A Spare Half Day In London

General, Street Photography

Earlier this week I found myself back on my old street photography stomping ground of London town. It was the first time I’d been back since late last year, and with a spare half day to myself, before I headed back to home in Somerset, I whipped out my Ricoh GR3 and hit the streets.

Here are ten street photography frames from those meanderings. You can see more of my work on my street photography website.

I’m a Street Photographer, Not an Artist (but street photography can still be art!)

About Street Photography

A little while back my cousin sent me some quotes from Roland Barthes’ seminal Camera Lucida and asked me how those quotes resonated with me as a street photographer. Like many writers on photography, Barthes isn’t a photographer and his writings approach photography from the perspective of a viewer of photos.

As a photographer – particularly a street photographer – I find such critiques and artistic philosophies difficult to relate to. How I make a photo is a vastly different thing to how that photo is viewed much later.

My Favourite 50 Street Photos of the Year 2021

General, Street Photography

It’s that time of year to look back at 2021 and pick my favourite 50 candid street photos of the year.

The year started living through another lockdown in London, limited to just local shopping trips and walks around the local park until March non of which are ideal for street photography! By the end of the year we were living in Weston-super-Mare in North Somerset, wondering when the next lockdown is going to hit, due to the Omicron variant now surging through the UK.

Moving down to Somerset in April I was wondering how that would impact on my street photography – leaving behind the busy urban streets for a more slower pace of life in Weston suggested it may have had a negative impact. However, I needn’t have worried – living in a seaside town brings a whole different subject matter for my lens to document.

From September there were a few monthly trips back to London, which helped add some variety. Although having been to Bristol (my nearest big city now) a number of times, none of those photos made my final fifty – so clearly need to address that in 2022!

Looking back at my favourite 50 street photos, my usual themes are there. There’s humour, some WTF moments, some straight documentary and a bit of the surreal here and there, all documenting how life is and was throughout 2021. So here, in chronological order, are my 50 favourite street photos from the year.

RHL Weston Beach Race 2021

General

The RHL Weston Beach Race celebrated it’s 38th year this weekend. Described as the “maddest, baddest and biggest event on the UK off-road calendar” it creates a 6 mile course on Weston-super-Mare’s beach, made up of bumps, dunes and a 2km long starting straight for motorcycles, quads and side cards to test themselves on over gruelling endurance races of up to 3 hours. Open to both pro racers and complete amateurs it’s crazy and highly entertaining.

Having moved to Weston-super-Mare, in North Somerset, from London earlier this year, I decided to go down and shoot things in my usual candid snapshot aesthetic, over the prep day on Friday (1st October) and the first day of racing proper on the Saturday (2nd October.)

Candid street photography of people in fancy dress

Enjoying the hunt rather than the feast

About Street Photography

For a while now I’ve been contemplating what it is about street photography that attracts me to it. After all, it’s not something anyone is ever likely to make money from. Maybe a few print or self-published book sales. Even the teaching of street photography workshops is another way to monetize it. But no one is going to get rich or even make a living from it. So that rules out fortune.

Street photography of an old lady in a hat, in Benidorm, Spain.

Street Photography on the Costa Blanca

General, Street Photography Trip

For a number of years now, usually every March, I’ve been travelling to the Costa Blanca in Spain, primarily to shoot some street photography. Basing myself in the holiday Mecca of Benidorm, I also travel to other places, such as: Altea, Alicante and Calpe.

I usually end up shooting hundreds and hundreds of shots whilst there. Here are a small selection of 25 images from my time there this year. All were taken on a Ricoh GRIII 28mm compact camera, between 9th and 16th March 2020.

Images best viewed large. If viewing on phone or tablet, turn to horizontal to view bigger.

Street photography with a Ricoh GR3 iof girls dancing in Chinatown, London.

Ricoh GR3 for Street Photography

Gear, London Street Photography Locations

Last week I decided to get myself the Ricoh GR3 for street photography.  Whilst I have shot Ricoh GR’s since 2012, and have been a big Ricoh fan boy since, this is the first time I’ve consciously decided to move to the Ricoh as my primary street photography camera of choice.  I’ve even gone and sold off all my Olympus camera gear as a result.  So why?  What led to this?

The Ultimate Street Snap Shooter

The Forgotten Name of Colour Photography

Photographers

Pioneers of Colour Photography

When you talk about colour photography as a serious “art form” the usual names will come up as pioneers in this field: William Eggleston, Saul Leiter, Ernst Haas, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, Harry Gruyaert and Martin Parr.  All these have certainly been acknowledged as photographers who took colour photography out of the gaudy catalogs of yesteryear and into the major art galleries from the 1970’s onwards.