Photography group Leicester Lo-Fi pride themselves on embracing the traditional aspects of photography. Using old film cameras, alternative processes and darkroom printing they offer a place for photography enthusiasts to connect and practice what they love.
“The project originally started around 2008 when I was approached by a couple of photographers that still wanted to use film and print in analog” says organiser Steve Lynch. But it wasn’t until 2011 that Steve met Daryl Tebbutt and Dan Hessing while teaching at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College. They were also interested in creating a group that could focus on traditional photography.
“It took a long time to find a suitable space and in the early days we would meet up once a month on a Tuesday night, usually upstairs at The Cookie, and we’d set up little projects and go on outings with cameras. That kind of snowballed and we got more members,” explains Steve.
Now with around 50 members on their books, Leicester Lo-Fi meet regularly. Despite recently losing the use of the community centre that was housing them, they have new options in the pipeline and continue to meet regularly around the city while they find a new home.
Alongside these meet ups to work on projects, the group also run a number of workshops around the city, but primarily in the Attenborough Arts Centre, offering users a chance to try their hand at a number of photography skills from pinhole photography where participants are given the chance to build their own camera and develop the pictures in the darkroom, to cyanotypes, one of the earliest forms of photography involving making images on paper and fabric from photographs.
“We do pinhole cameras, we do building courses and all sorts of different types of printing ones,” explains organiser David Wilson Clarke, “We have four upcoming at Attenborough Arts, but there will be much more to come.”
Workshops have been so popular in the past that one member has even turned the skills she learnt into her career. “She did one of our cyanotype courses and now sells them and that’s how she makes a living, it’s really popular,” says David.
Leicester Lo-Fi always encourage new members to join and take part. From experts to amateurs there is a chance for everyone to try something new and take advantage of the wide range of equipment and facilities available. The organisers and regular members come from various backgrounds, but learning from each other means that anyone can get involved.
“There is a lot of emphasis on the lo-fi part of things, if it was complicated we wouldn’t do it,” says organiser Dan Hessing.
The group work hard to create an environment which is inclusive and friendly, while sharing their passion. Leicester Lo-Fi are also a group connected by a strong social aspect.
User Adrian explained, “From a user point of view, there is a real community feel to it. We do socials and everything too.”
A year’s subscription to the Leicester Lo-Fi group is just £30 and will give you reduced rates on workshops and sessions throughout the year. To sign up, visit www.leicesterlofi.co.uk to learn more.