My new little Sony RX-100 camera has sparked a renewed interest in taking lots of photographs – which is the only way to get a few decent ones. But its lens has made me move to a different style. A few of the more reasonable shots are shown here, along with a link to some from a much better photographer.
There are only two styles of photography that I am interested in – landscape, because of my interest in trekking and getting around in general, and street photography, because I live in London and love the odd side of big cities. They both pose some challenges. In the Himalayas, all big mountains look the same after a few years, and getting a different perspective is a challenge. And street photography involves having an exceptionally keen eye, and getting pretty close to your subject.
Small unobtrusive cameras have always been the mainstay of street photographers, and the Leica has generally been their professional axe. Today’s street photographer carries around the Leica M9, a marvel of technology, simplicity, and function which unfortunately at around £5000 a pop will be out of reach until the current string of sub-post office robberies I have in mind comes to fruition.
In the absence of a Leica, the RX-100 will have to do. And I think it may well be a pretty good substitute. Unlike the Leica it has a zoom, and it can also be held at any level and the screen be seen well enough to take a shot. But it still requires a fairly close-up approach due to the short zoom. The shots I have taken as a result have a slightly different look, and I think are more street than I have taken before. See what you think – as usual, the photos are best seen in full screen (press FS in the bottom right hand corner), and in slide show ( press SL). Titles can be seen by pressing the ‘i’ in the top right corner, and to get back here, press ESC.
I am aware these shots are a bit morose. That’s partly the nature of the genre – people looking sort of OK don’t make very interesting pictures, and partly because I am in London, where spontaneous expressions of jollity are not only rare, they are frowned upon. Still I hope I may get something more cheerful one of these day. The Olympics will probably help.
By way of contrast, I have started to look around at the work of really active and talented street photographers. There is a lot to learn. Take a look at Justin Sainsbury for example, and the the rest of the members of the Burn My Eye collective. Just brilliant. Ah well. I have just been on an excellent photograph workshop run by the estimable Gary Freidman, and who knows – I may get better. And even if I don’t there’s always the equipment…………