New Blog….

Following on from several succesful (I think) Street photography trips to London, and a Canon Sponsored double page feature in this months Photography News… and in no way connected to the fact this blogs limit is bulging and spilling over.

I am creating a brand new self hosted website centering around my street and urban photography adventures it’s also connected to my INSTAGRAM

Announcing…..

Londonist Captures

The intent is to showcase some of my imagery from London and other towns and citys as well as eventually be a guide to those places for fellow creatives.

You’ll see images such as these.

Please do consider taking a look and perhaps subscribing to the site as I would love it to grow.

London Street at 35mm

I must admit to being a tad forgetful when it comes to updating the blog these past few months. I am so busy flitting here and there trying to find a style, a niche or a type of photography I enjoy.

Recently I’ve been taking a few trips to London and trying some varied styles of street photography. Here are just a few images from a recent trip.

As you can see they vary widely in not only colour, composition and style but also subject. All have one thing in common that they are taken at 35mm on my Eos R, a camera that I love.

Testing the Eos r

Finally got round to having some time out to play with the mirrorless EOS r yesterday. It’s a phenomenal camera and quite the learning curve coming from a DSLR.

It does however take alot of the testing and guesswork out of exposing as you can see exactly what you are getting on the evf rather than the normal. Clear view (although that can be turned off too).

The focus is instant and bang on and I find the kit lens to be very sharp.

Just one image for now as I’m going through them. Quickly edited on the fly on snapseed for mobile. I quite like it.

Transformations – Street Art

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 2, 4, 5

During a day out in London we ventured to Brick Lane, A place I have never been but will go back. My intention was to see some of the street art which I had read about and blogged the idea Here. There was an amazing array of Street art which was both a positive thing as it really brightened up some of the the dark looming streets and yet in some cases looked messy and, to be honest, made the place look downtrodden. A real contrast to the million quid plus luxury flats which are being built literally 2 mins away.

There was a real mix of graffiti and installation art down these narrow streets and in many cases as I said above it was intriguing to see what people consider as art.

Overall you could well Consider this as a transformation to the area either negative or positive as both are served by what is in place in these streets. Again as with all my ideas at this time this is ongoing.

Transformation Rust, Rot and Decay

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Surely the very pinnacle of urban transformation is the reclamation of the elements by mother nature. The decay and rot that weaves its way through almost everything man made or natural. From rotting wood to rusting metal the signs of this are everywhere.

Ceaseless and never ending, without intervention, the textures and patterns are ultimately unique never replicated or repeated. There is a beauty in decay if you only choose to look.

I have in the past taken some similar images showing the reclamation of things by nature during my shoots and Dungeness and Brighton and other more localised areas. Because decay or more specifically urban decay is very apparent.

It’s a definite area of interest for me since is has elements of nature and urban photography and I like the abstract nature of some of the images just appearing to be mini landscapes of decay. The variety of techniques I could use to show this are wide reaching too since there is an endless way of portraying decay from macro to ICM dependant on how I want to show….

I will venture down this particular avenue further I think….

Transformations – Slinkachu

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Having previously and briefly covered the work of Slinkachu in level 2, I am going a bit more into detail for this post. I feel his work is quite relevant for this topic as much of his creative work revolves around transformation, not only of an area but also of perception and viewpoint and often a political message is involved.

In the above image for example I see a tug of war over money between the “normal people” and bankers. Its all about perception as someone else may see something completely different.

Slinkachu is a British photographer who works with miniature models of people and other created props to build and set lots of different scenes and “installations” to be photographed.

Some of Slinkachu’s photos have a more obvious meaning such as this one which could be a statement about the looming presence of litter on beaches and coastal areas.

As the miniature people seem to be rockpooling a giant can distracts you from the tiny composition that looks remarkably believable.

Slinkachu must have to go to great lengths to create a scene before he takes the photo. Some of his photos would have had more work put into the building of the scene than others. Slinkachu has to plan his photos and build them before he can shoot the photo, the agility necessary to place the figures alone is impressive.

What Slinkachu does is focus on small things and makes them interesting with the addition of tiny characters. Many people could isolate a small object on the floor and take a picture of it but Slinkachu creates a scene and a distorted sense of scale that can put things in a new perspective.

I definitely took some Inspiration in some form from Slinkachu for my Lego traveller series featuring a Lego photographer off on holiday. I wanted it to seem like the small figure was much larger relative to the surroundings I do think I managed to convey this in the images and I really enjoyed the experience.

Subject Matter: Slinkachu uses miniatures to create scenes. These scenes contain all types of people and is more about the situation that they exist in rather than who they are, but the figure’s are made to fit the theme of the scene they are in (eg swimming figures are in suitable clothing ect). Slinkachu also uses lots of real size props for the miniatures to interact with such as food, badges, cigarettes ect.

Context: Slinkachu has dubbed his work as ‘abandoning miniatures’ as he leaves all of his miniatures in the places he creates them. He believes that his work is a sculpture, street art and photography all in one. Slinkachu says that his inspiration is to get city dwellers to take in their surroundings and to be more space aware and he tries to capture the ‘loneliness and melancholy’ of living in a big city, but there is a little ‘humour’.

Composition: Slinkachu loves to get the camera low down or directly on the floor often with a shallow depth of field to capture the miniatures in focus. He likes to fill the foreground with the miniatures, with the background being a blurred environment that often helps give context to the rest of the image.

Lighting: The lighting is seemingly natural but a secondary light might have been used in some images. No flash was used in any of the images.

Colour: The images are in full colour sometimes using colour splash. Slinkachu doesn’t always do anything too specialised colourwise but his bright colours stand out in the city’s dull grey backdrop.

Transformation ideas – Transformations of a space

Unit 1: Visual Recording in Art and Design – Criteria P 1, 3

Street Art/Graffiti

One of the ideas I thought of for the transformations project is one of graffiti or street art. In particular how it can transform an area in either a positive or a negative way depending on what the art is and where it is situated, and even then its a matter of perception. What some people see as art, others will see as vandalism.

Often places are “tagged” as a sign that a particular artist has been there or even as a sign of a gang territory which is negative in itself.

Other times areas which otherwise look dark.. dank or generally rundown such as The Leake Street tunnel and areas of Shoreditch under the bridges and in community gardens are turned over to street artists as an area to use, which for the main part does transform the area into a nice looking place. Sometimes political or religious art is sprayed onto buildings as a statement piece and sometimes its just for arts sake.

It’s an interesting topic and one which deserve to be looked at so I shall venture further into this.

Regeneration of area

Alongside the above topic of graffiti which in part contributes sometimes to the regeneration of areas I will look at ways in which areas are transformed into clean usable spaces.. Perhaps how old scrap grounds are used for community spaces and gardens like Shoreditch nomadic garden or even transformed Into play areas for children. Sometimes an area which has very little potential can be handed over to the public to create spaces and community projects such as the South bank skate park Definitely something worth looking Into. Below are both the Shoreditch project and Southbank skatepark.

I shall be looking at these topics further and also the techniques I may employ to shoot them.

Cruel and Tender Final Choice

Unit 23 – Photographic Media, Techniques and Technology criteria P 1,2,3,4

So for my final submission for this terms Cruel and Tender project, I have chosen to use my Images of people interacting at the Tate Gallery. In the main entrance hall people gather under a huge swinging silver ball which rhythmically travels from one side of the hall to the other giving them a focal point if they choose or, like some others, something to totally ignore whilst they eat or go about their business.

This space is where people come to rest have lunch or just take a break. All life is here from lunching families and school outings to single figures sitting in quiet contemplation to children running, rolling and generally playing, all were oblivious to my presence on the sky bridge 4 floors above them.

THE INSPIRATION

Some of the images I looked at during my research for this project and some by Gursky that I feel are along similar lines. As soon as I had seen the carpet I knew there was a good project that could include it in the scene. It seems to lend itself brilliantly to the role and the fact that it is itself an Installation art piece makes it better.

THE THEME

The idea of this project is to show the interaction of people in a specific space, going about their daily business, be it a day out with family or stopping for lunch during a gallery visit. Some people even just come here for a dry place to sit and eat or socialise. There is a huge cross section of people here from every walk of life, this area must have seen thousands of people just going by in life.

TECHNIQUE

Using my Canon 80d and my 18-135mm lense I set up shop on the sky walk some 4 floors above the actual area. For safety reason I had my camera strapped to me and you can’t use tripod in the gallery area so I was quite restricted on what I could do and my ISO had to be moderately high between 800 and 1600 to allow for faster shutter speeds at the longer end of the focal range whilst trying to keep noise to a minimum.

I began by just observing people looking at the interactions and socialisation and found that I could capture them completely unawares and this would be the premise for the project.

COMPOSITION

The lines of the carpet afforded me a brilliant canvas on which to capture the people. Like musical notes on a scale they moved and I adjusted angles and zoom on the camera to capture as best I could the positions as many people moved quite fast out of my line of sight. Once I had captured the images I knew I would have to do some editing and cropping and a little cloning as some spots of the carpet were very patchy dirty and distracting. I used bridge and raw to examine each Image and decided that a 10×8 print size which allowed a 5×4 crop would best suit the images as my cameras native 3×2 crop made the horizontal lines more of a distraction than a complimentary factor. I also had to adjust for the barrel and pincushion distortion of my lens to try and straighten the lines in the carpet as some of the angles made them look quite bent. There is definately a Typology here too.

THE FINAL IMAGES

From the set of around 18 I chose 10 these final images to present as my series, when I presented to the class we felt as a group that the strongest 6 would be a better set as some images were overly similar and splitting the 10 worked better. These are the 6 final images chosen.

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tate16

PRINTING

I chose to print my final Images on a lustre paper at 10×8 to suit the crop I had chosen. I feel this size and finish is a good choice for the series allowing me to have a good selection of prints and the lustre finish gives a nice contemporary feel to the set.

CRITIQUE

I’m happy with this series of Images and the theme in general. I think I have managed to achieve what I envisioned for the project and would definitely do something similar again. I would love to find an area for a similar project where I can set up a tripod and compose on a specific area without having to keep changing focal length or move. So the area or “canvas” is uniform and only the people or subjects would change as I feel that would make an interesting set of images too.