Monday, 28 November 2016

Roger Lever - Shooting from the hip and long lens in Crete and Morocco.

Shooting from the Hip, the term photographers use to get candid shots of situations that might otherwise become staged or unwanted by the subjects in the shot. It gives us an everyday view of life wherever that happens to be.

A typical scene from a small town in southern Crete. The main subject here of course is the man
dressed in a traditional black shirt, trousers and flat hat. Usually members of the older generation. The walking stick and the disfigured legs are very commonly seen here.

In the right hands of course this is usually pretty harmless stuff, in the wrong hands it can be dangerous of course depending on what is being photographed.

A night shot along a dimly lit narrow lane. This time the subject is an elderly lady again with arthritic legs and a walking stick.

Hopefully you will find my examples of hip shots and street photography reasonably tasteful.

Every night when we were walking down this street these two children were glued to their phone. I had to give this one a try. If they had known that their intimate privacy would have been disturbed there would no longer have been a photo.

Most “HIP SHOTS” of course fail to produce anything worthwhile as we are unable to know exactly what the camera is seeing as we press the trigger. In many cases the camera settings are a way off too which again makes the image next to useless BUT every so often and with a little skill attached we do come up with some interesting stuff.

A very regular scene. The old guy draws up to exchange the latest gossip with these other two guys who sit in the same place every day waiting for the next bike to pull up for the next bit of news. Jungle Gossip.

I do not profess to being the best street photographer in the world but I do enjoy having a go when the situation arises.

This gentleman sitting next to us with his beer, like all of us just waiting for the sun to set The goat beard, the hat and fascinator provided an ideal subject and an opportunity to take this silhouette.

Recently on our GPC trip to Morocco and especially in Marrakech, shooting from the hip became more frequent. Most Moroccans don't want to be photographed especially by fare skinned folk like us. That’s ok of course because if the opposite occurred and we became the subject matter of a stranger with a camera we might not be too pleased either. HOWEVER there were a number of enterprising individuals who were making this situation work for them and to their own financial gain by requesting a donation if they did see you pointing a camera in their direction. We were quite happy in most instances giving them a small fee for the privilege. Good on them, I would say.

The Butchers shop Marrakech. Let it all hang out! You can see exactly what you are buying and these three ladies dressed in typical attire are placing their orders.

A well nourished hound! Was he given this hearty meal? Has he stolen it? It fell off a passing biker in a hurry?

The working donkeys and ass’ in Marrakech are a common mode of transport and delivery service. OR maybe just out for a run and a gossip.

Yodel Marrakech style!

This guy is looking really enthusiastic about getting a sale. mmm? The scales are just there for show and to look official? The grapes look great!

This image shows part of the wall of the ancient city of Marrakech. The lady with her cushion watches the day go by, maybe has a snooze, maybe waiting for a bus or a passing donkey?. How long for? Who cares?

This cool guy spotted me from the word go. Once I was exposed and in the open he was quite happy and didn’t want paid. He just wanted more photos. Obviously “Dope” had a lot to do with him?

Roger Lever

Monday, 21 November 2016

David Moses - On Series

"No," he said, "memory's a poor thing to have" - Philip Pullman, The Amber Spyglass

I work best when constrained. I want to have a criteria within which I can produce images. Working in this way means that I am free to concentrate on making images rather than wandering around thinking about what I am going to take pictures of. I know when I walk out of my door, exactly what I want to go and shoot - or rather, I know exactly how I'm going to shoot.

This lends itself to working in series. I think about what I want to achieve, I then set limitations and I can then go and create. That's a rather glib interpretation of that part of the process, but it is correct in it's essentials. In fact, this part of the process is much longer and more difficult than taking the actual pictures. These limitations take many forms - they can be aesthetic, practical, technical, thematic, motifs, symbolic, allegorical, subjects, geographic (e.g. northern), lights and much more.

The upshot of all this is that when you are done you have a bunch of images that all work together and can be presented as a whole. The themes and motifs that you decided on earlier will run like a thread throughout the series and the repetition of those things will give meaning to them.

It also bears mentioning that the symbols and motifs that you choose need not be obvious. If they are overt it can be off putting, so it's best to be subtle with the knife.

"Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage..."

John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II

David Moses