4 Feb 2008

street portraiture

Cathy was asking in one of her comments whether I had shown any of the pictures I took while I was working with her on the harbour side here in Kirkcudbright. Cathy is one of my students and was here with me on a one-to-one photography course a few months back. I delighted to say she will be joining us in Menorca for the photography holiday in May this year

Well, as I have mentioned before, when I’m working with a student I don’t normally get much chance to take my own photographs, I’m far to busy concentrating on what the student is doing. When we spotted the chap in this photograph on the harbour, he was chatting to someone and just about to get back into his car – not the best place for good photographs. I explained to Cathy that the best thing to do was glance around, find the best spot to photograph him, then ask him to go there. The red bollard with the side of the boat and the nets as a background was an obvious make-shift studio.

I know Cathy was having problems with her auto focus at the time, but she did manage to get some successful photographs. I managed a couple of simple portraits on my little Canon Ixus.

The moral of this little yarn is that by all means, get your candid shots in first when it is feasible – and then don’t be afraid to make contact with your subject, it can lead to some good photographs – remember, once you have broken the ice you have a tame subject in front of you. Don’t was the opportunity – take lots of photographs.

Yes, I know the light was flat and undirectional, but the portraits are lifted by the extraordinarily bright colours of the subjects shirt, and the blue and green background. This background also helps tell the story of an old salt on the harbour – and I simply love the carpet slippers!

These are simple portraits – no great works of art, but they are fun to take, and this sort of photography is good practice for anyone wanting to learn and build their confidence when photographing people in the street. Meeting this chap has opened the opportunity to meet him again and take more photographs of his - perhaps with better light.

No comments: