One of those days where everyone needs headgear on…
I was in London for work again today. Walking from the train station to work (and back again) gave me some good opportunities for getting some photographs. I tend to shoot from the hip (hence the lower angle of the camera in most of the shots), whilst walking at pace (I don’t tend to stop to take shots as things are happening so quickly, I mostly pause slightly in my stride before continuing). I like the more loose and dynamic feel to the shots, rather than more carefully composed images. It’s more free and, to me at least, it also reflects the busy chaotic nature of people on the streets of London. There is a lot more energy there than in Salisbury, that’s for sure!
The London street work has been taking shape nicely over the winter. At the end of the winter I will put the work together into an e-book. I might include some images from last winter, as the anti-trump protests were pretty exciting to shoot (I would love to do more protest photography). I am not quite sure yet what the final work will look like, particularly as there is still another couple of months of dark nights, etc. left of winter to shoot (when I get back to London is another issue, however).
I will post a longer blog article up soon about my thoughts on street photography using the Sony A9. I might also write about how I approach street photography and some of the techniques that I use to get shots.
I hope you enjoy these images from today in the meantime. There is a theme to the shots, I will let you work out what it is. But, the emphasis for these photographs is content over form.
Late last week I went back to London as part of my work, which was quite nice as it was our Christmas lunch. Seemed early to me, but afterwards I noticed we were not the only ones doing work do’s in November as there were a fair few people wearing antlers, Santa hats and such like in various restaurants dotted around town.
After we finished for the afternoon, I took a meandering walk back to the train station. This usually gives me an hour or two for doing some street photography. This time, I also took some video clips whilst I wandering around.
To be honest, I don’t really know what I am doing with video at the moment – it’s very new to me. I set the camera up to record in a couple of different formats: 4K (24fps), 1080p (24 and 120fps). I also set it up to record in black and white. I am just trying to get my head around it all at the moment!
I reasoned that as I do much of my night street photography in monochrome, I would do the video that way too. I probably should have shot it in colour and converted it to monochrome later, as well as flattened the picture profile. Neither my Canon or Sony have log formats (yet, for the canon), so I need to do the workaround that other people do to get a flatter profile for later grading. The footage looks quite murky and grainy, so I need to set the camera up better – and use a faster lens to reduce the ISO rating.
YouTube has been great for working out what to do here, especially the Travel Feels and Peter McKinnon channels. I will post up some videos once I know what I am doing. But, this is still someway off at the moment. It should add an extra dimension to the website, let alone my practice. I like the idea of taking street photography into another place as well as the more usual photography.
I also used some of the time to take some street shots. I have recently had a significant camera kit sell off. Stuff that I don’t use or don’t need has gone. What remains is a more streamlined kit that better suits my needs for street, family and landscape photography. As part of the move, I bought a Sony A9. It’s mainly for street photography, due to the silent shutter, excellent electronic viewfinder (EVF) and very wide area fast autofocus (AF). I am finding that with this camera it’s very responsive, much more than the Fuji’s I had. I tend to shoot much more from the hip with this camera, and I can totally trust it to wake up, lock on, and get a sharp picture on most occasions.
I was in London late last week, whilst there I decided to play a ‘game’ whilst out doing street photography on the walk back from work to the train station. The game was about shooting from the hip, there were two rules (1) to obviously not look through the viewfinder and (2) no cropping of the images is allowed. I took the little Fuji X100F with me as it is small and relatively unobtrusive (I have the silver, rather than black version).
I have only posted up a very short edit from the shoot. A lot were rubbish or a bit boring. I noticed that I tend to hold the camera on a tilt, making for a more dramatic perspective. I quite like it, but I will try and work on straightening up the camera at the time. It was a lot of fun and I will try it again when I am next in London!
The X100 is such a great little camera, in the short period I have owned it – it is has gone pretty much everywhere with me. The image quality is excellent, the lens sharp and, critically, it is fun to use. Fuji’s are making some excellent cameras at the moment – my poor Canon is struggling to see the light of day. Canon take note here – I am waiting for a mirrorless full-frame camera for those amazing L lenses, although whether even that will be better than the Fuji stuff will remain to be seen…
Below is one image that I actually took before the red project I have been doing this month. But, it sort of fits as a bridge for this month’s one project and what I intend to do next month.
In April, I am going to do a project called ‘presence’. The aim is for it to be about the presence of people, but without people actually being in the photos. Therefore, it’s going to be shots of objects and places. I am going to shoot on a Canon AE-1 with a 28mm lens on Fuji Acros 100. I am really enjoying shooting colour at the moment, but it’s good to shoot some black and white for a change and mix things up.
I am struggling to get the epub format up on WordPress. I have a couple of e-books to post up (one of which will be the red project of this month). However, once I have worked it out I will post up a link. I might set up a new page titled ‘eBooks’ to make it clearer.
Yes, there haven’t been many posts recently – blame
me film for that! I have been exclusively shooting film (Ilford HP5+ and Fuji Acros 100) for the last week. It’s been great, but not good for the blog. Good news is that a lot of film is going in to be processed tomorrow. Bad news is that it will be about a week before I get it back.
I am (slowly) putting together an ibook of the night photography that I have done in Salisbury over the last couple of years. I will post a link to it up when it is done. I am just debating in my tiny mind about adding a multi-media time lapse or video element to it. If people have any thoughts, feel free to comment.
In the meantime, here is an image that I took after I left the Anti-Trump protest in Downing Street that evening.