Take a walk on the wild side with new Leeds photography exhibition

Caption: The new 'Natural Beauty' exhibition at Leeds City Museum (top picture), which features images of objects in the natural history collection including a Greater Rhea and a pinned butterfly. The shots were taken by photographer Sara Porter (pictured above)

A new two-part exhibition showcasing the beauty of nature through photography begins at Leeds City Museum tomorrow.

Running from Friday 1 February until Sunday 30 June, the first part of the free exhibition entitled ‘Natural Beauty’ sees over 60 high-resolution images taken by professional photographer Sara Porter go on display at the museum off Millennium Square.

All of the photos taken are of objects found in the Leeds museums and galleries natural history collection, with the photographer given exclusive access to over 800,000 objects and producing never-seen-before images focusing on eggs, insects, taxidermy and skulls.

The display, which will be accompanied by photography masterclasses and workshops, also acts as the launch for the second part of the exhibition – inspiring photographers of all ages to explore wildlife in Leeds and beyond and entering a wildlife photography competition where the leading images will be shown as the second half of ‘Natural Beauty’ next year.

The competition is open to all ages with winners and runners-up to be selected for those 15 and under and 16 and over in seven categories: Beautiful Yorkshire, Leeds Wildlife, Wild Yorkshire, Animal Behaviour, British Wildlife, World Wildlife and Beautiful Botany.

As well as seeing their photos go on show in Leeds City Museum, prizes on offer for the winners and runners-up will include camera equipment, vouchers and having an image of their choice produced as a high-quality print or canvas.

Full details of the competition along with application forms can be downloaded from www.leeds.gov.uk/naturalbeauty, with entries opening on Friday 1 February and closing on Friday 27 September.

A panel will then select the leading images in each category which will be chosen to go on display for the second part of the exhibition from January to July 2014.

To accompany the first part of the exhibition displaying her work, Royal Photographic Society member Sara Porter will also host four photography masterclasses in Leeds to be held at Leeds City Museum and Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills.

The sessions will take place in March, May and June and will be open to photographers of all ages and abilities covering the following topics: how to compose the perfect photograph, tips and tricks on how to improve photography technique, and exploring how best to use natural light in photography.

The sessions are free but the limited places available are expected to fill quickly so to make sure of a place follow the booking instructions at www.leeds.gov.uk/naturalbeauty

Leeds City Museum curator of exhibitions Helen Langwick said:

“Natural Beauty is in two parts, with the first part showing off our fantastic collections through Sara Porter’s stunning images. Sara has done a brilliant job – I think people will be amazed when they see the photos and how cleverly they are presented. This exhibition is a fusion of natural science and art.

“The display is perfect for inspiring people of all ages to come along to the exhibition, attend Sara’s masterclasses and then go out and have a go themselves. They can then enter their own pictures in the competition for the second part of the exhibition next year. We really want Natural Beauty to be an interactive exhibition that people get involved in and be part of, so we look forward to hopefully receiving a ton of entries as that would be fantastic.”

Photographer Sara Porter said:

"The Leeds Museums Discovery Centre is an Aladdin's cave of fabulous objects, so having the opportunity to photograph even just a small fraction of them was for me a photographer's dream. The main problem was that there was actually too much choice in what to photograph there.

“Hopefully Natural Beauty will encourage people to take the opportunity to visit not only the museum but the discovery centre as well and also inspire them to take part in the photography competition that is running alongside the exhibition."

Natural Beauty is organised by Leeds City Council with support from sponsors CC Imaging, AS Frames, Ark Display Graphics, Dale Photographic and Pictures Plus.

To find out more about Natural Beauty visit the webpage at www.leeds.gov.uk/naturalbeauty

To find out more about Leeds City Museum, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/citymuseum/


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk