas.  Parasailing is one way to capture aerial shots without having to book a helicopter ride or try and take pictures from the window of an airplane.

Applications for Aerial Photography

Aerial photography isn’t a hobby for most photographers, they are usually employed to take these picture by some organization or other.  The most common use of aerial photography is the military, they take aerial shots of their enemies on the ground and historically speaking it has affected decisions on whether to send troops in or not.

New organizations have used aerial photography, bigger city news stations have photographers and helicopters on standby in the event something news worthy happens.  Remember the OJ Simpson case, news helicopters following his SUV and filming the whole thing.  City planners will use it for planning and development.  Tourism uses it to capture pictures of beaches and golf courses, aerial photography gives you a bigger field of view when taking pictures.

Drones & GoPro

Less aerial photography is being done by photographers, instead with drone technology you can send a drone into the air equipped with a GoPro and still manage to get some incredible shots.  However nothing will replace the keen eye of a photographer.  Here is a video showing just what kind of pictures you can actually capture using drones.

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Excellent Places to Grab Photos in Leeds

Photographers that capture scenery, beauty shots or even wedding photographers are always looking for interesting backdrops to add depth to their pictures.  The right back drop can turn an average photo into something outstanding.  A good photographer is aware of the relationship between the primary object and the backdrop and can emphasize the different combinations of colour and texture.

Leeds being one of the oldest cities in the UK and has plenty of wonderful places to serve as incredible backdrops to make your photos look stunning.  It is a beautiful city with historical places built during the Roman era all the way to the reign of Queen Victoria.  There are parks, halls, churches and beautiful roundabouts to complement any picture.

Here are some excellent places to grab some photos in Leeds:

Middleton Park

This park is one of the oldest places in and around the city of Leeds.  With woodlands that go back to the seventeenth century and a giant oaks or freshwater ponds along with gorgeous flowers will fit well with wedding or nature photos.

Leeds City Square

Built back in 1899, Leeds City Square is an open area right in the heart of the city.  The main building is an exquisitely built piece of architecture that looks wonderful as a backdrop in photographs.  Go just outside the main building and you can take even more pictures with the fountain, the bronze statue of Black Prince on horseback acting as the backdrop.

Clarence Dock

Located beside the Royal Armories Museum at River Aire in the city center was originally constructed for transportation of goods in and out of Leeds.  In 2008 it was transformed into a more urban area with shopping, living and the nearby museum.

In the evening the dock makes for a beautiful backdrop.  You can an interesting juxtaposition between the dock and the nearby high rises at sunset.  The museum in the right light casting the right shadows has made for some award winning shots in Leeds.

Parish Church of Saint Peter

The church is a brilliant representation of 17th century architecture and it is the center of many a wedding photo taken here in Leeds.  Constructed with ashlar stone, it has been added to and rebuilt many times so it displays the style of several periods throughout history.  It has a slate roof and both the inside and outside of the church make a visually capturing backdrop for your wedding photographs.

Leeds being such a historical city has many backdrops in which you can capture its beauty and the above are just a handful.  Strap on your camera and go exploring it is the best way to see the city and capture great pictures in the moment.

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