Photographers create wall wide view of York

11 Apr 2013 @ 2.29 pm
| News

Terry’s factory stands proud on the York skyline. Photograph: John Saunders
Along with two fellow photographers, Alan Fleming is capturing the city as it really is – not the chocolate box version. He explains why



York is one of the more photogenic and photographed places in the UK, with many people aiming to produce that ideal picture postcard image. However, three York local photographers – myself, John Saunders of Heworth, and Graham Smith of Fishergate – are looking at things in a different way and are taking part in a new photography project for the Friends of York Walls.

Our aim is to produce a detailed pictorial photographic record of everything that can be seen from, and adjacent to, York’s historic bars, walls and associated defences as a snapshot in time – early 2013.

The object of the project is to record everything that can be seen in all directions and at all significant viewpoints around the bars, the full walls circuit and all the associated defences in York. An archive of still photographs is being produced and made available to the general public on the photo sharing website Flickr, in a group called York – Scene From The Walls.

A panorama looking west from Clifford's Tower by John Saunders
A panorama looking west from Clifford’s Tower by John Saunders
Bootham Bar from Exhibition Square. Photograph: Alan Fleming
Bootham Bar from Exhibition Square. Photograph: Alan Fleming
The last remaining barbican at Walmgate Bar. Photograph: Graham Smith
The last remaining barbican at Walmgate Bar. Photograph: Graham Smith

It is hoped that these images will provide a useful and lasting resource not only for the Friends of York Walls, but also for local organisations including the City of York Council and anyone interested in York’s archaeology and history at this particular moment – winter/spring 2013. An option to produce a DVD of all the photographs taken is also being considered.

Still photographs are being taken – wide angle in the main with close up detail only when required. The emphasis is on recording what can be seen, warts and all, from and around the walls walks, and at ground level where necessary, as a “snapshot in time”.

Some images are not all that interesting but are still included if they are a part of the views. Wide panorama shots have also been included and a further option to add video footage and 360-degree panning video footage is being considered. New images may be added in the future if any sections
change significantly.

A view from Micklegate Bar Museum. Photograph: Graham Smith
A view from Micklegate Bar Museum. Photograph: Graham Smith
Station Rise looking towards the railway memorial. Photograph: Alan Fleming
Station Rise looking towards the railway memorial. Photograph: Alan Fleming
A view over York Railway Institute and beyond. Photograph: Alan Fleming
A view over York Railway Institute and beyond. Photograph: Alan Fleming

The archive already contains more than 1,700 images, with some more work still to be completed. A comprehensive tagging system has been used to identify locations and viewpoints and to make searches and filtering possible. Images are also being geo-tagged on the Flickr map facility.

Friends of York Walls is a voluntary group which aims to help promote, manage and develop York’s Bar Walls, St Mary’s Abbey, Clifford’s Tower and The Castle for the benefit of local residents and visitors.

The group organise and undertake practical work, and organise public events in co-operation with the City of York Council and other like-minded groups or individuals. They seek to establish York’s Walls as a major worldwide attraction, one that the residents of York can take a pride in, and residents and visitors can enjoy to the full.