From top landmarks to hidden gems – photography students have put together a spectacular exhibition showcasing their city.

The exhibition, called Portsmouth and Me, has gone on display at Portsmouth International Port where the images will be seen by thousands of the city’s visitors.

The 30 images were taken by people on Highbury College’s community photography courses – some of whom had only been studying for a few weeks before their pictures were chosen for the display.

The showcase was launched by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome and the Lady Mayoress Jo Ellcome.

Cllr Ellcome said: “One of the things that I am trying to encourage during my year as Lord Mayor is for more organisations to work together and collaborate so joint ventures like this one between Highbury College and The International Port are really good.

“It gives students the chance to showcase their talents and hopefully it will encourage more people to stay in Portsmouth even longer so that they can see some of the featured sights and attractions.”

Mike Sellers, director of Portsmouth International Port, added “These images give a real insight into the city that waits to be discovered just minutes away.

“There are some well-known sights and some views that even those who work here at the port might have missed.

“We look forward to sharing them with cruise and ferry passengers visiting us this winter.”


Jamie Connolly-Burnett who started studying photography in October was among those whose work has been displayed.

The 22-year-old from Gosport said: “It’s really exciting to be part of this exhibition because you know that everybody that comes in the building will see your work.

“It’s nice to be able to show off my work and get recognition for what I can do.

“I like finding unusual things and showing off the area I have lived most of my life.

“I like the atmosphere at Highbury College and I like learning new things. I would definitely recommend studying photography there.”

Work is also on show by Karah Mew, who was on a course last year and has now set up her own photography business, The Glass Narrator.

The 33-year-old from Copnor said: “I wanted to enter some images into the exhibition because it sounded exciting and I knew I would be among lots of other photographers that I studied with. It’s not often you get to show your work off like this. I feel really proud to be part of it.

“I really enjoyed the course. I studied in the community. Highbury College does lots of courses outside of the campuses and mine was at Portsmouth Central Library which was easy to get to and I can be quite busy, so it was nice to do a course that could fit around me as well.”

Michael Mechen also saw four of his photographs featured in the exhibition after studying at Highbury College for just six weeks.

It was the second time the 47-year-old from Cosham had studied at the College, having completed two engineering courses between 1999 and 2004 before going on to work as an engineering contractor on the Royal Navy’s fleet.

Michael also found his photography in the limelight earlier this year when his photograph of Nico the gorilla with a goose at Longlete was featured in newspapers across the globe.

He said: “It’s great to see them displayed like this for other people to look at. It’s nice to have the chance to see your photos printed because you normally only see them on your computer screen.

“The exhibition is really good and shows off the city. People that have seen my pictures on Instagram have said how we live in a really beautiful place and yet we take it for granted when we live here.”

For more information about Highbury College's community courses including free photography courses click here.

Article Details

  • Date 15/11/2017