Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Street photography - how trendy am I?

Street photography is currently very popular,The London Festival of Street Photography took place earlier this summer and the recently discovered archive of Vivian Maier have brought it to public attention. The various Apps on the iPhone that turn the already crappy camera into an even crappier camera are popular and the Russian Lumo cameras have suddenly become very trendy (and expensive) but probably not much better. My brother had the TLR Lumo once, it was shit. However I digress.
When my mate and I went down to London to hear McCullin recently, we also tried our hand at street photography. He has chosen it as a module in his OCA Degree whilst I just fancied the idea of walking around looking cool and wearing a hat.

I read a whole load of internet stuff on how to "do" street photography, there are many "experts" on the internet. Some said it had to be done using a 35mm lens (same field of view as human vision) shot from the hip without looking through the viewfinder shooting what you see. Others said no, you must take the decisive moment. Some were of the opinion you use any lens you like.
When it came to displaying the images opinion was again divided. Only ever show the whole frame, no cropping. Definitely no post processing. Others disagreed, crop and post process all you like.

So, somewhat confused, I set out with my Olympus PEN E-PL1, 14-42 and 50-150 lenses in my trendy LowePro Sling bag onto the streets of Kings Cross. Oh, and I had my hat on too.

I decided to be a purist for the first hour, with the E-PL1set to manual focus I set the lens to around 17mm (35mm equiv in full frame) selected Aperture Priority and an aperture of f5.6. This gave a Hyperfocal distance of 3.46m so everything from 1.7m to infinity would be in acceptable focus. Thus set I shot from the hip.
After an hour I got a little bored and started to use my Zuiko 50-150, the results looked like Private Detective "divorce evidence" pics or Police surveillance. I went back to the Zuiko 14-42 and used the VF-1 viewfinder.

Over two days I shot over 170 pics, I was pleased with the performance of the E-PL1, exposures were generally very good and the hyperfocal focussing method worked very well. Here are some of the first images I've worked on.
I think they look best in B/W and I have adjusted then in Photoshop.

No comments:

Post a Comment