Wednesday, 23 August 2017

On the street

A busy place like Porto would seem like the ideal place to do some street photography.  Not as easy that bloke Eric Kim makes out, is all I can say.  It's not my usual thing, as y'all know, so here's a few of my rather feeble prints from this lovely city.  All on Ilford Warmtone RC paper, by the way - I've run out of lesser papers until I get an order together, which hopefully will happen any day soon.  It'll be a big order, this one - I need more lithable paper as well as ordinary paper and some chemicals as well.  Lots of chems.  It takes me ages to put the order together and price it, as postage to Ireland always seems to be problematic for English-based suppliers.  There are Irish suppliers but naturally they price in Euros and since Brexit the £ has taken a hit, so they're out of the question at the minute.   Anyway, here we go with today's offerings, such as they are:

It's fine if you live in NYC, or Tokyo or even London, I suspect - you know, the sort of place that is teeming with life and no-one cares if they've a camera pointed at them 'cos they're just so busy gettin' on.  Perhaps I need to chill a little, but I feel more than a little self-conscious when I'm touting a camera around the streets.  Let's face it, it's not like I'm fleet on foot and can just snap and run off before the snappee has even realised he or she has been captured...

And yes, for certain street photography you can ask the subject's permission, but that's put a whole different perspective on the thing.  I've done that in the past and it works well if the situation warrants it.


  1. I'm a VERY visible minority (Caucasian immigrant in Korea) so sometimes I can pull off the foreign visitor act to get some photographs, especially in markets. Point at display, point at camera. The 2018 Olympics will be in this city so people are expecting lots of weird foreigners to start showing up to take photos of their fish, rice cakes, and Buddha=knows what else. I've also started using a 28mm lens and the advantage is that I can put people in the frame without pointing the camera directly at them. That said, I'm still very shy about making photos of people.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marcus. As I read recently, people in small towns expect more privacy than people in large towns - certainly that holds true where I live. 28mm lens is wide for street photography, although I see where you are coming from. You'd need to be close to your subjects, I would think! I vary between liking a 35mm and a 50mm lens best for this sort of work but like you it doesn't come naturally to me :)

    2. I'm not doing portraits with the 28mm. I'm not that brave yet. :) Mostly it's just people in a scene. A couple eating at a food stall, a family buying tempura in the market and so on. I usually use 50mm for everything but I've temporarily switched to a 28mm lens and Fujicolor C200 film as a project to give me a new perspective. I was/am in a bit of a slump.

    3. I like your approach there, Marcus, with regard to lifting yourself out of the slump - which we all get from time to time. I think it was the legendary Harry Callaghan (not the Clint Eastwood character - the other one) who said of slumps: 'Don't you worry, I'll photograph my way out'. Other legends have poured scorn on this approach but I think it has merit - and a change of lens, film and a project sound like a great approach.