Sunday, 17 February 2013

Love Is .......

I could start by saying that 'love is' my new camera (the wonderful little Fujifilm XE-1) but that's likely to get me in trouble and, besides, is a subject for another blog. What I will say about the camera here is that it is genuinely small enough and light enough to take anywhere - including on shopping trips.

Street photography is a new departure for me and I'm sure many opportunities for good photographs pass me by either because I don't see them, am not quick enough or too cowardly. However, it would have been hard even for me to miss these giant, heart shaped balloons in Liverpool One and fail to see the potential.

While the women were in Zara, I positioned myself with the viewpoint below. The hope was that I would get an affectionate couple in just the right position on the escalator but it was always going to be a long shot. The two pictures below are the closest I got despite standing there for quite some time. There were too many factors I couldn't control even when I got a suitable subject in my sights; crowded escalator, too many people in front of me, prominent coloured clothing and people stopping to have a fag as they come out of the shop. How I longed to have my eldest daughter and her boyfriend with me - they love being photographed, make a good looking couple and I could have orchestrated their movements. I know that's not exactly in the spirit of street photography but I can't help thinking it would have made for a great image.

Eventually, I had to accept that it wasn't going to happen and, as it was primarily a shopping trip and there were others with me, I gave up and moved on. The women wanted to go into a shop on the upper level next so that did give me another opportunity and this time I struck lucky, getting a perfect couple, holding hands walking into the frame - she even had a red coat on. Selective colour is not a technique I use very often, it's a little 'gimmicky' for me but, in this instance, I felt it was crying out for such a treatment to put all the emphasis on the main subjects. Too much? Possibly. I will let you decide.

Finally, without moving, I looked up and saw another take on the 'one' theme. This time, I have simply desaturated everything except the reds. Looking at it from a male bias, I would have preferred to have had an attractive women standing alone on the walkway but it wasn't to be.

One thing I am sure of is that I would have attracted a lot more attention and possibly bothered people had I been standing there with a great big DSLR and lens. With the discrete little, retro looking 'rangefinder', barely anyone paid any attention to me.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Featured Photograph for February

I have never found February to be a good month for photography; in fact, I would not be remotely surprised if I've taken fewer photographs in this month than any other. So, although I did consider a few genuine February photographs for this feature, I ultimately decided to go for one from January - January 2012 to be precise. Most of the photographs I tend to feature have involved some degree of planning but this was a truly opportunist effort. I was taking my eldest daughter back to Aberyswyth University and was passing Bala when I noticed the mist rising from the lake. Fortunately, I pretty much always carry a camera and tripod with me in the car and knew a good place to stop. Twenty minutes or so later, I had what I wanted and we were back on the road.

Now, many photo society judges could be relied upon to criticise any landscape photograph in which the horizon has been placed in the centre of the frame and it is true that, compositionally, it often isn't the most effective thing to do. However, on this occasion I was immediately intrigued by the idea that the scene resembled a sound wave and that was the effect I wanted to capture. I've allowed slightly more room at the top of the frame in an effort to avoid splitting the image exactly in half but I felt it was important to retain the symmetry and simplicity.

I hope you like it.

Prints available from my website :