One of the aspects of street photography I struggle with is the question of whether or not to speak to folks before photographing them. On one hand speaking to someone first means any picture I make afterwards is no longer candid, which changes it somewhat. But on the other hand, I’m often drawn towards particular people because I’m curious about their ‘story’ (we all have a story), and speaking to them before asking to take their portrait gives me an opportunity to learn their story.
Over the past couple of weeks I’d seen a chap several times, standing quietly at a busy intersection holding signs preaching peace and love. I was intrigued and so I drove to his intersection last Saturday and stopped and chatted to him for a while. This is some of Joe’s story.
Joe is a little over 50 - like me. Joe has kids he loves and worries about - like me. Joe has had failed relationships with partners and family - like me. And Joe has made some dumb decisions in his life - like me (and you!). Unfortunately for Joe, some of his dumb decisions involved drugs and as a consequence he now carries his life in a couple of bags and sleeps in an alley in a broken down van.
Joe’s unsure of his future. He’s in a methadone program and is on a (long) waiting list for public housing. Maybe that’ll work out for him. Maybe not. Maybe he’ll get back together with his partner and reconnect with his kids. Maybe not. In the meantime, he’ll continue to stand on street corners with his signs. If you happen to see him, wind your window down. Say g’day.
Around two years ago I purchased my first Fujifilm ‘X Series’ camera - an X100S - to augment my, then, fairly extensive range of Pentax DSLR gear. The attraction of the X100S was its reputation for outstanding image quality (even JPEGs straight from the camera), high ISO performance and above all, compact size. The X100S won me over, so much so that I sold a bunch of my Pentax gear to fund the upgrade to the X100T around a year ago. Since that time my remaining DSLR gear had sat unused. So over the past few weeks I sold off my remaining Pentax body and lenses and yesterday purchased Fujifilm’s high-end X-Pro2. In terms of its form, it is not unlike the X100T, but as an interchangeable lens body. To begin with I’ve opted for a 27mm/2.8 ‘pancake’ lens as my everyday walk-around for street photography and a 14mm/2.8 wide angle. To follow will likely be the new 50mm/2 when it’s released in a few weeks. As someone who shoots a lot of B&W, the X-Pro2’s Acros high contrast B&W film simulation appealed to me. So too did its reputation for producing usable images at crazy-high ISOs. Yesterday evening at Perth’s Fringe Festival gave me an opportunity to experiment with these. I have to say that so far I’m very impressed.
- Yesterday I attended the wedding of an old friend. While my (talented and far more experienced) partner, Natalie, was making a fabulous job of the formal photography I got to cruise around and grab some candid images - wedding photography done in a documentary style. I ended up with a bunch of images that I (and more importantly Julie and David) were happy with. For more, have a look at https://www.format.com/pages/3910164-events/edit.
Freo’s a location where I always seem to have fun shooting. I think it’s a combination of the varied architecture, interesting people and fact that there’s usually plenty going on. Today was no exception. I managed a handful of shots I was fairly pleased with and got to speak to some interesting folks along the way.
This past weekend marks my engagement to my lovely Natalie. After two and a half years together I finally plucked up the courage to pop the question and she made me so incredibly happy by saying ‘yes’. Among the many wonderful things I love about Natalie is her acceptance of me for who I am, including my photo-nerdism. I mean, who else would be happy to spend time during a romantic weekend away, wandering around night markets whilst their soon-to-be fiance gets a street photography fix?…
One of the things I search for in street photography is interaction between people. In the past few weeks I’ve managed to capture a couple of images which I think demonstrate this. Subjects oblivious to the goings on around them, at least momentarily. Instead focused on each other.
The continued cold and wet weather makes it a little hard to believe we’re a month into spring. However the wildflowers on display during a couple of recent bush walks tell a different story.
The combination of spring weather and Father’s day made for a busy afternoon in the shops, pubs and cafes around Guildford. Here’s a few images I captured whilst wandering around.
More than a few of my morning kayak sessions lately have been solo affairs, as other regulars holiday in warmer climes or simply choose a warm bed over the cold and dark river. This morning was no exception and I found myself paddling alone through a thick blanket of winter fog. The payoff came later though, as I was leaving the club. Thankfully I had my camera in my bag, which enabled me to capture a few images before heading off to work.
After mountain biking this morning I was keen to get out and do some street photography, but couldn’t be bothered getting back in the car to drive anywhere. So instead, I just took a walk around the neighbourhood. And came back with a few images I really quite like. Proof that we’re always surrounded by things worthy of our attention, if we just open our eyes to them.