‘ The extraction of the essential meaning or most important aspects of something.’
Normal life as we know it has been distilled down and in that way aspects of our lives have become amplified, the importance of home, family, friendships and the natural world. Our thoughts are more concentrated and what looks and feels normal, that of walking the streets or shopping have become surreal scenes.
The project was born out of the need to express and understand my own thoughts and feelings about Covid-19. I felt lost with no expression and as like many creatives my commercial photography work was put on hold as soon as lockdown hit us. Leicester City Centre was the best place to start. The City has been such a big part of my working life. The project is about capturing a new normality concentrated down. We can focus on street scenes without the hustle and bustle of people and our quiet thoughts have space to breathe. There is a feeling of uncertainty in the World and I want to draw on that uncertainty by photographing a series of portraits, people I have never met, on the streets of Leicester. Each of us has a story and that story has meaning.
As well as capturing photographs, I have also created a short film with the echo of nature flowing through it. The need for the natural world has become even more vital for our mental well being. Nature is thriving even more so and there are obvious lessons to be drawn from this.
BBC Radio Leicester Breakfast Show:
Presenter Jimmy Carpenter invited myself and Jessica Palma onto the show (5th June 2020). I photographed Jessica on Belgrave Gate.
BBC East Midlands:
Journalist Amy Payne and Camera man John from BBC East Midlands made contact with me. They followed my Journey through the City as I interviewed and photographed people. It was aired on Friday 26th June 2020.
Presenter Gareth Evans highlighted the project on the 9th July and said ‘ photographer Beth Walsh has been capturing some amazing images of Leicester during the pandemic ( both before and safely during local lockdown). The pictures show strength and character. Just beautiful.’
A small selection of my photographic work during 2019
It is a wonderful feeling to say I have been a professional photographer for 15 years and going into my fifth year owning a successful business creating strong imagery that I am passionate about. I work with people that appreciate the power of pictures. My photographic style is both creative and bold. I have my own unique vision that I bring to each commission.
One of the city’s most popular events, the Caribbean Carnival attracts thousands of people who gather to watch the parade through the city.
The Carnival’s theme this year was Windrush, celebrating Caribbean migrants’ contribution to the economic and cultural development of the United Kingdom.
Capturing the energy and vibrance of the carnival is any photographer’s dream. Beautiful people all shapes and sizes bringing the streets alive with colour. We live in a body conscious world, social media unfortunately contributes to anxiety and depression as many people feel they cannot live up to what they think they should be. The Caribbean Carnival helps to put life into perspective, that we should celebrate our bodies each and every day. We should say ‘hey I am alive, I have this day to make a difference’.
Here is a very small selection of Beth’s photography over the last few months. It is essential for Beth to work with people who value pictures. Beth has had wonderful feedback from companies and individuals who see the importance of working with a creative person who offers vision to any project.
We arrived in New York on the 3rd of January. On the morning of the 4th, ‘bomb cyclone’ was already in motion, dumping more than a foot of snow on parts of the Big Apple. The blizzard blanketed the city and created whiteout conditions with gusts reaching 49mph. It’s hard to put into words how cold it actually was. My main aim was to keep my camera from freezing up. Despite the conditions this didn’t stop the team from working hard to capture the students’ time out there.
Experiences that will stay with me
Photographing alumna, Sam Mclver, who experienced a moving visit to the New York Police Department headquarters where she was able to thank officers for their support when her aunt was killed in the Manchester bombings. Her aunt, Elaine McIver, had been a police officer with Cheshire Police. The NYPD officers had been in touch with Sam’s family and sent plaques and a card with their condolences.
Photographing DMU Students as they visited the 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero was a tough experience. I could see it had left an indelible mark on the students, it was a real struggle to take it in or to grasp. I lifted my camera but in honesty, it was difficult to capture seeing the faces of all the people that had lost their lives, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, people just like you and me.
The beautiful sunset over Manhattan taken from Brooklyn will definitely stay with me. It was hard to believe I was actually present in that moment.
New York is a city that never stops, never sleeps, a place I definitely want to return to.
P.S. I still need to get to grips with the Subway 😉
Diwali celebrations in Leicester are famously some of the biggest and best outside of India. The festivities are loudest along Belgrave Road, in the heart of the city’s Asian community, where the two main events take place each year.
The fantastic Diwali lights switch-on brings the Golden Mile alive with light and colour with Fireworks and over 6,000 lights, twinkling against the night sky. Two weeks of cultural celebrations are rounded off on Diwali day with a bang! A spectacular fireworks show is the culmination of a night of Bollywood dances and music performances.
Freshers were officially welcomed to De Montfort University Leicester as they attended the annual Matriculation ceremonies at The Venue@DMU.
Students were treated to a spectacular hour-long show which showcased all of the best things about the university and were given useful information about the various opportunities available to them during their time at DMU.
The unlimited power of the ocean, it’s great weight upon me, as I try to piece together the past and the present. The other evening in Cornwall while surfing , I sat on my board waiting for a wave, the light had changed to monochrome as I watched the sun become hidden behind the clouds, for just a second I felt like the colour of everything had been washed away, with no sense of time or worry, just me and my board and the calmness of the sea moving beneath me. I think it is true when people say ‘the ocean washes away everything’. It teaches you what is of true value, it helps you to heal and let’s face it we are all healing from something in this life. This wondrous place connects you to the earth with a sense of fear and awe.
‘It’s our own private church our own private temple’ – Documentary by Patagonia entitled ‘Fishpeople’.
Capturing surfing through the medium of photography is the ability to understand and connect to the joy each person has as they catch their own wave in life. I may not always be able to see their faces as I press the shutter, but I grasp the freedom and energy they feel in that moment. I have to take a picture.