. . . During my two days of photographing at The Fringe 2014, I used two cameras and lenses – the Fuji X-E1 with XF35 f/1.4 and a new to me (but used) film camera and lens. Consequently, I came back with a large number of photographs and so it happens, too many for one article. Therefore, this post is (for want of a better phrase) Part One, itself being made up of a chunk of the Fuji pictures, with the remainder for another article. My review of the ‘mystery’ camera and lens can be found here Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 LTM Review – A Tale of Two Classics The images taken with the M6 and this lens can be found here Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6
. . . Imagine for one moment a place and time devoted solely to art in all its various forms – music, theater, dance, mime, painting, photography and even protest.
Now consider also that besides the countless thousands of acts performing throughout the event’s duration, there’s the added bonus of hundreds of thousands of spectators, many of whom also have a strong interest in the arts.
There’s more. Factor in that the whole area is swarming with amateur and professional photographers, wielding hefty DSLR’s and even more lengthy lenses. Who then is going to give a second glance to another lens pointing in their approximate direction (except the Ugandan Handbag Saleswoman of course 😮 ) ?
As a final nod to perfection, attendance of the 3 week ‘production’ is (by and large), totally free of charge.
The altogether inspiring result of this heady ‘gumbo’ is a Street Photographers Paradise, otherwise known as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – 2014.
As far as I was concerned – and whilst the greatest majority of cameras were pointing towards the colorful, impressive and noisy acts that seemed to appear every few meters – my Fuji X-E1 with XF35 f/1.4 lens was firmly aimed in the opposite direction. I was here to photograph the ‘real’ people.
Don’t get me wrong, performers make good subjects and there was no shortage of takers for this style of photography, but I was more drawn to the alternative ‘shows’ going on at the same time.
That’s not to say I didn’t photograph the occasional ‘actor’ but I chose to capture them during the moments when they weren’t in character.
As The Fringe takes place over an incredibly large area of Edinburgh and in areas usually frequented by shoppers and tourists, there’s a wide choice of places to eat, drink or rest. With people stood about and enjoying a break or simply watching the sights, there was no shortage of interesting and ready made poses.
I’m a huge fan of unposed Street Portraiture and the Fuji XF35 with its beautiful rendering and contrast, asserted itself admirably. Having the aperture marked clearly on the lens and the short travel of the focusing ring, are essential for quickly capturing shots before the moment has past.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, the addition of ‘Focus Peaking’ to the X-E1 with a past firmware update, has made manual focusing an effortless and precise operation and is invaluable for quickly taken and close up shots.
Of course, as the Fringe Festival is such a massive annual event, it’s possible to walk many miles without even realising it. At that point, it’s best to sit down, take some weight off your feet and have a well earned drink . . .
. . . as for some it can all become too much.
. . . For the remainder of the first day and all of the second, I then switched to the new film camera. My review of the camera and lens can be found here Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 LTM Review – A Tale of Two Classics . . . Part Two of Street Photography from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival featuring images taken with the M6 and this lens can be found here Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6
If you’re thinking of buying a used Fuji X-E1, there are often several to chose from on eBay UK here.