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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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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Graveyard Shift, Part 3

The final part of my Graveyard images. There are a lot of angels in this churchyard, and I really enjoy photographing them. They can be quite a challenge, as the larger ones are mostly high up, and so difficult to present. There are some very small ones, which you might miss if you weren’t looking out for them. Unusually for me, some of these are also in portrait format. As usual click on the image below, blah blah blah…

(This post is mostly a filler. We got back from holiday late last night, small child can’t sleep, and I have a lot to do tonight. Maybe when I’m not so tired I’ll rewrite this properly, but in the meantime, thanks for reading.Especially if you got this far!)

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Graveyard Shift, Part 2

Time not only catches up with us, but it also takes it’s toll on our memorials. Bit by bit they are eroded away, until nothing is left.

All of these images are of stones or monuments which have sustained some kind of damage. Whether that is the wearing away of the inscription, so that it can no longer be known who the memorial is for, or the breaking away of parts, or entire stones.

If there is no longer a loved one attending these, then the name of whoever is buried there is soon forgotten.

Despite the fact that most of the graves in the graveyard data back to the early to mid 1800s, as a whole it is well tended. This feels at odds with these images, which suggest a poor state of repair. And whilst these broken and faded graves are not the normal, given enough time, this is all that will remain of any of the memorials.

I wonder perhaps if there is a longer term project in here. Not only of taking the photos, but also of documenting whose stone it is. Publishing that information right here on the internet, so that maybe the memory of the individual may last a little longer.

I’m classing this as firmly documentary. There is a distinct purpose in it, and although it overlaps into my Time project, it is a distinct body of work in its self. It’ a record of something. Which is maybe a good starting point for a description of Documentary photography. ‘A record of an event or place’. Hmmm, I’ll think on it as I’m sure that’s not all.

As always click on the link below for the full gallery…..

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Graveyard shift, part 1

This set of images is the first of 3 connected sets. A trip to a local graveyard with a view to photographing the angels on the tombstones and memorials also gave me some more images towards my ‘Time’ project.

This set, I suppose, is rather morbidly an exploration of the end of time, or death. We all run out of time eventually, but what happens afterwards, no one is sure. All of these images were purposefully made out of focus, to represent this uncertainty and the unknown.

Again, I used an adapted manual focus lens (My 58mm Rokkor for those who care about such things), and took my time. Careful composition was the order of the day, as the light was too bright to be shooting wide open, and I wanted the lack of depth of field. So there are no SOOC images this time. All processed in Lightroom from the raw files.

Is it documentary? Not this set, no. I feel it is too conceptual for that. Maybe one or both of the remaining sets will fit that category better.

As always, click on the image below for the full set. Or don’t, it’s up to you.

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Around the block.

While wife was on bed duty for small child, I decided to take a short walk. I only had 15 minutes, but I took my camera, and took some photos. The road I live on is quite pretty. All the gardens are well kept, and all the cars sit cleaned on the drives. We don’t completely fit in like that, but I don’t mind at all.

A short walk away though, and it gets a little different. There is a major road, and an industrial estate. It’s also a less well off area, and is far more interesting to photograph.

I’ve been using the manual focus Rokkor again, and the contrast in my style is interesting. I find myself a much more considered photographer with manual focus. Not that I am spray and pray at all with autofocus, but I’m even slower with manual. There is something about it that demands better composition, and more thought. I’ll stick with it for a while, and use the auto focus lenses only when I need the speed.

As usual, click on the image below for the full gallery.

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Reluctant Gardener

I am not a gardener. I never have been, and will probably never be a very good one. It’s not in my blood like photography is. I do it, because my wife does. I am her hands when her’s won’t do what she needs.

I do find the whole process fascinating though. Watching those tiny little seeds become great big plants, producing fruit and vegetables, often bigger than my hands, and sometimes even bigger than my head! And in such a short space of time. The first time I visited her allotment, it was cold, and the ground was wet, and empty and full of promise. Everything was tidy.

It looks very different now. Neat rows of vegetables hide the soil. The promise is now of food, rather than growth.

So this is another look at the allotment, through the eyes of both a photographer, and a (very) reluctant gardener.

As always, click the image below for the full gallery. (Ps, I forgot to mention, these were all taken with the manual focus 58mm Rokkor. I enjoyed the lack of auto focus again).

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