For my latest masters assignments I had to pick one place to photograph. The aim was to capture the feel of the place. I chose Brighton Pier spending 3 days trying to capture the atmosphere. I went into the shoot knowing I wanted to photograph the rides, people and landscape.
This week I shot a roll of Monsoon 35mm film. The aim of this film is to create saturated blue tones replicating the feel of post-monsoon rain…
Overall i’m not sure how I feel about this 35mm film, I really like the blue tones but the images look really soft which is not normally the effect I go for. But I think it’s only fair to try it out in a different environment so next week I’m going to head to the seven sisters to photograph landscapes.
Over the weekend the biggest annual free beach festival returned to my hometown of Brighton, UK. ‘Paddle Round the Pier’ features numerous events including DIY boats and paddle boarding out to sea and around the pier. Everybody gets dressed up, smothers themselves in sun cream and gets paddling..
There is also a fair which comes with food stalls, rides and music stages. It takes place over the whole weekend, although most of us were indoors watching England at the World Cup on Saturday…
I first shot ‘lines of city’ in Canterbury and then again in a Sussex village. Looking for patterns and repetition is a great way to take in your surroundings and as I am back in Brighton for a few months before I start my MA in London I thought it’d be a great way to look at my hometown from a new perspective.
If you’re in a creative rut or struggling to find something to photograph try this out, it’s a great excuse to get out with your camera and enjoy exploring.
Other images in this series:
Shooting black and white has many advantages. Stripping away colour makes you concentrate on utilising the available light and how you want to frame your subject.
And if you’re in a creative rut, although it feels counter intuitive, it can really help to place restrictions on your photography. It makes you pre-empt the final outcome and what affect black and white will have on your image.
It also provides a great opportunity to look over the work of some photography greats such as Elliot Erwitt, Cartier-Bresson and Vivian Maier who only had black and white to work with. You should also check out the work of William Eggleston who was a pioneer and one of the first to make the switch from black and white to colour photography.
I shot all these images on my Olympus MJU II with Ilford 35mm film.
To take a great portrait you don’t need the latest high-tech equipment or a studio- although this can help. All you need is a camera, a model and the time to experiment.
I took all these shots within 1km of my flat using my Pentax K1000 35mm camera (around £100/$139).
When shooting outdoors always look for where the sun is in the sky- light is a vital factor in creating a striking portrait. Golden hour is a great time to shoot photography outside but if the light is strong it creates lots of interesting options..
With great light comes shadows, always be on the look out for unusual shadows to add some depth to the portrait
BUT if you live in England or somewhere similar, the chances are if you’re waiting for sun you’ll never take a single photo. So if the light is dull look for an interesting composition or location to detract from the lack of light.
Think about your background wether it adds to the image or detracts the focus. Graffiti can be a great way to add some colour to your image. If you just want the subject to be in focus make sure they’re standing at least one step away from the background to allow some depth in your image.
Framing your subject
Use what have around you; trees, building, graffiti etc. For example, in the image below by looking up at the building it not only frames the image it makes the subject more imposing. Flowers are also a great way to add colour and fill the frame.
Have fun and experiment
Photography is all about enjoyment and learning from the mishaps. When shooting portraits on film I would always recommend shooting different angles of the same shot.
Thankfully I took two shots in this location, despite the frame counter telling me different, the first image just happened to be the first of the roll.