As our friend ‘Bill the Quill’ (William Shakespeare) put it;
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players…
Great news for anyone interested in documenting the streets and the inhabitants that roam them. Did you notice how I avoided writing Street Photography? That term is virtually dead. I might discuss why I’ve come to that conclusion in a separate blogpost.
Okay, so the stage is set and the city of Bath is a wonderful setting. One fly in the ointment though, the actors haven’t rehearsed their lines, good grief, most of them haven’t even bothered reading the script. Lord knows what happened to the choreographer. It’s turned into improvised dance and they’re not particularly good at it. The reviewers wouldn't label this worldwide show ‘A Triumph’ that’s for sure. None of this assists in making the kind of photographs I want to make. I’m looking for gestures and layers. Otherwise I go back to ‘It’s just people walking along’ as I wrote a couple of years ago. I still take those kind of shots now and again;
Incidentally, all the photos in this blogpost were taken in the last week, on two occasions and under two very different weather conditions. I digress, the weather is pretty much irrelevant, but those two images above were purely taken because it was sunny and I liked the light. Here’s another at a better perspective although it is still just someone walking along;
I took this because I liked the way he was looking at me, not particularly because of the light. I was sat on a step in case you’re wondering, wearing my motorbike gear, looking a bit dishevelled to be honest and no, I wasn’t thrown any coins! Actually there was a lot of eye contact that day, hopefully you can see this guy giving me the ‘evil eye’ amongst the seated group in the next shot. Not everyone shares my vision, just to link in to the title of this blogpost let’s just say there may have been artistic differences during this particular ‘Act’ ;
Purely light related again, though there is a little bit going on in this scene of a Fruit & Vegetable stall;
No, this won’t do. So, we’re keeping our eyes open and we’re trying to make sense of it all on this chaotic stage. I know, they say never work with animals, let’s throw some pigeons into the mix:
I prefer the shot on the left incidentally, because it says more. The expression of the guy with the bicycle and the little girl hiding behind her umbrella. I want our Actors to Act, I want to see some gestures, however big or small. A selection;
It’s funny how we see the same actors appearing for an ‘encore’. Obviously some of the locals I see over and over again, but the visitors crop up a lot too. Following the gestures theme here’s our lady in the last frame of the grid with orange hat/floral shirt in a queue to view the ‘Roman Baths’;
I’m often taking a couple of frames of a subject or scene, sometimes it’s just one click if that’s all I have time for. Back to that grid above and the first shot of the lady flicking her hair. My first frame of her was made because I thought I saw a chance for some layers;
You might not have noticed it in this blog, but essentially layers are what I’m after. I always try to go out with a purpose or theme in mind. On the rainy day I was thinking of umbrellas, a whole blogpost just of people in the rain with umbrellas; I promise you I have lots, but it gets boring really quickly.
Essentially I just click anything else that catches my eye, hopefully it catches your eye too;
I don’t wish for this blogpost to get boring either, so I’ll leave our actors there. All I’ll say is that they need to rehearse more because currently they’re just an undisciplined rabble. Not one of them thought to stand on the Placement Crosses I’d painstakingly painted, nor listened to the director from his chair (I painted ‘Director’ on that whilst working on the ‘Crosses’), that loudhailer I bought from Amazon can go back because I just as may have been talking to myself. It was all totally ad lib, they simply did what they wanted, improvised and I had to take shots at random….I wouldn’t have it any other way on the Street, every second was a joy, perhaps Shakespeare has a point and one that doesn’t have to be taken literally!
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.
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