Archive for September, 2011

50mm Street Shooting

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

I met up with a few of the regulars from POTN to do some street shooting in and around the Camden markets.  I’ve done quite a few meet ‘n shoots with these guys before but they’re generally pretty free form in their focus (as in, they lack focus).  This meet had a minor stipulation that you’ll only need to bring along 1 lens, a 50mm.

Camden bubble

So that’s exactly what we did, with the exception of Lee’s old film camera he dusted off and brought along (which may have been 50mm, but more likely 35).  I generally have fun at these meets and this day was no exception, but I think it brought home for me a very important lesson.  I don’t really like street shooting.

One for my homies

I think the main reason I don’t enjoy this style of photography that much is that for me, the most interesting images to be made are photos of the people out on the street.  The problem with that is I never feel comfortable aiming my camera at unsuspecting, perhaps even unwilling, subjects.  I personally don’t mind having my own photo taken on the streets (being as glamorous as I am, you just get used to it), but I don’t know how each person will react to the same treatment.  I don’t think I’m afraid of getting into a confrontation, but for some reason I am afraid of making someone uncomfortable.

A typical sight on the streets of Camden

At the end of a shoot like this, I always feel let down.  Not so much over the images I have taken, but because of the images I didn’t take.  I usually try to step out of my comfort zone, but I think this is one area that I’ll just leave to the experts.

There are a few more images from the day in the gallery.

Trash the Dress redux

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

After last years successful trash the dress shoot we knew we wanted to have another crack at it.  Steve did his usual thing of buying used wedding dresses off of ebay and then soliciting models through model mayham.  What started off as 10 willing girls quickly dwindled down to 3 and we were blessed the lovely Shez, Chelsea and Alice.

The day started off as most of our photo shoots do.  A little behind on the time schedule and a little bewildered about where we were supposed to be.  We quickly found our bearings and made our way to an odd little area of Hounslow Heath that was part of a disused rail line.  Lots of curved, 6 foot retaining walls covered in graffiti making up a line of semi-circles.  I can only assume these were used for turning rail cars?  Very odd.

The plan for the day was to get warmed up doing a few standard shots of the girls in their respective wedding dresses before we broke out the paints and destroyed said dresses.  The models were great and very easy to work with, which is always a bonus as most of us there don’t have much experience in directing people how to pose.

The best bit of the day for me though was the 2 local kids who happened to be rummaging around looking for ‘not quite empty’ tins of spray paint so they could practice their tagging.  We drafted them in to spray the models with paint instead of wasting it covering up decent graffiti with their names and mostly illegible phallic drawings.  As a bonus, one had a hoodie on and we had a spare handy for the other so we could complete the asbo-tot image.

After the kids were called away by a slightly angry mom on a phone, we carried on with the planned paint fight.  I’ve got a few images that have yet to be processed of the paint fight, but like last time it was fairly chaotic and I generally wasn’t happy with the results.

Overall though, it was a brilliant day and we all walked away with some great images.  Thanks to Rich, Rob and Steve (don’t know your website Steve) for all of the ideas and help with the shots.  Always great working with you guys.  Oh, and I’m very happy I broke my ‘no new gear this year’ and picked up a 125cm softbox and tri-flash adapter.  Soooo worth it!

More photos in the gallery and a few more to come over the next week or two.