On the move!

Back to my street photography theme!  In a recent blog I said that unlike landscape photography were the photographer takes meticulous care to arrange the elements in the frame and to wait for the right light, street photography is very different in that your composition is often imperfect due to the constantly changing scene.

Today I used a technique to try and simplify the streetscape scene.  I found a backdrop that I wanted to appear in the photograph and waited for something or someone interesting to enter the frame.  Using this approach there was at least one constant that I could depend on.

The background I selected was a large advertising poster in the shop window announcing that they had moved.  It featured a coloured lady and what I was looking for was someone to enter the frame that would provide a contrast.  It was interesting that people entering the frame were obviously three dimensional, whereas the woman in the poster was two dimensional.  However I was conscious that whenever a photograph is exposed the entire image is two dimensional.

I waited in the one position for around 20 minutes (my wife was shopping!) and took several exposures, the image below is probably the best, I have entitled it …on the move!

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All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

 

The photographer’s eye

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The photograph above was taken at Clough Co Down, one of the centres where the Orange Order were parading throughout Northern Ireland on the 12th July.  On the day I surprisingly took very few exposures but this image is one that stuck in my mind.  It’s not a particularly well composed image and it was taken early in the day before the parade started.  So why did I take?

There were several reasons, firstly I noticed the cowboy boots, the lyrics to ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra came to mind!  Another reason for seeing this picture was the fact that nearly everyone else in the scene is standing and the main subject is sitting, so there is a certain juxtaposition.  The fact that the heads of the people standing are cut off help the viewer to concentrate on the main figure.  I lowered my position when making the image so that I was almost at the same level, obviously the person saw me take the image which has not spoiled the photograph.

This image conveys a relaxed atmosphere in anticipation for the parade yet to commence. Probably the dominant feeling was …will it stay dry?  In actual fact it did stay dry until around 5pm!  There is nothing threatening or decisive conveyed by the image, unlike many images of Orange Order parades that you will find in the media.

Photographs are a powerful means for conveying messages and you are really depending on the honesty of the photographer.  In this case Clough was really about a family day out and meeting up with friends.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

Lanark Way Bonfire

I have found that I am increasingly drawn to more of a documentary or a street style of photography.  Unlike landscape photography where you arrange the elements of the image in a pleasing harmony to create the perfect image, street photography is quite different.

In street photography the compositions are imperfect as people move about and the scenes change extremely quickly.  You get what you can and make the best of what you observe.  What you are really trying to do is to make images that tell a story in that fleeting fraction of a second!

Yesterday I visited Lanark Way to see the bonfire that has been built for the coming Twelfth celebrations.  In photographing this scene I adopted a specific approach.  A distant shot to provide the viewer with the general context, known as the ‘establishment shot’, a medium distance shot showing some of the people involved and finally a close up shot.  Each image has its own role to play and viewed together they should tell a story.

In preparing the images I processed them as monochrome, removing the colour simplifies the image and encourages the viewer to observe the whole image by not be drawn to particular colours.  This is the result.

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This morning a story has appeared in the Belfast Telegraph newspaper about this bonfire for all the wrong reasons!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

The Somme Remembered

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Yesterday (1 July 2014) was the 98th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme and the usual civic remembrance was held within the grounds of Belfast City Hall.  In documenting the event I took 85 exposures and from these I have selected just 13.  In making the selection I took the deliberate decision to exclude politicians and other civic dignitaries because I wanted the Armed Forces on parade to be focus, after all it was their forefathers who paid the supreme price!

Her Majesty’s Forces on parade were drawn from the Royal Irish Regiment and the Irish Guards.  The series of images commences with army personnel assembling, the series continues with the parade to the cenotaph and it concludes with an establishing shot taken through a window from a second floor cafe adjacent to the City Hall.  

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission  

Click on the link below.

http://ulsterphotography.co.uk/?page_id=5207

Red Barn Gallery

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Frankie Quinn pictured above runs and manages the Red Barn Gallery in Rosemary Street, Belfast and currently he is displaying his own photographic collection entitled “The Orange’.

On display are around forty images, all monochrome and 18 inches square, depicting various aspects of the Loyal Order as he recorded them in Belfast, Londonderry, Scarva and Rossnowlagh between 2011 to 2013.

Frankie is from the nationalist community which makes the treatment of his project all the more interesting.  A visit is definitely worth it and I understand the display will be available until the end of July.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission   

 

Rainy Belfast – what’s new?

Ins’t it odd that few people take photographs when it’s raining?  Some time ago I saw a photograph of a very wet Belfast street scene and it has always stuck in my mind and challenged me to go out and do the same.

Taking a walk around in the rain presents very different opportunities, such has people sheltering under cover, people taking cover in coffee shops which you can photograph through the window and people just going about their every day business with raised umbrellas.

Of course for the photographer rain produces marvellous lighting, reflections, deeper colours or if your shooting in monochrome a different dynamic range.  Capturing the rain as it falls allows you to play with shutter speeds and also adds to the mood the images. Here is a small selection of images shot yesterday.

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Next time it rains go out and give it a go!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission   

 

The patience of a street photographer!

My wife tells me that I don’t have any patience and she is never wrong!  But to be a street photographer you really do need patience to allow scenes to develop.  So while I have been wandering around Belfast I have tried slowing down or even taking a seat and allowing things to happen around me.

So I tried an experiment, I took a photograph and then waited to see what would change within the scene before taking another photograph, even pausing for ten minutes made a difference.  Here is the result:

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Ten minutes later:

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A bunch of American tourists showed up and gathered around the tourist information board, the girl never flinched and the two unrelated elements provided a contrast or tension within the frame. 

Try giving it a go!

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission  

 

Brownlow House Classic Car Rally

There is nothing like a classic car rally to being back memories of the 1960s.  In my day I owned a succession of MGs, Midgets and MG Bs.  So I was naturally drawn to the MGs on display of which there were many.

It was unfortunate that the EU forced rubber bumpers as the earlier cars fitted with chrome bumpers looked much better.  Of course the real classic MG was the MG A, and a 1959 model was on display.

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There were of course some vintage models view, although I was particularly drawn to the MGs.

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I met one real character who was directing traffic, an RAF veteran who kindly allowed me to take his photograph.

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All colour images taken with a Fujifilm X Pro 1 camera fitted with a 35mm 1.4 lens, all exposures were ISO 400, 1/250 second at f8.  The monochrome was taken at f2.8 and 1/1900 shutter speed.

All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

The world cup and all that!

Here we go again, another world cup and no doubt wall to wall media coverage to bore us completely silly.  You can tell that I am a football fan!  

However walking around Belfast I see that bars and restaurants are getting in to the mood. The photograph below is taken in one of Belfast’s old entries, in this case Pottinger’s Entry which connects Ann Street with High Street in almost a straight line. The principal attraction is the Victorian pub, The Morning Star.

In a city where the flying of flags causes so much controversy I was amused to see The Morning Star public house bedecked in so many national flags to get its customers into the world cup mood.  Spot the Union Flag!

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All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission 

 

Belfast Street Photography

Today in a relatively short space of time (20 minutes) I took a succession of images while walking through Belfast city centre on my way to meet up with friends for lunch.  It has given me a renewed enthusiasm for street photography.  Casually walking along you see all sorts of sights to record and with a unobtrusive camera no one really notices you. During my walk I encountered three subjects which I will feature below.  

The first one was of a male youth with a strange haircut and I framed him from behind with an older man sitting observing the strange hair style and the youth walked towards him.  I am sure I can imagine was the older man was thinking!

Our next image is a more serious subject, a young man, who may be homeless, playing a flute with his faithful dog sitting beside him in a doorway.  I did ask his permission to take the photograph and he came across to be quite a friendly guy.

Lastly a busker playing an accordion in Pottinger’s Entry looking into the distance, and people approach.  There is so much going on if you just keep your eyes open.  Now the images!

Looking for those interactions and constantly take place can produce interesting images. 

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All images contained on this website remain the property of Roger Bradley. Images may not be downloaded, reproduced, copied, projected, or used in any way without express written permission