Look up, Wolverhampton!

Look Up, Wolverhampton! is a photography project that I pitched today.

Essentially this project encourages people to look up, above head height and take notice of some of the fabulous buildings and architecture we have in the city. So often people walk around looking at the floor, or the next shop they’re going into and don’t take notice of what’s just above their heads.

The Look Up, Wolverhampton! project would see people taking photos of the buildings (and anything else) above head height and adding them to a central online depository where they could be viewed by others. Crowd-sourcing photos of Wolverhampton, if you like.

How to do it?

We could use one specific photo sharing site, such as Flickr and have everyone upload photos there, or we could use something that scrapes photos using a certain hashtag from across multiple photo sharing sites.

There would be some moderation involved to avoid abusive posts, but generally speaking it can be fairly simple on the tech front.

Why do this?

– It would help to change perceptions that the city centre is ‘derelict’ and run down (due to empty shops) and hopefully improve how people feel about it, highlighting the fact there’s some great looking buildings.

– Anyone could be involved, young or old – high end photography gear isn’t required, a camera phone and your imagination are all the tools you’ll need.

– It won’t cost anything (other than a bit of time) as taking a photo and putting it online is pretty much free. Those who know how to do this could help those who don’t.

Taking It Offline

– One way of extending this offline could be to have an exhibition highlighting some of the photos submitted. Those in the session didn’t feel this should be a ‘competition’ where images are judged as this runs the risk of pitting amateurs against pros, but some way could be devised of curating content for an exhibition.

– Some of the photos could even be projected onto buildings as part of a future ‘Enchanted City’ event.

What else could we do?

There were lots of suggestions in the session on other directions this project could go in:

– Photos could form an online heritage trail, telling the story of historic buildings.

– Local schools could be approached and asked to get involved, with pupils going on tours and creating photos of their own.

– Photos could be used in a calendar to raise funds for similar projects.

– Photos could be licensed to local businesses for use in marketing materials to promote the city.

– The project could link in with a number of other on-going or planned photography projects.

How to move forward?

– More thought needs to be given to the technical aspects; what the best platform is and how to make it robust, but easy to use.

– A decision needs to be made on whether to explore any of the other threads in terms of working with other people and groups, or to keep this more casual (it could start small online and then be developed into something bigger with wider participation).

–  A small number of volunteers would be needed to be involved with moderation and admin of the online depository.

I hope to hold a meeting in around a month’s time to discuss this idea further. If you’re interested in getting involved, please get in touch:

Email: james@replenishnewmedia.com
Web: http://www.jamesdclarke.com
Twitter: @jamesdclarke


2 thoughts on “Look up, Wolverhampton!

  1. Makes me think of the Wolverhampton Today ‘where is this in wolves’ competition, you could run a similar one – can you identify a building based on it’s horizon line?

    I’m guessing you could tie this into existing photowalks (Look Upm Cannock?), 4am Project. Anyway, let me know when the meeting is.

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