Considered the cultural, financial and commercial heart of the West Yorkshire Urban Area, Leeds is the third most populous city in the UK, after London and Birmingham.
Leeds' landmarks, both natural and architectural are compelling enough to attract nearly two million travellers each year.
Everyone enjoys the food, drink and hospitality, after plying their camera on such diverse sites as Otley Chevin and Morley Town Hall.
How much would you bet that a substantial portion of Loiners also own a camera?
Are you a Leodensian who wishes to capture your unique city's architectural treasures on film or memory card?
Do you have a special feeling for Roundhay or Temple Newsam? Are you intent on photographing all of Leeds' singular spaces?
It all starts with expanding and polishing your photography skills.
Let us now find out where and how you can learn to capture all of the sights around the Knightsbridge of the North.
If you're a proud Northerner but Leeds is too far to travel, why not consider photography lessons in Liverpool?
Learn About Your DSLR With a Professional Photographer
Hannah Webster is a commercial photographer, whose subject matter includes everything from food and fashion to macro photography, exposing fine detail in jewellery and other tiny treasures.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about Ms. Webster is that, for her professional artistry, she tends toward digital SLR.
For her avocational shots, she reverts to film, and then spends hours developing her photos in her darkroom.
Thus we contend she would be uniquely qualified to educate you, whether you prefer a digital camera or are a so-called purist, insisting film is the one true medium in photography.
You should know, however, that her workshops are mainly geared to digital photography and the use of Photoshop to edit your imaging.
Hannah relies on your ability to compose shots and find subjects on your own.
Her workshops focus more toward technical aspects of photography: how to get the most out of your camera and how to achieve desired effects, both with the camera and with Adobe software.
What we really like about Hannah Webster is that she offers training to corporations and small businesses – what a great way to diversify your employees' portfolios!
She would also work with you one on one, if you so desire.
What we're not so keen on is the fact that pricing is not transparent: one must contact her in order to learn price ranges.
Please note that she does not specifically promote film cameras and how to use them.
Although, if you express interest in learning all about retouching and developing, no doubt that she would address the subject most enthusiastically.
Mike Lester Photography
In general, the term workshop, in relation to photography training, covers many aspects.
Should you sign up for photography lessons with Mr. Lester, you could reasonably expect to learn about:
- basics of photography – composition, subject matter, framing your shot and effective lighting
- your camera and all of its features
- Studio lighting – vastly different than natural light
- location photography, essential to aspiring photojournalists and travel photographers
- event photography: weddings, family gatherings and corporate retreats, just to name a few
- macro photography
Let us suppose that you intend to take a gap year, shooting life in the Amazon Basin: you would need all of these photographic skills and more to successfully capture your journey.
With more than thirty years of experience in the field of photography, and shooting a variety of subjects, Mr. Lester starts his basic workshop at £29 for each group session.
If you have not yet invested in digital imaging equipment, he will lend you a camera for free!
You may prefer a more personalised instruction, on a specific type of photography.
If that is the case, you could sign up for one to one tuition for portrait photography, costing £49.
That is just one example of the type of instruction you could receive from this top-rated photographer!
Or, you could sign up for a five-week course that covers everything from setting up your camera to using an external light meter, with a nod to giving models instruction, for £149.
What we really like about Mike Lester is his rating and experience.
Beginners and advanced photographers alike rave about his teaching style and his combination of hands-on and informative sessions.
What we like less is that, for landscape photography, you would be compelled to book a one to one session. He promotes studio photography more than anything out of doors.
Or, if you're a keen Scottish photographer, why not take a look at photography classes in Glasgow?
Taking Pictures with a Photography Class
For those of you who are orderly-minded, believing that education can only take place in a formal setting, let us now disabuse you of that fact.
Leeds Photographic Society, established more than one hundred seventy years ago, has been helping photographers young and old prove, and improve their skill behind the lens.
If you have just discovered the heft and feel of the digital shooting instrument in your hands, LPS is ready to introduce you to the latest of photographic techniques.
If you have been using an early model film camera for years, you would be equally – perhaps most especially, welcome to join them!
Although they do not offer any structured lessons, the members' wealth of knowledge about photography permits them to host lectures and illustrated talks.
They even invite keynote speakers!
Topics include: wildlife photography, how to shoot fireworks, and making the most of your panorama shots.
You can also learn about exposure limits, aperture and shutter speed; and how to use them effectively.
This convivial group even explores the burgeoning field of drone photography!
That would be taking aerial photos using a remote-controlled device, not taking close-up pictures of male bees.
Find a photography course in Cardiff!
Advanced photographers could benefit from their post-processing tutorials: how to add borders, and processing RAW files.
If you are the type to press the shutter button with savage glee, capturing a one-of-a-kind shot, perhaps you would like to enter one of their friendly competitions.
Your imagery would compete in-house, against other members of the Society, and externally: in regional and national showings.
What we love about this group is their long-standing tradition, coupled with reasonable pricing: a £40 annual membership covers any lecture/tutorial fee, and the cost of outings.
Yes, LPS goes on regular outings around the city!
What we are less wild about is that their focus seems mainly to be on digital photography and processing – rather a letdown, considering how long the Society has been active.
Still, evolution is never a bad thing!
Another group of photography lovers in Leeds, that is keeping up with the times, is Aireborough Camera Club.
They pride themselves on their informality, welcoming beginners to the world of photography, as well as professionals and those with artistic flair seeking an outlet for their creativity.
Their syllabus includes guest lecturers, competitions and members' events, with tutorials sprinkled throughout.
They adopt a mentoring style, with more seasoned photographers guiding novices in developing their photographic skills.
Joining them for an evening would run you £3, refreshments included.
Should there be a tutorial, an extra fee would be levied for the use of the club's equipment and supplies.
If you like what Aireborough Camera Club is all about, you can become a member for £40 per year.
What we like about this photography club is that they have photo processing equipment available, and such an active programme.
What we're less fond of is that their tutorials are done on an ad hoc basis: if you propose a topic that generates enough interest, a knowledgeable person will expound on it... at some point.
Of course, that is offset by members' generosity in sharing information informally, so perhaps actual photography workshops are superfluous.
If photo courses in Manchester would suit you better, take a look at our article.
If you are seeking an education in the art, with the intent of becoming a professional photographer, the next section is for you.
Attending a Photography Course in Leeds
if you are indeed interested in professional photography, earning a Bachelor's from Leeds Arts University would be the sure bet way to achieve your goal.
Their three-year programme will take you through the history of photography to technical skills, and then drill down to specific aspects of photography as a career.
Do you want to specialise in fashion photography? How about documentary photography, or fine art?
If you have not yet invested in a camera, they are prepared to lend you a camera body and lenses, and the use of their studio and lighting equipment.
Their curriculum includes instruction on 35mm film of various speeds, as well as how to photograph and process images using modern technology.
Are you aware there is a healthy debate raging in photographers' circles about the merits of digital versus film photography?
Leeds Art University has established itself as one of the foremost photography degree programmes by maximising graduates' employability in the field of professional photography.
In the course of your three years with them, you will have the opportunity to build a substantial portfolio, including:
- black and white photography
- fashion shoots
- graphic design
Wait... graphic design?
More often than not, these days, photographers are called on to display their talent across several genres; with digital art being just one of them.
Leeds Art Institute will prepare you for any branch of photography you hope to make your mark on.
If you are undecided about which type of photography you could best express yourself in, or earn your living at, you would be able to try them all out, to see which is the best fit for you.
Or, you could consider the photography courses at the University of Leeds.
Theirs is also a three-year programme, with an additional focus on movies and film making.
In fact, their syllabus prepares students for work in all communications and visual arts industries, from screen writing to advertising.
Although their curriculum embraces digital photographic technology, they are much more interested in providing students with history and theory of the disciplines.
This allows you to range among the various forms of the art, and choosing one that suits you best.
They too foster a supportive environment, even after graduation, in the form of job placement.
Online Photography Courses
What if, for whatever reason, you could not attend university?
And don't have a great deal of time or desire to rush out for club meetings and the like?
But you still want to learn photography: maybe as a career change, or simply to capture all of the special moments in your life.
And if Leeds is slightly too far away, maybe looking for photography courses in Birmingham would suit you better.
If pursuing photography is your greatest ambition, your education could start with The Photography Institute.
Their programme runs strictly online photography courses, with no deadlines to meet or classes to attend.
Through them you would learn everything from camera components to advanced photography techniques, in twelve compact modules.
Do you want to learn how to photograph babies, or would you prefer documentary photography?
Their syllabus is self-paced, which removes the obligation to dash to class in the evenings, or on weekends – time no doubt reserved for other pursuits.
The expectation of The Photography Institute is that you dedicate at least four hours per week, completing the course in approximately six months – in spite of outside obligations.
Naturally, it would be possible to extend the course duration, as needed.
What if you feel that photography workshops and photography schools reduce this art to so many technical details, with neither heart nor soul?
Maybe you contend you only need a few tips – loose instruction, to set you on the path of photographic genius.
Should that be the case, Superprof boasts a cadre of trained professionals who are all ready to impart photography tips, one on one, via webcam. Find a photography course in Leeds. Or if you're in the South, why not ready about learning photography in London?
You could even widen your search and look for online photography courses given by teachers all over the world!
From questions about exposure timing to how to use Photoshop, our tutors will deliver the instruction you need, when you need it, in the comfort of your own home.
Photography is so much more than simply pointing and shooting.
If your aim is to make a name for yourself behind the lens, it would be best to understand every feature of your image-capturing devices, and earn an official certificate for your efforts while you're at it.
Should you have a passion for photography, you could learn more about it among those who share your feeling, by joining a camera club.
Whether photography is your future or your first love (or both!), now you know where to take photography courses in Leeds.
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