The Butcher and The Russian

Earlier this week I headed for Gloucestershire, namely Cirencester and Tetbury, the later being where Prince Charles has his home; If it's good enough for him then it's probably good enough for me. Two reasons for this choice; Firstly it's a really nice ride out there on the BMW1200GSA as we wind our way towards the Cotswolds. Secondly I needed some shopfront images , I've decided on a different approach with the "Project", more of that in a moment. 

So, to Cirencester, the Capital of the Cotswolds. In Roman times this was the second largest town in Britain, now it's just a modestly sized market town. That said there is plenty to see there, I of course didn't bother with Cirencester Park where amongst other things they play Polo, nor did I visit the Corinium Museum, oh well, another time perhaps. With this project I'm a little concerned that all I'll end up with is some photos of shopfronts with people walking past. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I liked the one I posted recently of the guy walking past the front of a departmental store with the Barbour raincoat advert for instance, I also quite like this one - Fat Face promotes a laid back casual, almost lazy approach to clothing, scruffy some might say, whereas our friend here at least makes an effort.

A Contrast of Style

Here's a few more that don't make the grade as far as I'm concerned. I post them here only to demonstrate why things need to change. I even tried some kind Gullivers (name on the rear of the truck) Lilliput shot through the coffee shop window which was a bullseye, the glass not the photo, well the guy walking past  and partly shrank in size!

After my coffee I walked around for a while and came across "Jesse Smith Butchers", a beautiful shopfront housing the family business which was established in 1808. Impeccably clean and tidy, there's a reason this kind of shop has been in existence for over 200 years, simply because they're very good at what they do. Now, butchers are a friendly lot, once you get past the fact that they generally have a meat cleaver in their hand! So I thought I'd venture in and ask for a couple of shots. Our butcher in this instance was a very nice gentleman called Andy Lambert, he was perfectly happy for me to briefly photo him and his shop. I am very grateful for his kindness. 

What I neglected to do was take a full shot of the front of the butchers, 35mm wasn't wide enough unfortunately. Standing back further created problems with and for passersby, also the shot would have got a bit messy which always seems to be the way with Street Photography.

On to Tetbury and my new best friend Dan the Russian. Another small, classic and rural cotswold town. The High Street is almost exclusively made up of Antique Shops apart from the Highgrove Shop which is Prince Charles's contribution. I was there briefly and the whole place appeared very quiet. Still searching for some shopfronts, nothing really caught my eye. For a while, I just took a few snaps and at least managed to get our friends (the butchers) Tetbury branch. Some tumbleweed blowing down the High Street was the only thing missing!

Then I met Dan, an extremely nice guy. He's a Russian living in Tetbury and a keen photographer. Dan wants a full frame camera, currently though he uses his iPhone, posting shots on Instagram. We chatted at length about all things photography related and very enjoyable it was too.  I explained that I work only in manual for exposure and focus, "it's easy once you get used to it" I said. Ha, famous last words! We decided that I should take a few shots of him in front of a shop that we both admired for their display. I had to stand in the middle of the road, I heard a quick beep from an oncoming car, a cheery wave and friendly smiles from both driver and passenger was all. I noticed it had French plates, "now if they had been English things would be different, all sorts of fuss" I told Dan. I had him in the frame and then a horn beeps, not once, but four or five times, an angry red faced Englishman shouting and gesticulating. This is what annoys me about the English sometimes, where's the "Joie de vivre"? Anyway, amongst all this I forgot all about framing, coupled with the fact that when I moved in for a close-up and opened up to f/4 with no thought of shutter speed...let's just say slightly overexposed. Here's the photos, I'm going with the story that I wanted the close-ups overexposed because a more artistic feel to the shots was needed! 

 Ok, thanks very much for taking a look. If nothing else I enjoyed, as I always do, meeting some new people. Tomorrow I'm leaving the country, well I'm planning a trip from England to Wales to look at some mountains, no passport required! It'll be a long ride on the bike and give me a break to photograph some landscapes - hopefully.

Finally I would like to mention that I gave an interview to Jeff Chane-Mouye recently, here's the link - My Interview with Jeff Chane-Mouye

I fully understand that you may not wish to read anymore from me, but it would prove to be a great opportunity to view Jeff's website. A very talented Street Photographer, I'm sure you'll become as me, a big fan of his work.

All photos were taken using a Leica M with Summicron 35mm Lens.