This weekend just gone I spent a pleasant day in the company of a few members of the Secret Photography Group (shh it’s a secret) trying some street photography in London. It was an opportunity to try the Olympus 45mm on the E-PM1 body, which turned out to be a great pairing. The 45mm is really very good wide open, although a lot of the shots were taken with it stopped down to f4 because of the surprising amount of sun that day. If you know the weather lately in the UK you will be aware we have been experiencing quite a bit of snow and rain, more so than we have in recent years at this time of year.
Street photography is an interesting branch of photography requiring the photographer to put themselves in uncomfortable situations, but the rewards do out way the fear. I’ve only done a bit in the past, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is when you get into the zone. It can be quite un-nerving approaching strangers and just snapping away at them, but generally you will find that most people will do one of a number of things, smile or frown at the weird person taking their picture.
For me, the more interesting people are the people that either react in a way where they don’t want their picture taken, like the guy above, or just continue on oblivious to what has happened.
All towns seem to have their collection of characters that are worth capturing, but London being so large has a generally much more diverse collection of these characters. I’m sure there must be a character per square foot figure for every place on earth, and London must be right up there with the best of them.
There is something about street that lends itself to B&W images. They just seem to evoke a feeling which is diluted by colour. I think this tends to come from the surroundings being full of advertising rather than other subjects which normally have a much more diluted range of colours, not to say that the colours in other settings aren’t as bright, but they number of colours do tend to be more constrained.