Barcelona? Bruges? Budapest?
These stunning images may look like they were shot in one of Europe’s culture capitals but they were taken nowhere more exotic than Barnsley.
They are the work of the new Barnsley Photo Club which has celebrated reaching 50 members by going out and shooting the place in all its under-estimated glory.
Here, the Town Hall and Barnsley Pals Centenary Square are given the glamour of a cosmopolitan continental capital, while the M1 looks like a highway from the future instead of the traffic-clogged bridal path it often feels like. Even Royston Coking Plant has an air of the enchanted about it.
“Barnsley’s a great place,” says club founder David Goodier. “The camera never lies. We’ve just captured what people don’t always notice.”
The club was set up in summer last year as an antidote to more traditional photo societies. The emphasis is less on competitions and committees, says David, more on hints and tips, critiquing work online via social media and organising special ‘shooting trips’.
There’s also a quarterly beginners meeting starting next month – an attempt to encourage more people to pick up a picture-taker.
“We’ve now reached 54 fully paid-up members which just shows there’s a real passion for learning and improving here,” says 49-year-old David, a pro photographer from Shafton.
And the club – which meets once a fortnight in Monk Bretton – doesn’t just do Barnsley. Members have enjoyed visits to Leeds, Lincoln and Castleford, with a trip to London planned for next week. So far, though, they’ve still not brought their shooters to Sheffield.
“What’s it got that Barnsley hasn’t?” jokes David. “Actually, we’d certainly welcome Sheffield members, and we’re always looking for new venues and places to photograph so I imagine we’ll get there at some point.”
For now, though, they’re delighted to have made a Barca of Barnsley.
Next meeting is Sunday 7pm at The Full House pub, in Rotherham Road, Monk Bretton. A Newbie Night for beginners will be launchednext month. Details at www.barnsleyphotoclub.co.uk