Friday, 2 November 2007

Where I am: people

Traipsing through snow, Trowbridge, April 1986

This was taken from my bedroom window right after I woke up - a surprise & freakish event. we rarely got snow when I was growing up and it was especially unusual to get it in April.

After sharing my photographic origins, it's time to turn to where I current think I am, photographically. The usual way to think about any sort of journey is to determine where you are, where you're going and thus a route from the former to the latter. Improvement is no different.

I'm going to break this down into posts for individual subject areas: people, places, landscape.

So first to people. Often called "street photography". For most of my early photography the people I photographed were family and friends: mainly events of significance, vacations and the like. Then the "middle period" when I had my first SLR there are virtually no people shots apart from photos of travelling companions while I was travelling. I'm pretty sure I went out of my way to avoid getting people in my photos - this stems from my desire to photography things rather than behaviours.

Now I'm beginning to take quite a number of photos purely aimed at people - I'm especially interested in the way people behave and relate to one another, particularly when it's out in the open.

I've moved into B&W & square format to help focus on the subject. If it's wide, I use a 2:1 aspect ration - 2 squares together. I am a lot less hung up on technical excellence (focus accuracy etc) and more on that "decisive moment".

As I spend a lot more time looking at photography than I ever did, there are 2 photographers who i think will influence me in this area. First Henri Cartier-Bresson for his notion of the "decisive Moment". It may seem trite but I'm finding that photographing people is about a single shutter release and no second chances. the second would be Elliot Erwitt for his amazing vision & visual humour. I was looking through the official Erwitt website this week. He had a knack of spotting amazing juxta-position and then capturing it perfectly.

I'll get more into where I want to go in later post.


  1. Nice site, I like your portfolio, I will have to come back and read some of your older posts.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. It's alwasy nice to think there are people out there who enjoy what I have to say and come back for more: helps keep me going.


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