Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

UK Summer 2012

The weather in UK throughout 2012 has been quite unappealing. We English have a reputation for always talking about the weather; not surprising since we live under generally overcast skies and spend much time avoiding the rain. 2012 has actually turned out to be the wettest year since records began!

Here is a shot I took whist holidaying in Devon (the sunshine county).

Well it wasn't all rain...  and I thought I should post a few images of summer; just in case any of my English readers have forgotten. As usual, these all taken using my beloved Ricoh GRD3.

Summer dresses were plentiful around the fashionable parts of London. I took her picture from two metres away, and although she is not pin sharp in focus, her sense of style certainly was!

Now for a more traditional style of British summer attire, you really can't better the knotted handkerchief and proud sun burned belly!

Roll on 2013...   and a happy new year!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Blogging on Christmas Day

Sitting around a television watching yet another repeat of Only Fools and Horses, wishing l hadn't eaten quite so much turkey; while the rest of the family laugh, drink and argue their way into a festive black hole...  l decided to reach for my phone and write a post on my blog. With a glass of ruby port in one hand, and my Samsung Note 2 in my other; writing couldn't be easier, especially as I am actually 'writing' this using the Samsung stylus which is quicker than typing with a laptop keyboard.

Anyway...  this post has nothing to do with Christmas. It is actually just another photo post; or an excuse to post some Street Photographs which I have taken over the last few months...  Or an excuse to not get dragged into the family disputes going on around me as I write this.

So here is a small selection of Colchester locals; all with hints of pink and orange.  This makes a change from my usual black and white presentation. Maybe the festive spirit in me showing itself in full colour.

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Cambridge People

A few months ago, I visited Cambridge to do a little shopping. Cambridge is an hour's drive from my home, and is a nice place to wander around. I wanted to get some street images from the people of Cambridge; especially as the city is crammed full of university students, foreign tourists and local Cambridgites. It was one of those days where I ended up being very disappointed with my photographic results. At the end of the day, I realised I had my camera all set up totally wrong, and most of the shots were blurred and messed up.

I did, however, get three images which I was pleased with:

There was something nice about this girl. She seemed to hold a very content composure, as she wandered through the old shopping streets. I captured here nicely in front of the victorian shops. 

 Now this girl definitely clocked my hip-held camera action. Looking straight into the camera!  Once again, I liked the way I framed her as she crossed the road, mid-stride with her hair caught in the wind.

Here we have a nice old couple sitting together. Two different expressions and postures. This time I actually stood in front of them and took their picture, without my usual secrecy. I like the aged expression of the old chap; probably wondering why I am taking his picture.

Next time I visit Cambridge, I will get many more images.  I shall check my setting properly.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

City Noir

I have been very quiet recently on the blogging front. This is partly due to trying to move home, a heavy work load, cold damp uninspiring weather, and of course my general lazyness. Sometimes I just don't feel like the writing, photo editing, uploading, etc. The worst part is not having the urge to go out with a camera and actually shoot stuff.

I blame November for all of my flat brain activity. November is the first proper month after the UK shifts the clocks by an hour, thus causing every evening to be dark by 5pm. November is the month when all of a sudden, all of the roads are jammed with people who have no idea how to drive at night; hence my daily commute becomes tiring and stressful. November is also flipping cold in UK.


I have just recently gone out with a few fellow photographers to London, with a photographic theme and purpose. I usually do my photography on my own, with the freedom of my own making. Sometimes, however, it is great to work with some like minded people; with whom you can bounce off ideas and experiences, and learn quite a bit about our favourite pastime.

The theme of the evening was 'City Noir'; the purpose being to take photographs heavily influenced by the images of 'Film Noir' from the 1940s and 1950s. Luckily for me, Film Noir has always been one of my favourite cinematic genres. I have countless old VHS tapes, DVDs and books of film noir. I have always been attracted to the darkness of the scenes and the style of the imagery.

Most of the films seemed to involve individuals or gangs on the wrong side of the law, always deperately trying to survive within the gritty underworld of crime and deviance. These were the crooks and gangsters with a badly planned bank heist, or the guy who steps into the seedy world of vice. There was often a female role and love interest; either the down-trodden gal always trying to please her heartless hoodlum man, or the platinum blonde femme-fatale intent on the money, power and eventual destruction of the men she ensnares.

All the films were set in the alleyways and streets of American cities, in the shadows of brick walls, old warehouses, low rent offices, cheap hotels and motels... always seeming to be at their best, filmed in the black of night under the limited glare of old street lights and illuminated windows. The use of shadow and darkness was very consistent throughout the film noir genre.  Truly high contrast B&W.

For a little list of the greatest examples of film noir... check this Eddie Muller page.

And if you were to just search for film noir in google image search, you'd get this.

So anyway...

I met up in London with my camera-buddies, and spent about three hours lurking around dark alleyways and street corners of the big city. If you wander away from any main street, you'll soon find dark and somewhat lonely looking places, with just a few people hanging around. London is a fairly safe city compared with some places, so I was quite happy to lurk about with my stealthy camera ready to capture people.

As it was a very low light scenario, I set my Ricoh GRD3 up at a high 800 ISO, which is fine because any grittiness or grain actually helps these kinds of shots. My F1.9 or 2.2 was good enough to just about allow a hand held 40th or 50th sec shutter speed.

Here are the best results from my City Noir night.