Recently I have been analysing how the environment I am in dictates the way I shoot. I am really into street photography (it seems this is wide spread) so I go into areas with alot of activity. When I first began I found I get lost in its fast phase and would just shoot like hell as I was using a DSLR. I would end up with 100’s of images with 3 – 5 decent ones. The environment controlled me, I was sucked in to its energy and was placed in a state of trance of hip spraying. At times this has its creative merits. For example the shot underneath was taken from the hip. It was completely by chance and gave the element of surprise once I saw it. What you do not know is that I took 5 shoots and settled for this one and of course a bit of L4 action to get the mood.
One can argue we see things unconsciously but I would like abit more control on what I choose to shoot. Now when I am in a more relaxing setting, such as a park or a river, even with digital I do not shoot as many as I would have if I was in the City. (still not a max of 36 though) As I have time to shoot, I tend to search for interesting features and compositions of setting. This has been magnified further when I started shooting film. All which have ventured or still use film cameras know the importance of patience, composition and just watching.
Last week I went to the City to shoot some street photography armed with an Ilford 400 film with 36 exposures. I was there for 9 hours waking and only took 32 shots whilst out. I went out with a mindset of “only the one’s I had to take and nothing less”. This gave me courage to ask people on the streets to get some portraits. From the 3 people I asked 2 said yes. The most I had ever asked in a day and was pretty happy I started to overcome some fear that comes with street photography. Because each capture was a small selection I can recall them vividly, it has become a memory. I find this makes it that much more exciting as the whole roll has been carefully crafted by you. So next time you are out shooting try and be independent of the environment and show “you” in them. I’ll be posting the Ilford day photowalk once I receive them 🙂 Cheers.
Oh and film is not dead! Bring it back to the main stream!