Twenty-three days ago I wrote Book review #4 about The Photographers Eye by Michael Freeman. I was left with mixed opinions about whether or not the information was going to be of any use to me.
Well it has, I think?
Our class were taken to Leicester Square in London. We were told to go and take lots of photos and then try to focus on one subject so that we could produce and print a small photo-book.
I’ve known Leicester Sq. since my teenage years (that was some time ago!). For me it is nothing more than an overcrowded tourist trap with its bright lights. It has very average restaurants, a couple of bars & the M&Ms store!
There are pick-pockets, drug dealers, people looking for alcohol fuelled punch-ups and some other people milling around that are intoxicated on other substances.
That said there is an obvious uniformed police presence and no doubt a number of police officers in civilian clothing. It is certainly a lot safer than it used to be and as is the case in most big cities, tourists just need be aware of their surroundings and not to leave personal belongings unattended.
So, our class with nice cameras is wondering around this small area that I personally find hugely uninspiring and we are expected to produce a themed set of images.
I suspected we’d all end up with something very similar but I was wrong. I was really pleased to see that we all had very different ideas and everyone had fantastic sets of images.
I’m not overly keen on the images I took but I am going to share a few with you.
I wasn’t doing very well until I spotted Warwick Davis and thought its a good job he had people with him… I’m not a big chap, a little heavier than I should be but pretty average as far as height goes. I get annoyed at being walked into and barged by people not looking where they are going or those that are just too stoned to care who they are walking into; the ditzy, the oblivious and the nonchalant.
I couldn’t stand the thought of being in such a busy area if I was shorter, I think it would feel frustrating and claustrophobic.
I asked Mr. Davis if I could take his portrait. That is probably more annoying for him?! Especially when he is trying to get somewhere. Anyway, he very kindly stopped and posed for a moment.
On one knee I was at his eye level and then I wondered what the view would be like if Warwick Davies had the camera….
Most of the images looking ahead were not interesting and did feel crowded with people but one image I took was framed. Framed looks good I thought to myself, where did I read about framing images with surroundings. Yep you’ve guessed it; The Photographers Eye.
So I had a theme, get low and look for frames. I also opted to keep the focal length at 35mm.
I guess my images were inspired by Michael Freeman & Warwick Davis.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and view my images.
Jim Jimmy James.
Interesting to consider the short person’s (or child’s?) view of a busy section of London Jimmy. Good idea mate. Look forward to the portrait of Warwick Davis too.
Best wishes, Pete.
It’s good to see your photos a little more clearly – I couldn’t see them too well yesterday. And yes, it was interesting that we all took a slightly different approach. But then again, I think we’re a pretty good class for that – we’re all quite happy to go off and do our own thing. I haven’t decided whether or not to put my images on my blog; I feel they’re a bit too random and would probably just confirm everyone’s suspicion that I’m a little odd! Now that I’m starting a street photography project, and with only limited previous experience, I think the hardest challenge is making things look intentional, rather that just a snapshot. I guess choosing a theme – particularly one that is specifically about the way in which the image is composed – helps to deal with that issue.
There is certainly a high standard in class that makes me want to push myself. Not that I’m competitive or anything but I do like to try and keep up. The standard is pushing me along.
Your images work as a set and definitely fit the brief we were given.
As for the street photography, I’d love to be able to give some useful advice but all I can suggest is to look for interactions, opposites (someone with a news paper and another with an iPad sat next to one another) and maybe even distractions such as people at the a coffee table or in a bar using modern technology for entertainment instead of speaking to each other.
I’m looking forward to seeing what you do.
I agree; it’s not a competition but it definitely helps to be with a group of talented people. I have felt off the pace at times but ultimately that has encouraged me to try something new or keep working hard at what I am doing. My perfectionist tendencies come into play there too!
Thanks for the comments re street photography. I like to think I have a fairly good idea of the kind of thing I want to photograph (interactions or lack of, frames, mirroring etc.) but the challenge is capturing it in such a way that the viewer knows what you are trying to convey. For me, certainly on this project, the secret is getting closer so have also been working at around 35mm (as it would be on a full frame camera).
That is close 🙂