“it could be quirky, very funny, fun or mildly surreal”
Chips Are Yummy
What is for you street photography?
Taking my camera most places that I go, looking (sometimes hunting) for opportunities, being able to spot something extraordinary in everyday living, rarely without people, something interesting taking shape and pleasingly filling the frame of my camera’s viewfinder, it could be quirky, very funny, fun or mildly surreal, anticipating or noticing it is half the battle, capturing it in a pleasing manner, technically and aesthetically within the given moment is the other half.
Waterloo East – Limited Mobility Access Point
When did you start taking street pictures and why?
I properly started towards the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. I began after receiving a big glossy Henri Cartier Bresson photobook simply titled “Photographer” as a leaving present from one of my jobs. I’d got into general photography using a manual minolta x11 in 2003 but hadn’t delved into street, until I properly sat down and studied this man’s body of work. It inspired me no end. At the time I had a canon 30d which I sold and purchased a Fuji x100 in order to give me the confidence of shooting up close, the smaller, lighter camera was a big help, and so my training seriously started.
For you, what is your best shot. Can you explain how you got it?
This is a hard choice, but one of my favourite shots is “ A Light Being” which was hanging in Urban Picnic’s gallery in the UK, during May this year, I was one of 30 finalists in Urban Picnic’s International Street Photography Competition.
It was shot on a cold evening in London’s Upper Street near Angel tube station. I spotted a big guy “marching” down upper street wearing a very big orange coloured furry coat (no doubt to keep warm in). I followed the character for about 1 minute trying to find the right time to shoot. As he entered a shopping mall and went on the escalator heading toward the cinema section, I knew my chance was coming. Using the Fuji’s in built flash I snapped him from behind just as he got to the top of the escalator, and his head was at the right angle, disappearing from the shot, replaced by a light conveniently hanging above him. In the background was a wall that matched the orange colour of the coat as well as a poster of a film with a girl and a light above her head. The flash lit him up nicely and at the same time showed his right and left reflection on the glass sides of the escalator.
- Get a camera
- Look at some good examples of street to get you going (Henri Cartier Bresson, Martin Parr, Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden, Lee Friedlander, Vivian Maier, Alex Webb, Jun Abe, etc… as well as lots of amazing street photographers on flickr)
- Do not wait to be inspired, go out there and start shooting
- Shoot, shoot and then shoot some more
- Be confident and don’t be afraid. I shoot normally within a few metres of my subject or even closer. The more you do it, the more it will start to become very natural.
My first photobook, Photographer – Henri Cartier Bresson, as already mentioned, it opened the door for me and got me into the world of street photography.
Would you recommend a photographer or group to whom we should follow?
There are a lot of groups in flickr that are well worth following. Firstly, SPNC – One of the groups that inspired me in the beginning of my journey into street photography, and continues to motivate me as well as help me form a network with other like-minded street photographers, some of which have become very good friends. Other relevant groups are HCSP, - Me, Myself and I -, Shot Eat Shot, Small Growers Street Association, You are not a dinosaur, To Sleep, Perchance to Dream, iCyou …… to name just a few!