Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The street at night. A return to digital.

Its been 3 months since my last post.

Time flies.

I guess I've been busy. In second thoughts, i have been busy.

Film, lots of film.

Shooting, developing, scanning.

Ive been on holiday to Turkey. Originally, a pack light on camera gear occasion but in the end it involved two camera bodies, a light meter and a bag of different films to play with.

I need to blog about my film exploits and i will, i just need to get round to it.

As always, i shoot when ever the opportunity arises. I make opportunities a photography opportunity.
There's always a camera in my pocket, bag or car at all times.
Thats the beauty of smaller camera systems.

Being a multi manufacturer owner, it can take are a while to get round to using different equipment but they all have their uses and their time.
Client work is generally shot on my 'big' canons with their big lenses, although the Fuji's sit in the bag screaming to be used. On accessions I've thrown the wide angle adapter on the X100T and have shot some of my favourite portraits with it.

My Fuji's are my 'go to' if I'm travelling and for any occasion that i think "I'm gonna take my camera" and as i put above, i take a camera everywhere so it does mean that i shoot Fujifilm the majority of the time.

Having a couple of months of full on film shooting, I've not used a digital camera much. My heart just wasn't in it. I'd lost my motivation and inspiration. Shooting film was my excuse to just shoot, because you never know, i might mess the developing up and not get anything out of it, so why worry.
Its been a buzz. Like when i 1st got interested in photography. Some things worked, some things didn't.

The X100T is a great camera but eventually I'm always drawn back to the X-pro 1. It's a classic. Such a pretty box of wires. It works for me, the buttons are where i want them to be.

Ive not always got time to visit the city. I'm a village boy. I have to make do with whats around me, so i need to make it a new challenge every time. Challenge is good, challenge is motivating. Motivation means i pick my camera up.


So night time street photography is this blog's challenge.

High ISO, large apertures, shallow DOF.

More deleters than keepers but why bother keeping the photos that are not good enough anyway. They'll just sit on your hard drive and gather dust. I've started deleting images i know i will never use again, or those images where i once liked both of them but now a fresh set of eyes can see that one really is the better. Plus, i shoot raw, i could always edit it differently.

Its good to offload this photography blabbering, to share my (probably not) wisdom and judgement.

Night 1. A Thursday night.
The slow to focus but sharp as 35mm F1.4.
When i look at these images and compare them to the night 2 images i relise i must make the effort to use it more. In the dark, you have no chance to focus quickly, off the cuff style and so i need to be more covert when this lens is attached.
The slightly longer focal length gives me further reach so i can stand back a little bit and be less noticeable as I'm waiting for the lens to hunt back and forth before focusing. Or because ensuring sharp images at F1.4-F2 when manually focusing takes me a few seconds.

But look at the images they are sharp and much brighter than the next set.

Again and again. I always come back to here.

Treat life like an open door (and wait for someone to look at you)
What would people do without their phones. Conversation is dead.

Night 2.
A post work Friday walk around Wisbech town waiting for Laura to finish work so we can do the food shopping together. As i said earlier, use the opportunities to shoot.

27mm F2.8.
A more usable lens with a more usable focal length for ensuring focus.
A more friendly 'pre focus at 1.5mm and walk in closer to make the subject sharp' type lens.

It soon got too dark for F2.8 though. ISO2500 and a little noise reduction in Lightroom saved the day.

Always time for a smoke

I pushed myself to get as close as possible to this lady on the phone. 
The top image was 1st and was the test of strength. That look!

The 2nd was on the way back down the street as was my 'safe' shot.

I waited and waited for someone to walk by.
I say it often, Challenge yourself. 

But do what makes you happy.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

The Bull Hotel. Light in the darkness.

The place on the corner stood standing empty for years.

Colourful painted boards on the windows at the front. Demolition taking place at the back.

The Bull Hotel is a place I've driven passed time and time again as Laura used to live just up the road from it. Only the other day, i noticed a way in.

With something you love in life, you must try your hardest to do the best job you can, no half measures. Get results.

Ive not enjoyed urbexing for a while, its nothing compared to street photography. The explore itself is the best part, the photography can be a bit boring or a bit basic.

My constant challenge of finding the light has produced some of my greatest urbex shots ever.

Its a dangerous place to be; holes in the ceiling and holes in the floor, piles of defecation under foot left by the birds. Every step could be an expensive one if go through the floor boards. Its all part of the fun.

A blessed moment, a bird flies away at the decisive moment.

The light in the dark
Exploring in the dark, following the light, whats round the corner?

There's always a chair.
Open doors provide so many photographic opportunities.

The female of the species is more deadly than the male

How can you ignore the opportunity. The beauty in the decay.
Each time the cloud broke above, this beam of light was the centre piece.

Everyone has issues.

I like these times alone.

Embrace the light.

Monday, 15 August 2016

It was always going to happen eventually; the Bridge Hotel fire

10.30pm, a freshly opened cold beer and Laura says to me 'the Bridge Hotel is on fire'; word spreads fast on Facebook.

A quick bike ride later and I was there.

The hotel has stood empty for a few years now, take a look at my various blog posts for more information. 

Since my 1st trip inside for an explore, I've said that someone will burn it down, it was inevitable.

The vandalism, the destruction and now this.

It was quite the spectacle for this small village, there were crowds of people enjoying the show.

Considering the size of the fire crew it must of been quite the battle.

I'll let my images tell the story.

It certainly is.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Marrakesh, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Street Photography.

I really need to get this post written, its been half written on my computer, phone, iPad for over a month. In the space between the holiday I've blogged other stories and have shot various events. Time to spend a little more time on this to finish it off;

This is the 3rd time I've re-written this post.

I'm trying not to sound negative. I haven't figured out a way yet to put a positive spin on everything.

So ill never work as a smiley travel agent; failing to mention that the place isn't built yet or even just that the 5 star hotel that your visiting is really everyone else's 3 star.

Marrakesh, Morocco;  a city of colour and culture.

The 2 faced life in the desert, busy preying on tourists.

The elephant in the room.

The souk.

"Just look for the Mosque" they said.

"You'll be fine" they said.

Walking deeper into the souk, in the wrong direction, in the right direction?
All directions look the same; when you reach a dead end, you start again, in the opposite direction, which could be either right or wrong.

The Streets, the decay, the graffiti, the light, the shadows, they all look great shooting on the way in.

Not bothering on the way out as you might have already shot that wall, person, market store. 
Who knows "they all look the same".

For anyone wanting to experience the famous souk, go for it. 

It's vibrant, lively, a spectacle. 

Unfortunately though, it's a tourist trap; a dangerous place to be.

Not quite the graffiti you want to see
People will want your money. People will step close to and hassle you. 
People will bully you; trying to rip you off. 

A fast buck, an easy target. 

Counting his earnings?

Speaking to one couple I heard that they had been led astray by a market trader with a promise that he would help them find their way out. The couple were actually taken further into the market and were then harassed for £20 for the priveledge of making the situation worse.

A moment of clarity. Its these little things that leave fond memories; the light, the shadows and spending time with the wife.

I never returned to the souk, i never went anywhere afterwards as i caught Gastro-Enteritis.

Ill doesn't describe it.

The plan for the Marrakesh trip was to shoot as much street and travel photography as possible whilst also enjoying chilling out around the pool with Laura.

I spent 3 days being too ill to do anything and then it was pretty much time to come home.

Better luck next time i hope.