Okay that title is a little misleading because for Part 2 we are actually in the city of Bristol. I’m meeting up with Jeff Chane-Mouye for the second time during his visit to the U.K. That’s him on the right of frame in this image below after getting in close to this couple. I‘ve seen the resulting shot and I can tell you it’s very good. Now I think about it he could take the photos and I could just do the simple ‘behind the scenes’ stuff;
You’d think he would have had enough of me when we met up earlier that week and you can read about that here. During that first meeting we had some reasonable weather, not bright sunshine, but nevertheless not too bad. For our meet up in Bristol the weather took a turn for the worse, actually it was standard for this time of the year in the U.K.; Chilly and damp. Now I think about it that almost covers the weather forecast for anytime of the year in England, a far cry from what our intrepid French Street Photographer is accustomed to.
This is going to be a fairly short blogpost. I already spoke about my admiration for his photography and that he’s an all round great guy to be with; We’re both already happily married by the way just to quell any rumours or expectations ;-)
So, we didn’t have the greatest of light to play with and that meant doubling our efforts to capture something. No reliance on strong contrasts. Just the nitty gritty of what I’d call ‘real’ Street Photography. I struggled to concentrate, as I’ve said many times before it’s a lone wolf occupation, but I was in good company so not overly concerned with the results.
Similar to our outing in Bath we walked the streets, criss crossing to different areas. Of course we both knew that staying in one area is the key and it needs to be one that has plenty of people around. As Jeff had lived in Bristol for 6 weeks as a student and had been staying in the city for the last five or six days he decided to take me on a tour. More of a mystery tour in fact, although I knew exactly where we were! We were heading for St Pauls which is a well known Afro-Caribbean area of Bristol. All I can say is that we went a long, long, way and ended up not that far from where we began. If you know Bristol we were in the region of Gloucester Road/Stokes Croft after our hike. In fairness to Jeff it was just a stones throw from St Pauls. Here’s a few from Stokes Croft;
Getting back to our next destination entailed us walking through an underpass. Jeff and I spoke again about how boring those kind of shots are, where it’s a lone person emerging into or out of the light. As such and of course I clicked a couple, the opening shot of this blogpost being one! I know, I know, but at least I didn’t convert it to Black & White…
…oops! Can you see what we mean though? That isn’t really Street Photography, it’s just someone riding a bike through an underpass or in the opener a guy walking into an underpass. It’s not telling a story or capturing any expression or gestures, there aren’t any layers. It’s boring. That is the hard part of Street Photography, documenting the human condition in an interesting way, it’s a challenge that keeps me coming back. Here’s another couple from that area;
Our next target was St Nicholas Market which is more in the centre of Bristol. Always plenty of people there and something going on. I clicked away once we got there, but I wasn’t getting a lot. Proof again that we really should stay in one area for our sessions. Pointless pounding the streets for miles, find a spot and keep to it. The pub, something to eat, a beer and a chat beckoned to us and it was a chance to warm up a little. I did take plenty of shots, but nothing that great. Some days Street Photography is like that, you end up with nothing or just some average images. Here’s a couple of my final photos:
We walked back to where my motorcycle was parked and said our goodbyes. I don’t wish to get over sentimental, but I really enjoyed our time together and wonder if in this way too short lifetime I’ll get the opportunity to meet Jeff again. My only regret is that I couldn’t make more time available for his visit to the U.K. We may get down to Aix-en-Provence before he and his family depart to their new home on Reunion Island. Here’s a link to end with to Jeff’s YouTube channel where you can see a video of his weeks work in Bristol for those interested in Street Photography; https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgjEZ0d4e4lF7zU2AlX2p9Q
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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