In Australia there is a famous photographer called Max Dupain, a modernist according to wikipedia. However that is not what I was going to write about. The subject for today is on how others work can provide a guide/inspiration for what one does today.
Recently on a trip to Adelaide I decided to visit the local beach of Glenelg (A palindrome) and lo and behold as I walked towards the beach I saw a man sitting, very suntanned in the sun. Now it is not the same shot as Dupain’s iconic work of a suntanned man on a beach. However on seeing the man I immediately saw the parallels. So it was a brisk walk to an position in which I could take a shot desperately hoping that he would not move away as I neared. I only took the one shot as I am sure he was very aware of me after the first and I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable.
Here is the image, I like it as it captures Australia as it is today, multi-cultural, beach loving free and easy society. No doubt Dupain’s work captured the same in his day.
The moral if there is one is to read and look at others work, find inspiration from that and use that inspiration to create ones own work.
I was watching this couple for a short while waiting for some interesting interaction. Luckily for me a pigeon decided to walk past much like an a person determined not to be engaged with the sellers of the praline nuts. It was too much of an opportunity to pass up. After all birds eat nuts and seeds and other offerings from the casual passer-by. To find a pigeon acting out a human role was a delight. The pigeon is even ignoring the offering dropped by others on the ground around the vendors cart.
Hope you like it and if you want a copy on your wall drop me a line.
My wife and I went for a stroll around parts of Melbourne the other night before going to a concert featuring the complete Handel Messiah, (not exactly to my taste but one has to try before rejecting). Obviously whilst walking around I was looking for street shots that I could add to my slowly growing collection.
The one I am showing you today was meant to be mostly about the cyclist, as that is what first attracted me. However on reviewing at home I was extremely pleased that a greater story unfolded with the characters in the background. In the one shot I had three phone users all doing a different thing with the phone. Talk about luck.
I do hope you enjoy it and if you would like it on your wall drop me a line.
Because it is not just a case of snapping people out in the street doing not much. Ideally there should be a story or an artistic aspect to the picture. After all if it was just a case of snapping anyone doing anything then everyone would be able to do street.
However it is much more than that, its a case of finding that scene and waiting for the “actors” to appear. Or spotting someone and waiting for things to develop. For instance one day while out doing street I saw in the Flinders street station a man carrying a cross. He was back in the shadow, however I deliberately waited until he had partially moved into the sunlit area. Now the picture represents a much more involved story. He is now representing the notion of religious enlightenment , the moving from the dark to light, of finding god. It also fits with his one ungloved hand versus the black gloved hand. Making the image much more interesting and dynamic. The waiting well that is what Henry Cartier-Bresson was all about with his “decisive moment”.
Sometime of course things unfold so quickly that it is difficult to find that decisive moment. Which is why sometimes it is better to find a scene and wait for the “actor/s” to enter and complete the story.
Some of you may know that I do street photography. Now I don’t do this all that often but when I get some time and inclination I like to wonder around Melbourne looking for that elusive street shot that talks. It is not an easy genre and the temptation is to just take photos of people. But that is not street in its true form, in essence the timing and the scene should convey a story. Below are some of my image taken over a number of years. Some more closely fit the idea of a story than others, but I hope you get the idea.
I have been an active member of a street photography group here in Melbourne now sine 2012 and have exhibited every year with the group. This year we have an exciting group exhibition in the Sofitel Hotel on Collins Street Melbourne. So if you happen to be in Melbourne sometime over the next three months do drop into the Sofitel and wander up to the 35th floor and have a look at the exhibition.
Enjoy and if any take your fancy then drop me a line and we can discuss how you might become the owner of a print
In classic black and white is this beautiful study of what most would consider to be a terrible location, the old Melbourne jail (gaol for the English). An ideal art piece for that dramatic location on your wall. The Melbourne jail image sits in the Street Photography category and with the characters in the image provides a greater visual dynamic that enables the viewer to interact with the scene.
Often when walking the streets it is easy to become fixated on looking for people doing something and thereby missing the more subtle aspects of human activity.
For instance whilst out last Saturday I happened to notice a shop assistant reaching for a macaron. Luckily she did it more than once and this shot is the result.
What followed there for me was the closer attention to what people were doing with their hands such as:
So t he long and the short of this article is look at everything and keep the mind open when out doing street photography. One never knows what delights one will find.