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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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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It’s not about the camera…

The other day, whilst lusting after the Fuji X-T1, I was reminded that it is not about the equipment, it’s about the image. The final, finished image. No matter what kit was used, and how it was post processed (or not) so long as it lives up to the photographers vision (or clients if it’s paid work) then that’s all that matters.

So this past few days, I have used my phone to take some pictures, and edit them in camera. Lightroom was used purely for cataloging and export.

They are not great images, but I had fun making them.And I like them enough that one or two will be hanging on my wall shortly.

I still want an X-T1 though…!

Click the image below for the full gallery.

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Slow down, you move too fast…

When I started my AS level in photography, the first assignment we were given was to take 36 pictures of a single object. The idea being that we should examine the object and ‘see’ it. It was a good exercise, and made us think about composition, lighting, and the technical side of photography.

So I thought I would extend this idea, and limit myself to no more than 3 images of 9 objects. This was intended to make me slow down, and think again, mainly about composition, and light. Working in aperture priority, with auto iso meant the technical side of things wasn’t really a worry this time. I usually like to work with the aperture wide open, but since it took it apart to clean the elements, the Rokkor 58 has become too soft at 1.4 (great for portraits though). So it was all at f2.8.

I took no more than 4 images of any set of footwear, and in most cases took just a single image.

I did slow right down. I thought about composition, and enjoyed the exercise enormously. I thought about how the final image would look, and at the end of the session, I had only 19 images to do any post processing with. I plan to repeat it regularly, with different objects and different restrictions.

So here is a selection of the footwear regularly worn in our house. And whether you prefer shoes or boots, wellies or slippers, have a splendid week.

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