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List Article – Top Spots In Leeds

Leeds is well known for not only its strong skate and bmx scene, but also for the vast amount of street “spots” around the city.
Some much more famous than others, but all are very good quality for a range of talents and abilities.

In this article I’ll be going through some of the top places to visit whilst you’re in the city to make the trip worth your while.
All with very different types of spots there’s something for every type of style out there.

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10. Bank Under Bridge.

This bank is right at the front of Leeds city centre, just before the large Quarry House building. The way it’s placed means that it usually stays dry on most rainy days and also blocks most of the wind out too.

With it being made of brick though, it’s unfortunately a bit more difficult to get speed on a skateboard but it’s still very skateable.
There’s never a chance of being kicked out by anyone and the bank also increases with size the closer you get to the wall so you can always start at the bottom end and work your way up.


9. Leeds Uni Ledge Gap.

This ledge to gap is for much more experience riders/skaters due to it’s large drop, reasonable long gap and narrow run up and landing. But this is only one of the few spots in and around Leeds Univeristy.

There is plenty to be explored, but your time there may be cut short due to the security. This isn’t always the case as some days they may never come and ask you to leave whilst others they may turn up straight away.

So just make sure you know your way around the University first so you can just go from spot-to-spot if this ever happens to you.


 8. Millenium Square.

Millenium is a very relaxed and casual place to visit, not only is there this ledge here, there’s also a small 3-set which is great for learning new tricks on, a reasonably big ledge on the side of the higher steps; and also a curved wall-ride for bmx.

This spot is usually visited after a day’s session up and Hyde Park and you all want to try out the spots through town.

It’s fun to skate as it’s nice and opened up to a large square in the centre and it will give you some time to just sit down and have a laugh with your friends and spend as much or as little time as you want there.

7. Needleside.

This local skater made skate-only (worth mentioning) spot is brilliant and well hidden away.
It consists of a long strip of concrete with a quarter at the end with a flat-bank on the other side, then a stretched out smaller hubba-like quarter to the right-hand side.
And the wall on the left-hand side slightly transitioned at the bottom to allow quite rather large wall-rides and any other experimentation you may think of.

This perfect and fun skatespot is most definately worth visitng. If not for the skating, but for also the fact that this has being built by a few people in their own time and money put into it just so that they have something they can skate without getting hassle of anyone.

When you are there, you really can feel the local and homely presence of this spot and I bet you’re wondering. “Well why isn’t it at the top of the list instead of 7th!?”
Well the simple answer to that is the travel.
This spot is actually in fact, not in the centre of Leeds, but on the outskirts in a place called “Kirkstall”. It’s placed beside the train track bridge which goes across the main road.

If this spot was in the centre of Leeds, I believe if it weren’t already knocked down. It would of being demolished by some kids or would be a hanging point for them.

6. Quarry House.

This is another spot which is at the bottom of Leeds City Centre/Town.
It is found behind the back of the Quarry House building, or if you don’t know what that is, it’s behind the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

As well as having a variety of heights in ledges, (some even with a bit of a gap at the end) it also has a 4-set which can be easily ollied up as well as down.
With a reasonably smooth pathway around it, the only problem is the patches of stones around the footpaths which may roll onto the path for you to get caught in your wheels. So keep an eye out!

5. Canal Ghetto Ledge Spot.

This is yet another local made skatespot which is very well built.

Built on the remains of a old warehouse, it is a short walkway down from the back of the train station if you follow the canal away from Leeds.

The ledge is around 2 and a half feet tall so it’s great for beginners but also not too small for experience riders.
They have also built it on a strip of perfectly smooth concrete so there’s a great run-up! And they’ve even put some old coping on the edge to make it easy to grind.

This being the major object at this spot, but there’s also a small polejam as well as a reasonably big gap too.

If you do plan to go to this spot, make sure to take plenty of drinks and food as there is no shops in the close area and with no shade about, in summer it can get ridiculously hot here.

4. Hyde Park 5 Set & Benches.

Probably one of the newest skatespots to appear in Leeds. This spot is built up behind the business building of Leeds University on the edge of Hyde Park.

The 5 set has a quite long run up which is a bit gritty but still okay to roll on and the benches are in front of the stairs. These benches are made of wood but have the edges waxed up so they are slide able.
They are also quite high so it would be used for more skilled people but they can be easily used.

3. West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Probably one of the most famous skate spots in Leeds.

This spot consists of the famous red-brick 10 stairs, the large brick steps and the large concrete seats.
The steps and seats lead up to the stairs to create a nice styled line in video parts.

The stairs are not too high, but they are quite long and do have quite a slippy landing, so getting the right speed and landing tricks cleanly is a must or you’ll be going flying!

2. The Works.

This indoor skatepark has been open for around 8 years and has been growing and growing since it’s doors first open.

The park allows all extreme sport types in and has several areas in around the park for all styles.
The people who own and run the park are great people, they’re always trying to make the park better and there’s always something new added to the park.

Teams usual visit the park and competitions go on through the year, so there is always something interesting going on at the park.
All details of their opening hours, prices and directions can be found here on the website

1. Hyde Park.

This has definately got to be one of the most important places to visit during your time at Leeds. Not only is the home place for one of the oldest going bmx crews LS6 BMX, it has also got a lot of old skater locals too.

This park has a great presence about it and always has a great atmosphere around in summer with the large collection of students soaking up the sun.

It’s perfect contrast of street and park objects makes it great for all types of riders so whatever your mood, there always something for you. The mini is usually a great start for a session then the ledges, manual pad and the large flat bank are used most of the day when people start getting into the mood.

Even if your not up for doing too much whilst your there, you can sit on the grass surrounding the park with your friends and have a nice relaxing drink with your friends so it makes a great day out for everyone.

With a bunch of takeaways and a one-stop round the corner means there’s no worries about lack of food or drink through the day.

Hyde Park is probably one of the best planned out parks in the country and is nothing but high quality so make sure you visit this park or you’ll regret missing out on the amazing experience.

List article ideas

To begin with for ideas, I thought I would make a basic list of ideas which can incorporate my photography that I will use in Tony’s class.
And for these photoshoots I have the 5 themes of:
– Sports
– Urban Landscape
– Halloween
– Tropical World
– Markets

So for these I then decided to put down a few ideas for each for how I could put them into a list article.

 For sports, I chose a sub-topic of skateboarding as it’s what I’m doing my photos on.
– Facts about the history of skateboarding
– The advancement of the professionalism of skateboarding
– Places/ SkateSpots in Leeds to visit

Urban Landscape:
– Top shops to visit in Leeds
– Facts about the city of Leeds
– Top tourist locations

– Best costumes to make
– How-to Make-up tutorial
– The pagan halloween and it’s history

Tropical World:
– Animals and wildlife of tropical world
– Reasons to visit
– Favourite animals of tropical world

– Reasons to go to the German market
– What’s to find in the Leeds market

After writing a few ideas to each, I then cut down to my top three and wrote a few notes for each on what I could possibly write and photograph for them.

The pagan halloween and it’s history:
As I have family members which follow the pagan religion it means my eyes have been opened to the other views of halloween and what it means to them.
They find it is the one day of the year in which they believe that our world is closest to the dead they celebrate this as a paying respect to their lost loved ones.
So to do a list article on this would be very interesting as I could explain the simple ideas of what it is about to people who may of never seen this side of the holiday.

Top tourist locations in Leeds
Being brought up in Leeds allows me to know about places visitors to the city they may never be able to experience during their stay here, so making a list of the top few and giving a small description of what these places have to offer and their details so they can find them and go to them during their stay.
The photos would fall underneath the “urban landscape” section easily and would allow me to gain a variety of shots with very different places and areas of Leeds.

Places/SkateSpots in Leeds to visit

This idea appeals most to me personally as it’s on something I can write quite well about and have already got a few decent photos relating to this genre of photography.
Also, Leeds as a city is filled with lots of popular and well known places which skateboarders and bmxer’s travel to visit.
These places are generally quite photogenic so it will make my photos much more interesting and appealing to the viewers.




Reflection – List Articles

With this seminar, we began talking about the use and effectiveness of list articles.

Karl was talking about how these types of articles are great for giving a large amount of information or tips in a small space. As well as being very eye catchy for people with short attention spans, they are also easy to format for online and print use.

I personally think that these are a great way to start of working for as they are quick and simple to make, and also they can be easily aimed around a topic/ subject which I am interested in, or which I can write about easily.

He then went on to talk about how they are a god format for photographic journalists as they not only allow you to write an article, but you can also add images along with your points which can be very useful for the reader as it makes it more appealing.
To add to this, he also said that they are very popular online, which is great news for when the internet is becoming a lot more used in this line of field. And also that they are generally commissioned by editiors from freelancers. So if I were ever to attempt to send in one to an editor when I began working in this field, I would have a better chance if I were a freelancer, which will probably happen when I first start working.

After going through this, he then asked us to attempt to make our own list article for our blog of rather one of the choices he had given us, or one of our own.
I decided to create my own around tips on how to shoot sports photography in the key areas of skateboarding and bmxing, as I have more experience in this area of photography and think I have some useful tips for people.

So I planned out my tips and got 9 and then got the images to go along with it and then put it all together and I personally think that the tips and images that went along with it were quite good, so I think for this task I did quite a good job on the work needed as I stuck to something that I had information on.

Workshop – 9 Tips to shoot better images of Skateboarding & Bmx

The tips below will help you learn and understand what can create a professional looking photo.

These 9 helpful tips that I have gained through my years of experience shooting these sports should hopefully get you the images you want and help. Using these tips will help you create a strongly built image that will draw the attention of the viewer to the key areas that you choose.

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1 .Fast shutter Speed – Always make sure to shoot a fast shutter speed to capture the motion in still of what is going on in the image. This will make sure there is no blur around the subject as they will be doing fast motions which, with a slow shutter can ruin a good image.

2 . rule of thirds – The rule of thirds is a special technique used in photography which basically stops the subject from sitting in the centre of the shot creating a poor composition. Have the subject to one side of the image keeping the obstacle or part of the area in shot can emphasise how big the obstacle is for the viewer.

3. Timing – This will probably be one of the most difficult things to do without looking at other images. You will want to look in magazines and online of professional work to see when is the key moment to take an image. The best time to shoot an image is when they are at the peak of their trick or at the moment of capture as it shows off the skills height and trickery.

4. Distance – Far or near? – This can be down to the type of obstacle the subject is on, but also down to what the area is like and what you want out of the image. If you are at a skatepark it’s a little difficult getting up and close as there will be a lot of other people going around and you may get in the way of others which could cause problems. As well as this, if the obstacle is quite large, you’ll need to be further away to include the entirety of it.

5. Sequences – Using sequences can be a great way to capture a selection of tricks the character may do on one obstacle one after the other which you may not be able to get from one single frame. They are also particularly good for if they are doing a very quick trick which might  take more than one frame to see fully.

6. Use off camera flashes – If you are shooting in light that isn’t strong enough for you to use a fast shutter or the lighting is too dull make sure to use off camera flashes. Two are generally best to use as you then have a main and a secondary light as this will not only light up the subject but the area around them. Using off camera flash will also stop you from gaining strong casted shadows around the back of the subject too. You can also use flashes through the day if you want to make the subject stand out better as well as allowing you to use a faster shutter speed.

7. Lense Choice – As there are a vast amount of lenses that are useful for shooting these types of sport, it is important to use the correct one for the right environment. As fisheyes can widen the viewing area and elongate the surroundings they are great for low and up close shots, whereas if you want to be further away from the subject but want to keep them just in focus as a telephoto lense with a wide aperture setting. Using the correct lense can help you create a stronger image than you may have got with a different lense.

8. Creative angle – Don’t always feel you have to stick to the normal angles you may see in the magazines, try finding a place where you can compose your image to have a slightly filling foreground that can be put out of focus or maybe use an angle which can help you show what type of environment the image is being shot in to add a stronger effect to the shot. But try to make sure you don’t have too much filling the shot as this will distract the eye of the viewer and even make it look overfilled.

9. Experiment – Try your best to be as creative and as experimental with your shots. Look around at the environment around you and see if you can add anything to your shot, and don’t be afraid to ask the subjects opinion and what they think about your ideas.

I hope these tips will come to use and help you gain the images you’ve wanted!
And just remember to have fun!

Reflection – Writing for the Web

With this seminar, we have being going through the different ways in which articles should be structured depending on whether they are online or in a newspaper/magazine.
It was interesting to see how the same story can be edited to fit it’s surroundings and for the viewers.

Karl showed us the two separate structures, showing us their slight differences and how important it is to get these right for when you are writing for the web.
He gave us a lot of key facts to keep in mind on how we should keep our writing short but informative.

He then went through the use of the “Inverted Triangle” which is the key basis to work on when publishing any worthy article on the web.

There are three parts to the inverted triangle and working from top to bottom these are:
1. Most Newsworthy Info.
For this section the writer should go through the general happenings in the story so that the reader knows and understands what the article is about.
2. Important Details.
As you have caught the readers eye in the first part, you then talk about the more longer and important facts/details of the story.
3. Other general/background info.
Finally, the writer usually finished with some side information of the story which may not fully be key to the story, but it might be a good piece of information for the readers to know about.

All these then build up a strong article for any story that can be posted onto the web.
I thought this was very useful to learn today as it is just before we have to produce our own online article for the course, so this has really helped me understand what is key for a strong article.
And with this information, it means I have a starting block to work on with any other pieces of work I may need to publish online.

Jimmy Savile Memorial plans

The legend may be making one last final mark on his hometown by the possibility of a permanent memorial for the man himself.
The council leaders are asking for the opinions of the people of Leeds on rather naming the new upcoming stadium or a statue in the name of the man himself.

The legendary showbiz man has been well known for not only his television and Dj work, but his vast amount of charity work throughout his years. And this is why the Labour deputy leader Judith Blake has said that and future memorial of Sir Jimmy’s should mark his “enormous contribution” to the city.

As well as the talks of a memorial, there are also the plans of him being buried in a golden casket which will be on show in the Queens hotel in Leeds on the 8th of November from 9am-4:30pm.

This will then lead onto his funeral the day after, in St. Anne’s Cathedral at 2pm, which is also open to  the public as well as family.
It is said that one of his final wishes before his passing away was to be buried in the city of Scarborough, overlooking the sea.

It is said that the family of the Leeds Legend have said they would like the public to come along to both the mass and the burial as it is what he would of wanted.

Reflection on Embedding

So today in our seminar we went through the several types of file formats used in images and which ones are best used for uploading and embedding onto the internet.
We firstly went through the basic file formats such as PNG’s and JPEGS which are the most popular types of file formats found and used for image uploading on the internet due to their compression effectiveness and popularity.
After going through these we then talked about the strengths and weaknesses of JPEGS as they are the most popular and majorly used file format for images on the internet. They are very popular due to the high count of colours which are supported in their files, along with them being the default image format for photos on the web they also allow agressive “lossy” compression of files which then makes them quickly uploaded and sent via the internet.
The downside the compression of files sizes means that the images generally lose a lot of data and quality as well as usually being quite “glitchy”. Which can case quite a problem when you want you image to be as a higher quality as possible.
After this we then went through a few more unknown and less useful file formats such as TIFF’s and BMP’s, which are a slightly different to normal file formats and can cause problems when being sent to other people or uploaded onto the internet due to them being uncommon to other types.

After learning about the several file types, we were shown how to upload and embed images and videos onto our wordpress so that then we could use these skills on our 3 different posts which were uploaded earlier.

Impact of Digital Journalism

Through this seminar, we were talking about the debate on how original journalism is now transferring into digital journalism.
To begin with, we first spoke about the different types of visual effects of technology on journalism.
We began with talking about how not only is print becoming obsolete, but also the power that social media has gained over the past few years.
We also then began talking about the transfer between old and new media and the capabilities each of them hold.
This talk was also going on through the same time that general Gedaffi had being captured and killed by the rebels so this gave a great example when we looked on a traditional styled media-based website like bbc where they have to stick to the old rules which means they are unable to post a piece of fact without two other legitimate sources agreeing which then leads to a long waiting time. Whereas other online website such as social media websites can post anything without needing to stick to this rule. But due to this there is never any positive guarantee of accuracy. This then gives a negative to what seems such a fast and quick type of news release and it was easy to see the positives and negatives of each type of news.

Robot Solves Rubix’s Cube!

Just watched this video of a robot/machine thing completing a rubix cube in just over 5 seconds. I mean, that’s just ridiculous and amazing at the same time! I still don’t understand how the robot exactly assesses the moves it needs to take and check the sides all in such a short space of time, but I guess this is how fast technology and machinery is growing nowadays. Maybe one day I’ll come to manage to spend enough time to work out the correct way of solving one myself!