I have always had a love of street photography especially that of a candid nature, that is to say, when the subjects are unaware of your presence. I believe that if you are discreet, the end result is always more pleasing and natural.
I had messed around for a few years with the subject but confidence betrayed me more often than not. That was until I met the legend that was David Hannah. Davie as we will call him, introduced me to new aspects of photography and with his help, my self-assurance grew, not to mention my skill level, which was greatly enhanced thanks to Mr. Hannah.
The man acquainted me with night shoots, light trails, sunsets and landscapes, whilst in return, I gave him his first taste of studio work.
But it was my love of working with people that always won me over. It does not matter if it was an event such as a concert, a sporting occasion, a model shoot or simply walking the streets observing and patiently waiting for the right moment or incident to occur.
For instance in image one above, I spotted the lady in a world of her own in a coffee shop as I passed by in the darkness. I took the photo and disappeared into the night, leaving her totally unaware of my presence – and that for me is the secret of street work.
It was Davie who taught me about Bokeh/Depth of Field or gave me greater clarification on the subject at least. We would walk the streets of Glasgow and I would observe his positioning, request details of his camera settings and ask every question under the sun as I picked his brain.
Street musicians are often a great source of images and will usually have no problem with you taking a photo or two in return for a few pennies in their hat or box. Buskers are there to make money at the end of the day and are wonderful subjects. Incidentally, the gent above does some brilliant covers of T. Rex, Slade and Mungo Jerry to name a few.
The homeless make another smashing subject and although I won’t show images of those less fortunate than myself here, I always asked permission before taking the photos and gave them a couple of pounds for some nourishment.
Often I would go out with the view of covering an event such as half marathon or in the instance above, an annual bicycle race in Glasgow. when there is no star attraction, I would focus on the crowds or anything else of interest. This would occur frequently on the football terraces in matches I attended.
In many instances, the photo you are looking for magically appears in front of you, like the one with selective colouring or the girls reflections. As soon as I saw them, I had the image imprinted in my mind and how I would edit it once I returned home.
Or the one with the girl holding the sign. N0thing unusual there but add to it, her reading a book, and her angry or bored expression and you have a better image. She was totally engrossed in her novel, and once again, discretion is key.
Below is one that I took over and over again, whilst standing in the shadows of Jessops on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. I could picture what I was trying to capture but the lady in the image, didn’t play ball, in that the way she blew the smoke from her cigarette would affect the final production. Finally after numerous attempts, we nailed it. I say we but she knew nothing of it. Patience is a virtue though.
The next one I adore, simply because it could have been taken anywhere. In fact, Glasgow is probably the last city I would consider for this ones origin but it does go someway into displaying the cities diversity these days.
I have no idea if this is mother and child or grandmother but I like the capture nevertheless.
Sometimes when walking the streets with a camera, you draw attention to yourself and my next image reflects one of those occasions.
It is posed, because the lady in this offering was a model I had had the pleasure of working with previously and she recognised me as she and her family passed by. She took the time to speak to me and happily posed.
She even permitted me to take a few pictures of her children, who are just as photogenic as Ashley is and a studio shoot was arranged with them. I may do a post based on that shoot at a later time, for they are excellent models in their own right.
We often see street musicians but this was my first encounter with a magician on Glasgow’s streets.
A few card tricks to grab people’s attention before moving on to the more inventive saucery. What annoys me about these sort of acts is the way people will stand and enjoy the show then walk away like they had not observed their talent at all. And for what? To save a few coppers by not rewarding the entertainer. Come on, stop being a tight ass and give them a few pennies from your pockets.
I am going to leave you with an image of a man that is responsible for all that I love about photography. I mentioned Davie as I commenced this post and it is only fitting that I conclude with one of him.
Unfortunately he is no longer with us but he will always be with me in spirit. Rarely do I pick up my camera without reminiscing about the good times we enjoyed when out and around various cities, beaches or mountains with our trusty camera. RIP big man. Miss you.