Sunday, 20 May, I met up with a few guys from Flickr for a street photography photo-walk in Edinburgh.
Street photography is something I’ve been trying my hand at the past year or so but I still don’t see myself as a street photographer though I do enjoy it, a while ago I thought I could be but just now I don’t have the confidence you need to really do it ‘properly’.
As with any outing taking photos I had a bag full of cameras …
I was reminded on the photo-walk of a quote from Cartier-Bresson who had apparently banged on about ‘travelling light’. I’m clearly not Bresson so I went prepared for a long winter!
– Mamiya Universal
– Kodamatic No.2C Autographic
– Zorki 4K with self rolled 90 exp roll (or there abouts).
– Brownie No.2
– Olympus Trip 35
– Panasonic DMC-GF1
– iShoot remote flash
– film, 120/35mm
(In the end I didn’t bring the Fuji Instax Wide camera)
… and I used all of them.
This blog post is purely digital, I’ve only developed 2 rolls from the day and after realising I’d loaded the box brownie wrongly, thus getting loads of wonderfully exposed wee circles, so who knows what I’ll have.
Adding to this uncertainty my c41 kit is now in a state where I’ll need to over develop by at least 3 minutes (maybe around 6 minutes dev time) to get any results.
Having never been on a photo walk before I didn’t know what to expect. The guys were really nice and although I kinda thought it before the meet up, Paul was clearly the most experienced especially with very close candid portraiture. Gareth and Gavin also had no trouble getting really close with flash which I also found quite impressive.
My mother, when she asked what I was photographing, said “oh you’re going to get punched in the face” and “why would you do that?” then moments later she talked ad nauseum about how curious she was watching people in some shopping centre in Calais at what was in their trollies.
This photo in retrospect is quite deceptive as it looks like she might not have been happy with being photographed when it was quite the opposite. I smiled and said thank you and they were happy enough and it wasn’t like a hit and run either as we moved through the group and hung about.
I took a few street portraits which are often not regarded as street photography because they aren’t ‘candid’. It’s not something I’ve done much of, in fact I’ve now racked up my street portrait collection to maybe 6.
She asked me to take her photo using her camera to include the clock tower down by North Bridge. I took a couple and asked if I could take her picture, she nodded and posed.
This guy was funny, the human statue. I popped 50p in and took his photo to which he replied with a smile “thank you”. Later on I took a photo of the lady having her hand kissed and as I walked past he pointed down to his basket to pay him for the photo. I said “20p?” he frowned, “30p?” he smiled.
There was a mix of ‘styles’ and I believe a slight clash of styles. I’m not sure if I have any particular style so I jumped back and fourth between long and short distances from portraits to abstract-ness. I like it all.
I felt it was a great experience and very much worth the agony in my knees, ankles and shoulder from the massive bag I was carrying for 7 hours. One thing though, I wish I started digital at the beginning of the walk instead of the Zorki and Mamiya Universal.
At the beginning of the walk I found we were mainly chatting to establish who everyone was what they liked about SP and wee bit about the gear, not that we chatted endlessly about gear. When we were doing this my concentration went right out the window which included taking one photo with the lens cap on.
With film I have to have my brain free to concentrate on exposures, compensations with light etc and I struggled with that for most of the day. That’s where with solo walks I can have better image quality results but of course without the positive group psychology.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on a bit much so I’ll close with the rest of my digital ‘highlights’.
More to come as they get developed.