I went to Liverpool on Saturday, principally to visit the Open Eye Gallery, but also to try some more street photography. The gallery itself was a bit of a disappointment but I really enjoyed wandering around a new city grabbing shots as I went.
The image shown above was taken minutes after arriving in the city, it’s the stairway in large underground car park. Some children were playing on the semi-transparent roof and it created a strange abstract image when I looked straight up at it.
Currently I’m drawn to capturing images of the older generation. This group caught my eye as I walked between two shopping centres. The postures and interactions between the two pairs was appealing. The lady with the legs crossed in the ‘wrong’ direction serves as the focal point for the shot and I was lucky that they were sat under a stairway as this created a relatively neutral background for me. I love that each of the subjects has a different facial expression, I wish the lady on the left hadn’t caught sight of the camera. The camera, my GX1, worked as brilliantly as ever at capturing detail – you can even see the support sock on the lady second from the left.
This street performer was keeping a large crowd enthralled. I just caught the end of his first drum solo and put some money in his bowl. This made me more confident about taking photos of him and I tried several different positions and angles until I thought I had something usable. One of the bad habits I’m trying to overcome is ‘chimping’. This is where you take a photo and then, straight away, stare at the LCD screen and make ‘ooh ahh’ sounds. It’s a bad habit as you can guarantee that the ‘decisive moment’ will occur as you look at the screen and you will miss it. I am also trying to shoot at the 14mm end of my telephoto lens as it forces me closer to my subjects and gives a more personal feel to the images. As with all my black and white images I converted this using the truly amazing Silver Efex Pro 2 software. For this shot I had to use individual control points to lighten the drummer’s face very slightly to improve it as a focal point at the top of the bucket-bottle-face triangle. I was lucky that in this image two of the bystanders were looking straight at the drummer and this helps to bring the viewer’s eye back into the frame.
This final image was taken whilst I was grabbing some calories in a fast food restaurant. I was sat in the window so I could try and take pictures of people gawping at a large menu board. I happened to notice that a second menu board was splitting the harsh midday light into two distinct beams. I waited patiently for someone to sit at the window and was lucky enough that this guy came along. He was setting up his meal and very distracted and so I grabbed two frames as he dipped his head into the light beam.