On the streets of London…

After struggling to get street portraits in Letchworth on Tuesday, I jumped on a train and headed into London, to see if being somewhere busier and noisier would make it any easier. And, yes, it does. I’m not going to jump up and down with delight with the results, but at least I was pleased enough with some shots to put them up here.

Thoughtful.

The thing about somewhere like London is that there are characters everywhere. Of course, that’s the case everywhere if you keep your eyes open, but somehow in the big cities they’re easier to spot and there’s so many people wandering around with cameras that you feel less self-concious than, say, in Hitchin. But I’m still not the most naturally confident person, and sometimes the people that catch my eye are the very people who I feel I’d need to be brave or confident to take their photo, so many great opportunities slipped by.

Enjoying the sights and sounds of Trafalgar Square.

Perhaps next time I go on a people-hunting trip I should go to an event rather than just a place. A fair, a street party, a market, perhaps. For now, this has been a great experiment and a few people have said they’ve liked some of the results, so I’ll persevere when the opportunities arise.

Glasses

Of course, the other question about this kind of work is an economic one. It’s all very well being able to capture these sort of shots, but what’s the market for them? Don’t forget I’m not just doing this degree to improve a hobby; I’m looking to carve out a vocation somehow or an other.

Bike Tour.

If you want to see more of my London shots, you know where to go.

While I was in London, I took the chance to visit a few exhibitions. My first visit to The Photographer’s Gallery in Soho was a pleasure. They currently have an exhibition called Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed, showcasing the work of recent graduates. There’s some great work on show, covering a wide range of styles. Those that caught my eye the most were probably Iris Brember, Kristin Hoell, and Harry Mitchell; and if you click on each name you’ll see that those three in themselves are very varied, so it’s not always just one style that attracts me. Needless to say the fact that these photographers are all recent graduates was encouraging – but also daunting.

(There was also an exhibition of studio works by Claire Aho. This wasn’t as interesting.)

Apart from the Photographer’s Gallery, I also made point of visiting the The Press Photographer’s Year 2013 at the National Theatre. Well worth a visit. If you’re in town, make sure you don’t miss it. It’s on until the end of August, and is free to enter.

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2 thoughts on “On the streets of London…

  1. Rob

    I really like the last shot. It’s the sort of image you might be able to sell to the National Gallery or a tourist board. I also love the colours in it, you clearly had the fortune to have people with bright shirts come past at the right time!

    I also like the grumpy guy at Trafalgar Square, he just looks so cheery and the monochrome brings out his expression wonderfully.

    The character under Waterloo Bridge looks very interesting too, but to me he looks a bit overexposed compared to the background. Some photo processing tools allow you to select whether you want the red, green and blue channels in the image to tend towards white or black when desaturating an image; I’ve no idea what colour he was originally wearing but tending the colours of his blazer towards black might have helped without adjusting the exposure overall.

    The first image is great technically, but for me personally (and this is an entirely subjective observation) there isn’t much to make it interesting like the other pictures here. I certainly think there are stronger images in the full Flickr set.

    It’s interesting timing that you publish this today, because today I brought my camera in to work with me and was going to wander about a bit with it at lunchtime. I might get some similar results as you were taking photos a few hundred yards from the building where I work…

    Reply
    1. Trevor Post author

      Rob, thanks for the great feedback. The exposure levels in the bridge guy were entirely my doing. I developed in Lightroom and was indeed adjusting channels selectively. I was keen to not loose the stripes in his blazer. But I did also use graduated filters to darken the underside of the bridge. Maybe I overdid the contrast.

      Grumpy guy was indeed just so… grumpy. How could I lose?

      I think I know what you man about the girl. Good, but no particular ‘reason’ about it.

      Oh, and I’d spotted the bike tour group earlier on the south bank, so was delighted when they happened to walk past me right there.

      Hope you get some success too!

      Reply

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