The Photography Show 2015 N.E.C. Birmingham (Part One) . . .

. . . So tomorrow is the start of the N.E.C. Photography Show. Now this is the first camera show I’ve ever been to (yes really), which probably explains my anticipation and rather strangely, nervousness.

Nervous you ask, but it’s only a photography show?

Typically it wouldn’t be an issue, after all I’m no stranger to visiting shows for subject matter such as motorcycles, or guitars. However, this is the first time I’ll not be attending from the perspective of Joe Public, but as someone looking to provide coverage and insight of the events and exhibits at the show ‘for Joe Public’.

So here I sit, in my camper van, somewhere on a campsite about 10 miles from the N.E.C. – glass of Chateu du Chatalais in one hand, iPad in the other, typing this post.

The final checklist was done this morning, before making the 190 mile journey from Cumbria to ‘the Midlands’.

Continue reading “The Photography Show 2015 N.E.C. Birmingham (Part One) . . .”

Leica X (Type 113) First Impressions . . .

The Gods of Photography must be smiling down, as not only have I secured a Press Pass for the upcoming Photography Show at the N.E.C. Birmingham on 21st – 24th March, Leica have very kindly provided me with one of their latest cameras for review, a Leica X. Thank you Leica UK . . .

. . . I’m quickly discovering that in the world of camera reviewing, it’s easy to fall into a ‘standard’ frame of mind. Take one camera, compare it to similar models from other manufacturers, ‘peep’ at the images on a pixel level, examine the spec’s and from that, offer an opinion as to whether it’s better or worse than the others. Simple really?

There’s of course a problem with this much favored style of appraising a cameras’ strengths and weaknesses – it tells the reader nothing about what it’s actually like to use in the real world.

Therefore you won’t find any of that ‘stuff’ in my reviews. Yes I may make passing comparisons to another model or two, but this is always from a usability point of view – which leads me to this rather smart offering from Leica, the ‘X’.

Leica X Type 113 Front View Street Photography Blog

Continue reading “Leica X (Type 113) First Impressions . . .”

It’s Going To Be A Hectic Couple Of Weeks On The Blog & Twitter . . .

. . . With The Photography Show 2015 at the N.E.C. Birmingham starting next weekend on the 21st March, my poor little feet (and fingers) are going to be taking a hammering.

What initially started out as ‘just a day at the show’, has in a short space of time become a huge logistical exercise (for me at least).

Since planning a visit to the Birmingham exhibition, I applied for (and received) what is probably the holy grail as far as enthusiastic photographers are concerned – a Press Pass.

This of course opened up a multitude of possibilities for what could be achieved at the show, amongst many being – free access to all 4 days, access to the Press Room (with comfy chairs), desks, refreshments and free wi-fi.

Then there’s the ‘press pack’ on a USB stick, as well as ‘press only’ Q&A sessions and interviews with many well known and famous photographers, including Martin Parr.

Continue reading “It’s Going To Be A Hectic Couple Of Weeks On The Blog & Twitter . . .”

The Photography Show 2015 N.E.C. Birmingham . . .

UPDATE – I’ll be attending the four days as a member of The Press . . .

. . . I’ll be at the Photography Show 2015 at the N.E.C. Birmingham between the 21st & 24th March.

Will be taking the opportunity to try out the latest Street Photography orientated cameras and gadgets and maybe even interview some popular figures in the world of Street Photography.

Kevin Shelley Street Photographer at the Photography Show N.E.C. 2015

Of course you’ll be able to read all about it on the Blog and on my Twitter and Facebook pages.

Would be great to meet and say hello. See you there.

My First eBook And 3 Years Of The Street Photography Blog . . .

. . . 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.

Street Photography - Apersonal Point of View

Continue reading “My First eBook And 3 Years Of The Street Photography Blog . . .”

Leica M-E (M9) – A Street Photography Review . . .

. . . 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 !!!

leica m-e m9 street photography test review uk photographs

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 Not Only Film That Can Hide Long-Forgotten Surprises . . .

. . . 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 . . .”

Street Photography Is Like A Box Of Chocolates . . .

. . . 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.

asian lady talks on phone rummages in handbag and stands on one leg chester street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale leica m2 voigtlander 50 1.5

Continue reading “Street Photography Is Like A Box Of Chocolates . . .”

Facing My Demons . . .

. . . Thank you to all who have written with kind and helpful words of support, both about my ‘problem’ and their own. Also, to hear that my Bipolar Article has been of help for others in coming-to-terms with various issues, has brought a tear to my eye. Thank you.

I’m especially indebted to a reader of the Street Photography Blog (you know who you are 🙂 ) who sent me a selection of Meditative literature. As a result of this, I was able to summon the courage to once again grab a camera and hit the streets. Cheers mate.

To that end, I am now writing this post whilst enjoying a coffee outside a Starbucks in Chester. So far it’s been a very enjoyable experience, despite feeling a little detached from reality – floating on a cloud so to speak.

street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale leica m2 voigtlander 50 1.5

All being well, there should be some cool shots ‘in the can’ and on the blog, soon.

Seasonal Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Street Photography . . .

. . . 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 . . .”

A Feature Length Interview in Inspired Eye Magazine – Issue 15 . . .

Once again, many thanks and huge appreciation to Don Springer and Olivier Duong of Inspired Eye Magazine for the wonderful 18-page interview and photographs in Issue 15 of their exceptional publication. This issue features interviews and photography from 9 photographers, Essays, Readers Gallery and Travel Writing.

Click Here (not a pay-per-click, just a link) to buy the bumper 165-page Issue 15 now for just $4.95 (£3.10 approximately) in PDF format . . .

. . . and click the picture below for a sample of the first page of my featured article.

Inspired Eye Magazine - Street Photographer from the UK, Kevin Shelley

An Audio Interview and Article with Myself in Street Photography Magazine . . .

. . . Huge appreciation and thank you to Street Photography Magazine’s Bob Patterson for publishing an Audio Interview and Article, with myself. Cheers Bob.

What’s more, Bob has generously created a private screening area so that visitors to the Street Photography Blog can read and listen to the interview for FREE. Just Click Here to be taken to the private screening area and enjoy.

Don’t forget that you can subscribe to Street Photography Magazine for just $1.99 (£1.20) per month, by Clicking Here.

My Street Photography ‘Kit’ Featured on Japan Camera Hunter’s “What’s in Your Bag” . . .

. . . A big thank you indeed to Bellamy Hunt – A.K.A. Japan Camera Hunter, for featuring my Street Photography Kit Kevin Shelley – In Your Bag No:979.

Japan Camera Hunter is a ‘treasure trove’ of reviews and “geekery” for camera lovers. Find the camera of your dreams.

Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6 . . .

. . . 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.

very tall scotsman in kilt walks his very small dog edinburgh fringe festival 2014 street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale leica m6 voigtlander 50 1.5

Continue reading “Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part Two) – Leica M6 . . .”

Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 LTM Review – A Tale of Two Classics . . .

. . . Ah, you see what I did with the title there, “Two Classics”? That’s because (aside from the Fuji X-E1), I also took along to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014 a new film camera and lens – the Leica M6 ‘Classic’ and Voigtlander (CV) 50mm f/1.5 LTM ‘Classic’. Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I LOVE LEICA M’s.”

leica m6 front view with voigtlander 50 1.5

Now it’s only a little over 2 months since I bought the Leica M2 (review here), which has proven revelatory when it comes to no frills 35mm Street Photography. However, the Leica M6 and CV 50mm f/1.5 have taken what was already a superb package and quashed the last remaining issue I had with the M2 – that being no built-in light metering.

Continue reading “Leica M6 & Voigtlander 50mm f/1.5 LTM Review – A Tale of Two Classics . . .”

Kingston Mobilelite G2 Wireless Reader – A Street Photographers ‘Swiss Army Knife’ . . .

. . . This was supposed to be a fun to write and informative review (which I suppose it still is) of a fantastic little gadget, but it has been marred somewhat by an event which I will detail at the end of this article. You have been warned 😦 . . .

. . . Take a look at the specifications of any camera released over the past year or so, and it’s a fair bet that almost all of them will offer one genuinely useful feature – Wireless File Transfer.

Nowadays it’s possible to take a picture with your ‘real’ camera and within minutes, have it shared across the internet or (would be nice), spread across BBC News 24 or a national newspaper.

But where does that leave us owners of ‘older’ cameras, such as the Fuji X-E1, X-Pro1 or X100?

Fret no more and say goodbye to that bulky laptop. Say hello instead to the Kingston Mobilelite G2 Wireless Media Reader, for this device is truly the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of photography gadgets.

kingston mobilelite g2 with swiss army knife street photography uk

Continue reading “Kingston Mobilelite G2 Wireless Reader – A Street Photographers ‘Swiss Army Knife’ . . .”

Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part One) – Fuji X-E1 . . .

. . . 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.

double portrait edinburgh fringe festival 2014 street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale fuji x-e1 xe1 xf35

Continue reading “Street Photography – Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Part One) – Fuji X-E1 . . .”

Look Out, It’s The Ugandan Handbag Saleswoman !!! . . .

. . . There can’t be a devoted Street Photographer either past or present, that hasn’t experienced a sudden sinking feeling when faced with the likes of the Ugandan Handbag Saleswoman that I was (ahem), privileged to meet at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Somewhat refreshingly though, I was on this occasion able to turn the experience around (in my mind), and come away from it feeling both rejuvenated and somewhat jollied.

black woman in hat says no photography allowed in public edinburgh fringe festival 2014 street photography uk photographer kevin shelley prints for sale fuji x-e1 xe1 xf35

Looking back on events, I believe there were three key ‘ingredients’ that made this possible.

Continue reading “Look Out, It’s The Ugandan Handbag Saleswoman !!! . . .”

A 35mm Film Hard Case Storage Box – So Simple, Yet So Useful . . .

. . . It’s often said that the simplest (and cheapest) things in life are the best and when it comes to my latest Street Photography related purchase, I couldn’t agree more.

Let’s be honest, how many times (and how much time) have us film photographers spent fumbling about in those dark and unexplored regions of our camera bags? Afterall, that fresh and unexposed roll of 35mm film is in there somewhere. However, when it’s rolling about amongst five or more identical cannisters, some exposed and some not, it quickly becomes a frustrating game of ‘lucky dip’. Often the only solution is to empty the whole lot onto whatever ‘unsuitable’ surface presents itself.

But swear and curse no more, for the solution is both ingenious, cheap and simple.

IMG_3321.JPG

Continue reading “A 35mm Film Hard Case Storage Box – So Simple, Yet So Useful . . .”