I’ve been exploring this week. I bought a photography prop called a lens ball, or crystal ball for photography and have been trying it out in a variety of different locations to create different effects! You can see some of the things I’ve shared on my Instagram page.
One place I loved to shoot with it was my local legal graffiti wall! I like the colour and unique backdrop. No matter if anyone else goes to their own local graffiti wall, they’ll never get the same background, and even if someone goes to the same one I did, the view could very well have changed within a week! It is a moment in time there – literally.
I enjoy colour and like to surround myself with it. I wear colourful clothes (not all the time – I often dress head to toe in black too – old fashion student days die hard!) but I use a colourful diary, have colourful cushions and bedding, and enjoy colourful artwork. This is what inspired me to seek out this graffiti wall. I did a search online for legal graffiti walls and found this website that shows 1747 places all around the world to explore.
Then, I found the postcode for the street it is on and put it into my sat nav for an explore. It took a bit of searching when I’d ‘arrived at my destination’, but then I found it. A nice tucked away place at the bottom of a long road in the middle of a housing estate that no-one would ordinarily bother to look down, you wouldn’t expect to find anything unusual in the middle of a housing estate!
When I shared my graffiti photos on Instagram, I was amazed that the hashtag #mysecretyorkshire wasn’t being used, so I created it! Along with #mysecretleeds, as I love to explore Leeds too. This graffiti wall is something of a secret that I had to go on a quest to find! It deserved a hashtag!
When I got to the wall, luckily for me there was an artist at work. I was able to chat to him about this area and other local places where he goes. I wondered if there was an etiquette amongst graffiti artists – I asked if he only painted over his own work or is any area fair game? He said that you only cover someone’s work if you think you can better it. Fair enough I think! There were some lovely murals on the wall opposite his, you can see the quality of that work below.
There was a wall on the outside of the underpass where artists regularly change the view – this is because it is the side of the wall that the train line runs past, so they get thousands of pairs of eyes on their work as this main train route passes through. This was the wall I asked the graffiti artist to take my photo in front of.
I loved visiting this hidden gem of creativity in my local area. Apparently it turns into an area for drag racing at night so I’ll limit my visits to daytime when it is quiet and light for easy graffiti spotting!
I also tried out my lens ball at the carwash this week too!
Now the summer is here and we’ll be out and about frequently, I’ll be practising with my lens ball even more. Keep following my Instagram to see what I come up with!
Have you ever used a lens ball? Let me know in the comments!