Eldon Gardens Shopping Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne. Copyright © 2015 James Sebright Photography.
Shortly before Christmas, I was asked to take a series of photographs of Eldon Gardens Shopping Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne, for a brochure aimed at attracting new businesses to rent space there. Slightly off the beaten track for some visitors to Newcastle, and perhaps overshadowed by the new wing of Eldon Square, Eldon Gardens are feeling the pinch in these difficult times. Empty units need to be filled, in order to bring the buzz back to this premium shopping centre right in the heart of the city.
Whilst much of my work is fast-paced, working with people in action, this job was very much the opposite; slow and deliberate, allowing me to take my time, thinking about how best to show-off the space. Using a wide-angled tilt and shift lens in what is effectively a low-light environment means using a tripod and really taking some time. It’s always been my mantra to get things right in-camera, rather than relying on extensive post-production, and this is especially the case with this kind of work. Just because one can shoot hundreds and hundreds of images at no cost doesn’t mean that one should. It’s not quite large format film photography, but it’s heading in that direction, and comes as a welcome change when shooting with a DSLR can often feel to throw-away. The results are very ordered, detailed images which I think showcase the light and space to its best effect. I enjoy this kind of work very much and plan to do more in future – particularly during the wet and cold winter months!
The results have been well-received by the client, who value quality photography when trying to lease high value units like these. It makes business sense to put together a brochure, so it’s worth spending money on a professional photographer to take some quality images that will do the space justice. We can only wait to see the longer term results. I’d love to see the place full, all rented-out to thriving new businesses. It’s not good for anyone to see lots standing empty.
Here’s a brief selection…