I posted my People & Portraiture portfolio last week from college, so today I am posted my other portfolio which also earnt me a Distinction 🙂

As per my previous one I thought I would also share part of the reason behind it and the evaluations on the images. Let me know what you think!

Intentions/Purpose of the photography to be undertaken
To compile a collective of reportage, photo-journalistic style, photographs from the streets of London. The purpose is to push my boundaries and step outside my comfort zone to enable me to produce photographs of what is normal every day life and capture it interestingly.
Reasons for selection of the theme
Street Photography fascinates me, I am intrigued by the ordinary. Viewing the mundane in a different light and taking pictures of the crowd rather than the point of interest that has resulted in the crowd gathering. My inspiration includes photographers such as Henri-Cartier Bresson and Robert Frank, their images tell such stories. This theme will challenge my skills immensely. Firstly recognising a moment, capturing it with confidence and quickly whilst also considering the composition of the shot. Will it make an interesting or thought provoking image?”

Street photography uses the techniques of straight photography in that it shows a pure vision of something, like holding up a mirror to society. Street photography often tends to be ironic and can be distanced from its subject matter, and often concentrates on a single human moment, caught at a decisive or poignant moment. On the other hand, much street photography takes the opposite approach and provides a very literal and extremely personal rendering of the subject matter, giving the audience a more visceral experience of walks of life they might only be passingly familiar with.

“It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.” Elliott Erwitt


Telephone Box
ISO1600 was the highest possible on my Canon 400D. This picture was one of my earlier street photography shots from November 2011. I used my 50mm for it’s wide aperture of f/1.8 and discreet feel of the short lens – much less obvious than a zoom lens!

Taken in a side street from Regent Street, you can see the hustle and bustle behind the girl whilst she is absorbed in her text. This shot stood out for me because of the contrast of old and new with the phone box and the girl on her mobile. It also sits well within the theme portraying the iconic telephone booth. The light wasn’t great and this was taken on my old crop-body canon so the ISO was not as effective, however the content of the photograph is what brought it to the final selection, you don’t often get good contrasts in candid moments.

The balance between the ISO and shutter speed are off and I would have maybe got a less grainy image if I had lowered the ISO slightly and instead slowed the shutter speed as it was set at 1/640 from a previous shot. Shooting in Manual for Street Photography can be tricky but over time I got much better at adjusting quicker.

Trafalgar Square
Also shot in November 2011 after a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. I had to amend my settings to account for the light in Trafalgar Square, not just the natural light from the sky but also from the pale architecture & buildings surrounding the square. ISO200 with a medium aperture opening of F/5 to keep the detail and to prevent blow out on the building behind the mime.  A shutter speed of 1/250.

The composition works well for the image and I particularly like the pigeon mid-flight. At first glance the image can appear to be a simple portrait of a Mime but on closer inspection you can see several snippets of London such as the girls chatting on the wall, the Gallery in the background and of course the pigeons.

Clown Busker
Taken in the underground I had to bump the ISO up to 800 and slow the shutter speed down to 1/100 to let in as much light as possible. I prefer not to use flash at all in street photography as it is more invasive and tends to upset people. I kept it at a medium aperture, maybe on reflection I could have opened this up further but I’m happy with the end result.

I did have to crop to the right of the image as the huge Batman poster was quite distracting to the picture. The busker actually looked up at me as went to take the shot, smiled and lowered his eyes, I chose to take the image then rather than when he was smiling directly at me.

There are many buskers around London and in the underground, the effort this man had gone to with his outfit certainly drew me to him more than others.

Lady on Tube
Another trip to London planned on 17th November for a work meeting. I took my camera in a lightweight padded camera back to get some shots after my meeting. I sat right opposite this lady on the tube, and her eccentricity attracted me to photograph her. With only a small window to get the shot as natural as possible I had to just get on a take the image. I was aware how quiet the tube was and how loud my shutter speed can sound, I waited for the doors to open and took the image then. ISO200 with my 50mm lens f/2.8 and a slow shutter speed of 1/80.

I didn’t manage to get her rings in focus, which was one of the things that caught my eye originally, however I had the one chance to get the shot and this is still one of my favourites of the set. A well made-up, mature woman, her face fascinated me.

It ties in well with the London theme, you can’t really get anywhere without using the tube in central London. I love the way this image shows the personal bubble most people tend to be in when sat on the tube.

Bag Lady
Euston station, many of the trains were delayed or interrupted so I decided to go outside and see what I could see with my camera. I stood near the buses watching them come and go when I saw this lady get off the bus and two bags at a time take her bags off and line them up along the rail. The decisive moment here was imperative. The bags seemed to be full of nothing but rubbish, more bags, maybe even recycling. It was late and dark so I slowed my shutter speed to 1/50 and opened the aperture right up to f/1.8. ISO was set at 1/400, I was still using my 400D Canon at this point with my 50mm lens.

I waited patiently for the bus to pull away and for the lady to start moving towards me with the bags before I took the shot. I didn’t want to wait to long so it was on her first ferry of 2 bags across the street because I thought the composition of the bags in a line behind her worked really well.

This is another of my favourite shots of the set, not necessarily for the technical ability but for the true reportage capture of a moment.

City Man
On 24th November, I ventured back to London for a business event and arrived early so decided to explore the streets for an interesting shot. It was quite a warm clear afternoon, I had my 50mm lens on my 400D Canon, set with ISO100 f/2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/250.

I saw lots of businessmen and tourists then spotted this man and statue across the street. I waited patiently for the decisive moment until he was closer to the statue but not completely under it. The city worker, usually with illusions of grandeur and self-importance made to look small and unimportant beneath the statue. The contrast in sizes between the statue and the man, and the colours of his suit against the pale brickwork and columns work really well.

Armed with my new 5DmkII Full Body Canon camera, I returned to London in the spring for some more London Reportage shots. I continued using the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens as I have through the whole folio. ISO100 f/2.5 and 1/800 shutter speed. I was as you can see on the same side of the road when I captured this image.

The body language in this image is great, the older lady is clearly in need of a seat but the man on the left looks like he wants to get on with things. The woman in the middle is the only of the three to make eye contact with my lens as I take the shot. It portrays the multicultural city that is London, it is taken Thames-side. The main consideration I have for the shot is I would have liked to gotten a little wider to have more space underneath their feet. The decisive moment was probably too delayed and if left any longer I think all three would have been looking down the lens.

Taken moments after the previous shot in the folio. The warm spring air of March, still Thames-side, this bench was covered in bags of rubbish and guarded by two homeless guys. I increased the ISO a little as it was quite shaded from the trees, the aperture quite wide at f/2.5 and shutter speed fast at 1/800.

Just at the moment of taking the shot the grey haired man looked directly at me, I couldn’t tell whether he was smiling or frowning! I love the two sides of London that this image portrays, with the tourist coaches and black cabs in the background and the homeless men and rubbish on the bench.

Sunday morning 11th March, I attempted more street shots but found it surprisingly empty for a city. I decided to hop on the tube for another couple of stops and get off again en-route back home. This image was taken in Barbican, after a walk around what felt like a deserted town I spotted this lady dressed in her Sunday best waiting and on her mobile.

Camera settings were ISO500 with my 50mm lens f/4 and 1/800. I had to crop the frame of the image more on the left than I wanted to because of a parked car. I like the composition of the shot, with negative space but that is also filled with the gate. I smartly and interestingly dressed lady who intrigued me, what was she waiting for, who was she texting?

St. Johns Street
One of very little people I saw that morning, this window cleaner on St John’s Street. I set my camera at ISO500 with a medium aperture of f/5 to retain the detail of the bricks and signs, shutter speed 1/800.

The lines in this shot are fantastic. The ladder, the bricks, the windows and the tiled St Johns sign. Very pleased that the window cleaner is off centre on the window as this adds to the composition of the image.

So there we have it! Hope you enjoyed seeing an insight in what goes on at college as much as I enjoyed shooting this images! would love to hear what you think, leave a comment below…


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