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By DRicherby
A bit of a change of scene...

I'm destined never to take photos of Leeds International Pool, which has been closed for a few years, now. The first time I tried, I didn't like the look of a few guys loitering around the site, hunting around in nooks and crannies, and departed as fast as my little legs would carry me short of actually running. This time, I found they'd knocked three quarters of the place down! (They being people in general; I doubt it was the guys I saw last time.) That said, I'm not particularly sad to see it go: I only wanted to photograph it because it was horrificly ugly. Despite the name, it was never actually used for international competition because, apparently, the pool was a few inches too narrow. (Though that sounds suspiciously like an urban legend — surely nobody would be that stupid.)

These two shots were taken from the multi-storey carpark next to the site. I thought the curtains hanging from the roof looked rather ghostly fluttering in the wind so I stopped the lens down as far as I could and rested the camera on the carpark wall, which seems to have done a fairly good job.

All comments and criticism appreciated.


Wednesday, 7th October, 2009.
50mm, f/22. 2.5s, ISO-100.

Tags: Photo journalism Architecture Black and white

Voters: baclark, lonely_oryx, riprap007 and 14 more

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baclark 10 3.7k 24 United Kingdom
11 Oct 2009 8:35PM
Has a forlorn, desolate, slightly threatening feel to it. The end of an era, the start of something new, perhaps better. Strong pair of captures, love the "ghosts". Glad you escaped unscathed following your first visit!

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riprap007 15 1.6k 37 England
12 Oct 2009 1:41PM
what a wonderful photo location, the movement adds well, bet your legs moved faster!
13 Oct 2009 8:57PM
Great Depth if you will pardon the pun. Very atmospheric. It is great to capture a scene like this that will never be seen again
AnneWorner 12 620 43 United States
15 Oct 2009 12:16AM
What a place for inspiration - love the movement blur of the curtains - ghostly indeed.
cobalt 10 United Kingdom
15 Oct 2009 9:52PM
Swimming pools are fascinating places to photograph, these will be important archival photos soon as it seems the pool will not be long for this world. Quite a theatrical setting, almost cinematic.
riprap007 15 1.6k 37 England
16 Oct 2009 12:39AM
have you been back yet?
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2009 2:15PM
Yes went back earlier this week. Everything that you can see in #2 has now gone, revealing the sections behind the stand. The glass wall in #1 is gone; the left-hand stand in that one is the one shown in #2 and the right-hand stand was on its way out.

I plan on going back later this afternoon. My guess is that none of the actual pool hall will be left; just some of the ancillary buildings and the roof. I've no idea how they're going to take the roof down: a passer-by told me the original plan was to dynamite it but they weren't given permission because of the risk to other nearby buildings.
paulcr 15 1.5k 9 Ireland
16 Oct 2009 2:58PM
Nicely exposed to give the effect with the flutering curtains. Paul
DRicherby 11 269 726 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2009 10:25AM
Well, I went back. Turns out that they've been focusing on bringing down the ancillary sections over the last few days. Some superficial parts of the stand to the right of #1 have gone but the superstructure is still there.
teocali Plus
12 442 18 England
17 Oct 2009 2:17PM
A pair of wonderfully atmospheric captures for posterity Dave. The detail is superb, especially complemented by the ghostly curtain movement. I especially like V2 - looks like a film set for one of those way out movies featuring lawless gangs surviving the effects of a nuclear winter! Plenty of room for imagination here.
edwood 12 3 Scotland
27 Oct 2009 7:35PM
wonderful mono shots.
hebdens 14 5
29 Oct 2009 8:39AM
I like the effect of the long exposure, it adds atmosphere to an already spooky place.
NobbytheNobster 10 33 5 England
28 Apr 2010 10:55AM
Two excellent shots, really like the curtains and the write up.
I'm getting very interested in this kind of photography i find very thought provoking. Been wandering around any old or derelict buildings i can find snapping away, will post some of my findings soon.

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