Ah, Rainy Days and Mondays, someone should write a song! The weather has turned typically British this last week or so. Some might say that it’s unpredictable and although that might be backed up by the fact that our weather forecasters fail to get it right, I think it is pretty much predictable. Those old adages “March Winds” or “April Showers” contain some truth, no matter how much the British public seem permanently surprised with comments like ; “Good grief it’s windy today!” or “Oh no, it’s started raining!” that I hear walking around Bath. These are often coming from the mouths of 60 year olds and I want to say to them “Are you new to this country?”. Anyway, if the weather is chaotic is it any surprise that this whole ridiculous Brexit is such a farce. That opening shot above contains some irony; SuperDry, Eurochange, Man with Umbrella and in case you can’t make it out that umbrella has the logo of the “Bank of Scotland” emblazoned on it, just to add another little twist for our Scottish friends!
What happens when the weather turns inclement, the light is flat, the wind is howling? Well, it probably helps photographically speaking. We’re no longer reliant on those high contrast light and shadow shots we see so much of. Instead we have to look a little deeper and find something sort of interesting. That’s okay for Street Photography, however a few days ago I was hired to photograph a family staying at a nearby hotel and it really does make things difficult. As I left home to take photos of them enjoying the grounds I nearly got blown over by the wind and then the heavens opened. I’ll add here that I was also suffering from a touch of the Man Flu. In the end we took some shots inside. It did stop raining, but the light was awful. My intention was to capture them playing, running around. In the end I had to use the Noctilux f/0.95 and shoot it wide open which is great at sucking in light when there isn’t much to play with, but absolutely useless to capture the kind of shot I really wanted, which is why it stays in the bag mostly and the 35mm Summicron f/2 is king. With all that said they were a delightful family to shoot, here’s a few images before we move back to Street Photography;
So, back to a rainy Monday in Bath. It’s tricky in dull, flat light, but I think it’s something that all photographers should work on. It focuses the mind so to speak. Okay, Instagram or Facebook or 500px or GloryShots.com or Follow-UnFollow.com aren’t going to validate you with a zillion likes because, well, because they just won’t. Let’s face it, some people walking past a shopfront isn’t that great to start with, I know that, but there’s not going to be any half naked eastern europeans, people walking through tunnels, kids with suitcases and your shot was taken in Cuba! I don’t have any particular problem with any of those by the way, apart from kids with suitcases, that really gets on my wick. No, I’m afraid you’re just going to have to validate yourself. Go out, see something that catches your eye and release the shutter. Believe me you’re not going to earn any money and you’re not going to be told that your photo is “Amazing my dear friend”.
In the end it’s why I write this blog, for my own amusement and to let others who are likeminded know that they’re not alone. Additionally it allows me to post photographs I wouldn’t publish anywhere else. Some have details that would be missed in the nanosecond allowed on Social Media which renders them meaningless:
Hands up who saw the glove giving me the finger! I like that shot, I don’t expect anyone else to though necessarily. I liked that glove, the two smokers walking past and the mysterious guy in the window. In reality he’s a waiter working in the Pump Room restaurant at the Roman Baths. Carry on a couple of metres and a guitarist oblivious to the sign behind him which reads “Keep Clear At All Times”. He’s not alone, I often see people sitting on the steps in front of that sign;
Just ignore that big guy in the background who looks as though he’s about to run up and punch me in the face! Next we turn left and we find the front of the Roman Baths. Tourists taking endless selfies intermingled with locals who are just trying to get there shopping done;
I started to walk up to meet my wife (who incidentally has been to Cuba and liked it very much apart from continuously tripping over photographers!). The light was really going downhill fast, it was cold, damp and I might add for March in England exactly as it should be. I mentioned in my last blogpost how people are often looking straight at me, even if I’m attempting to shoot discretely;
I had the camera to my hip on that one, perhaps people just find me irresistible or, and more probable, simply want to punch me, just like that guy in the earlier shot with the guitarist!
Let’s finish with someone walking past yet another shop window. I’ll call it “Street Photography for Dummies” and one of them is looking directly at me too…
As always my sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read this blog.
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M with Summicron 35mm Lens fitted. Obviously except for the aforementioned Family Shoot photos.
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