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The Selection Process

Last week was all about the techniques I use to get my shots, and how I use my camera to get them. I showed two versions of the image 'Health & Happiness', but didn't explain why I preferred one over the other. That got me thinking to this week’s post. So I thought it would be a good idea to follow on from that, and show how, or why, I select my photos to be published.

I’m sure we’ve all been in that situation when we have captured one or two strong photos in the same area, at the same time of day, which has made the selection process a bit trickier. To show what I mean, here are a couple of my previous shots that have gone through that selection process.

I’m going to start with one you may have seen before, my image titled 'Paddington Silhouette'. In the space of 20 minutes, there were four shots I captured from this vantage point that I put into consideration for publishing purposes.

 #1

#1

 #2

#2

 #3

#3

 #4

#4

After looking at them for a couple of days I narrowed these four images down to two (pictures 1 & 2). 

Even though the silhouettes of two people are decent enough, shots 1 & 2 were selected because I was going for a minimalist composition, and felt the lone figures in the centre of the frame made more impact here. Once I had made my mind up on these two, it was then very difficult for me to choose which of the two were going to be published. I really liked the glow around the mans head and the sunlight through his legs which draws your eye straight to it in image 1, but I also really liked how the man’s silhouette in image 2 is a continuation from the bannister on the left, to the building on the right.

When I struggle to make an outright decision over a couple of shots, I will always ask for my girlfriend’s opinion. Even though her eye for men is a bit suspect, she’s a studying interior designer and has a great eye for composition and creativity. After some deliberation she chose image 1. For her, it had less distracting details, and a stronger composition due to the silhouette being better proportioned in the frame. Now it's understandable why I ask her opinion, as this was the image that got published in Neoprime Magazine.

In these next photos that were taken on Tuesday, I initially had 3 shots that were on the shortlist for being published.

 #1

#1

 #2

#2

 #3

#3

These three shots were then whittled down again to two (images 1 & 2). Even though the skater is centred in the archway in image 3, I wasn't overly keen on the shape of his silhouette, so this was discarded. The reason that images 1 and 2 were selected came down to the position of the skater’s silhouette in image 1, and the definition of his silhouette in image 2. Now I had two images left, I was able to compare them side by side to see which of them was more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Thankfully my decision was a lot easier to make than it was with the 'Paddington Silhouette' image, so I didn't need to interrupt my girlfriend watching Grand Designs this time! The deciding factor for my final choice was how my eye was being lead from the line in the wall to the skater, and the balance of the image as a whole. So with that in mind, image 1 was selected, due to the skater being in the centre of the archway and giving greater balance overall, it just felt better. I titled it 'Let's Do This Too'

So there were just two photos that have gone through my selection process. It would be great to hear if you have a similar approach, or what your selection process is. I would particularly like to hear from you if you have different preferences regarding the images discussed in this week’s blogpost, and if so, why you prefer one over the other.

I would now like to end this weeks post by saying how pleased I am to have been interviewed for the Bureau of Arts and Culture Magazine that was published yesterday. You can read the full interview here, along with some of my colour images.

I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into my workflow of selecting shots, and thank you very much for reading.

Lastly, there will be no blogpost next week, as I will be in Barcelona for an eagerly awaited break.

Have a great weekend, and happy snapping.

Craig

 

Get out and shoot!

In the last two months of my photography, I have been out with a number of excellent photographers, and have learnt many things in the process. One major thing that I picked up from watching all of them shoot is something that can’t actually be taught, but actually develops from within you. That thing in question is technique. By technique, I mean how you get your shots, what lens you use, and how you interact with your surroundings or subjects. The photographers I’ve been out with don’t just stick to one specific style while on the street, but 99% of the time, they will stick to one specific lens. Whether that lens is fisheye, wide angle, zoom, or ’normal’ (35mm-50mm), they have developed their own style using them and produce stunning work consistently. Of course their specific technique has developed over a course of time, by using their camera and lenses regularly, and learning how best to use them to achieve their vision. If you are just starting in photography, or are confident in using a camera, but new to street photography, I would suggest going out as much as you can and start finding out what works best for you.

Like myself and the photographers I've met up with, I’m sure any of you reading this have read photography magazines and books, watched YouTube videos, or possibly even studied how to shoot a particular genre of photography. Even now I can google ‘Photography Techniques’, and I’m given a plethora of results, stating a number of different techniques to help you become a better photographer. Now I’m certainly not going to say these techniques are wrong, not by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time, it’s important not to take them as written in stone. So many websites, books, and videos tell you you should use this lens, that particular mode or even a particular setting; but if everyone did this, most shots would look the same, with no creativity whatsoever. Two photographers, who are passionate about getting newcomers shooting more often, and encouraging them to be creative with their shots, are Bryan Peterson and Marius Vieth. And what I love about Bryan’s and Marius’s style of writing in their books and ebooks respectively, is the passion they have for you as an individual photographer; pushing you to discover your own unique skills, and then encouraging you into developing your own style of photography as you progress. Both of them inspired me to get out more, and to start shooting for myself instead of following particular rules of photography. Doing this enabled me to find a passion for street photography, and also helped improve my photography a lot. And look what’s happened on my journey since doing this. If you wanted to find out for yourself how much passion these two great photographers have, you can purchase Bryan's numerous books on Amazon here (book and Kindle versions), and sign up for Marius's free ebook here.

It’s also important to know that if past photographers hadn’t been creative in their own way, we would never have seen Bruce Gilden’s style of close up street photography with a flash (love it or loathe it). Nor would we have seen William Klein’s use of subjects out of focus, high contrast, and distortion in his superb work. And lastly, René Burri wouldn’t have captured my favourite ever photograph “Men on a Rooftop’ if he hadn’t decided to use a 150mm telephoto lens for street photography, even after his mentor Henri Cartier-Bresson told him not to shoot with anything other than lenses between 35mm-90mm!

So, if there was any more proof needed to go to out and discover what you can achieve with your own creative mind, go outside and discover for yourself. Because you never know, you just might be the next best thing in street photography.

And to finish off this weeks blog, I would like to share some shots that I captured over the last seven days.

 

There are more photos from the last seven days available in my colour and black & white galleries at the top of the page.

Thank you for reading, have a great weekend, and happy shooting.

Craig

Street Photography Walks in London and a Convention

The last 7 days have been busy, productive, and very enjoyable. It started last Friday, when I attended the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) Convention, where I had the pleasure to meet a number of businesses and fellow photographers at the Hilton Hotel, London. It was great to see all the different stands selling or promoting their cameras, camera accessories, printers, software, services, books, or lessons; but this visit was all about connecting with people. Having skills, talent, and knowledge are of course very important to an individual doing well within their chosen field. But having good people around you to help you make better decisions, give valuable advice, inspiration, or even open up other opportunities, is another important aspect. Personally I prefer to meet someone face to face, rather than by email, at least that way they can get to see how I conduct myself, and whether they could work with me in the future. In the few hours I was there, I was able to speak to some really cool people, and set up some things regarding my work being printed, a meet up with another photographer, and great advice regarding this website! For any potential photographers reading this, I would totally recommend attending these types of events, as you never know whom you may come across, and what doors may open up for you.

 

The following day, I was very fortunate to have a camera walk with fellow SPi Collective member, Walter Rothwell. This was not only very informative and valuable it was also extremely funny. Walter is a multi award winning photographer and award winning film developer. He only shoots in film, and has been featured in numerous exhibitions, magazines and websites, there’s actually too many to mention! But you can see how many there are for yourself, on his website walterrothwell.com. A very interesting thing about Walter is that he is half blind, and I would love to tell you more about this, but he has two very good articles on his eye condition already, which you can read at the Phoblographer and Feature Shoot. With Walter being in the photography industry for 30+ years, there’s not much he hasn’t experienced, and was more than happy to give advice and support regarding my photography career. He showed me a new technique when shooting from the hip, which was clever, and something I will give a go in the near future. All in all this day was very rewarding and funny, and I look forward to another one very soon. Here are a few shots I captured that day.

 

Monday, the Street Photography International Collective announced weekly themed competitions on Instagram. This is something we’re very excited about, as it gives so many people an opportunity to have their work seen on The SPi website, along with announcements on our other social network accounts. Currently we have 7 themes running, which you can see by looking at our Instagram feed. Our first theme will be announced on Sunday, and the winner will be announced the following Weekend. If you’re on Instagram, and would like to enter, just follow @streetphotographyinternational and tag your photos with the correct theme hashtag.

 

Two days ago (Wednesday), I had the pleasure of walking the streets of London with another SPi Collective member Alan Schaller. Alan’s photography career is booming right now, with so many features recently, (again it’s better to share a link to his website alanschallerphotography.co.uk than it is me listing them), he has been working non stop. Having recently come back from Morocco, he has been publishing this body of work online, and it is absolutely stunning. He will have this project exhibited in London very soon, with which I had an exclusive sneak preview and I shall be attending also.

So on with the day…Walking around with Alan was also very enjoyable, watching how quick he was to react after spotting a potential shot is very impressive. We had a bit of a joke with Alan using a bird calling technique in China, trying to get a shot. Whereby he does bird noises hoping for the subject to look around. I didn’t think later that day I would end up doing it myself! So apologies to anyone in the British Museum (of all places) that thought there were Gulls flying above them on the stairway. It was just two very odd men with cameras, trying to get some photos! Here are some of the shots I got from this day.

 

 

That is it for this week, I tried to keep it brief after last weeks post, so hopefully I managed it for you. 

 

Thank you very much for reading, and I wish you a great weekend.

Craig

Lights, Meetings and Shots

Hello and welcome to this weeks post. Today I’ll be talking about the Winter Lights @ Canary Wharf Festival, sharing some photos from that night, my first meeting with the Street Photography International Collective, and two fantastic pieces of news.

Last week I left you with the news of me planning to take photos at the London Lumiere Light Festival. Due to work commitments, I was only able to attend on the Sunday. Even though my plans hit a slight snag, (my camera having to be sent for repair) I was thankfully still able to use my girlfriends Olympus OM-D E-M10 to capture some shots. I was fortunate enough to meet up with my good friend and fellow Street Photography International Collective member Gagan Sadana, at Canary Wharf, to enjoy the spectacle of the Winter Lights Festival instead, and to capture some images of other visitors enjoying it too. It’s always great to see Gagan, he’s such a genuinely good person, and great to talk to. On this occasion he first welcomed me into the SPi Collective, which was a lovely way to start the night. We had a brief chat over coffee, and both shared some recent shots for each other’s opinion, before we set out for our photo walk.

Even though Sunday was bitterly cold, hundreds of people still arrived in Britain’s financial district, to view and interact with the light installations that had been set up since January 11th. One thing that was good to witness early on, was seeing people of all ages enjoying the night, and there was a lovely vibe around the place that helped make it a pleasant experience. With it being quite early in the evening and a large number of people visiting, certain exhibits were forming queues of people waiting to use them. One of which was a light on a podium, that once you moved your hand around the bulb, it would change a light source behind a screen to form different shapes and colours, while also creating different pitches of noise, dependent on your hand’s position around the bulb. The title of this piece was Aura, by Philips Lighting Design. Here is a photo showing a young boy using it, and watching his actions change the patterns on screen, titled ‘Reach for the Light, and you may Touch the Sky’.

As we made our way around the streets, we would reach another part of the exhibition in a short walking distance. This one being inside One Canada Square (The iconic London skyscraper that people call Canary Wharf) called The Luminous City, by Nathaniel Rackowe. This was formed of a few separate exhibits; of which my favourite of these had breezeblocks stacked one on top of the other, with the sides of them painted luminous green. These blocks stood approximately 3ft high, and were spaced just wide enough from other columns to form a grid, not too dissimilar to an aerial view of the streets and avenues of New York City. In between each gap, fluorescent tubes ran from one end to the other. These lights were attached to a pulley mechanism hanging from a frame that raised and lowered every 10 seconds. Upon the raising and lowering of the lights, the look of the concrete blocks changed dramatically. I wanted to capture this piece with a sole person viewing it, from a face on perspective. I got this shot just as the lights were at the same level as the breezeblocks; lighting up the luminous paint to it’s brightest green. This is that image, titled ‘Highlight of my Life’

The last piece of artwork that Gagan and I enjoyed was an 18ft tall, inflatable alien figure that was positioned on its hands and knees as if to inspect something on the floor. Amanda Parer called her installation Fantastic Planet. Having walked around it and getting a few shots, there was an element missing from the pictures we had taken. As I stood on the grass and walked along it, it seemed to invite other people to get their photos in front of it. This was just the thing that was missing, and I was able to get this shot of a mum leading her daughter towards the alien to get their photo taken by the father. This is titled, Lead me into the Light’

Lead me to the Light.jpg

The Winter Lights @ Canary Wharf runs until 22nd January, and is best viewed between 4pm and 9pm. For more information click here.

If you would like to read a great blog on The Lumiere London festival, I totally recommend Ronya Galka's very interesting blog, which includes some great shots that you can view here.

Also very exciting this week, was the opportunity to attend my first meeting with the rest of the SPi Collective. It was such a good experience, seeing first hand how well the Collective work as a team. Every member was putting great ideas forward, and I must say there are some really exciting things planned to help promote and inspire street photographers around the world to take up the art of street photography. This is something I’m really looking forward to helping the SPi Collective achieve. You can keep up to date will all the latest Street Photography International news by visiting our website at streetphotographyinternational.com, following @StreetPhotoInt on Twitter and @StreetPhotographyinternational on Instagram with the tag #SPiCollective on your photos.

I would now like to finish off this week with the mention of two fantastic features I received in the last few days. My first feature was on Instagram where I was tagged in a photo by the group MaybeLDNer, with the news of being featured as that day’s photographer (#20). This was a brilliant surprise, and I was really flattered by Koray Hussein's fantastic write up regarding my photos and the street photography genre. You can read it here. MaybeLDNer are a relatively new team on Instagram, but they have skyrocketed to over 20 thousand followers in a short space of time by spreading the word of how many amazing and exciting things there are to do in the amazing city of London. If you are not following them on Instagram, I would suggest in doing so, so you’re able to keep up with daily photos, photographers, reviews and news of what London has to offer. You can also visit their super cool website maybeldner.com to find out more information about the team, and what they love about London. My second feature was another unbelievable surprise. For those of you who have visited my website from day one, you would have seen Marius Vieth’s name mentioned in a number of blog posts, and in the ‘About Me’ section above when naming my biggest inspirations. Well later on that same day, Marius tweeted a link to his YouTube video Legends in the Making #7. I thought, that’s cool of him to personally invite me to view it, and happily clicked on the link. Expecting to see some great photographs to inspire my own photography, I was blown away by the first stunning image by F.D Walker. What came next was even more mind blowing; it was my image ‘Paddington Silhouette’ and Marius was giving it a really positive review. I watched the rest of the video, admiring every one of the shots featured with a huge smile on my face, knowing people are enjoying the photography that I enjoy shooting. I would like to thank MaybeLDNer and Marius very much for these wonderful features, they are hugely appreciated. You have given me even more inspiration and drive to keep enjoying what I’m doing, and to continue shooting with passion. Hopefully I'll be able to say thank you to both of you in person one day?

That is it for this week, thank you very much for reading today’s (lengthy) post, and I really hope you have a great weekend.

Happy shooting,

Craig

New Year, New Beginnings and Goodbye’s


Having written about the last 12 months in my last post, I would like to talk about the goals ahead for my photography this year, what actions I have taken to achieve them, and a few pieces of fantastic news.

In May this year, I have the wonderful milestone of turning 40, and with it approaching fast, I felt it was time to take a look at my life so far, and how I want to live the rest of it.

There are moments in life that happen for a reason; and it's in these moments that we have to dust ourselves down, assess the situation, and take appropriate action to turn them into a positive outcome. I had one of these moments towards the end of last year, which has given me the drive and passion to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer, and to enjoy my time trying to get there. After contemplating what to do for a few weeks, I made the big decision to hand my notice in at work and concentrate solely on my photography. Tomorrow will be my last day with the company, and I would love to say thank you to all the people I have worked alongside, and have become very good friends with in the process. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you, and I will be staying in touch for sure. Thank you.

Since making that decision, my photography journey has progressed substantially, in a very short space of time. This got me into the mindset of setting myself a few goals for this year. There’s a very interesting post at Creative Boom here that has helped me set these goals. Of course, these set goals can be used for anything you desire; whether that’s in your current role within your company, ambitions in your education or starting a new path like I have. Just set yourself three goals, and who knows what you will achieve with your own drive, passion, and the help of good people around you.

The three goals I have set myself are written on my phone to remind me each time I look at it, (who doesn’t look at their phone a lot these days!); in capital letters underneath, I have written ENJOY IT. For me this is the most important part. What is the point of doing something you don’t enjoy? That may sound flippant to some, but for me, life is too short to not follow what I enjoy in life, and to make sure I share it with the people I love most. Hopefully, as I continue on this path, I am able to inspire at least one person to start their own journey to fulfil their dreams and aspirations, and to above all, enjoy their time aiming for them. I would also like to wish you all the best in getting there, and be more than happy to help where I can.

From talking about what you can achieve with drive, passion and the help of good people, I would now like to share a few pieces of news I received this week, that have come from having these three factors.

Firstly, I was proud to be featured on Katy Cowan's hugely popular and successful blog Creative Boom, which supports the creative industries of art, crafts, graphic design, illustration and photography. So many talented, creative people are featured on Katy's blog, and I feel privileged to be amongst them. You can read Katy's fantastic blog post of my work here, and keep up to date with the latest creative talent, alongside tips, resources and interviews here.

I would also love to share the hugely exciting news of becoming a member of the Street Photography International Collective. This really was totally and utterly out of the blue, and of course accepted in a heartbeat. To be associated with the super talented photographers Ronya Galka, Alan Schaller, Gagan Sadana, Reuven Halevi and Walter Rothwell in the SPi Collective, is simply mind blowing, and a huge honour.

The SPi Collective was formed to showcase and promote street photography from around the world, and to give opportunities to those that want to share their work, no matter where they are from or how far they are in their photographic journey. I will work hard to help achieve this goal, and will be on the look out for new and upcoming street photographers on our Instagram account. We would love to see your best work; so for your chance to be featured, follow @streetphotographyinternational and tag your best street photography shots #SPiCollective, for the opportunity of a great platform to share your work. Also keep checking Street Photography International for news of each Collective member, and to see who the latest photographer is being featured on the Contributors Gallery.

Lastly, and of course by no means least! I received a sneak preview of my image “Paddington Silhouette’ printed in the fine art photography magazine Neoprime this week. You can view this sneak preview here and view the image in its entirety, in the colour section above.

I will be at the Lumiere light festival this Sunday, so if you see me, come and say hello.

Thank you very much for reading, have a great weekend, and happy snapping.

Craig

 

Happy New Year

 

Happy New Year, and welcome to the first blog of 2016.

With the turn of the New Year, today I would like to reflect on the previous twelve months, and share a few photos I captured from the last two weeks.

So now we are in 2016, and my photography journey has progressed to a new level in such a short space of time. 2015 started with me making trips into London, capturing urban landscape shots, of landmark buildings such as Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and St. Paul's Cathedral.

Over the next few months I also shot macro, abstract, and landscape photography. But it was in August when my photography passion was ignited. After receiving the news that one of my St. Paul's shots was to be featured in the Olympus digital magazine, I came across street photography in that same edition. Of course I was aware of past great photographers and photographs, but this was when I saw street Photography as an art form, a challenge, and a separate genre. I started searching for all the links I could find and came across Nicholas Goodden's streetphotographylondon.co.uk (a street photographer in London and an Olympus Ambassador, a perfect place to start!) From "Nico's" site I was able to see other top street photographers work, including people that have become great inspirations to my work, and friends; Marius Vieth, Thomas Leuthard, Gagan Sadana, Walter Rothwell, Alan Schaller, and Iwona Pinkowicz. From there I decided to open a Twitter account and follow all of the above-mentioned photographers and more. One tweet from Nico then got me onto another positive path. He was selling his Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera. So I contacted him to buy it. I then met him along with Alan, Gagan, and Walter, and Justin Cliffe, at a presentation they were giving.

I was now going out with my new camera, specifically to capture street shots. After a few months of practicing, attending a couple of workshops and being inspired by other photographers, I had received some good feedback regarding my images. I then felt I had built up a portfolio to warrant a new website, for people to see my work and contact details.

On December 4th, I announced on Twitter that my website was now live. The very next day I received an email from an art magazine based in Los Angeles, requesting an interview, which will be published very soon.

Two weeks later, I was contacted by Gagan Sadana of StreetPhotographyinternational.com and SPi collective, with regards to contributing to their website. Of course I was over the moon with the news and more than happy to do so. A few days later I was then contacted by one of my biggest inspirations Marius Vieth, notifying me he would like to feature one of my shots in his fine art photography magazine, Neoprime. This for me was just amazing, and really was the cherry on top of a fantastic year.

2015 was rounded off superbly by meeting up with two great photographers, whose paths have been equally exciting this year; Iwona Pinkowicz and Benjamin Nwaneampeh. Iwona has been featured on websites The Phoblographer, La Noir, interviewed for Street Photography London, and soon to be a guest on Valerie Jardin's podcast. Benjamin has also been interviewed on Street Photography London, is a member of the x100c Collective, and most recently took over The PrintSpace Instagram account. We plan to have regular meet ups throughout the year, which I will look forward to very much. Their great photos and latest news are available to view at iwonapinkowicz.com and benjamin.nwaneampeh.com respectively.

So that was 2015, in which I met and spoke to some great photographers, learned new skills, had some fantastic moments, and enjoyed it immensely. I have set myself some goals for 2016, which has started very well already, but I will share this news in the near future.

It would be great to hear what your goals for your photography are this year. You can do this by commenting below.


Lastly, here are a few shots captured from the last two weeks.

 Let's Do This - Taken at Southbank Skatepark, London

Let's Do This - Taken at Southbank Skatepark, London

 My Face Lights Up When I See You - Taken at Tate Modern, London

My Face Lights Up When I See You - Taken at Tate Modern, London

 Fire & Ice - Taken at Tate Modern, London

Fire & Ice - Taken at Tate Modern, London

 Mode Ten Art - Taken at Tate Modern, London

Mode Ten Art - Taken at Tate Modern, London

Thank you for reading; I wish you a good weekend, and happy snapping.

Craig

 

 

Wow!


Wow! What a weekend it has been!

In the few days since my last post, I have been contacted by two of my biggest inspirations in photography, world-renowned, multi award winning photographer, Marius Vieth and the fantastic Street Photography International.

On Friday, I received an email from Marius regarding one of my photos. This was a huge moment for me (I got so excited, I sent him an email with kisses that was meant for my girlfriend!); Marius is my biggest inspiration in photography. Not only is his work absolutely incredible, but his story and path to where he is now also mean a great deal to me personally. He has a fantastic YouTube channel and free E-Book that provides great lessons and advice to progress your own photography, again these are something I subscribe to and totally recommend.  He also publishes his own fine art photography magazine called Neoprime, which features stunning photography from young and upcoming photographers around the world. The first edition is sold out, but the second edition will be out soon. To see Marius’s stunning work and links visit mariusvieth.com and neoprimemag.com.

On Sunday, I was also absolutely delighted to hear that my work had been published in the Contributors Gallery at Street Photography International, which you can view here. This website features the work of excellent street photographers including Ronya Galka, Alan Schaller, Gagan Sadana, Reuven Halevi and Walter Rothwell, together they are known as the Street Photography International Collective. Check out their beautiful photos and their personal websites by following the links from streetphotographyinternational.com

These are two huge moments on my photography journey for which I am truly grateful and privileged to have them enjoying my work. 

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year,

Craig

 

Walking, Talking and Shooting

Hello again…

This week I'm going to share my experience of attending a group workshop lead by Robert Pugh, my views on the Olympus M. Zuiko 25mm 1.8 lens, and some photos that were taken with that very lens.

Last week I told you about the 1-2-1 workshop I attended with Gagan Sadana, and how important I feel it is in order to progress your own photography, you should look to continue learning and getting tips or advice from photographers whose work inspires you.

Well, to do just that, on Saturday, 5th December, nine keen photographers and I attended a street photography workshop, hosted by Olympus Ambassador, and top wedding and portrait photographer, Robert Pugh.

Being an Olympus Ambassador and Visionary, Robert’s workshop also had the added luxury of being able to test Olympus Cameras and lenses. I really wanted to use the Olympus M. Zuiko 25mm lens (50mm equivalent on the Micro Four Thirds system) with my E-M1, as I hadn’t used this focal length before. I also wanted to see how I performed with it on the street and whether it would be a valuable addition to my current kit (M. Zuiko 17mm and 45mm lenses).

The day began at Park Cameras, Rathbone Place, London, where Robert gave us a few camera setting tips, and told us what locations our route would take in: Soho, China Town, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Westminster, Southbank, and Tate Modern. Excellent, I was very happy with this route.

The group consisted of beginners, knowledgeable users, and featured artists. Between us, a number of camera brands were being used. Besides Olympus, there were Canon, Sony, and Pentax users.

We were now ready to go. It was then walking out of the store that it dawned on me, how the task of leading 10 people through a busy Central London is going to be no mean feat!

Throughout the day Robert spoke to us as a group, but also spent a great deal of time with us individually, to answer any questions and for general chat. Due to his vast knowledge and experience, he was able to assist each attendee with their camera settings, regardless of brand. He gave clear instructions and demonstrations on zone focusing, panning, composition, and subjects. One particular setting that Robert provided, benefited my photography instantly, and I now use it constantly on the street. It's a specific black and white setting for the electric viewfinder and LCD screen. He also has a Lightroom preset that matches this exact setting.

As the day was going along, I was getting more and more used to the focal length of the lens, and really enjoying using it. The images posted here were all taken with it, on this workshop.

Our day ended with a coffee and a discussion about the whole day, which enabled us to share contact details and links to our social website accounts.

With regards to my experience of Robert's workshop, I have nothing but positive feedback to give. Robert's openness and approachability makes everyone comfortable and willing to engage in the group. His wealth of knowledge and experience enables him to answer every question clearly and concisely, in a way the attendee is able to understand and then put into practice. The way he manages to share his time equally amongst 10 people is highly impressive, and makes what I thought would be no easy task, look very easy. Added with the opportunity to test Olympus cameras and lenses, this workshop is highly recommended to anyone looking to buy their first camera or thinking about switching to the mirrorless camera system. You can find more information on Robert's training academy workshops here, or view his wedding and portrait portfolio here.

On my thoughts of the M. Zuiko 25mm lens, I have to say I loved using it. The focal length was brilliant for street photography, and I can fully understand why it comes so highly recommended for this particular genre. Like my current lenses, this is built with the same high quality, produces brilliantly sharp images (not quite as sharp as the 45mm, but still very sharp), very light in weight and all at a very good price. A couple of things I would love to see on future Olympus prime lenses, is the pull back mechanism of the focus ring to switch between manual and autofocus (like the 17mm lens) and weather sealing. I was happy with quite a number of images that day, and can safely say this lens would rarely be off my camera once I own it. What with Christmas Day being a week away, who knows when that will be? (Family, friends and my darling dearest, that’s a hint!)

Talking of Christmas, there will be no blog next week, but there are some exciting things in the pipeline, that I hope to be able to share with you before then.

I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

Thank you for reading, and happy snapping.

Craig

A Gagan Sadana Workshop & My Photography Influences

Hello again, and welcome to this weeks blog. This week I wanted to share a bit more about myself, to give you an idea of what influences my photography, how I got hooked on street photography in the first place and of course, share some images. The photos I will be sharing are from the day I attended a 1-2-1 workshop, with a photographer whom I have great respect for, continuously admire his work and can happily call a friend; Street Photography International Collective member and Panasonic Europe ambassador, Gagan Sadana.

The mention of Gagan leads me greatly onto the influences of my own photography...


The early years of my life were spent growing up in a council flat, in Fulham, SW6. Of course my parents, grand parents, other family members and friends influenced my behaviour, values and humour. But it was at an early age I was also aware of the characters on our estate. From Bruce to Betty to the one-armed war veteran that sang for money. I have always been drawn to these interesting types of characters on the street, and aim to capture their character in an image. Rolling on the years to the present day, I have had a varied life, full of ups and downs, which have also had an impact on my photography; people interacting with each other, sharing tender moments or laughs, or a person sitting alone, looking into empty space, reflecting on what is important to them. These are all things that I can relate to; again I try to capture these moments with the intention of giving the person viewing my images an opportunity to connect and share that emotion or moment with my subject.

We then come to the photographers whose work has inspired me to generate my own style of photography in capturing these moments, and improve my image taking capabilities in general. Of course I marvel at the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Renè Burri, and Richard Avedon, but having the opportunity to engage with top photographers is an even bigger influence in developing my own skills. This is why I attended a 1-2-1 workshop with Gagan two weeks ago and plan to attend others in the future.

The workshop began with coffee and Gagan talking through a number of his fantastic images, how he got them and why he took them. He then explained what route we were going to take, and we then set off. Within 50 yards of our start point Gagan stopped in his tracks and pointed out a beautiful light streaming across the floor of Kings Cross station. He then gave me pointers on where I should be standing to capture the long shadows cast by this light, and what type of things have a bigger impact. This is one from that spot.

This was course for the day. Every so often we would reach a point of interest, whether that was light, leading lines, juxtapositions, reflections or people, Gagan would give clear and concise information on how best to use these elements and how best to capture them. Here is an image that uses reflections as additional texture to the subject.

Titled ‘Office Face’

It was also a joy to see Gagan in his flow of capturing images too. It’s almost stealth like (which of course helps in street photography). He moves slowly and purposely around his subject, making sure he gets the best angle possible, then with a press of the shutter he’s got his image. Seeing how it is done is hugely rewarding, and makes it easier for me to develop my own skills in this art.

Two of Gagan’s most recent published images were from that day, and I will provide a link further down this page for you to view them, and the rest of his amazing work.

Our route included locations that I had never been to before, from Kings Cross, to Marylebone Station, to Grand Canal. The day was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. Gagan’s knowledge and advice has helped me immensely, along with the new locations I have since used in my own time, like this one by Grand Canal, Paddington.

I would totally recommend anyone getting into photography, or wanting to take their photography to the next level, to book themselves an on-location workshop or online workshop from a top photographer like Gagan. Listening to any advice they have can only be beneficial to your progression. Do your research on the photographer providing the workshops first and see if they provide the training you’re looking to receive. If you're happy with it, go for it, you'll also have the opportunity to meet other photographers like yourself.

To view Gagan’s amazing portfolio, news of exhibitions or workshops visit blackandwhitestreetphotography.com


That's it for this week, I hope you enjoyed it. If you would like any recommendations of workshops either online or on-location, you can get in touch with me through the contact section above. 

In next weeks blog, I will share some shots I got testing the Olympus M. Zuiko 25mm 1.8 lens, on a workshop with Olympus Ambassador and top wedding and portrait photographer Robert Pugh, in London.

I hope you have a great weekend capturing your own moments,

Craig

 

Welcome

Hello, and welcome to the first blog, of what will become a weekly feature here.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing images that I have captured, news on what’s happening within my photography career, information on the equipment I use and giving you recommendations on books, websites and YouTube videos, that could help you progress your own skills in photography.

I will also be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding your photography. You can do this by emailing me through the contact section above or by clicking here.

In next week’s blog I will tell you more about how I got into street photography, and who and what drive my passion for the genre. I will also share some images I captured on a workshop with Street Photography International Collective member and Panasonic Europe ambassador, Gagan Sadana.

Thank you for reading and have a great week capturing your own moments,

Craig