Street Photography on the Streets of London

This time a few days ago I found myself with a couple of hours to spare before my train home from London. So I grabbed my camera out my bag and headed out to the blustery streets of the capital.

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I took loads of photos at this location along Oxford St. waiting for the right person to walk past.. thankfully this women and her stripy top didn’t take too long to arrive

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To get these silhouettes I stood in the shade and adjusted the aperture

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It’s not always safe to cross the road even when its a green light! These horses had just come from a presentation at Buckingham Palace

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Bus stops always provide an opportunity to use the reflection or get up close and personal

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Rush hour can be overwhelming if you’re trying to get anywhere in London but provides lots of photography opportunities. I captured these businessmen outside Covent Garden Tube waiting for friends.

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The wind did provide some comical moments including this groups’ teachers tripping over

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Tired tourists can be spotted everywhere- London is bigger than you think

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I sat down for a few minutes to rest my feet at Leicester Square. This father and son were tasked with finding the families next destination.

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Theres always time to catch up on the news-even if it is at Piccadilly Circus

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When I’m shooting street photography I try to mix up the angles including shooting at shoulder height to get close up portraits

 

NEW BLOG ALERT!

If you want to check out a brilliant new travel blog, one of my favourite people I met in Bangladesh, Morgan, has just set up a blog detailing all her travels, she has just got back from Cambodia! Morgan is a ball of energy and an annoyingly good dancer when you go out clubbing (makes me look even worse) so go check out and support her blog.. morganvibes.wordpress.com

Morgan (left), Me and Emily

Portraits at the Barbican

I have now been studying for my Masters in Photography for over a month- and I can’t believe how quick its gone! So I thought I’d share with you some of the work I have produced so far, starting with the very task: portraits.

I chose the Barbican as the backdrop as its one of my favourite places in the whole of London. It was an incredibly overcast day so the lack of light made it challenging.

I had to select 5 and these were my picks..

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Street Portraiture in London

Yesterday I headed up to London to Enrol on my Masters course! The whole process took way less time then I expected, with 3 hours (?!) to spare before my train back to Brighton,  I headed out to shoot some street portraits. Personally I prefer to shoot un-staged images of people out and about, since I started shooting street photography around two years ago I have gained a lot of confidence getting closer to people to capture the action on the streets..

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Shooting Dungeness in Black & White

Dungeness is one of my favourite places in England. It’s not exactly what you would call a summer getaway. Its main attraction is two huge power stations but it also has a beautiful lighthouse which first opened in 1904.

It’s often referred to as Englands only Desert although technically speaking.. it’s a huge shingle beach owned by the energy company EDF.

I also knew I was going to desaturate the images during post-production, I just feel like black and white suits the atmosphere of Dungeness better..

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Mixing up Your Portraits

It’s bound to happen, no matter how much you love photography you’ll hit a creative wall, a stumbling block, a rut. Sometimes the best way is to get out of it is to take break from photography- this can feel counterintuitive but it can work. OR the alternative is to keep photographing but you’ve got to mix it up and experiment.

Here, using the same model, I’ll give you a few tips and tricks I like to use when shooting portraits on location:

1.Use Depth

You should give the same amount of thought to the subjects location as much as their pose. Adding depth is a great way to make an image more interesting. My favourite way to do this is either leaving a gap between the subject and the background or by using  varied depth of field.

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2.Take a Step Back

Close up portraits can be a great way of capturing your subjects expression, mood and persona. But sometimes taking a step back and letting your subject get consumed by the location can result in a less-staged, more natural feeling portrait.

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By getting the model to stand on the middle stone it meant I could capture his full reflection in the water.

3. A Portrait Doesn’t Need to Include a Face

The aim of a portrait is often to capture the personality of the subject. You can photograph all kinds of things that reflect a persons personality, job, interests. Here I chose to photograph the models tattoo’s as they contribute to his identity.

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4.Use the Light (natural or artificial) 

If you’re ever feeling uninspired look to your nearest light source. You don’t have to use it- block it out, cast shadows or shoot night photography. But it does act as a restriction which often triggers creative ideas and solutions.

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5.Embrace a Lack of Ideas!

It never lasts for ever and some of the best ideas come after stepping back and taking a break from photography. The portrait below came from me wanting to photograph what it feels like to have a creative block…

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Photographing 100,000 People!

Two weeks ago, on my way to visit my grandparents I got given a leaflet advertising the ‘Peoples March’, a demonstration against Brexit, in Central London on the 23rd June. I am always on the look out for new photography opportunities and as I was already heading up to Birmingham to catch up with some university friends this proved the perfect pitstop.

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I arrived at the meeting place half an hour before the start, there was an air of both excitement and confusion among the people gathering to make their voice heard. It was clear the amount of people far exceeded expectations at over 100,000 and many had no idea where the march actually started..

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Through sheer luck and determination (and no logic) I ended up at the front of the march along with all the tv cameras and political figures.

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It was a purely peaceful protest with samba bands, face painting and people singing. With so much going on it was hard to know where to look let alone photograph. I aimed to capture a mixture of people along with incorporating the backdrop of Central London.

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The light was extremely bright so I used a ND filter and focused on shooting with the sun behind me.  If you want to see more images from the protest check out my latest Instagram story @madisonbeachphotos.

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And if you’re looking for some travel inspiration check out Emily’s blog. Emily is one of my closest friends; both my roommate in Bangladesh and travel buddy in Eastern Europe and has just moved to Australia! A great travel writer and even better friend, head over to her new blog and give it some support! 

Running Away to Join the Circus

When it comes to photography I am a great believer in saying yes to as many opportunities as possible to expand your skills. Earlier in the week I was invited by family friends (who have 10-year old twins) to come to the circus.

I have shot much performance photography in the past but thought it’d be an interesting way to stretch myself. Inside the circus tent itself I wasn’t allowed to shoot video or use flash, but I often find restrictions can make you think outside the box.

It was a small circus but this worked to my advantage as I could get a front row seat and get up close to the incredibly talented performers.

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