I’m getting so much better in general at seizing the moment photographically-speaking, but all too often I still have a tendency to hesitate, to linger a little too long in my indecision when it comes to photographing people in the most dynamic of street shots.
Should I, shouldn’t I take my camera out, right here, right now? Will it look too obvious, will I be in the way, will people wonder what I’m doing, will they object if they see me? All too often I decide against it and walk on by, or leave it too late and miss the moment, or worse – through my obvious discomfort and hesitation end up drawing attention to myself and losing the candid nature of the shot.
I do so love looking at other people’s images of street photography, and I often find myself in situations where I can see the perfect people-shot developing right in front of me, but I just don’t always have the confidence to go with the photographic flow and follow it through smoothly and discreetly.
I do try to practice by taking ‘ordinary’ street shots on a regular basis, just to get used to the feeling, but these images tend to look bland and boring because ultimately nothing much is happening in them. Yet when it matters most, when I could potentially capture something worth capturing, I fumble, or freeze, and find myself failing dismally… 😦
Daily Prompt: Hesitate
Central London can be quite an overwhelming place to be – there is always so much noise everywhere you go. There are lots of people, lots of traffic, lots of building and road construction, so inevitably lots of voices, lots of idling engines and heavy plant machinery, just lots of noise no matter what! 🙂
Daily Prompt: Overwhelming
Sometimes I like to think of myself as a flaneuse (the feminine form of flaneur), wandering the city streets with my camera and observing urban life, creatively capturing the essence of each scene as I feel it rather than simply recording faithfully a purely factual representation of what I see before me.
It’s my kind of street photography, finding interesting subjects in common-or-garden situations, everyday Londoners (permanant and temporary) whether at work, rest, or play… 🙂
Here are a small selection from my archives, giving a flavour of everyday London life – local bobbies on the beat in Stratford, a drink and a smile in a beer garden in Leytonstone, selfies by the statue of Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras station, life resembling art via a bench in front of a life-sized painting in the Imperial War Museum, and skateboarders living their colourful life in the shadows along the South Bank… 🙂
Discover Challenge: Flaneur
A bubble-blowing street entertainer along London’s South Bank – the late afternoon light has caught the sparkling shine on the surface of the huge bubbles created by the two long sticks joined by a piece of rope that was dipped in the bubble mix and waved gently through the air – the kids certainly all loved it! 🙂
Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine
I’m naturally a bit of an introvert – I’ve always felt myself to be more of a home-bird than a party-animal, and so often prefer my own company to being in a large group – but nevertheless sometimes I crave being just another face in the crowd, alone yet somehow part of a recognisable tribe, invisibly blending in with everyone else around me.
Thankfully living in a big city like London there’s no difficulty in finding a never-ending supply of strangers to lose myself amongst, and with my camera in hand I can comfortably place myself behind the lens, present along with everyone else yet still safely placed on the outside looking in… 🙂
Daily Prompt: Craving
We see so many rough sleepers on the streets here in London, and it always saddens me to feel so helpless in being unable to do anything in the moment. There are always homeless shelters offering temporary accomodation – basically a shower and change of clothes, a bunk for the night, and a hot meal – and our local charity shop raises money directly for a shelter here in East London so I try to donate items as regularly as I can.
I do try to offer a friendly smile as I pass and often get a smile or a nod in return, but I see so many others walk on by oblivious, without any acknowledgement that rough sleepers are people too. I do appreciate that some homeless people may have drink or drugs problems, but surely not all? I often wonder about their individual stories – what particular set of circumstances or chain of events might have brought them to be living such an uncomfortable existence from doorway to doorway, street to street, night after night?
I often find myself imagining how isolating it must feel to be so totally abandoned by society, to find yourself so unbearably out in the cold, so forced out so far to the edge of (and beyond) everyone else’s comfort zone as to be rendered effectively invisible to the rest of humanity…
Daily Prompt: Abandoned
This young woman busking in Camden yesterday afternoon seemed to be enjoying her solitude, deep in her own creative space, oblivious to the chaotic Camden crowd passing by on the pavement, some lingering awhile, some not… and some taking photographs too 🙂
Posted in response to this week’s Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Solitude