Taking inspiration from Dougie Wallace’s ‘Harrodsburg’

Dougie Wallace is one of the most famous British street photographers. Although more controversial than the likes of someone like Martin Parr his images are raw and capture Britain in an unapologetic manner.

Inspired by his latest body of work ‘Harrodsburg’ which takes a look at the surreal subculture and world surrounding Harrods. I headed out to the posher areas of London to try my hand at Some Dougie Wallace inspired street photography.

Group Behaviour

Wallace often looks for groups displaying similar behaviour. Like wearing similar clothes or all have designer bags. While I was outside Harrods I was drawn to the different ways people find to carry all their purchases. I have chosen to display 3 images showing the different approaches:

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Cars

© Dougie Wallace

© Dougie Wallace

A key indicator of wealth is cars. Although I have no knowledge at all when it comes to cars I know the cars parked outside Harrods didn’t come cheap. Like Wallace I aimed to photograph a selection of cars in the area:

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People

Regardless of whether the frame is filled with expensive cars or designers bags deep down Wallace’s work is about the people. I think his portraits are his strongest skill, although the way he goes about shooting them is often deemed intrusive. I decided to be less intrusive and instead concentrate on looking for characters I was interested in:

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I had great fun exploring the areas I don’t often visit in London, especially looking a them in a Dougie Wallace esc way. If you like Dougies work check out the BBC documentary below its a great insight into his photographic approach.

How to use the background in Street Photography

I have recently been posting a lot of street photography to this blog and social media. It used to be a personal passion but since posting it to my blog I have received some great feedback and lots of brilliant questions.  Many of the questions centre around how to improve when it comes to street photography. Unfortunately the phrase ‘street photography is 99% failure’ is correct. Some days I have spent hours trying to find that perfect shot, other days it had taken minutes. But there are some tips and tricks that can really help focus your eye when it comes to shooting street photography.

On this post I am going to talk about how the background effect your photographs using examples I shot yesterday. The photos aren’t going to make it into a photo book anytime soon but they do demonstrate how important the background is. You don’t want it detracting attention from the main subject you need it to enhance the image.

 

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Advertising is always a good starting point. Here I waited for a women to walk into the frame; creating a symmetry between the two faces with similar expressions.

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Here again advertising provided the backdrop for the image. The contrast is created by the two portraits, both women look similar but one is a model and the other a Londoner on her lunch break.

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The light really makes this image. I was shooting in bright midday sun before work so getting the dark back ground and bright light on his face makes it look like he’s coming out of the shadows.

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An unflattering image of this tourist but it shows how central composition and matching colours really draws your eye in. By capturing this women in a blue top surrounded by blue scaffolding it keeps the image together and succinct.

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By using this window it is both the foreground and background. The colours captured in the shop and reflections all come together to create a bright, busy atmosphere which sums up the feeling of Oxford Street.

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Oxford Street is a constant movement of people so seeing someone stood still is a rarity. To photograph this man I took a step back so passers-by entered the frame to give some context and sense of location. To emphasise his stillness even more I could’ve used a slower shutter speed.

If you’ve never tried street photography before I would highly recommend giving it a go. It’s a great way to stay motivated and get the creative juices flowing.

You can also find me over on instagram @madisonbeachphotos  where I will be posting lots of images from newly developed 35mm films.

 

 

One Man and His Trolley (Short-Film)

Over the last year I have been working on a photographic series ‘Trolleys will automatically stop if taken beyond the red line’ (www.madisonbeach.com/trolley/). The series is a tongue-in-cheek documentary series based on the the small rebellious event of taking that shopping trolley over the red line..

But after exploring my local area I found the perfect area to fit a trolley into a short film. The film is a bit of fun and based around the last man on earth discovering a shopping trolley..

 

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