All images and text copyright © Will Slater 2019 unless otherwise noted

If you do a google image search for ‘University of Hull’ you'll see some lovely photographs of grand old buildings alongside stylish modern ones, jutting proudly into rich blue skies. Probably very similar to what you'd see if you did the same search for any other university. I've been working at the university for a year and a half now, and I've spent a lot of time wandering around campus, looking for all the little hidden features, the nooks and crannies that get lost in the grandeur and the squat, ugly little buildings that always get passed over.

So here I present an ongoing project that I've just called ‘Campus’. It's a celebration of the rest of the University of Hull.


The photographs are mostly of buildings, and mostly external - but there are exceptions. They're mostly taken on a smartphone (initially an LG G3, then a Huawei Mate 10 Pro - with Leica lenses, fact fans) but also on whatever other camera I may have had to hand at a given time. Some are processed in Snapseed, some in Lightroom. Some are products of a little planning (‘that would look really cool on a clear day with the sun in the west’) but most are simply interesting details, angles or shadows that I've spotted wandering around. Some are black and white, some are colour.


Really the only thing that unifies all of these images is the location. Campus.


So please take a look; but next time you're on campus, or another campus, or anywhere really - look around you. Explore with your eyes. Search for the hidden cracks and textures that have decades of stories in their patina; or for the once-a-year combinations of a cloud free sky and a perfectly angled sun. And tell your own unique story of where you are.


I had planned on popping down to the fair one evening whilst it was on, but being super busy at the moment I didn't have time. Plus I hate crowds, and that's kinda guaranteed at the fair. And anyway, everyone takes photos of the fair at night with people in it. I've seen some great street photos this year as well as the lovely light trails that always seem to appear.

I had a bit of spare time on Saturday morning and wanted to experiment with a self portrait idea I had (more on this later) so I figured I might as well wander through the fair and see what it was like earlyish in the morning with no one there.

Pretty spooky as it turns out, especially with the howling wind (sadly not visible in photographs) and the lovely overcast sky. If I'd been a bit more prepared I could probably have made more of the sky with clever filters, but I was really just shooting from the hip to see what happened. Plus whilst I had a tripod with me I couldn't really be arsed setting it up.

The whole place was a bit like a ghost town, and that was the feeling I wanted to get across in the photos (I specifically avoided the people that were there, and the vans and cars and such) along with the ramshackle construction and arrangement. I suspect that it's actually not ramshackle at all, but the rows of stalls all at slightly different angles certainly give that impression.


I listened to a great podcast by The Perceptive Photographer (@dangregphoto) last night entitled 'Insta language in photography', that was all about taking your time with creating your images but also taking your time living with them, viewing them, really letting them get under your skin.

This shot is a case in point.

I did spend time setting up the shot, editing it so it looked just right and so on, but it's now lived on my landing wall for the best part of four years, and whilst it's probably not the best photo on there - it's probably not even the best one from the trip - it's the one I find myself drawn to again and again every time I cross the landing.

Even now it reveals hidden layers when I look at it - not necessarily actual visible elements of the image, but aspects of meaning or interpretation that I've never thought of before.

Or maybe I just like stairs.

Either way, I think the important thing to learn is that photographs don't have to (and sometimes shouldn't) be fleeting grabs that disappear on an Instagram feed in a matter of seconds. As photographers we should take the time not just to create our images but to really absorb both our own and those of our peers.