“That guy must really like his camera, he hasn’t stopped looking at it for the past 10 minutes?”
At least that’s how I imagine the average ‘Joe’ might regard someone shooting Street Photography with a TLR camera, such as the Mamiya C33.
In all honesty I’ve never felt more comfortable photographing strangers and candid situations, than when using the Mamiya C33 TLR Medium Format camera.
Admittedly the ‘outfit’, with it’s 135mm Sekor lens (90mm in 35mm terms) does weigh as much as a Carling 8-Pack (whatever one of those is). Fortunately this minor (?) handicap is utterly negated by the unorthodox (by modern standards) shooting style.
Continue reading “Chester Street Photography with the Mamiya C33 and Ilford FP4+ . . .”
. . . continued from Part 1 . . .
It’s all well and good owning what many regard (or regarded) as the ultimate Street Photography camera (Leica M), but if you don’t use it for what it was intended, it becomes nothing more than an expensive piece of jewellery, or bling, or even an extravagance. More worryingly, outside of the relatively ‘clean’ environment of the street, the Leica M could be quickly ruined through dust and water contamination, or damaged from the slightest knock, etc.
What I needed in reality was a camera that would do everything. A camera I could ‘throw’ into the cavernous pocket of my motorcycle jacket and not have to worry about it getting cold or dusty. A camera I could clip to the ‘day pack’ on the front of my Kayak and not worry about it getting wet (or god forbid submerged if I capsized), or a camera I could simply stow in the glovebox of the car. All of this whilst still being able to turn it’s hand to the occassional bout of street photography.
Hence I narrowed my choice down to the Ricoh WG-5 GPS, an all weather, rugged, waterproof (to 14m), dustproof, shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof, 16 megapixel compact point and shoot camera, or as Ricoh prefer to simply describe it, ‘Adventure Proof’.
Continue reading “Ricoh WG-5 Rugged Street Photography Camera Review (Part 2) . . .”
. . . To be completely honest and as far as I was concerned, photography was dead to me.
Regular visitors to the Street Photography Blog will be all too aware of my eternal battle with ‘seasonal disappointment’, brought on when the days shorten and the sky turns an uninspirational shade of morbid-grey.
In this frame of mind I would habitually ‘hibernate’ throughout each autumn and winter period, until one day the overcast horizon’s lift, that strange ‘light in the sky’ makes a much anticipated appearance, and it’s no longer necessary to wear five layers of clothing just to go shopping.
This time round however, things felt oddly different.
Continue reading “Morecambe Not Wise – Expired . . .”
. . . “Hello, is there (still) anybody out there?”
Truth is (and now over 3 months since my last post), it makes no real difference if there isn’t. Photography doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. There, I’ve said it.
Even presented with the opportunity to take photographs, I find my mind drifting towards other more attractive propositions, like playing guitar, or riding my motorcycle, or Lamb Balti Vindaloo.
A case in point would be last weekend and I find myself at my favourite campsite in Delamere, near Chester. This rather convenient ‘stop over’ is a particular first-choice of mine, specifically because it features a railway station not 50 yards from its entrance gates. Step aboard this incredibly swift and cost effective public service and the wonderous realms of not only Manchester and Chester, but also Liverpool are between 15 minutes and one hour away.
Having always fallen into the comfortably familiar routine of Chester on the first day (because it’s a Saturday and hence more people) and Manchester on the Sunday (it’s a huge city, so still busy), I’d considered it a refreshing change to try Liverpool.
Continue reading “Mojo Falling – A Street Photographer’s Crisis of Faith . . .”
It’s that ‘quiet time’ on the blog again. The London trip came and went, a good time was had and many favourite photographs were captured, using both the Leica M2 and M-E.
Truth is however that before I knew it, my number-one pastime was becoming more of a ‘job’ (again and unpaid at that), with ‘appointments’ being made, promises promised and items for review provided.
So I decided to take a break from the whole photography scene, with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram ‘holidays’ booked. 🙂
And what an absolute joy it’s been without the constant thought of ‘this has to be done’ and ‘must sort that out’ etc. Instead I’ve been able to completely forget about all of ‘that stuff’ and concentrate on other things instead, such as music and my first motorbike in 3 years – nice.
So what about the pictures from London? Well for now I’d like to present what is for me, probably the finest photograph I’ve taken to date (in my opinion). Taken with the Leica M2, Voigtlander 35mm f/1.4 Classic lens, Ilford HP5+ and processed in a new (for me) developer, Tetenal Paranol S (review to come).
Chow for now and enjoy.
. . . Have you ever stopped for one moment to evaluate just what it is that you hope to get from your photography? Maybe you just do it for the enjoyment? Possibly like me, you also write a Blog? If the latter, why go through all the time, expense, effort and worry (yes really) of doing so – surely it can’t be for the money?
With regards that last point, I was struck by this particular question a short while ago – how much money have I earned in the last 20 years from my photography, or the 3 years of this blog, or for that matter, the many countless photographic ‘weekends’ away?
Well that’s easy and you may or may not find the answer surprising – Ten pounds.
Yes, Ten Quid, a Tenner, a Bill & Benner, a Cockle, an Ayrton Senna, a Cock & Hen – and I can easily recall how I came to be in possession of that beautiful (if slightly limp) ‘Brownie’.
Five years ago I had this crazy idea of selling photographic prints. As chance would have it, there was a local photography exhibition just a few weeks away and in a moment of utter madness, I chose twenty of my (then) favourite images and had them printed as 16×12″ black & white photographs. As a finishing touch, I lovingly mounted each one in a chunky ebony-coloured wooden frame. Three hundred pounds later and on a cold and dark morning, I headed off to the exhibition. At an asking price of just £25 each, I was sure to make my money back AND turn a tidy profit for my troubles?
Continue reading “Short Reviews, London in June and How Much Money I Make . . .”
(Please be sure to see the end of this review for an important update).
. . . During the previous installment of this review, I got to know the M Edition 60 a little better and gained a clearer understanding of what it can offer photography today. Now in this, the final chapter, I took the Leica M Edition 60 out and onto the streets of Chester and Manchester, where I could properly put the camera through its paces . . .
. . . The brief was simple. Evaluate whether a digital camera can function as an everyday ‘shooter’, without a screen – just myself and the Leica M60 enjoying a relaxing stroll through the sights, sounds, smells and inhabitants of two popular, sprawling and rugged cities in the North West of England.
How in fact is it possible to spend an entire two days shooting street photographs and using only a camera that provides just the bare minimum of options necessary to capture a picture – those being shutter speed, aperture, focusing and ISO sensitivity?
Continue reading “Leica M Edition 60 – The Street Photography Review . . .”
. . . Previously in the article Leica M Edition 60 – A Design Concept (and deliberately avoiding the term ‘Part One’ if only in the interest of originality), I looked at the M60 from the point of view of Leica and in particular their designers and marketers, what ‘it is’ and what it means to Leica themselves. Now I’ll examine the camera, what it’s like to use (with the resultant photographs) and what it can offer the photographer of today . . .
. . . Writing camera reviews (or any written work for that matter), is rather like designing a camera itself. Typically and when beginning such a creative endeavor, it’s common practice for the Design Team (or writer) to draw inspiration and ideas from areas seemingly unconnected to the task at hand. This is often achieved by the creation of a ‘Mood Room’ – an area whereby objects or photographs are collected together and that in some way instill a particular feeling, or an emotion, or place the individual ‘inside’ the mind of the prospective customer. For example, someone wishing to create a vehicle that evokes a sense of the 1950’s may watch a movie from that period, such as ‘Rebel Without A Cause’.
Another approach is to seek enlightenment from one’s own memories and experiences, and which is a technique I frequently use when piecing together the basic premise of an article, such as this one.
In my case and through the course of the 3 or 4 days spent so far with the Leica M60, I was beginning to form a sense of what the camera ‘says’ to me as a photographer. During this period, two distinct and completely unrelated memories began to surface – my favourite old Television Set and Eric Clapton.
Continue reading “Leica M Edition 60 – Past Future . . .”
. . . Yep, following my visit to Bowness near Windermere in the Lake District and my experiences shooting Street with the Medium Format Mamiya C33 TLR, I have emerged from the fumes, flames, smoke and explosions of the Street Photography Blog laboratory, with another eBook.
“The British – A Pictorial Guide for Other Nations” is a light-hearted and ‘tongue-in-cheek’ search for the elusive and stereotypical representations of how other nations (may possibly) view the British. As it turns out, there is actually a strong basis for these (possible) misconceptions.
As usual, click eBooks to visit that page and download the eBook (PDF), or click the picture below.
. . . Following the many encouraging comments I received for my first eBook “Street Photography – A Personal Point of View“, I was keen to set to work on my next ‘magnum opus’. 😉
Here then and for your viewing pleasure, is my latest offering “Not Of The Street – Men With Beards“, in PDF format and available for FREE download in the eBooks section.
This time the subject is both a series of 15 Portraits, taken with the Leica X (Type 113) that I recently reviewed, as well as many sentences regarding my views on the meaning and (perceived) limitations of the word ‘Street’ in Street Photography.
. . . With this review I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try something completely different, both for the Street Photography Blog and (possibly) for camera reviews in general. So in documenting my experiences with the Leica X, I’ve split it into two distinct parts.
Part One consists of this review, which is a hands-on look at how the camera performed when recently taking it round the UK Photography Show.
Part Two is an accompanying (and FREE) eBook in PDF format. The eBook “Not Of The Street” features (as well as writing) the main ‘body’ of photographs taken during the time spent shooting with the Leica X and which are themselves a first for my photography, a series of 15 portraits. Enjoy . . .
Continue reading “Leica X (Type 113) Review – Out Of My Comfort Zone . . .”
. . . There’s an old saying ‘The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men Often Go Awry.’
In my case, at the Photography Show, that’s so very true. But on this occasion, it’s all for the better – much better.
I’d originally made a mental-plan of things to do, places to go and people to see. That was until today . . .
Continue reading “The Photography Show 2015 N.E.C. Birmingham (Part Three) . . .”
. . . The following is a summary of those exhibits I felt had a relevance to Street Photography . . .
. . . My eyes have been opened to a whole other world – that of the ‘jobbing’ photographer. In particular and if my feet are anything to go by, I have gained a newfound respect for those who make it their living.
I’d made a point of arriving at the show some 30 minutes before the doors were due to open, in anticipation of finding a good parking spot (near Hall 5) and in the hope of beating the ‘mad rush’. Sadly it appeared that everyone else had the same idea. Doubly sadly and not knowing the layout of the N.E.C, the carpark I was directed to was some 1/2 mile from the Photography Show. Oh well.
After what seemed like an eternal walk, I’d arrived at the entrance to the show and was greeted by an immense gathering, everyone congregated in anticipation of the large black curtain being removed – and there I stood at the back. “This is gonna take forever” I thought . . .
Continue reading “The Photography Show 2015 N.E.C. Birmingham (Part Two) . . .”
. . . Time fly’s by when you’re having fun and it’s incredible to think that I’ve been uploading photographs and writing articles for the blog for 3 years now.
In that time the blog has grown to over 65 posts, almost 400 registered users and nearly 2500 subscribers to the RSS feed. What started out as just a bit of fun and somewhere to show my pictures has grown beyond any and all expectations. Thank you dearly to all of my readers, one and all.
As coincidence would have it, I’ve achieved an ambition that’s been burning away in the back of my mind for the last couple of years – an eBook. What’s more, it’s free and totals just over 50 pages and 43 photographs.
Continue reading “My First eBook And 3 Years Of The Street Photography Blog . . .”
. . . In this review I mention the Fuji X-E1, but all the images presented here are taken with the Leica M-E . . .
. . . Question: What do a Fuji X-E1 and XF35 1.4 lens, a Leica M6, an electric guitar and effects pedal, an iPad and a Cello all have in common?
Answer: That is what was sold in order to finance what is for me, the ultimate street photography camera – the Leica M-E, or to give it its full model designation, the “Leica M-E, Which Is Actually An M9 But Without The USB Port Or Frameline Preview Lever And In A Different Colour. Apart From That It’s Identical In Every Way To An M9.”
Of course that can be a bit of a mouthful at times, so for the purpose of this article I shall refer to it solely as the Leica M-E.
I also won’t bore you to death with the industry-standard approach when reviewing a Leica ‘M’ camera, that being a ‘mini-tutorial’ of how a rangefinder works in practice, endless comparisons to DSLR’s or Micro Four-Thirds and especially how manual focusing with a rangefinder is better or worse than auto-focus etc.
So without further ado, let’s start at the beginning with a good-old photograph of the ‘beast’ in question – albeit a beast costing a four-figure sum . . . Gulp !!!
Naturally with ‘M’ camera bodies, the price didn’t include a lens, though luckily and considering my manic desire to ‘sell sell sell’, I had the presence of mind to keep hold of the wonderful Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 lens previously mounted to the M6 and M2 (the latter of which I still have – hey I’m not that mad 🙂 )
Continue reading “Leica M-E (M9) – A Street Photography Review . . .”
. . . It’s often said (including by me) that one of the attractions of shooting film, is that until you actually come to develop a roll, you just never know what pictorial delights may (or may not) be waiting for you.
Well the same thing happened to me yesterday morning, but it wasn’t from a roll of film.
Continue reading “It’s Not Only Film That Can Hide Long-Forgotten Surprises . . .”
. . . Yes you’ve guessed it, “you never know what you’re gonna get” (especially where 35mm is concerned). I could also quote a favourite saying of one-time TV football pundit, Jimmy Greeves – “It’s a funny old game.”
At least that’s how it felt as I took my place amongst the crazed swathes of early Christmas shoppers on the streets of Chester recently, one dark and cold Saturday morning.
Mercifully though and despite the ominous blanket of moody black cloud that appeared to hover inches above our heads, the day remained dry. Add to the equation that there was barely a square foot of pavement available to each pedestrian and you have the perfect environment (?) for the Street Photographer, be it one who’s still in recovery from a good-old-fashioned nervous breakdown.
Which brings me nicely to the reason I was now standing approximately centre-left of a shopping thoroughfare, the Leica M2 loaded with HP5 and a Voigtlander 50 f/1.5 lens mounted.
It had been at least 10 weeks since I’d even dared to pickup a camera, partly through fear that doing so might trigger another ‘episode’. What if I started panicking again, or worse still, began sobbing and wailing uncontrollably like some great grizzly bear and in full view of every bewildered passerby?
“Pull yourself together Kevin”, I told myself “you’re made of stronger stuff than this”!?
So whilst utilising some simple meditative techniques I’d learnt just days before, and with an extra large deep breath, I aquired a subject and clicked the shutter.
Continue reading “Street Photography Is Like A Box Of Chocolates . . .”
. . . This is without a doubt the most difficult article I’ve ever had to write. Not so much because of the ‘personal’ nature of the subject matter, rather ‘because’ of the debilitating effects of the subject matter itself . . .
. . . It’s been a bit quiet here on the Street Photography Blog of late. Indeed it struck me that I hadn’t posted anything for the whole of October – even September consisted only of ‘bulletins’ regarding interviews and features. Nor for that matter had I taken any pictures. In fact, at no point had any of my cameras been out of the bag for the last 10 weeks or so. Even the ‘Chicken Shed’ darkroom, that warm and cosy outhouse of brick and slate had remained locked and in darkness (much to the relief of the resident spiders).
Sorry, I tell a lie. I did actually go to Manchester with the Leica M6 about 8 weeks ago, with the aim of spending a couple of days shooting on the streets. Sadly, it all took a sudden and upsetting downturn from thereon.
Continue reading “Seasonal Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Street Photography . . .”
. . . Of my two days shooting Street Photography at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I spent half of the first day with the Fuji X-E1 (article here) and the remainder of that day and all of the next shooting with the Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50 1.5 LTM Classic lens (review here). Here then are the photographs taken . . .
What is this ‘thing’ with film that you just don’t get with digital? It can’t be superior image quality as digital technology has more than surpassed 35mm in that respect. Nor for that matter can it be grain, as software such as Silver Efex can easily add as much or as little to your digital files as you like.
Continue reading “Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6 . . .”
. . . 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.
Continue reading “Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part One) – Fuji X-E1 . . .”