Still Life Tells a Story..

It has been a busy week. G+ is being killed off and members of the SPC group are spreading like butter on a bonfire. Alternative sites are Flickr, 500px, Mewe, Facebook and Instagram. Well, I started on Flickr (again), and continue to post to Instagram, but really have not got into 500px at all. My current champion is MeWe, it is small and most certainly the underdog of social media. You can join the SPC group using the link below.

https://mewe.com/join/street_photographers

Still Life

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Shoes

While I generally look for interesting people to photograph, there are still other oddities that catch my eye. These shoes were halfway down a stairwell of a subway running under a major road (just after the Hebel flyover, for you Bangalore dwellers). They were in great condition, and look quite posh for the location. Whose were they and why were they there? The owner was long gone.

In the photography world there are rules, questions and guidelines sprouting from every corner of the internet. Sometimes we just have to keep it simple and find a frame that poses a question.

Here is my second favourite photo from the morning, taken in the same subway. It is obviously not a still life. I like how one person is in in colour and the second is silhouetted. I may re-visit this area and try to get a more colourful composition as a bright red Sari would look fantastic.

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On a final note, my photo editing is changing. In the past, I have always muted my colours, but lately I am heading in the opposite direction and increasing the vibrance. Maybe I felt a embarrassed posting colour images in a genre that follows a strong tradition on Black and White. Maybe it is just because India is just fantastically colourful!

My next set of photos will be from Goa as I take a break to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light. Now that sounds like a celebration designed for photographers!

Thats all folks. Keep clicking, and happy Diwali.

Chris

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More Lens Culture Feedback

I did not win again!

Well I failed to win yet another Lens Culture competition. The level of skill in these competitions is incredibly high so I am not too distraught. In the words of Chumbawamba, ‘I get knocked down, but I get up again’. As with everything, we live and we learn.

Here are the photos I entered. I will post the review below…

Lens Culture Feedback

So there…

Maybe I will win the next one. However, some encouraging words and some valuable advice.  Off to Varanasi tomorrow, so hopefully there will be some more photos on the way.

Take care and keep clicking,

Chris

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Promote your work plus news on The Collective.

The Collective

I am now part of a collective. It is pretty underground at the moment.  However we are seeking new members. To be honest, the aims and goals are coming together slowly, it is certainly not a ‘rush’ job. At present, the goal is to grow the group into a supportive network. If you take great Street photos and have some energy to put into a new idea, then please email me. At present we have only two spots available.

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One area I want to explore more with The Collective is Documentary Photography. This photo is part of a body of work where I have explored the Cemeteries in Bangalore.

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Sony v Nikon v Olympus

Yes, I realize I have to work on my titles, but putting a ‘v’ in anything to do with competing camera brands is in vogue at the moment. This week I have tried to return my new Sony Rx100iv. This camera was purchased in the UK and brought out to my home in India. Recently, while in Kolkata I thought I would try it as a super discreet camera for catching candid moments. Alas, the camera lasted a day, and the lens refused to retract back into the camera body.

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Serious Face

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Consumers, Producers and Collaborators.

This week I have spent two days looking at technology in the classroom. During this time there was a significant focus on Ipad use in schools. Many creatives, such as Trey Ratcliff are leaving Apple for PC alternatives. However, while Apple may be losing numbers in the creative industry, it would appear that they are securing a future in education. One of the ‘big ideas’ coming from these workshops is the way technology is positioning users as consumers, producers, and collaborators. As with so many situations where I find myself in a teaching and learning situation, I draw parallels with how my professional life links with photography.

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Biker on the Classic Royal Enfield.

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Street Photography and Markets

KR Market

KR Market

A view from above

For the last two Sundays, I have managed to be out the house close to 5 am to take pictures of Bangalore’s busy KR Market. Please don’t think of this as a definitive guide. KR market is listed as a ‘photographers dream,’ on Trip Advisor. However, it is turning out to be a challenge. Read More

Zen and the art of the Pancake Lens…

For the second time in my Street Photography life I was hit by a passer-by. The photo below shows one situation where a pancake lens can be a lifesaver, and save you the pain of having a camera stuck from your face.

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Open Market, Bangalore

Pancake lenses are fantastic for low-profile photography. Yesterday I got my camera struck out of my hand by a passing guy on a motorbike. Fortunately, the camera was around my neck. However, my glasses went flying and ended up on the road. I would like to say I was cool calm and collected. I was not. The situation got a little heated and could have got a lot worse. A pancake lens plus a little bit of Zen may have avoided this situation.

A pancake lens is flat, not quite as flat as a pancake, but still sports a low profile. Pancake lenses are often of a fixed focal length, that means you can’t zoom. The laws of physics dictate these lenses have a wide-angle profile. If you read enough about photography and fixed focal length lenses you will soon hear that you, ‘zoom with your feet’. This is not entirely true, to get a close-up photo, you need to get close (duh), you cannot zoom in with a fixed lens. Here is the rub. A shot where you zoom in looks very different to a close-up taken with a wide-angle. A zoom compresses the aspects within the frame. The photo above was taken using a wide-angle lens, and this gives the characters enough space around them for the picture to work. Zooming in on this scene from further away would have made the photo a lot busier.

The above photo was taken using the very excellent Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 Pro. I love this lens, it creates sharp images and allows me to spend a little more time framing each picture. However, it is quite intrusive for tightly packed locations. The motorcyclist hit me when my eyes were pressed to the viewfinder with the lens extended, trying to capture photos of people passing on motorbikes. This created quite a target for anyone not wanting to have their picture taken. A pancake lens is much less obtrusive, and also a smaller target. Further to this, if I had been framing my photos using the screen, and not the viewfinder, I would have been much more aware of what was happening around me.

When returning to Bangalore’s markets, I will be packing my Olympus with the excellent Panasonic 46mm 1.7 pancake lens.  Alternatively, I will take the very low-profile Ricoh Grii. As always, this experience has taught me something. Sometimes locations require a low profile; a pancake lens should help achieve this. Secondly, I need to think how I respond to aggression when taking photos. When we are involved in a physical incident, our fight or flight mechanism kicks in. On this occasion, I lost my cool, flipped my lid and ‘let off a little steam,’ and this altercation could have got a lot worse. Time to meditate and bring a little ‘Zen’ into my photography….

 

Keep clicking, Chris

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