“the most important thing is not clicking the shutter, it is clicking with the subject”
This quote has really struck a cord with me recently and made me analyse the way I take photographs. I noticed that a lot of the time I tend to hold my finger down on the multi-shot feature and just take continuous photographs, especially when shooting fast moving people or objects, but this is most definitely not the best practice.
Alfred Eisenstaedt is thought by many to be the father of photojournalism and one of the greatest photographers of all time. He was the master of candid photography and usually only carried around one camera.
This image of children imitating a drum major really shows his skill in really capturing the moment, perfectly showing it to it’s full potential.
I decided that I need to step up my game and really start working with the subject I see through my lens, as Eisenstaedt suggests, and I got the perfect chance to try this out a few weeks ago at Cantelowes skatepark in Camden.
Ashley and a few friends chose a wonderfully sunny day to go there and skate, i’m not comfortable with bowls and know that it gets busy there so I decided to try out my camera instead.
To begin with I followed the skaters around the bowl with my camera but, although my pictures weren’t bad, couldn’t seem to get any impressive shots. The sunshine wasn’t helping as the stark contrast between the over exposed sunlight and dark shadows in the bowl made it really hard to find the right exposure levels.
After a while I started to watch the skaters more closely and understand their movements and where I could get the best shots of each individual skater. Luckily I’ve skated with and watched Ash and Milan a lot and found it really easy to predict their movements making for plenty of good photographs but, as much as I love to shoot them both, I really wanted pictures of everyone there.
I noticed there were certain areas of the bowl where every skater would get high or try something interesting and so decided these would be the best areas to train my camera on. I also noticed that certain skaters, particularly the more experienced ones, were practicing certain moves over and over so that they could perfect them. This was exactly the information I needed to really improve my photographs!
I trained my camera on these sections, depending on the skater, which meant I could set my shutter speed and focus ready for the subject to make their appearance into frame.
It took a bit of practice to really get the timings but eventually I managed to get some shots that I’m really proud of, not only that but all the shots I was taking started being useable rather than having a lot that i would never use.
I’m really proud of myself for the improvements i’ve made from just one day, and not just me, Ash learnt to drop in too with help from a good friend from Newtons Shred. A very successful day!
I am trying to be a lot more aware of my surroundings from now on, and not just when I have my camera on me. I really think that learning to recognise memorable moments will help improve my photography immensely.
I think there is a lot to learn from other photographers, both old and current, and so plan to do lots of research into others, particularly other nature photographers. I’ll be sharing my research with you all in future blog posts, probably once a month, and use their influences in my own photoshoots. I think it could make for some very interesting results!
You can see the rest of the photographs for this shoot right here on my facebook!
On Monday 10th I took a picture of this plant to send to my sister. She bought me it to say congratulations for getting my new job. I was so surprised that it was still alive I had to share it with her! (I’m terrible with plants)
On the 11th the plant was still alive. I decided to take a few closer shots as it was so pretty.
On the 12th I finally ate this chocolate lion. I’ve had it far too long and decided it was just too pretty to eat! I’m sure it tasted better when I first bought it.
On 13th I decided it was time for a haircut, but all the hairdressers around are either out of my budget or I don’t like the look of (i’m a little picky sometimes). So i decided to try cutting myself, i cut Ash’s hair all the time and we need to save money so i thought I may as well try. It’s not perfect but not too bad for a first try! Hopefully I can afford for a professional to do it next time.
On the 14th I ate some of this rice pudding i’d made. It’s so easy and makes delicious little snacks in these pots! I think this will have to be a regular thing.
On the 15th the sky looked awesome.
On the 16th I finally uploaded some skate photographs onto my facebook page. I will be writing a blog post (if I ever get a day off work) but until then you can find them here.
Next week will be very exciting with my new job starting, but i’m also working 6 days out of 7 and several 12hr shifts. ouch!
Last weekend Ash and I went on a trip to cornwall to try a new sport. Cornwall is well known for it’s surf and this has been something we’ve both been wanting to try for a while so we figured why not.
A couple of friends joined us too, they also happen to be the guys we’re looking for a house with once our lease is up in a couple of months and so we decided it would be our first official house holiday (and also a chance to see if we could really live together).
Our campsite was nice, what more do you want other than a field, toilets and a shower really?
As it had been a 4 hour drive it was already afternoon and so once the tent had been set up and food cooked we just chilled out together for the rest of the evening.
The next day we went to Newquay. It was a nice relaxing day playing in the surf, building sand castles and sliding around on our skim board.
Skim boards are designed for very shallow water and literally ‘skim’ the surface. They’re pretty fun and fast but don’t expect to stay on your feet for long.
The next day was far more active as we decided to brave the surf. We had a two hour lesson with a surf school on the beach, there were cheaper ones which did whole day classes but they had all been sold out and actually in hindsight we don’t know what they could have even done with us for a whole day.
Ash was the first of us to manage to catch a wave and stand but I wasn’t far behind.
We found the hardest part was the catching of the wave, the timing and speed were difficult to get right and we were often left behind whilst the wave raced to shore.
We also found that it was extremely tiring, our arms began to ache in the first hour and the constant battling against waves to get out to sea took a lot out of you. But the moment you caught a wave it really felt like you were flying and made all the effort worth it.
We ended up renting our surfboards and wetsuits out for the rest of the day (For only £10! Bargain!) and surfed until we could surf no more! They also had a photographer who took pictures of us surfing and CDs we’re available to buy afterwards for £10, that worked out as £2.50 each as we bought one between the four of us, bargain!
We all slept well that night.
The next day we drove all the way to Wales as my mum was visiting her boyfriend and I hadn’t seen either of them in such a long time.
As soon as Ash saw the first hill he fell in love.
We met with my mum and Andy before going on a nice (steep) walk to see the Welsh countryside and explored and old castle before sitting in a pub for a well deserved pint. Wales really is beautiful country and I’d recommend anyone to go visit, the views are just spectacular.
We finished off the holiday by visiting the Brecon Beacons. We didn’t go far, just found a nice, quiet road for Ash to finally skate on with some amazing views.
All too soon it was time to come back to London. We had a really awesome trip away and we think we want to make Cornwall and Wales a regular thing (although maybe not at the same time)