Tunnel Vision.

One of the reasons why I took up street photography was that I enjoy people watching its been a favourite past time of mine for many years which then encouraged me to pick up a camera and start documenting the things I see. But I can easily forget why I took up this style of photography in the first place and I can find myself getting "Tunnel Vision" by that I mean I can start hunting for that one shot instead of letting the shot come to me.

The action is not always in front of you its going on behind you as well, if you see an interesting street scene move around it see what it looks like from a different angle try a lower or higher point of view and wait for the right subject to walk through. These are the things that I can easily forget about when I have "Tunnel Vision"  sometimes it's good to stop and wait.

So when I feel myself falling in to the trap of hunting for that shot I now stand on the corner of a busy street for half an hour i turn the camera off and watch the action unfold in front of me, yes I may miss that shot but what I'm doing is refreshing my photographic eye and I'm still taking images in my head.  Basically I go back to basics and start "People Watching" again.

 

 

Story behind the Picture #2


Summer 2016 and the UK is about to decided if we stay or leave the European Union.

If was the topic conversation for millions of people in pubs , clubs , at home , at work , on the bus , social media was awash with people's opinions right or wrong everyone had a view. You couldn't switch on the radio or the television without hearing about it. We was overloaded with information probably to much information.

As we was building up to the day that Briton went to the polls i decided to set myself a challenge . How could i sum up the referendum in one image?

I had a few ideas but it would take time to find the right location with the right subject which is all fine but with street photography anything can happen and sometimes nothing does happen.

Whilst out and about in Manchester one late afternoon i was strolling around the Northern Quarter watching people leave work to go home or meet up with friends. With the referendum image on my mind i found myself at the bottom of this alleyway and i spotted the sign at the top and i thought this would be a good place to get my picture as it had  that "in-out" scenario that i had been looking for and no sooner had i thought it then this gentlemen walked into the frame as i raised my camera he looked towards me and everything was spot on. His step was perfect there was no one else in the frame no cars passing as i pressed the shutter i knew i had it.


 

 

 

Story behind the Picture.

 

I think most Street Photographers have a Signature Image and this one is mine.

I was having one of them days where nothing was coming off. I was missing targets by seconds and i was finding myself in the right place at the wrong time . After a few hours of walking around and nothing to show for it i decided to hang around the Metro Stop in Piccadilly and see if i could get a passenger on the tram but after 10-15 minutes I was going to call it a day and i said to myself "just one more tram and that's it" ... 8 trams later i was still there! Then the one i had been waiting for arrived , as it stopped the sun was now behind me and i spotted this Lady sat in the window. The light was just about right and she had the look of a proper character which made it even better. As i moved towards the window knowing i only had seconds to take the shot before the tram moved off.  I raised the camera hoping for a reaction, at first she looked away, she then turned back raised a little smile and just before the tram moved off she flicked the V's and smiled again. You can see my reflection in the image and i'm grinning from ear to ear knowing that the day had not been wasted after all.

 

Street Photography in Manchester.

 

As you will probably know by now Manchester is where i do a lot of my Street Photography work and my on going "Faces of Manchester" Project is testament to that. Its a City that never ceases to amaze me i know the streets like the back of my hand but i always discover something new when i'm out there. 

Lets start with how i choose the locations , i split the City Centre up into four different areas and target each area on a rotation , by doing this it keeps things fresh for me as you know it can get a bit boring walking the same street day in day out and you can find yourself switching off at the crucial moment.

Northern Quarter -  With its little alleyways & Colourful Characters this is probably my favourite place to shoot, if street portrait is your thing then this is the place to go. Starting from Piccadilly Gardens past the famous Afflecks Palace and going all the way up Oldham Street it's a large area to cover and there are countless coffee shops as well.

Spinningfields -  A totally different contrast from the Northern Quarter this is the modern side of Manchester. With its steel & glass buildings and its business style look its a great place to capture the shadows & light, but watch out for the security around there as they can & will stop you shooting but for me that's the part of the fun.

Market Street - What can you say about this street , its a different world! Market Street is a Street Photographers paradise, i can walk up and down there 6-7 times and each time i see a different scene happening. But further up is Piccadilly i sometimes hit this when i'm doing the Northern Quarter but again this is a great place to shoot.

Oxford Road - Starting at the top near the Central Library & the famous archway which has been photographed countless times and then all the way up to the University this is a busy street during the week but again there are plenty of side streets to capture the lone subject. A five minute walk from there and you are in Castlefields.

The beauty of Manchester is that there are other little areas connected to the ones i have suggested like China Town & King Street. 

Street Photography is an adventure as you never know whats around that next corner and that's why i love shooting in Manchester.

Northern Quarter.