The weekend landed and so did the nice weather. It’s rare in the UK for the weekend to come along and also hit really nice weather but it’s happened and the temperature sored to a scorching 28°C. Too hot for some but for the others the beach was calling and I was also heading in the same direction. I would like to say that it was rich pickings for a street photographer shooting around a beach on a weekend like this but the truth was zeroing in on unique moments and details that caught my eye became a lot harder. Sometimes it can be nicer to shoot when there’s less going on to distract, other times I thrive on the hectic environment. I think it just depends on what mood I find myself in when shooting and possibly how much coffee I have drank!
Working on a project requires dedication to the cause but that shouldn’t be seen as a laborious task, in fact if it’s something that you’re truly interested in then it’s part of what is enjoyable in your life. That’s not saying that there won’t be frustration but the pleasure will massively outweigh the pain. I find the joys and attraction to street photography are you never know what you are going to find. It’s a little like panning for gold at times; heading out to find something, having the drive and resilience to keep an open eye to situations. I find that images or scenes tend to happen in a very sporadic manor, they all seem to appear all at once or sometimes not at all. I don’t just say this because of my own experiences but also talking to many other photographers and looking at their working process. I also found looking at the Magnum Photos – Contact sheets book was also extremely insightful to the working process of those whom are considered the masters of photography. So I continue to walk the streets or in this case the seafront of my chosen location; Cleethorpes, in search of what is interesting.
I offer a handful of images that I have weeded out from my latest shoot and continue to pick out the successful photos from these visits to become part of my ongoing project – By the Sea.
As the English summer has started to dawn (and by that I mean a few nice days in a row before it clouds back over) I have made the most of it and headed to the coast with my girlfriend. Yes the coast is on our doorstep but we decided to travel a couple of hours further north to Scarborough for the change of scene.
As always I carry my Leica and take any opportunity to shoot whatever interests me and the English coast always provides a plethora of visual feasts to be had. So I have continued to shoot and I am starting to build a small collection of seaside images of surrounding coastal towns, like I have said in a previous blog post I am drawn towards the coast so it’s obvious that I am going to collect scenes from these places. Now at the same time I am shooting a project called by the sea ( www.danbaker.me/by-the-sea ) and was intending on producing images of the Cleethorpes seaside but after sharing these images with a friend and fellow street photography, he had suggested that they should be a part of my current project. I hadn’t really considered expanding the project to surround coastal towns but after thought it made sense.
This is what I love about street photography and the creative process; having the opportunity to share and talk about images with others. I’m not only talking about my work but having the opportunity to see and discuss others work too. It’s always great to reach out and see what other photographers are doing and have going on in their lives. so thanks to those who have already got in touch!
I feel at this point I need to say that if anyone would like to talk about any work or ideas, or even just say hi, then feel free to reach out and get in touch, I would love to hear from you and I find the creative process really comes alive when you start exploring these new avenues with others.
I have been working on my new project looking at my surrounding area; the seaside (www.danbaker.me/by-the-sea ). I have always been drawn towards the coast as I’m sure many people are, it has a certain gravitation and as such proves to be a rich environment to photograph.
Not all the images that I shoot make it into my project but that doesn’t mean that I want to discard them, I simply have an idea of what I would like to include within my body of work. I still want to share some of the scenes that I find and obviously my blog is the perfect place to showcase them.
Street shooting in Leeds city centre
Shooting around a city always throws up some interesting situations to photograph, sometimes things stand out but other times the scenes take a little teasing out. I would like to say that the cities give different results but the truth of the matter is that it’s my perception that changes. Sometimes I hit the streets in a particular mind set and depending on this will dictate how receptive I am to the scenes around me. Leeds is a city that can throw me in a couple of directions; sometimes I can shoot and get a few results where as other times I can come away with nothing. Today I have come away with a few images which is always better than nothing but on reflection I always want to be more articulated with some of the images that I take. The trick is to keep shooting and keep practicing, so I continue to shoot and I’m always looking for that great image.
I think that one of the most important things with street photography is just to get out and taking a walk. Things will happen around you or you will stumble upon scenes or situations that spark some sort of interest. I like to do this whenever I can, I don’t always find something that interests me, I think it depends how you are thinking about a situation or how receptive you are on a particular day. I don’t always know what’s going to happen or what I’m going to find but that’s all part of the fun of street photography. There’s always that possibly that you’re going to find something that’s new and sets your thinking down a completely unexpected path. I normally like to shoot around places where there are a few people winding about, lately I have become more interest in places busier but when I last walked out and shot these images below I was without that audience to interact with. I still found these little scenes that interested me. I didn’t particularly think too much about these images while I was working other than I enjoyed shooting them and satisfied that creative process.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend today. Let me set the scene; we drove down a street that I hadn’t seen before and I was amazed at the amount that was on offer to photograph. It was one of those places where every few meters there was that magic where things were happening and teeming with life, even on this rainy day. To me it was like an epicentre of street scenes and I said how amazing and rich the street was. Sadly I was driving, I didn’t have time to park up walk and shoot the area.
My friend said that there seemed to be lots to photograph around this street that would make the place look bad, in the context that it would interest me. I found this comment intriguing and replied with; how can I make the place look bad? Surely the place is ‘bad’ or undesirable and the photograph is a representation of what the place is, therefore the place ‘looks bad’ and I’m just capturing what I see. And this got me thinking too; everything is subjective and the place ‘looking bad’ is more of a comment from a perspective which as we know can vastly vary.
I guess this leads me to the question, Am I making the places that I photograph look bad or is this just from a certain perspective. I don’t know, I mean I’m not intentionally going out thinking I want to take images of subjects that make them look bad or negative. I photograph things that interest me, yes I can show a frame of a situation but that image is of something real that is actually happening. I’m not making a judgement on that, I’m leaving that to the viewer.