Slightly out of order with my blog posts, but this has to come next seeing as it’s Christmas week, and the photos are all from the German Christmas Market in Manchester. This photoshoot was arranged by the fabulous model Harley Monster who I’ve been lucky enough to work with before. As previously Harley and I didn’t have much of a plan, we just met up at the market and had a mooch.
I wanted to get some wide open aperture shots, hoping to catch a bit of bokeh from the lights on the market stalls. I also find markets a great place to capture some candied street moments, so this was my first combined model shoot and street photography session. Hope you like the results.
The guy working on the hat stall was a real character. Earlier in the day he’d cycled to the clinic to get some injections ready for his upcoming trip to India. The story of his immunised wobbly ride home was hilarious, and more than a tad dangerous. He was kind enough to pose for a picture, but I was too scared to ask if he’s be a part of my 100 strangers project. Guess I’m out of practice.
It wasn’t all about Harley and hats though. I did get the chance to capture a few candid moments of the other stall owners and their customers.
But of course if you have a wonderful model in tow it would be a shame not to take some more pictures of them.
I would like to say a big thank you to Harley for dragging me around the streets on Manchester once more. Having such a beautiful model really does help bring out the best in my pictures. Thank you.
Thank you all for reading this, and hopefully enjoying the images. I wish you and those you hold dear a very Merry Christmas.
I watch a lot of football. This usually takes place at the weekend when I’m off work. Sometimes there are mid-week games, but because I work away a lot I often miss these games. This week however I was fortunate enough to be at home whilst there was a mid-week match. I took the opportunity to take my camera along and try to capture some of the occasion.
If anybody is interested in the game, my favourite team won the game 3-2 in a close and thrilling game. I wish it were like this every week?
I took this photograph in January 2012 at Glasgow Central train station.
It shows two women reading. The older of the two is reading a printed book, the younger is reading from a tablet computer. It struck me that this would make an interesting observation on how technology moves on, but things fundamentally remain the same. A brief observation, nothing special.
The photograph has however become my most popular image on photo sharing website Flickr. By some distance too. My photographs usually get about 100 views, sometimes less, and sometimes a few more if it’s a good one. Some of my strangers may achieve three or four hundred views if the rest of the group like them. I’ve taken photographs of professional footballers that may achieve a thousand views, and the few photographs I’ve been lucky enough to have in Flickr’s Explore have reaches two thousand views.
The photography of the two ladies reading has over four thousand views. This I know is not earth shattering, but for me it is unprecedented. It is by far most viewed image but was not explored, is not in a popular group, and doesn’t contain any sports stars.
I’ve been working away a lot recently. I usually go up to Scotland, but of late I’ve been back and forth between home and the capital city of London. When I was a younger man, working away was a time of excitement, a chance to go out partying, and quite possibly a little wooing. These days are all behind me now. I’m more likely to sit in the hotel room with a nice hot cup of tea and watching television. Recently however I took the opportunity to take a short stroll around and about London town with my camera.
A while ago I started a popular photo project called 100 Strangers. The idea is that you take a portrait of 100 strangers that you meet in life. You have to ask their permission to take the photograph and upload it to the group. There were various reasons I decided to take on this project.
Readers of this blog will have seen pictures of Lego, the night sky, landscapes, flowers and other objects that never refuse to have their photograph taken. A stranger is just as likely to say no as yes, or possibly more so.
Pictures of people do have a certain appeal. We are interested in the lives of others.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone
I do enjoy street photography, but I have a certain amount of anonymity with this. I can hide (in plain sight) and have no reason to approach or interact with people other than to steal an photograph as they pass by. With the strangers project I have to interact, I have to speak to people, and I have to ask permission for the photo and to upload it. There is nowhere to hide.
If I do get the chance to take portraits of people I need to be able to set up the camera and the shot without thinking about it. If I’ve take pictures of 100 strangers then I will have had 100 mini unplanned photo sessions which should stand me in good stead when a pre-planned portrait session comes up.
I knew this project would take me a long time to complete. I had no intention of rushing through it in a couple of months. I need to take my time to learn from each stranger, let the lesson sink in, and move on from there.
Of late I have been a little lethargic with the project. Too much time was passing between each stranger. I lost my bottle. That was all up until this week.
I am very glad to report that I am back on track with the project. I met a very interesting young man called Batu, got to know him, asked if he’d let me take his picture, explained the project, and took the shot. This makes me happy. That’s 40 down and 60 to go.
I like street photography. I’m still a little daunted by it, but when I’m out there with my camera trying to capture moments of real life it can be quite exhilarating. As you can also probably tell I like the Black & White look when it comes to street photography.