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 .
Manchester, for street photography, is one of my favourite places especially the Northern Quarter as it has so much to offer in such a small area. In some parts its dirty, trendy, shabby chic, it assaults your senses. In other parts it’s smooth, cool and full of trendy bars and apartment buildings. It hosts some of the best graffiti I’ve seen but the best thing about the area is the people, they are warm, witty, wonderful and engaging. They are open and willing to chat which leads to some great street photography images.
I had two people on my street photography workshop and this morning doesn’t disappoint any of us as whilst we were walking we were approached by a homeless man who noticed that we were shooting some of the graffiti, he asked ‘’do you guys like graffiti’’ so of course we said ‘’yes!’’. He then told us that he did a bit and would we like to have a look, so we trundeled off with him to see some of the places he had worked in. He was a lovely bright eyed and very articulate man telling us his life story as we walked. It was a great opportunity to photograph him whilst he was explaining his artwork. As we left it was only right to give him a tip for all the effort he had put in, we each gave him a fiver, thanked him for his time and left to explore more of the Northern Quarter.
We carried on shooting street photography, coming across loads of great situations which we all took advantage of. Near to the end of the day I spotted a young lady with a couple of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a black one and a white one. The white one was muzzled and barking at some other dogs, I asked if I could photograph them and the owner said ‘’yes it’s ok no worries’’ so I got on the floor very close to the dogs but the lady unmuzzled the white staffie which was a bit unfortunate for me as I wanted to shoot the dog with the muzzle on but she kept the muzzle in her hand. Anyway I got the shot which you can see below. For me it would have been better if she had left the muzzle on but she wouldn’t..sometimes you have to compromise that’s just the way it goes.
For the record on this particular day shooting the streets and people of Manchester I used my Minolta X700 with a 50mm Rokkor F1.7 lens and a 28mm F2.8 Rokkor lens. My film of choice was Ilford Delta 400, I love the sharpness of the grain and the tonal range of this film. I processed it in ID11 and scanned the negs on my Plustek OpticFilm 120 scanner.
If you would like to join me on my next street photography workshop either in Manchester or Edinburgh or find out more information.