Average photographs of average people in an average city.

Photography is still a great medium for documenting the times we live in.   Images that have depth rarely feature kittens and shiny happy people so an attempt to photograph what you see without compromise rather than seeking out or constructing an idealised image of your surroundings can result in pictures that have energy and a social narrative.   So give it a go!  Do be carefully out there however –  punchy images and not punches from a drug dealer are what we want.

With this in mind and as I had nothing planned for the weekend I set myself a task to capture 3 images that encapsulate the city I live and work in..  I failed but have to a degree revealed the brutalising ugliness of  modern British urban life.  Not even close.   Actually I see it everyday but swiftly stride past and with a wry smile proclaim that ‘All life is here’!  Happy that I’ve bought 9 bananas for a pound.  God bless Leicester Market!   Tomorrow I’ll photograph rabbits on a trampoline.

Everyone was harmed in the making of this production.

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Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon D90 + 18-55mm DX II ED lens.

FILL YOUR BOOTS!

Always take too many pictures.  Never be prematurely convinced that you have THE shot.  In the days of film unless you were a pro you has to be cautious – film/processing was expensive.  A modest memory card of 4GB for example will allow you to store 300 images at least so go mad!  Keep moving, keep you camera focused, compose your shot and most important of all release the shutter again and again and again.  And again.  Edit at home on laptop and not in camera as there is more danger of missing a crucial detail  when pressing the delete button.

Please find below two shots taken over the past weekend.  Not the greatest but the sunlight on The Shard and the girl with flame red hair in the second image help to elevate them from bog standard to not bad..  I took a lot of exposures approx 30 of each scene and the girl and the light only make an appearance in these two images.

Nikon D90 + AF Nikkor DX ED 18-55mm lens.

SECRET SNAPPERS OF THE WORLD UNITE & TAKE OVER!

One way to photograph people on the street without alerting them to your intentions and thus making them uptight, self-conscious, angry/violent is to simple set your camera to take a timed shot.  Set time as short as possible –  2 seconds or less is best.   Release the shutter whilst facing away from your subject and then casually turn around and allow the camera to do all the work – photography sans hands!

 In order to not alert your subject look anywhere other than in their direction.  Be cool –  read a book, text a loved one or simply place hands in pockets.   Do not touch the camera or your  prey will flee/pounce!   

This technique works especially well if you are able to set your camera to multiple timed exposure!

I was standing fairly close to the two gentlemen featured in the below image and I’m sure that if I had raised my camera to compose the shot I would have alerted them and the moment would have been lost.

Taken with a Nikon D5000 + 18-55mm.