Thursday, 15 October 2009

Exercise 13: A standard view

The next exercise was to use a standard focal length for street images. For this I used my 50mm f/1.8 lens. Despite being my cheapest, I love this lens, as the creative possibilities with the shallow depth of field are endless, and I love being forced to move myself to compose, it makes me look for different images than I would otherwise. I took these photographs at the folk festival in my local town again.

The image above was taken during the parade in the folk festival. I thought this was a fairly quirky portrait, despite being noticed by the subject in the image, I feel it works well as an image, displaying the dress well, and capturing him looking into the onlookers as he walks down the high street.

This is the second image I chose for this exercise. These were street performers at the folk festival, musicians to accompany the dancers. While another photographer was with these people they had stopped playing for a minute while she tried to get them to pose for the shot she wanted. Whilst she was doing this I saw the opportunity where these two musicians were casually moving, but created a great composition in front of me, so I quickly grabbed the moment to show both the drummer and the other musician (not sure what the instrument is called!) together in their unusual dress (even for morris dancers!).

I really like the above image as it captures the dancer in perfect focus in the dance, staring straight ahead, but with an expression that denotes the internal concentration. The dancers in the background mirroring her moves also add to the picture, and give a good sense of the movement of the dance.

I enjoyed using this lens in street photography. I felt it was more me than the wide angle lens, as it gave a very good perspective on what I saw at the event. It also allowed me to identify individuals, but still show some of the scene they were in.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Exercise 12: Up Close and Involved

When I saw this exercise, I knew it would be very challenging to get up close, so I waited for an event where I felt more comfortable to do this sort of photography, using the wide angle lens. Below are a selection of images from the Folk Festival in my local town.

Although above is not strictly "up close" I felt it was a shot I couldn't resist taking. To see one of the morris dancers, in full dress casually leaning against a wall outside of a fish and chip shot. I felt standing back just a bit with my wide angle lens (sigma 12-24, on a full frame, so it is an extremely wide lens). I felt showing this in context with the fish and chip shop was the only way that it would work.

These dancers were dancing right in front of me. I was near the widest to fit the entire scene in. I felt this captured the atmosphere and movement in the dance very well, as I was so close, I almost felt a part of it myself.

Again this is a very wide angle shot. I deliberately took it so you could see the police car in the background as it added a bit of contrast to the image, with the men in bright white, traditional morris dancers, waving their hankies about, while the police stand on and watch.

It was uncomfortable to be so close to the people when taking the photographs, its completely the opposite to the telephoto, as it is impossible to stay unnoticed. I don't think I handled this as well as the telephoto project, but am still reasonably pleased with the images I did capture.