Pukes in the park.

I’m starting to get reasonably comfortable with my camera. I’m at a stage where if something doesn’t work I can make little adjustments without a huge amount of thought….Don’t get me wrong, I still have to think about it but it does not take so long.

I’m happy taking portraits in natural light, comfortable with the little knowledge I have with regards to flash and lighting modifiers. Night photography, candid street photography………you get the idea… I’m getting comfortable and have some confidence in what I’m doing.

However, on Sunday I think I took some of my worst images ever! ‘London Parks’ is one of my City & Guilds homework projects but the wind was such that I was never going to get any outstanding landscapes; the good news was that The Pukes (A ukulele punk band) were filming a music video for their new single.

It was cold but they looked like they were having lots of fun. I thought it’d be a good opportunity to get some nice candid shots of the band and my day wouldn’t be wasted.

Never have I been so wrong.

The sky was very bright but dull and boring; the band were under a band stand and in shade which added together made exposure a bit more difficult.

The videographer chap was sound and happy for me to shoot but obviously I had to be mindful of what he was filming and keep out of the way.

Some of the filming was some distance away and I could have done with a decent zoom or fixed 200 / 300 mm lens.

On top of all of this, I could not use any flash or light mods as this would interfere with the filming.

The band were closely packed so I was not in a position to isolate any of the band members and thus many of the shots either have people with their faces half hidden or instruments cutting across them.

It was a new challenge that I’ve not come across. Actually looking at it I would have thought it would be easy but it was a pain in the backside and for some reason much more difficult than I have found other areas of photography.

Obviously if I was directing the shoot or not having to worry about the filming I could have got very much closer and had some cleaner shots. I probably should have asked some of the band members if I could have taken portraits after the filming but they were genuinely starting to look a bit cold and tired. That is not going to come over in the video because they were extremely professional while the camera was rolling.

Here are some of the shots taken during the filming:


Stuart Sterling filming in amongst The Pukes








Many thanks to the members of The Pukes and film maker Stuart Sterling for not telling me to bog off!

Thanks you for visiting my page.

Jim Jimmy James


  1. I wouldn’t be so hard on yourself Jimmy. Shooting a group under a band-stand is always going to create problems with light and shadows, when you cannot use other light sources to help. I actually think you got some very good photos here. I especially like the snare drum, and the one of the video guy is very sharp too. I used to use a prime lens, 400mm f5.6 on film cameras. It was a Sigma, bought second-hand, and produced great results from a distance. It was expensive though, even in the late 80s, so it must be a wallet-buster by now.
    Cheers mate, Pete.

    1. Unfortunately they really are expensive. The fixed lens is considerably cheaper than a zoom lens but its just deciding if I need the felexability of a zoom over a prime.
      As always, thanks for your comments and encouragement.

  2. Great pictures. Just as a side note, I only have three lenses for my Canon. But my 50mm prime lens, cost nearly as much 18-200mm zoom. However, they are all Canon len’s, so that migh skew the logic.

    1. I think I’ll go for a canon rather than a third party lens.
      Used or New? Think I will hang out until the January sales and see what is on offer.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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