Street Photography Workshop - Cardiff

Last week I had the pleasure to take a street photography workshop in Cardiff for Olympus, in association with Camera Centre UK. 

I arrived the day before the workshop (December 6th) to enable me to look for potential areas to shoot with the workshop group and to get my bearings around the City centre. The weather was awful and after walking around for a few hours I was absolutely saturated! Worse still, nothing had really caught my eye. 

I decided to head back to the hotel and get ready for a run (I’m currently training for the Edinburgh Marathon 2019). Today’s run was a 2.5-mile easy pace; so I thought it’d be a good time to have a look round for locations at the same time. I wasn’t disappointed. Now illuminated by the streetlights and heading further out, there were a number of locations that I really wanted to return to with my camera.

Here are some of the shots from the new locations I’d spotted.

With the first image I initially rejected it from my ‘picks’ in the editing stage due to the lens being steamed up and posted another one from the same location instead. After looking at this one again, I actually preferred it. Due to the steamed up lens, it gives the scene a greater feel and also works well with the lighting. 

The second photo was an easy location to photograph, as all I had to do was line my frame up with the vertical line of the wall to the right and just wait for one person to walk into the scene. But that was the frustrating part! As soon as I saw an interesting person walking towards me, I got into position and waited for them to hit the point I wanted them to be. In that time everyman and his dog would walk into the background or foreground and become a distraction in the composition. I was determined to get the shot so waited just over fifteen minutes until I got this one guy and thankfully got him in my preferred walking position.

The third photo is from the opposite end of the colourful subway. Again it was an easy shot to compose, as I wanted to use the stairs as a leading line from one corner and the bannister from the opposite corner. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long. Being a busy subway under a main road, there were many people using these stairs to get to the Winter Wonderland Fun Fair. After 5 minutes, this man walked into shot.

In the last photo I was making my way to a restaurant in the town centre and happened to spot this lady to my right, outside the church. I changed my direction and went towards her hoping she’d remain there until I got a bit closer. The first couple of shots were taken in portrait mode due to some blue Christmas lights forming an ‘X’ in the reflection on the paving slabs. As she was still stood with her back to me, I moved a little closer, beyond the reflecting lights and used the railings instead to guide the eye towards the lady.

The next day was much better in terms of weather (we actually had some bright spells) and it was brilliant to meet and talk to a number of fellow Olympus users.

We didn’t have the chance to go to the above locations as we visited the bay area instead and the light was slowly fading. This was a good choice in the end as the rain had started to come down again and we were able to use the Wales Millennium Centre as a dry location to get some composition practice in.

The participants really understood the exercise and were able to get some terrific shots in a short space of time. Looking around the whole frame for any distractions and then making minor adjustments to their position to remove them. It was great to hear how they would take this thought process into their own photography going forward.

All in all the day was very enjoyable. Great people, lovely city and new locations photographed.

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you all a merry Christmas, happy holidays and wonderful New Year.