Damien had been a guest speaker at the club last year and his presentation on street photographer had opened my eyes to what was possible and the two topics that stood out for me were using light and getting closer to people on the street to take images.
The brief for the day was as follows:
Working the subject hard to find every possible angle
When faced with a famous site many of us shoot the obvious pictures and then move on, often missing other great picture opportunities simply because we didn’t look hard enough. On this course we’ll spend the day confined to the area around and on the Millennium Bridge, and we will work the subject very hard to find new and exciting viewpoints that make far more interesting pictures than the standard shots. Damien will demonstrate how to slow your pace and how to open your eyes, how to explore and ultimately how to show life on the bridge in new and interesting ways. This is a mind-opening course that will help you make the most of any location that you take pictures of in the future.
After a conversation with all the attendees where we each described what images we liked to take, what equipment we had with us and what we thought street photography was, we went through out through Tate Modern to their entrance lobby on Bankside facing St. Pauls over the river.
In the entrance lobby we took images of each other adjusting the exposure down 1, 2, 3 or more stops while standing with just the light coming in through the opening. After my test shots of Damien I switched to my EF 50 F1.8 STM lens for the rest of the day.
We then took images of Damien with his back to the river and produced lots of burnt out backgrounds. Sitting or kneeling on the floor of the lobby I practised taking images of passers by in silouette, then using the walls and ceiling of the lobby to frame the image waiting for passers by to be in the middle of my’frame’. But first here is my test shot of Damien and some of my other images in a gallery.
Here’s the practice shot by Sue Davey of me in the entrance lobby.
Don’t take the usual image of the Millennium Bridge
We then moved away from the Tate Modern to stand by the Millennium Bridge. The challenge now was to take images that were different to all the other images of this area. So start from where no-one usually stands.
Going under the bridge and looking up also allowed me to find my first street art of the day.
Moving closer to the river and looking up we could see the shadows as people walked across the bridge.
On the bridge
We then went onto the bridge itself to see where everyone walked and to try and take images as people passed us by. I found this the hardest as my camera kept choosing to focus on St. Pauls rather than the people a few feet away from me – my focus points had to be adjusted.
Next was practicing taking pictures as people walked in front of us across the bridge
As we went to lunch on Queen Victoria Street I practiced some more with this as the result:
Street art on the Bridge
After lunch I took a time out to capture some of the street art installations on the bridge. These were paintings on chewing gum. See my other blog for more of these images.
On the bridge using the Shard as a backdrop
In the middle of the Millennium Bridge we now tried to capture passers by with the Shard in the background.
End of workshop
As the practical session finished we walked back over the bridge and stopped to take pictures with St. Pauls as the backdrop.
Then we went for a drink and have a wash up session. In the session we reviewed all of our pictures on Damien’s laptop. My images above are mainly the ones highlighted by the group.
Here’s our group picture on Queen Victoria Street at the end of the practical sessions.