Monmouth

Documentary

I get quite frustrated with street photography. To get good shots you want people to be totally unaware you’re photographing them. Being inconspicuous is not very easy when you have a large SLR and a bulky 24-70mm lens. Cartier-Bresson insisted on using a Leica rangefinder because of it’s relatively small size, high quality and near silent shutter. He used to hide it under his jacket and whip it out to take the photo without anyone seeing.

So I started shooting with the camera swinging in my hand by my hip. The obvious disadvantage is that you can’t see through the view finder to compose the shot. However they reveal people wrapped up in their own little world, engrossed in conversation or their window shopping. For me this, along with the unusually low viewpoint makes up for the slight inaccuracies in focus or composition, even enhance it. Anyway I’m going to keep on photographing people in this way, certainly in the lead up to Christmas, see if the enjoyment/urgency of Christmas shopping shows through.

Monmouth is in Gwent, on the border of Wales and England. The day photos were taken within 20 minutes of each other and the two last were the following night when I went to see my Dad perform with a choir in Handel’s Messiah at St. Mary’s church in Monmouth. There’s certainly a voyeuristic element to this stlye of photography..

Let me know what you think, what you do/don’t like about this style.

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4 thoughts on “Monmouth

    1. Well I usually use the 24mm end of the Zoom. But you’re right, if I had the resources I’d have two bodies with a 28mm and 50mm prime. Thanks for the comment.

  1. i like the way the subjects loom large in the photos. they can look slightly more intimidating or something, and that makes the photos more eyecatching. or maybe shooting from the hip makes the you look at the world from a different angle. i dunno but i like it.

  2. Good stuff…know what you mean about bulk etc Breson wasn’t so in their faces..the other blokes comments re prime 28mm is true in that its more discreet and maybe quicker and you train your ye to see in a certain way but everyones got their opinion. I used to trapes round Southall years bak with Nikon and 28mm and 135mm. and also a twin lens reflex! Good thing about that is no one knows where you are looking. Coolest one was yashicamt 124 G (i think) Cheap, light, sharp and cool…
    If you are about and fancy a coffee let me know as have joint idea that could be good….Tony

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