I'm struggling at the moment; not with life and what it throws at me, oh no, it's much worse than that, my old nemesis Street Photography.
Firstly a quick motorbike update; My BMW 1200GSA ("Leaky") was fixed by the friendly and quite brilliant BMW Motorrad dealer Dick Lovett of Bristol. They replaced a gasket, I didn't blow mine even though there were a couple of trips required. Perhaps it pays to keep calm in these situations - because of any inconvenience caused they fitted a top box worth around £300 free of charge, without the need of one word of complaint from me!
Back to photography, I've had a few short outings and I'm not particularly pleased with the results. I went briefly to Bristol, Marlborough, Wells and Glastonbury. I'm not sure if it was because I was rushing, didn't leave enough time to get into the zone or my mind wasn't on the task in hand. Long story short, I'm just not seeing anything.
Let's quickly cover Bristol. In reality I could spend the rest of my days walking the streets of this city, capturing moments and never run out of things to photograph. That is providing I don't venture into their new shopping centre "Cabot Circus". I wanted to look at the architecture, a huge expanse of glass; No chance of that, within minutes Security (send in the clowns, get it? Circus!) advised me that I was on Private Property and as I had a camera apparently a security risk. Memories of my visit to Shaftesbury and my blogpost "Brush with the Law" came flooding back. They said that I could present myself to reception, sign a statement and wear a high-vis bright Orange tabard. No matter that there were people taking selfies with their smartphones all over the place and it was full of people which somehow made it a "Public Place" in my mind. I declined their offer, no point in arguing and made a sharp exit to click a few in another part of town.
Marlborough in Wiltshire is a delight, a classic market town and home to Marlborough College. The photos weren't a delight or classic unfortunately. I was there for under an hour in my defence, it's immensely difficult to avoid cliché shots, guilty as charged your honour! Of course, as we know with any photography it's all been done before, perhaps the whole premise of it is a cliché, who knows?
Two flying visits, Wells and Glastonbury, both in Somerset. The smallest city in England, Wells is a terrific place to visit, mainly for the Cathedral and Bishops Palace. I've covered a few cathedrals lately so no point in showing too many more of those kind of photos - Praise Be I hear you cry! This isn't really "Street Photography", but I though I'd upload them anyway.
After "Druid Central" last week then it would be rude not to have a look at "Glastonbury Spaced Out Centre", it's very close to Wells. I think that each year, once the Glastonbury Music Festival has finished a few stragglers decide to make it home. It really is a "love and peace man" kind of a place, as you'll see from the names on these shopfronts, I actually like their style. I present these shots purely out of interest, there is definitely no photographic point being made, except they're not very good photos! The fourth one references a conversation I had recently about the colour blue.
So where do I go with this Street Photography? Well, the Shopfront Project is sadly lacking at the moment, but I have a cunning plan for that which I hope will make it much more interesting. I really do need to spend more time walking the streets, let myself become immersed in the life going on around me and that can't happen by a quick 45 minute stroll. Concentrating on one specific place or area and returning repeatedly might help, I would at least become a familiar figure with the "locals". However, that may defeat the object of this blog, I like travelling on my bike and if every week it was the same place...
Perhaps I need to look at things differently, change my way of viewing the world. That was on my mind this morning as I walked the dog. I decided to reverse the regular walk, our circle was now anti-clockwise. So, I walked up a path instead of down it, I saw this track in a totally different light and perspective. I hadn't realised there was a lone tree at the top of the path, I sat Bertie down and took this shot.
I know, it's a black and white shot of my dog, we've seen it all before, but to me it's very different. I've walked this path for many years and yet it was as though I'd never seen it before. Variations on a theme is what's needed...
Many thanks for taking the time to read this blog, it's hugely appreciated. Please leave a comment, as always I'd be delighted to hear from you.
All images were taken using a Leica M with Summicron 35mm attached with the exception of the last where I used a 50mm Noctilux.