Trump and Street Photography

What has Trump got to do with street photography? Good question, glad you asked.

Warning – this gets political and a little heavy. Pretty pictures at the end if you just want to skip to that bit!

I have just returned from a week spent in a small rural school outside of Beijing. While there I worked with colleagues and local teachers as part of a charity organisation linked to where I work. Not surprisingly, I took my camera and managed to get a few sneaky shots. On my return to Shanghai I found out that Trump won the election and I felt the world had shifted.

pagespics-1-of-1-12Schoolboy, Beijing, 2016

Photography – I will get there, hang in on this…. Read More

A personal post…

It has been a while since my last blog, but here I am. I have recently been inspired by a wonderful blog @ jtinseoul. As always, if I name it, click on it, it will take you somewhere nice. This post is slightly different and may bore my friends to tears, feel free to skip it.

jtinseoul’s blog was very heartfelt, he speaks about the emotions that go with taking photographs. This links closely to what Trey Ratcliff speaks about when he talks of the artist’s journey. Read More

What is Street Photography?

If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph.

Bruce Gilden

Number 1. You have to have a person in a photo to make it a street photograph.

I often post my pictures on the google+ site Street Photographers. It is a great site, but insists that there must be a strong human element in the shot. However, I think there are many elements that fall into the area of ‘street’.

street-photography-1-of-1-8Nothing says ‘street’ more than a row of parked-up bicycles.

Read More

Ten Shots to Shoot…

…or the importance of a shot list.

One thing that can have a positive impact on your street photography is a shot list. Know what you are looking for. Here are 10 things I keep on my list.

  1. Wrinkly faces and plain backgrounds
  2. Prostitutes
  3. Angry animals (but they have to be looking at the camera!)
  4. Street food stalls
  5. Small bits of people in negative space
  6. Bikes and people on them (preferably overloaded)
  7. People passing me, shot at a slow shutter speed
  8. Smokers
  9. Alleyways ending and people passing.
  10. Shadows and reflections

Here are some examples. Have fun and keep clicking!

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Use negative space to make an impact.

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Be careful shooting operations which are obviously dodgy. Be very discrete!

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Make sure animals look at the camera for maximum effect.

The Shanghai Photography Exhibition

robert-capa-spectators-at-longchamp-racecourse-parisPhotograph by Robert Capa, Spectators at Longchamp Racecourse.

This photo was used for the promotional material for the exhibition. Robert Capa was one of the founding members of Magnum Photography.

Three Photographers I learnt from at the Shanghai Photography Exhibition

This weekend Shanghai hosted the World Photography Exhibition. This was a wonderful place for inspiration with lots of idea’s to borrow and steal. There were also a wonderful array of photos to purchase, if you happen to be extremely rich! Read More

The Arcanum and Minimisation!

What is the Arcanum and what is Minimisation?

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Good questions, I am glad you asked!

The Arcanum is a learning pathway created by Trey Ratcliff, go look at his website ‘Stuck in Customs‘. First off, you have to apply to join and be ‘selected’ by a master who will help you on your way to photographic nirvarna. For the first ‘sphere’ this is actually quite easy.

Spheres, yes, you get placed in a sphere (not literally). Once cocooned inside this photographic bubble you find yourself with likeminded photographers undertaking challenges and critiques. Challenges can be official and part of your journey, but also set by the ‘Master’ of your cohort. Don’t expect 100’s of +Likes, this ain’t that kind of game.

As you progress through the challenges you must get your photo’s critiqued by your ‘Master’, who will decide if you can progress. In reality this is not as tough as it sounds, as, the photos you submit will already have been grilled by other cohort members!

At the end of sphere 1, you go back to waiting for another master. Here it gets a little more specialised. I have now joined ‘sphere 2’, a cohort led by Wes Hardaker, check out his fabulous website ‘capturedonearth‘. In this cohort I will be  increasing my focus through ‘minimilisation techniques’.

Earlier this week I set out with minimilsation in mind. Here are a couple of ‘keepers’. It will be interesting to see where this new Arcanum Sphere takes me….

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Manilla Slums and Ethics. Ten things to think about…

In street photography there is a tradition of taking pictures of poverty, this stems from the very beginnings with the work of Henry Cartier-Bresson and Dorothea Lange. Recently I had a break in the Philippines. My first thoughts were to head for the slums of Manilla to take some shots. I did find myself wondering why I was there, after all, I was close to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

This raised a the question, why do I go and photograph areas of poverty? Here are ten issues to think about…. click to read more! Read More

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