I live about a mile and a half away from the nearest tram stop. It’s a long, straight road, with houses packing both sides. In fact it’s a pretty dull road all in all. And long. Walking it takes about 1/2 an hour. Did I mention that it’s straight? And Dull?

So following a successful Christmas shopping trip, I decided to walk home from that tram stop. The whole way, in the rain. To be fair, it wasn’t pouring down, but my coat wasn’t waterproof, I had no umbrella or hood. Of course I DID have my camera with me, so I set out to document my walk home. It was a little harder than I expected (mainly due the lack of anything but houses and pavement), but I think I did ok.

I tried hard to get the image I wanted in camera, and this time I feel like I got it bang on. So every image is straight out of camera, and the only thing Lightroom did, is organize and resize.

If you fancy a gander at the 9 chosen images, click the pic below. If you have something better/else to do that’s fine too.

Have a superb Christmas, and an awesome week.

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At odds with myself.

My blog entries are usually put together in about an hour. I select the 9 images, write the text and upload in that time. Occasionally I have the time to select the images in advance, and save them for a rainy day. When I do this, I don’t normally revisit the images, but on this occasion I did. And I find it intersting to note that I wouldn’t of picked exactly the same 9 if I’d done it today. Maybe it’s because when I pick the 9 images, I just choose the ones I like on that day. Or maybe it has something to do with mood, or frame of mind. Maybe tomorrow I’d of picked another different set. Or maybe not…
Click on the images below for the original 9.

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That time again…

The Christmas Markets have arrived in Manchester (Actually, they’ve been here over a week!) and as I was in town on Sunday, and had 40 minutes to spare so I thought I’d better take some pictures. It was a little easier than usual, as I was Wife free, so I could wander, and stop and take pictures as I pleased. It was also a good opportunity to get put a manual focus lens on, and get back to a slower way of shooting, waiting for the right opportunity, rather than trying to grab shots.I have to say I enjoy this style of picture taking. I feels a little more like ‘real’ photography. I also set myself the challenge of minimal post processing. It should all be done in Camera, if at all possible, and with one exception, I’m happy that I achieved my goal.

The markets are a great opportunity for some proper street photography, which is something I normally shy away from. My 100 Strangers project is starting to help me find it a little easier, and using the Fuji X-T1 I’m also really quite invisible, so unusually for me this time, there are people in my pictures. Not many I’ll admit, but I’m getting braver :-).

I don’t think there is any doubt as to whether these are documentary or not. For me, they fall very squarely in that camp. They tell a story of the Christmas Markets, and (some of) the people visiting them. Click on the image below, and see the full gallery if you fancy. No hard feelings if you don’t…

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Black and White

So once again, I find Camera and Wife pitted against each other. This time however, she had a friend along as a distraction, so I was a little more free to take the kind of pictures I wanted.

One of the things I love about working in Black and White is the way I can concentrate on patterns and form. I can produce images that are based in detail, and which sometimes only tell part of the story, leaving the viewer to thing about what the image may be a part of. Where do those steps lead, or where have they come from? What exactly is that pattern a part of? In the end, the viewer is left to make up their own mind about the images, and what they show.

Of course some of the pictures show the whole story, or at least we think they do. But again, maybe the image does not show us everything it could. Are the dear really behind a fence, and the wide aperture has thrown it so far out of focus it can’t be seen? Are they free to roam among the visitors to the park? Are they tame? Or in an enclosure?

Enough rambling, please click on the image below to see the full gallery as always.

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London Calling

We spent a few days in London during the summer. Largely to show Small Child the sights, but also for the grown ups to catch up with some friends. Due to the animosity between Wife and Camera, I took the decision to take just one lens, as I knew stopping to change lenses was not going to be an option! My heart said the XF-56, but my head said the XF-27.

I knew the 27 would be the more flexible and versatile lens, and as I also had to take some holiday snapshot type pictures, it was no contest. This was after all a family holiday, and not a photo expedition!

So my challenge was to take pictures that were not only a record of our family holiday, but that I was happy with. I can’t say I did very well with the second part of that,but I’m happy with the first. And of course it’s important for me to remember that sometimes I don’t always have to take pictures that I like from point of view of a photographer. Sometimes I just have to take pictures I am happy with as a husband and father.

Documentary? Well they document our trip to London. You may not care for them, and they may not evoke any emotion in you, but for me, (and as the photographer I claim the right to choose the category), they are a lasting memory, and that’s the most important part. And it also asks questions about what is documentary photography. After all, if holiday snapshots can be documentary photography, then what else can?

Click on the image below to see my holiday pictures…

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Once upon a time

Every photo tells a story. It can be of an event, or a time. Imagined or real. It may be a single image, or it may be a series of images.

Sometimes though, an individual image can only tell part of the story, or indeed taken on it’s own, the story may be misinterpreted. We may view the image of the bloodied young man as an image suggesting violence and hooliganism. But when we see the image of him carrying the injured child from the car accident, we see a different side. A single image can bring out the prejudice in the best of us, and it is often used in the media to manipulate us, and to make us see what we are told.

I’ve put together 3 sets of stories, told in 3 pictures. Each image can tell it’s own story, but viewed together, and in sequence, they may tell a different story. As with all images however, it is what the viewer see’s that will determine the story… maybe you will see the story I intended, maybe you will see a completely different story. Have I failed if the story you see is not my story? Or have I succeeded so long as you see a story, any story?

My 100 strangers project is now well under way, and I shall start posting images soon.

As always, click on the image below to see the gallery…

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GAS and Canals

Canals and waterways are a long term project of mine, so you will probably see more posts with Canals in them as time goes on. Usually when I go out specifically to make some pictures, I use manual focus. This time though, was different. I have shiny new Fujifilm X-T1 and I have to decide if I like it enough to keep it and sell the X-Pro1.  So I put the XF-56 on the new camera, and set off for 40 minutes of picture taking, while waiting for Wife to finish work.

So the images are all SOOC as I’ve had a busy weekend. Too busy to mess with the RAW files, which are much better than the jpegs. I also didn’t have the camera set up the way I like it, so if I was to set out to take the same pictures tomorrow, they’d turn out differently.

I doubt any of them are good enough to make it into the project, so I can’t label them that, and frankly the only thing they document of my over enthusiasm to start using my new toy. I’m looking forward to finding some time for a slower, manual focus outing, but for now these will have to do.

Thanks for reading, and click on the image below for the full gallery.

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