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Be inspired by the Photoeast Festival!

Having always been interested in photography you can imagine my excitement when I found out Suffolk was getting it’s very first photography festival!  I have just started my journey as a very amateur photographer and I’m finding that taking that fantastic shot is not as easy as you would think! I have found the Photoeast Festival totally inspiring and wanted to share some of my highlights and encourage anyone who hasn’t had time to visit, to get along quick before the festival finishes on the 25th June!

The Photoeast Festival started on the 24th May and currently has a number of exhibitions around Suffolk running until 25th June. It also had some excellent talks as part of the programme.

Ipswich Waterfront is one of the venues and happens to be one of my favourite places; a great place to explore with a camera. Along the waterfront  the festival has displayed great images that really catch your attention.

Billboard size photo on Ipswich Waterfront
Billboard size photo on Ipswich Waterfront
Walking along Ipswich Waterfront
Walking along Ipswich Waterfront

There is something quite dramatic seeing photo’s so large; they completely absorb you, drawing you in as you start to wonder about the situation and background of the photo’s being taken.

Photoeast Festival
Great photo and I don’t even like feet!!

As well as the photo’s along the waterfront there are exhibitions in the UCS Waterfront Gallery and building. If you have not been into the university before take the opportunity – it’s a great space which often holds art exhibitions.

As part of the Photoeast Festival you can see the student BA (Hons) photography degree show  which have some wonderful photo’s and in the waterfront gallery there are amazing photos of ‘The Family’ by Zed Nelson which I loved – It is a photo of the same family taken over 25 years – it’s fantasic, highly recommend you pop in to see them – definitely one of my highlights. There is also the ‘Face of the Century’ by Julian Germain a cool selection of portraits of 101 people each year of the 20th century.

View of UCS from Ipswich Waterfront
Ipswich Waterfront – View of University Campus Suffolk (UCS) on the left

The talks arranged as part of the festival at the end of May were a great opportunity to meet some of the photographers and hear about their projects. I attended the talk by Fiona Shields, picture editor at the guardian. She gave a fascinating insight into how pictures are chosen and information behind some of the ones that made the headlines. Astonishing to think that pictures chosen are done so from approximately 10,000 pictures on a daily basis!

I also had a tour of the photographic department at the university by a couple of the students currently studying the BA (Hons) photography degree course. It was great to see their enthusiasm for their course and to get a look behind the scenes at the sort of things that are studied as part of a photography degree and the processes that they learn.

In addition to the Waterfront, Photoeast is also at other venues throughout Suffolk. This weekend I went to The Cut in Halesworth as I was was keen to see ‘These are our Dogs’  collection of photographs. It’s been a number of years since my last visit to The Cut and it was great to view the photographs in such a wonderful gallery space.

'These are our Dogs' exhibition
‘These are our Dogs’ exhibition at The Cut, Halesworth

The collection is of photographs and postcards of people and their dogs from 1850 – 1940. The pictures completely captured my imagination making you want to find out more about the people in the photo’s and what life was like for them.

Photo's in the gallery at Photoeast, The Cut Halewsorth
Photo’s in the gallery at The Cut Halesworth

What a fantastic festival Photoeast is. With free entry to the exhibitions as well as the talks, it really has been made accessible to all. From the festival I have gained a valuable insight into the world of photography and seen some amazing photographs that have inspired me to continue to get out and about with my camera. Anyone out there who has not had the opportunity to experience the Photoeast Festival there is still time, but be quick it ends this weekend 25th June.

Click here to visit the Photoeast website for more details of exhibitions and venues

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