street photography

SUB-FRAMING

Sub-framing is a composition technique in photography, where you put the subject or an object in a frame within the image. You can frame it with lines, other objects, out of focus areas, light and shadow areas to name a few.

I like to use sub-framing in my street photography to provide a more interesting point of view or show a bit of context. In general I want to create more visually interesting images and I like juxtaposing people with their environment. Framing interesting people or situations within their environment, especially other moving objects, just adds another layer to the idea of capturing a unique moment.

When I am taking pictures of sights (e.g. World Trade Centre or Big Ben) I usually can’t stop thinking that these have been photographed before millions of times. So when I am travelling I of course take the obvious choice of photos, but I also know that it has been done before and certainly has been done before way better. I am always striving to get a different picture of the sights, a different angle or some detail I find interesting, something a little bit unexpected. Often I achieve this through sub-framing:

Most of these compositions are different to the usual image of these sights, but just taken from a different point of view. However, I also try to find frames that are just there temporarily, e.g. the World Trade Centre framed within a graffiti within a building site window; can you call that “double sub-framing”!? ;-) The important point is though that in a few months when the construction work is done, this view will not exist anymore, making it also just a moment in time.

When I went to Washington I already knew what to expect from the sights. I’ve seen the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument  and the Abraham Lincoln memorial many times before, in the news, on photographs and in movies. However I didn’t expect to see so many food trucks on Capitol Hill! Maybe I was just hungry, but it really captured my interest. Furthermore I am a foodie anyway and especially love street food, so I tried to incorporate the food trucks in my photos of the capitol, while still putting the emphasize on the main subject.

Street Wear – Look Book

Creating look books for brands is something I want to do more in the future! What I like about it particularly is that it combines pretty much everything I am passionate about in photography: portraiture (especially environmental on location), fashion and street photography.

For this shoot I wanted to use a location I have been cycling past quite often before. It is just some bridges and footbridges across the North Circular Road in London. There is literally nothing beautiful around there; I don’t think this location has ever been used for a photo shoot. But that is exactly what I am thriving on. I knew there would be some great images to be made, with the right framing and lighting. I think changing or enhancing a scene with lighting and capturing an image that you can’t see with the naked eye brings back a bit of the magic, that I am missing from developing film in the past!

Furthermore what I really enjoyed is finding three different setups within 5 min walk. In my opinion you could think these three locations were shot on three different days, when actually we did all of it in about 2 hours!

Location 1:

Location 2:

Location 3:

PEOPLE ON THEIR PHONES – A CHALLENGE FOR STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

The landscape for street photography has always been changing with the times, of course, as it’s subject itself, the culture and society, has been changing and evolving. Has it become easier or more difficult for the street photographer? Well, it depends. Here I just want to share my thoughts on the challenge the smart phone introduced. I am not talking about using a smart phone to take photos, but rather that many people in the public space are on their smart phones most of the times nowadays.

Most often they are so immersed, that they don’t take notice of their surroundings. That makes them an easy “target” for street photographers. Unfortunately there is less social interaction in the public and often I end up with the same pictures:

I don’t think I have ever come back from a day out without a very similar picture. Therefore it does become a challenge to take an interesting photo sometimes, but the fact that people are so captivated by their phones can also be an advantage. You can get closer and have more time to compose the shot:

It becomes even more important to look for interesting gestures, juxtapositions or multiple people on their phones:

Last but not least, if the subject itself is unique, it doesn’t really matter….

TIP: People are so used to seeing others on their phones. If I want to get really close in I pretend I am on my phone myself, e.g. texting or on Google maps, while actually shooting with my camera from hip level. People might notice you just for a second, but won’t pay any attention to you as soon as they realise you are on your phone :)

Shortlisted for the IPF Photo Prize!

Great News! One of my favourite images has been shortlisted to the Photo Prize 2017 at the Independent Photography Festival!

It will be exhibited at House of Vans London on 4th-27th of May as part of 160 shortlisted images.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the opening night, but I was able to see the exhibition at another time. House of Vans is a great space for exhibitions and events!

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Can you see my entry? :-) 

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There was lots of amazing work, especially street photography! I’m really honoured to have been exhibited among so many great artists!

Update (1st June): The winners have been announced! http://i-p-f.org/page/shortlisted-artists

Congratulations to Cian Oba-Smith (1st Place), Kyle Weeks (2nd Place) and Josh Nice (People’s Choice Award)!

Tags: street photography, exhibition, ipf, independent photography festival

Street Photography : Brexit

Following the EU referendum and the democratic decision for the UK to leave the European Union many people came together on social media trying to organise protests on Trafalgar Square. Although the protests were cancelled last minute due to the lack of official permission, thousands of people came to Trafalgar Square that Tuesday evening anyway, despite wind and rain.

I decided to go there too, not as part of the protest, but I thought there was a great opportunity for some interesting street photography. I am not a press or documentary photographer, but I did want to document what was going on there and find some interesting moments.

The rain didn’t make things easier, but on the other hand it made for some more interesting photos:

It was interesting to see lots of other photographers and TV stations covering the events, but especially interesting was to see how much effort many people made to dress up and make signs. 

 

Depending on the framing and taken out of context there were some interesting moments to capture:

 

And in all that chaos I was very lucky so see the following moments between two of the protesters unfolding and I managed to capture this little photo story :)

 

I stayed there for about two hours and after walking countless rounds on Trafalgar Square I decided to pack up and leave the rain. It was just the next day that I saw in the news that the protest got a lot bigger later and thousands of people marched to the Houses of Parliament. Unfortunately I missed that, but it’s always difficult to decide when to leave and when to stay.