It’s early Sunday morning and I’m driving to Manchester to deliver a street photography workshop in the popular Northern Quarter. For a change the weather is looking good as its been a long wet and cold winter. On arriving I head for the meeting spot which is the very trendy Koffee Pot at the top of Oldham Street, it’s only 9am and I’m the first in for a delicious breakfast of eggs benedict and freshly brewed coffee .
Urban Exploration Photography is not something I have done for a long time, well it’s been a few years actually. So I was going up to Scotland, Inverness to be exact, to work with Ffordes Photographic the best camera shop in the world..probably. I’m doing a street photography workshop and urban exploration photography in large format workshop too, exciting times as Scotland is by far one of my favourite places.
Pinhole Photography is something I really love to do. I find it totally relaxing and is a great balance to my Street Photography. I have three different pinhole cameras each one has a different focal length which makes me take stock and really think about what I am doing when I am using them. Pinhole cameras are very simple in design, just a light-proof box with a small hole in one side and no lens attached. Light from the scene you are capturing passes through the aperture and projects an inverted image onto the opposite side of the box this is known as the camera obscura effect. Pinhole cameras do not have viewfinders so it’s down to guess work or good judgement, depending on your experience of working with the particular camera that you have.
The pinhole camera I am using at the moment was made for me by a good friend of mine. It’s made from wood and is quite a solid unit but very, very light. It has a 5×4 film holder which holds two sheets of film. The advantage of this is that I can load up several film holders in the darkroom before I set off and have them with me pre loaded and ready to go. It means that I can shoot as many pinhole images as film holders I am carrying… Great!
I picked up and Olympus XA2 compact camera whilst buying a collection of other cameras, it’s a camera I’ve always wanted to try being a street photographer.
The first thing the strikes you when you pick it up is its size, it’s tiny. The second thing is its weight, it’s surprisingly heavy for its size. It is of good quality solid metal construction with a plastic sliding clamshell covering and protecting the lens. It feels comfortable in your hands and it really does fit into your pocket.
When you first see this camera it is an attractive little thing, when you pick it up it feels quite solid. Constructed of metal it has a 38mm F2.8 to F22 four component, five element Fujinon lens, the quality of which is stunning just as you’d expect from Fuji who always produce fantastic lenses.
I have just recently returned from Barcelona where I’ve been running a street photography workshop. I took with me a Rolleicord VA type 1 which was manufactured in 1958. It has a Schneider Xenar F 3.5 taking lens and a Heidosmat viewing lens, cosmetically it’s quite a nice one too. Rolleicord cameras were aimed at the amateur photographer, while its bigger brother the Rolleiflex was aimed at the professional photographer. The Rolleiflex was better made but came at a much higher cost too, that said the Rolleicord cameras were built to a very high stranded.
Problems of self projection when shooting street photography.
Today is a dull day, no sunshine and grey, grey skies but I want to go out with my Hasselblad, I haven’t used it for a while, I’ve been concentrating on 35mm, so today’s the day. I’m going to use a standard 80mm f2.8 planar lens and Ilford HP5+ film, this film is made for street photography.
I’m going to go into Middlesbrough, I’ve heard about an area where the houses have been partly demolished, supposedly in order to rebuild new houses. I want to explore…
Leica M3 a 35 mm rangefinder camera by Ernst Leitz GmbH, first made in 1954. The first of it’s kind and still the most successful model of the M series, a beautiful camera to own, hold and use.This is my second M3 rangefinder camera I have been lucky to own.
This one is single stroke version, built in 1962 and, shall we say, well used. Well it’s certainly not a shelf queen but still works beautifully even though there are a few knocks and dints, but mechanically it’s as good as the day it was first unboxed.