By no means do I consider myself an expert on street photography – but as many of you have realised by now, this is what I mainly shoot. I shoot daily, at least on my way to work and back again, so its become second nature to have my camera at the ready, and with the new and super responsive X-Pro 2 I am getting more and more shots that are ‘keepers’.
I’m not saying the previous generations aren’t suitable for street – they most definitely are – I am saying the advances, especially in AF, made in the later models have made shooting that little more ‘sure’ and flexible.
One of the keys to good street photography is, amongst many things, being able to predict the shot. Like a good motor cyclist, one needs to be able to see ‘what happens next’ before it actually happens. And by this, I mean looking ahead 20-30 feet at your next potential capture – having time to prepare, most importantly – and making good on this prep by getting the shot.
Case in point:
As alluded to in previous posts, I have no issues taking images of the homeless. I don’t shoot them because they’re an easy target (they most certainly are not anyway) I shoot because this is a growing issue in London, an important one to discuss, and I wont pretend it doesn’t exist just because a few dissenters find it uncomfortable to see. Fuck that. A camera records the truth. Its what it was made for – moments of truth. Amen. If you don’t like it, ask McCullin, and walk away…
I spotted the legs of this ‘moment of truth’ as I was taking my daily walk up Regent Street. He’s a regular that beds for the night outside ‘Superdry’ (ironically, I tagged the brand on this shot for Instagram, and they ‘liked’ it…odd.) and at the same time every morning he’s on his first fag of the day, and polishing off a quart of milk. I’ve tried talking to him before, and he’s not receptive to chit-chat, but he’s an interesting character all the same and I wanted to record the first moments of his day.
So, from 30 or so feet down the street, when I first spotted he was awake, I lowered my camera to just above the waist (in vertical position), ensuring it was as level as possible (this is incredibly hard actually, and I’m still no good at it after all this time and still use the rotate tool in L/R) and nonchalantly walked past, clicking as I reached the shop doorway. You can see my reflection – I didn’t even turn my head, as that would’ve gotten a reaction that wasn’t natural, and would likely have pissed him off, understandably.
Its not 100% sharp, I know that. But its a capture I really like – and highlights how lucky I am, how blessed WE are and how empathy, kindness and a little generosity can make a difference to someones day. Believe it or not, this is a mutual exchange. Yes, I got my shot on this occasion, but on others he gets a cuppa, or a few quid or sometimes just a ‘Good Morning’.
Pretend he’s not there? Not me, pal.
(please visit my Instagram: ‘capitalfaces’ – Cheers!)