Justin how's the street photography going?
It’s going well thanks Nico, though I should be spending more time out actually taking photographs, I’m keen to get out to areas of London with subject-matter potential away from the centre that I’ve yet to visit, such as Notting Hill and Shoreditch.
I am having some success - having won a Royal Photographic Society competition a couple of months ago and I’ll have a small selection of pictures on display in a New York gallery later in the year.
What's the one main reason you shoot street work?
There’s excellent subject matter in some great settings that I see pretty well every day in and around my job in London – need I say any more!
It seems your emphasis is more on aesthetics, composition/geometry, light/shadow contrasts... instead of conveying specific emotions which I personally sometime (not always) find a little over the top, bordering cheesy (couple kissing, hugging...). Am I right?
Yes you are. I’ll often look to avoid a face / eyes as, invariably, that’s what the viewer’s own eye is drawn to. I therefore try and capture images that stand out as result of shape, line, geometry and composition.
I cannot get excited about taking pictures of ordinary people doing ordinary things (there’s already too much of those sort of pictures out there which are classed as ‘street photography’) and I won’t go for the ‘cheesy’ however I do occasionally look to photograph interesting people in interesting situations.
You seem very happy with your Fuji camera? I have to say that we don't tend to go on and on about street photography gear here on SPL but it's a tempting piece of kit I've got to say.
Yes, I am very happy with the Fuji X100s, it’s a lovely camera to use, very discreet when needed and the controls all well placed so that they can be changed easily without needing to check a screen.
I do occasionally also use my Canon 7D, with the 50mm lens, if I’m doing more human interest style of photography
What are your thoughts on cropping? Do you feel strongly about it or don't really care?
I will crop in post production but generally only when, using the X100s fixed lens, there is too much extraneous material. I’m looking forward to trying out the tele-extender that Fuji are launching shortly.
How about post-processing? (I actually find myself doing less and less)
Likewise – usually just conversion to black & white using Lightroom (which I just love) and, when required, Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro, with just a little tweaking to accentuate the difference between the light and the shadows.
How many hours a week would you say you dedicate to photography?
Not enough! It does vary depending on what else is going on, both at work and at home but I need to make more time available both to get out and photograph and to do things with my images once I get them home.
What photography book could you recommend?
I suppose it was ‘Street Photography Now’, by Sophie Howarth & Stephen McLaren – the one with the pigeon walking alongside commuters in black as the cover – that caught my attention and, to an extent, started my interest in street photography, so that would be my recommendation.
What online photography resources do you find yourself going back to regularly if any?
Other than the SPL Blog(!), publications by Craft & Vision [http://craftandvision.com/, video podcasts by Ted Forbes on the Art of Photography [http://theartofphotography.tv/ and various online photographic magazines
Finally, I think any beginner can benefit from a little tip or advice. What would be yours?
Anyone can benefit from tips or advice, I know I can. That said, my advice would be look at photographs and ascertain what works and what doesn’t. I also joined the Royal Photographic Society as a way of learning composition and technical skills. But the best way is really to just get out there and take pictures, get to know your camera and experiment.
Thanks a lot Justin!