THIS week marks the launch of our brand new This is Ashfield photography feature where we will be giving young people the chance to tell us what makes them proud of Ashfield.
We have teamed up with students from Vision West Notts and asked them to take pictures of the people and places in the district which evoke a sense of pride.
Earlier this month, the teenagers, who are all studying for the Art and Design Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma, went out and about and started capturing their images - and over the coming weeks, we will be showcasing their work and asking them what inspired the photographs.
Once all the pictures have been submitted, our expert panel of judges will pick the 20 best entries to form part of a public exhibition which will go on display in the district.
Our judging panel includes Chad editor Tracy Powell, Chad’s award-winning photographer Angela Ward, photographer and owner of Studio-twenty4, Richard Buckland, and Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero.
The top 20 entries will then be mounted by experts from Studio-twenty4, which is based in Sutton’s Idlewells shopping centre, before going on public display. This is Ashfield has been backed by members of the community who say there is plenty to get excited about in Ashfield.
Dave White, a photography tutor at West Notts, said: “This is a fantastic project for our students to be involved in. Not only are they enjoying discovering more about what’s on their doorsteps, they’re looking forward to seeing their photographs in print and on display and showing others what they’ve seen while out and about.
“Ashfield is a diverse and vibrant district, with busy shopping centres, a proud industrial heritage and beautiful countryside, which provides plenty of inspiration.
“Above all, this is an ideal opportunity for our students to get out of the studios and darkrooms and put their creative talents into practice while interacting with each other, and with the public at large, which is good for everyone’s sense of well-being.”
Richard Buckland, from Studio-twenty4, said: “Ashfield is a great place to do business and a great place to live. It has always been an ambition of mine to open a studio facility in my home district and back in 2009 we did this. We have gone from strength to strength starting off on Sutton’s Outram Street before moving to our current studio facility based in the Idlewells shopping centre.
“I was born and bred in Ashfield, however my photography career took me away from the area back in 1995. But after years of travelling and working all over the world for many A-list celebrity clients in 2008 I decided it was time to come home, Ashfield people are the salt of the earth and I for one am proud to say Ashfield is my home.”
And speaking about our competition, he said: “Here is your chance to show the district what makes you proud to be from Ashfield using your camera skills and a keen eye, it’s time to pick up your camera and start snapping. Inspiration is everywhere within our district and I am really looking forward to judging the many entrants that will follow.
“If there is one little bit of advice I can give to budding or professional photographers it would be ‘You can’t depend on your eyes, if your imagination is out of focus’. I have based my whole photographic ethos around that quote. So good luck and enjoy.”
And Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero added: “Whether it be one of our areas of outstanding natural beauty or a tribute to Harold Larwood one of England’s greatest bowlers, there is much to celebrate in our local community. We have so much to be proud of in Ashfield and I’m sure the pictures will be fantastic.”
Now it’s your turn . . . we know that many of our readers are talented photographers, so we are inviting you to submit your entries of what makes you proud of Ashfield. It could be the sun dial at Portland Square in Sutton, historic Newstead Abbey or one of our area’s picturesque parks. Email your entries to email@example.com and we will publish the best ones.