Urban and Street Photography

I’ve been keeping my head down in the street photography department the past few weeks but I’m still upholding the urban flag. It didn’t help that I was trapped at home for about 3 days with the flu.

I don’t think my passion or interest in street photography has waned but I do feel the weight of the ‘struggle to do anything new‘ within my limited style, if it is one, and that’s been a bit draining.

I still enjoy hunting down odd looking things in the city but Edinburgh isn’t anything like London or New York, there’s less random weirdness to hand.

I was thinking back to my time in art college years ago and I realised I’ve always been interested in street photography. When I bought Bruce Gilden’s ‘A Beautiful Catastrophe’ a number of months ago I recognised most of the photos. I’d seen them in the books I borrowed when I was at art college though I’d no idea who or what Gilden was at the time.

Thinking back through the foggy years, when I went to New York with my parents in 1992 and when I went back with the Art College in 1997 most of my photos were early attempts at street photography though I’d really no idea what it was back then.

In ’92 I remember telling my parents I didn’t want to take ‘tourist photos’ like theirs. I’d seen every side of NYCs coin by the time I got there and wanted to make urban photos like in the books I loved.

Even when I was in Rome in the early 2000’s my photos were primarily of street scenes. The other kind of art book I loved was portraiture but I’ll get on about that another time.

I’m not saying that any of those photos were good, they weren’t, but from my time at art college and the books I loved were primarily about street photography.

Changing the topic slightly, I’m about to head into the Stills gallery darkroom space to try my hand at darkroom printing and HQ digital scanning.

I believe I’m about to turn a corner with my image making and it’s going to scare the shit out of me.

I’m going to make prints and contemplate exhibiting them, maybe even trying to sell them. Of course I’ll start by printing the obligatory family photos but I’ll then move onto local urban/street photos.

Maybe I can encourage some of my Edinburgh street photography comrades to print their photos and have an exhibition.

This is a bit scary to me because I haven’t sold anything since 1999 when I sold the most unlikely painting of all time during the annual RSA open exhibition: Richard and Judy Finnigan high on drugs. How it was even accepted is beyond me.

I’ll obviously be sorting out what I genuinely like and think might be attractive to whichever gallery lets me exhibit. That’s going to be tough.

Anyway, back to Edinburgh.

Since the night is rolling in thick and fast this time of year my Flickr Photostream is probably going to be flooded by night photography and especially IR flash.

I still don’t feel comfortable flashing people in the face fo’reals so I’ll be cowardly and use my IR flash system instead.

You don’t immediately become invisible with this flash but it is less obtrusive to people on the street but the red glow is still quite noticeable.

Of course the problem is, as I always say with the Casio like a disclaimer, that framing is nearly impossible – adding a lovely layer of joy when something actually comes out.


Well. I think I’ve rambled on enough here so I’ll stop.

le fin

On a lighter note … here’s Anna’s new wake up routine:

Without the Beastie Boys she’d be crying and screaming “help!” or “leave it!”, fighting every garment we try to put on her like her life depended on it.


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