Wednesday, 28 August 2013

We The People

Welcome to a very positive day; today my second book We The People was published through Blurb the book is going to be a resounding success, it certainly is a culmination of the styles I have picked up through comical captures, metaphors and juxtaposition. 

Am happy it is finally finished and to be honest it has been a bit of a learning curve putting this together, unlike Work, Rest and Play this is probably a lot more besides.
After having a conversation with another photographer, we discussed my style of photojournalism and the approach is certainly artistic in execution, I am though just learning though admittedly I am developing a style. 

When you click on the link to my latest work you will be greeted with colour! I decided on going for full bleed images on some pages throughout the book, and have also opted for photo-spread layouts for the landscape perspective which are also showing fantastic contrast with the paper used which is ProLine Coated Pearl; I just like this paper and the cover itself is an oatmeal linen with standard mid grey end sheets and finished off with a high gloss hardcover dust jacket. 

The paper gives a superb look, a high dynamic range for great colour, rich blacks and superb contrast. 

A majority of the photos I shot during the scotia-pride event in Edinburgh were featuring people were rich vibrant coloured clothes, and this paper really shows how professional a look the photographs give. 
Moving on to the other locations, Chester offered a few surprises as did Blackpool, a fight took place and you can clearly see the public reaction, everyone honed into the area of interest, as though they were watching a scuffle in a school playground. It made for a very interesting shot I shot it with a zoom lens though; I prefer to get in closer with a 28mm F/2 Soligor or an F/1.8 MK II 50mm Canon. 

Prime lenses are ideal for street photography especially at night you can if using digital open the aperture up and adjust the ISO to 3200. You can get great results, I have tried using flash but straight away people will see that someone is taking photographs and you have lost the element of surprise. 

So it is much better using a higher ISO rating and the shots still have a great clarity about them, not so much noise. So if you like the look of the book please share the link, leave a comment or just give me some honest feedback would you have done something different, and if so what? 

One pattern I noticed that started to appear was the subject matter wherever I went people were asleep, day dreaming or was it the heat of the day and too much drink?

It truly is remarkable when you start viewing this and it then twigs in the mind this can be another book, and so that is exactly what I have started to work on, and why not after all the narrative is their I just have to go hunting. 

In fact the other day when I was itching to shoot something, I went for a stroll along the sea-front to see what subject matter was readily available, and I stumbled on a few ideas as I always do when am out walking. 

Model Shoot

During September I am going to be working on a new project with a friend who is an MUA (Make-Up Artist) 

Were going to be working on a few ideas mainly involving models so first up will be a shoot of one of Mita's  friends namely a transgender named Isis. We will be shooting a few fashion stills which sounds really exciting, am going to do this with a unique style that will hopefully incorporate some of the lighting skills, I have learned from reading the Strobist 101 blog if not read his invaluable source of lighting information, and his vast knowledge of lighting outdoors or indoors, I suggest you do. It's a great place to start. 

So the shoot will involve to some degree strobist lighting techniques, I will also be using my Canon EOS 1D MK II , for the simple reason it actually shoots at a maximum of 8.3 fps (frames per second) so it is marginally quicker than my EOS 60D. 

Which shoots at 5.3 fps (frames per second). Not just that but my pro camera is just that its designed for these type of shoots. It may have only 8.2 million megapixels but it is still a revered pro-camera. So with that one firmly penciled in the book, the other shoot is a bit more controversial in the offing, it certainly will raise a few eyebrows, so watch this space for information, what I will say is this the work has been inspired a number of elements one of those elements is Paula Rego the painter.

Exciting stuff indeed the Lisbon born painter has a very interesting style, it's very evocative, and I want that to really shine through in my photography, so for those who do not know of her work, seek her out, you will be amazed at her art!

As for me am going to admire my latest work, if your interested in purchasing a copy please do, you will be very pleased with the work.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Street Photography

Hello all, it's been a very sunny summer of late, and for once that makes me smile, the light has been truly fantastic. The other day though, I realised when shooting street, they're will be a change as they’re with the seasons in the year, and it will eventually rain! 

Not just that but the days get shorter and the sun gets lower in the sky, so I have a few options continue shooting street, in colour or adapt and make these street shots much more dramatic, you know give the shots a new narrative. 

I have been collating a few shots that will break down into separate genres of activity, these groups became quite interesting so here's a few I put together; 

Jumps people in active positions above the ground captured mid-air.

Sleepers people actually dozing in the street either on street furniture such as benches or parks or doorways. 
© 2013 David Rothwell

Statues juxtaposed with some comedy narrative.

Couples this one is very interesting as when am shooting the street; I have come across couples arguing or making up or in comedy situations.

Out of the ordinary whilst this may seem a strange ask; they're situations that will happen out there, those one in a million chances, however those chances usually take place at 1/1000 of a second. 

I regularly visit London and every time I always attend the Photo Forum it's a fantastic way of meeting like mind photographers/photojournalist. So I get to see these genres 'come to life', I just love the way the informed eye works. 

If you have ever studied books on street photography or street photographers, the first thing that hits you is the narrative in the frame, the composition should normally be a striking point within the frame that makes your eyes wander around the frame. 

In this shot we see that the subject is dozing away in the sun on the stone steps close to signage one states PANDORA.

Could it be Pandora’s Box perhaps?

We also see in the photograph that the subject is in possession of a crutch or aid walker. So how did he arrive here, and was the exertion so tiring that he literally fell asleep on the very spot, we find ourselves? 

So many possibilities for the narrative, could it had been the hospital waiting times?

Now we see that a lot of street shots tell a story, they're not just snap shots of an extraordinary event like some I have posted previously, if they are then they do possess the very aspect of which Henri Cartier-Bresson; adhered to. That is a decisive moment, a truly unique skill set that photographers can and do train their eye to read in any given situation, the likes of Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz and recently discovered photographer Vivian Maier. 

I study a lot of photographers work and their respective works are always full of new surprises, Meyerowitz himself studied the work of Cartier-Bresson. I too have become accustomed to training my eye to the subjective geometry in architecture but also the composition, and how people play a part in the composition. 

I shot a while ago, people on a beach and you can see the perfect triangle this is also shot from a higher perspective. 

Sometimes it's not all about eye level or waist/hip level to achieve a desired result, aerial photography has been around since the concept of aviation began its birth, and so too people documented streets from a higher perspective. 

Okay so we can see how people become much more interesting, from a higher perspective, but what about when we get low down and dirty?

In the next example we will look at the street from a much lower angle, lower angle is also a great opportunity to opt for a wider prime lens on your kit to achieve maximum impact in your shot.

I use a very nice Soligor f/2.8 28mm lens which is fantastic and gives a great sense from a lower perspective of actually stating that the photographer is getting physical in their work. 

Low perspective can have interesting results remember you don't have to get low down and dirty you can in-fact look above your height level when something catches your interest too. 

Quite a comical shot, which does leave one asking what? 

These moments I see are relative to my experience in photography, obviously with time they will sharpen, but you get my drift people see and do the strangest acts every day, and just like the current and past masters, so too will my ingenuity and originality in my approach to street photography. 

Earlier I mentioned Henri Cartier-Bresson, when you look at his work you will see emerging patterns in the constructive objective of angles and shapes, and yes I have talked about this before, and no doubt will talk about it again in the future. 

My advice is to get out there and start looking at narrative, let your pictures do the talking, and be more consistent in your approach with subject matter. 

After a while the long awaited and always looked for out of the ordinary moment will happen, when these shots do happen, it can be very rewarding and indeed with the right marketing can be very lucrative, most importantly you will begin to develop your own style. 

I suppose a good starter is colours people seemingly wear similar colours during the year, so possibly you may see people wearing yellow or you may see yellow objects. So in your composition you could try and involve those ideas and implement them in your approach to subject matter. 


Another lucrative idea is to purposefully shoot for one colour whilst this idea is not limited to street, looking at the examples it should give your creative thought - process a much needed boost. 

I have a few followers who do just that, in shooting this way you can begin to build up a stock portfolio of images which can be saleable for stock photography. 

Now if that's your bag, then your welcome to it, it can have such a huge return in being so open to all and sundry. 

The only danger is if you do go down that road, just shooting pictures for stock photography, are you going to lack artistic expertise elsewhere? Will you begin to suffer as an artist and become much more commercialised in your overall outcome?

I read other blogs and look for information on other photographers, because in reality it is the only known way of keeping up to speed with changes in current trends etc....

Now on that other blog they have a section were by you can get featured which means if any breaking photographers out there want to get their work out to the masses they can simply sign up for a subscription. 

It's important to liaise with other photographers because it is the best way to learn so get interactive, get pro-active and network.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Photo-Forum Heads Up

I know a strange title to begin with however after last months exciting talk; I thought I would give everyone a heads up as to who will be talking at the next event.

First off we have two very distinct photojournalists this month; firstly we kick off with David Hoffman Photo-Forum Co founder and a board member of the British Photographic Council, a founding member of Editorial Photographers UK, and the campaigning group “I’m a Photographer not a Terrorist"

David Hoffman has specialised in photographing social issues for more than 36 years, documenting events such as Thatcher's state funeral, the Olympic Protest and Operation Vendetta, and not forgetting social documentary locations of interest such as London's Smithfield market.

Secondly and just as equally revered is Alex MacNaughton, Alex was the on the original admin panel at Photo-Forum London.

Photo-Forum is an independently run group organising talks by photographers for photographers, we aim to create a space for working photographers to come together to share, discuss, learn and socialise.

Alex MacNaughton of course has covered events like rally for peace, Kisumu, Kenya and the M11 protest at Claremont Road, London. So this looks like it's going to be a talk that will focus on photojournalism and the working photographer is welcome to come along to the event, in fact anyone who has an interest in photography is welcome to come along.

The talk takes place at Drummond Street, London at Calumet Photographic, last month was inspirational to myself as a street photographer and am sure no doubt I will walk away with such a buzz from this talk too.

Talks are held on the second Thursday each month 6pm - 8pm. They are FREE and first come - first seated. Come and connect with fellow working photographers.

Photo-Forum is an independent group run by photographers for photographers. We encourage constructive questions, debate and discussion.

Location - Calumet, 93-103 Drummond St, London NW1 2HJ View Map Our grateful thanks go to Calumet for their generous loan of the room.

See you there!