Photo competition with a difference launched to capture new views of Church Gate

A photography competition with a difference has been launched to try to capture one of Leicester’s city streets from a whole new angle.

The Art AI Photogrammetry contest challenges people to use their smartphones and a new kind of technology to take images of the street and buildings in Leicester’s Church Gate heritage zone, as seen through the eyes and lenses of the public.

churchgate  clock tower shot

Photogrammetry is the same technology used by pop star Ed Sheeran to create video content on his sold-out Mathematics Tour. It uses images taken from at least two different vantage points to produce a 3D image of an object – in this case buildings, the streetscape and images around the Church Gate area.

There is a top prize of £500 for the winning image and runner-up prizes up for grabs.

People can find out more about how to download free photogrammetry apps and use their phones to create the images by visiting the Art AI website here 

Professor Tracy Harwood of DMU’s Institute of Creative Technologies, said she hoped the competition encouraged people to try out new tech.

She said: “Photogrammetry is an increasingly accessible tech these days and it’s perfect for capturing something that is and will be historically important at scale such as Leicester’s iconic Clock Tower and buildings – and we’re starting with this street because it is one of Leicester’s Heritage Action Zones.  We appreciate it is not without a requirement for some skill so it’s a great opportunity to practice doing something new over the summer!  We’re really looking forward to seeing what people capture with the techniques.”

The images collected in the competition will help put together a dataset that accurately captures the state of the Church Gate heritage area in summer 2022. This could be used in the future for helping come up with new designs for the street, recreating it virtually for games or creating 3D printed objects.

betz x churchgate

Photogrammetry apps range from free open-source ones to top-of-the-range kit.  Data can then be in for example Unreal Engine to create new virtual environments, such as this streetscape from The Matrix 

DMU, along with Leicester City Council, the University of Leicester, and Leicester Civic Society, is supporting a £1.5m programme from Historic England that will see some of the most important historic areas in Granby Street and Church Gate repaired, restored and re-imagined.   

As part of that work, DMU has opened Beta X, a new creative community space that brings together artists, makers, designers, researchers, thinkers and innovators. It has hosted events, exhibitions and workshops.

Posted on Friday 15th July 2022

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