Freeseeing and Night Photowalk: Two Events in the Fringe Festival

I first heard about Free Seeing through its originator: Mr Andy Spackman,[edit: oops, it seems Francis Lowe is the originator :s] a lecturer in Graphics at Coventry University. The concept was simple: think of ‘free running’ (aka Parkour) and replace ‘running’ with ‘seeing’. A clever move I thought, and rather easier than free running… but possibly less common. Francis Lowe invites and explains:

I created Free Seeing in response to the concept of ‘the found object’. Why not take it one step further and ‘find spaces’? We rarely take time to stop and really record what we see, so Free Seeing invites viewers to stop, look and really see.

Free Seeing is an audience-led initiative that allows audiences to find beauty, mood and pattern in the most unexpected and often ordinary of places. A Free Seeing event involves visiting sites in and around the country and encouraging audiences to find time to appreciate the visual value of spaces and places that have hitherto gone unnoticed.

Free Seeing is for everyone and can be experienced in any way. An audience member may choose to take a camera, a note-pad, a chair or even a picnic. Free Seeing lasts as little or as long as the audience want it to.

The first Free See in Birmingham will take place in Digbeth on Thursday 19th of September. Participants should meet at 3.00pm outside the Fusion Centre of South and City College, High street Deritend, Digbeth, B5 6DY.

We will take a fresh look at some of the hidden gems that exist within the nooks, crannies and man made environments of the area.

Bring a chair… some food… a flask… Whatever you want!

And on Wednesday: the Night Photo School Workshop with Pete Ashton

How do you take photographs when there isn’t much light? How do you deal with small bright streetlamps against a dark sky? What are the best settings for a long exposure? How can you build a light painting using movements of the city?

This workshop starts with a brief introduction to shooting at night, with and without a tripod, before spending 3 hours on the streets of Birmingham. Tripods are highly recommended though not essential.

This workshop was last run in December. Photos taken by participants are on the blog here.

We meet at the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar at 7.30pm then head out into the twilight from 8.00. The Cafe Bar is on your left as you enter the ICC from Centenary Square.

You can book here

This event is part of the Still Walking Festival Fringe. Thanks to THSH for letting us use the Cafe Bar for the class.


Let me know if you are hosting a walking event happening during the festival and I’ll promote them here. There a lot of walking going on in the city!