Monday, 24 January 2011

Some Further ‘Street’ Practice 1

I’ve actually been out and had a couple of further practice sessions since the blog post on 10th Jan.  The first was a couple of days later, and I set myself three objectives:
·         To take better quality images (from a technical point of view), though still using the Ricoh compact camera;
·         To put the camera to my eye when taking the shots, rather than shooting surreptitiously at waist level;
·         To find a location (or maybe a couple) and spend some time there waiting for something to happen.
I went into Huddersfield again, and positioned myself in Market Place, where there is a regular ‘through-traffic’ of people, and stayed there for around 40 minutes.  It was interesting to watch the comings and goings (I am a people watcher by nature, so that part comes easy), though nothing actually happened in that period.  I took around 20 shots, waiting particularly for people to be close to me, but using the wide angle on the Ricoh.  Only half a dozen of them survived the first cull, but they were all taken with the camera to my eye and, shooting at ISO200 & 1/200th second, the quality is better than some of the earlier ones.  So, two of my objectives were certainly achieved, or at least some progress was made!
These three best illustrate what I was doing.
The technical quality is better than in my first efforts, thanks to the camera being to my eye & the settings I used, and I didn’t have any problems with taking these pictures ‘in public’ – no concerns about whether I was going to be challenged, whether they saw me taking the picture etc.  But, they are not very interesting images.  The closest I got to a significant moment was the guy in the second shot, who looked back over his shoulder as I pressed the shutter.
So – waiting for something to happen either requires you to be in a spot where more is going on or to be prepared to hang around for a very long time.
Reflecting afterwards, I did think about the conditions in which I had taken these shots – some very average, dull light, in particular.  Thinking of Trent Parke, for example, and the great use of light in his images (referred to earlier in the blog – 10th Jan 2011).  What sort of difference would some low sun have made to these shots, for example?  Thinking back to basic principles, photography is about light.  Low sun wouldn’t have made them great shots, but it would have introduced another creative dimension.  This, of course, also fits in with my thoughts after the NMM visit – that I perhaps need to think more creatively about how I use all aspects of the photographic medium.

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