Find a comfortable situation and concentrate on bursts of activity from which I should try to capture the ‘best’ moments.
These people were all sitting on wet ground in the rain. The rain seemed to make the colours very vibrant and it was the red coat coupled with the sad expression that led me to make this particular image. I used my maximum ISO to boost the shutter sped so that I could freeze the falling rain drops, (these are visible in the shot although perhaps not shown to best effect at web resolution). The background figures huddled under umbrellas also help the story of this pair sitting slightly miserably out in the rain. I have cropped some superfluous figures out of the image but I think the full frame version would also have been fairly acceptable.
This performer did not seem overly confident and I don’t think that the group of lads with beer cans helped to improve his confidence much! I managed to capture the concerned look on the performer’s face, the ‘attitude’ of the central character in the blue sweatshirt and, perhaps fortuitously, the laughter of the furthest back observer. I worked quite close in, with a 50mm lens, to capture this image but I apparently went unobserved. I felt much more comfortable with this than on project 9 but his particular group could have proved difficult if they took a dislike to being photographed….I also cropped this image in post production, mainly on the right hand side.
This shot captures a moment and gesture although it is the weakest shot within this selection. I was using a very wide angle lens which meant that I was really close, but people around me didn’t on the whole seem to guess that they were in the picture – this father may have done so. I actually really like shooting with a very wide angle but, one is much less able to ‘exclude’ from the frame when trying to capture a particular moment. In this case, there was little I could do about the back of the man on the left hand side or the shadowy arch of Waterloo bridge. More to learn about anticipation and perhaps ‘casing’ the background in advance.
Finally, this was my favourite shot of this session. By now the rain had become much heavier and darkness had fallen. I don’t know who the foreground photographer was but he clearly had access rights that I didn’t. Within this frame I like the way that the large white arrow points towards the photographer, his lens leads the eye to the central girl’s bottom and then the dotted white line leads to the highly appropriate sign which almost reads “rain, kiss my ass”. I was tempted to photoshop the sign so that it did indeed read that but left it as it was. I must admit that I had seen the sign earlier in the evening but this shot was a spur of the moment grab shot of the photographer and so its role was fortuitous but pleasing. Whilst not of the same calibre I can see echoes of the dancer in the background of the Cartier-Bresson ‘Man Jumping over Puddle, Paris, France, Gare Saint Lazare’ referred to within the course notes.
In summary, albeit that this was a relatively comfortable environment I can see that my comfort with and ability to photograph strangers in dynamic situations has improved.