Leave nothing but footprints

One of my annual forays into London and I decided to make ‘workers’ a subject to look out for. I often make lists of things to look out for with the camera; people carrying things, people bending over, people with dogs etc etc.  London centre doesn’t start coming alive until mid morning, when the tourists start moving around. Before that it’s mainly workers going about their business. A recent look back at these images and they continue to appeal to me.

I firmly believe the streets is where much of a society is played out. It’s politics, relationships, the good and the bad. Shoot the streets and you capture something of the society you live in. It’s as simple as that.

The US President ( I can’t bring myself to write his name) comes out, completely ignores the debate on gun control and instead wants to talk about how his society deals with mental illness. Well he would wouldn’t he, given the fact that the National Rifle Association made a substantial financial contribution to his election campaign. Still It’s good of him to want to talk about mental illness. It’s a huge problem and no doubt a massive drain on the national purse or wallet if you prefer. There are myriad reasons for mental illness but one of them must surely be the pressures put on a person from the society within which they live. I can hardly comment on the mental illness problems of the USA from my perch here in the UK, suffices to say we have a mental illness problem here too. What we don’t have is a rampant gun problem and a constitutional right to bear arms. You get someone with mental illness and marry that up with an armoury of guns and you’ve got a dangerous situation in the making, just possibly. We’ve had gun attacks here sure  but nothing like the frequency and appalling consequences of the US. I can’t go down the road and buy a semi-automatic even if I wanted to. It’s crazy that a young man can carry a gun at the age of eighteen but must be twenty one to buy a beer.

Still what do I know ? I’m just a frustrated photographer. Leave nothing but footprints take nothing but photographs folks.

 

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You ! Yes You

This is not one of those instructional how to Blogs. I don’t do equipment reviews or anything like that,  nor do I tell you how to go out and take the perfect street shots. That’s up to you to find out and there’s plenty of self appointed experts out in the blogosphere who’ll tell you what they think they know. If you want my advice then by you’re welcome to ask for it and I’ll try my best to oblige. My wish is that my images and work encourage and  inspire you to go out and have a go yourself and attempt to say something about the world you occupy.
I don’t generally focus my camera on street entertainers for the simple reason that it’s too easy. They expect to be photographed, it’s part of the deal they make with their practise and therefore will happily perform for the camera. As such the subject is flogged to death. I don’t turn my camera on the homeless on the streets either. That’s a subject which photographically needs a much more in depth analysis.

Gimme Shelter

Ok so it’s time to get back to some street photography. The street is accessible and immediate. I was in London a couple of years ago. I’d been tramping the streets all day. I was on Oxford St. The sun was going down and the winter light was fantastic. I noticed this bloke in red across the road collecting for the homeless charity Shelter. There’s been a lot of talk about homelessness over this Christmas period. There’s something about this shot that I love. It’s the young woman on the right walking towards me. The look on her face is classic. I love it when someone engages with me and the camera.

Gimme Shelter ? A classic Rolling Stones track ……..” It’s just a shot away”