So for the first time in a while I got out to do some street shooting!
The continued promotion of my workshops and the tours and tuition for London visitors, requires to get out on the streets and knock on some doors. This I did last Friday... It coincided with an opportunity to meet up with a good friend (Michael Rammell of Ready Steady Pro) who is helping with some 'techy' parts of my website and RSS feeds for future promotions and campaigns.
With the initial knocking on doors done before lunch, I had some time to spare which allowed me to do some street photography. So off I set with my Fuji x100s + WCL and TCL converters and my Nikon FE with a Nikkor 50mm 1.8 lens.
Oh and how out of practice I was! This was my first outing for nearly two months! And it showed. Look at the images, hardly inspiring!
Walking from Victoria station down towards Parliament Square there wasn't a lot going on just the usual passer by walking 'to a fro' from offices and the shops. The weather was flat, overcast with no harsh light to work with. Hardly interesting stuff to take pictures of! .... My eyes and my brain, were not switched on and that became very clear to me! As I approached Westminster Abbey, I noticed there were quite a few people standing around, taking a look round I spotted the Burgundy Bentley that gave it away! With the Royal flags flying from both car and the Abbeys Flag mast, I realised 'she' was present and everyone was waiting for a chance glance, a picture to take of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. You can't dismiss an opportunity such as this. So I pitched up on the railings and waited like the others very patiently. She will come to the doors soon we all thought.
Well we waited and waited for her to exit the Abbey wondering whether a Lorry, Van or Bus would block our view. Which those vehicles nearly did! As the bells rang out, The Queen exited the Abbey only for a Bus to park itself right in front of us, much to everyones cry of "Oh NO!" The Bus moved on eventually and revealed the Queen, thanking the Dean of Westminster, just before climbing into the Bentley.
With the x100s and TCL attached I made an effort to get some shots paparazzi style! - NOT! ... and What a disaster! As you can see.
The moral - you cant take photographs of the Royals from this sort of distance with a 23mm lens, you have to have a telephoto lens!
The crowd then dispersed and everyone started to compare their images on their iPhones, their compacts and DSLR cameras. I missed some chances here, of more photos, as I was disappointed with what I had got, rather than thinking what's gong on around me. Another lesson learnt! Keep looking out for shooting opportunities, don't chimp after every shot!
It was time to slow down reconsider what I'm going to shoot - back to the drawing board and start again. Looking for some interesting angles with a little exaggerated editing in Lightroom cc..
Slowly but surely the aspect of being out on the street photographing, was beginning to slot in. I was starting to 'look and see' again. Looking for opportunities - remember as a street photographer you are 'almost' the hunter - well you are really. The hunter for that special moment looking for a story. It was whilst walking through the west end that I really started to get into the 'moment' and used the bright lights and signage as people walked on by through the image that I was taking. I started to ask questions in my photos, what are they doing? Where are they going? With at the same time a somewhat dynamic background.
What I Iearned from this days shooting was that you have to practice this art. Street shooting is never the same, from day to day. New opportunities occur every time and every moment. Stay in one place for a while and see what shooting moments arrive for you. It's not the same as landscape photography (apart from cloud or sunset/sunrise formations), a scene generally will be the same next time you visit a site. Remember this - footballers, rugby players, golfers, tennis players and guitarists - They all PRACTICE! So should us photographers...
So from this experience, 5 things I've learnt on this day of shooting..
1/. Go out shooting more! Practice more!
2/. Look for the story line.
3/. Keep looking don't chimp too much - you will miss an opportunity for sure!
4/. Look through windows and set up natural frames.
5/. Don't try being a paparazzi!