Night Street Photography - Soho

Night Street Photography - Soho

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A few weeks back I slung my camera over my shoulder and hit the streets after dark to test out a new 50mm 1.4 Canon lens. 

Just around the corner from my house I spotted a busy hair salon - unusual in that it was a hive of activity when most businesses had long since shut up shop for the evening.

On a bitterly cold night and through the steamed up windows I could make out a customer draped in a bright pink jacket with long blondish hair admiring her new style in the mirror. 

I knew I wanted to take the picture but I was anxious about being noticed. I did get a shot or two but perched behind a bus stop - getting two sheets of glass between me and my subject. It was an attempt at an interesting shot - I recognised I just needed to be braver.

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This is a problem I have struggled with when it comes to street photography- staying too far in the background & not getting in close to the action. Each time I lift my camera to look through the viewfinder, I worry about being interrogated my passers-by.

To some people the idea of Street Photography can be strange or intrusive. I don’t see it this way. The street images taken by Garry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz fascinate me - they tell us a lot about style and the way of the world in sixties and seventies New York.

So last week and on a damp Friday evening I met a group of photographers in Soho for a night street workshop led by two experts in the field - Craig Whitehead (@sixstreetunder) and Joshua K Jackson (@joshkjack).

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Over the next four hours we would zig zag through the streets of Soho keeping our eyes peeled for interesting/temporary/unusual light sources, fleeting moments, repeating colours and patterns - worrying less about our camera settings and more about what we noticed or had the vision to create. 

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Josh and Craig talked a lot about body language and gave helpful tips and demonstrations to encourage us to feel less self conscious and more relaxed when taking shots.

I would hands down recommend a class like this. For months I have immersed myself in Instagram and street photography books. I even signed up and worked through the Masters of Photography online class taught by Joel Meyerowitz (which is brilliant by the way). 

Whilst that’s all well and good, I’ve realised the only way to learn and get better is to shoot the streets regularly, practice and make it a habit. This was emphasised by both Craig and Josh who are out shooting and looking for those moments all the time. The results speak for themselves on their impressive websites and Instagram accounts.

I have come away from the class excited to try their techniques and with a better understanding of how impressive street photography images can be created.

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London Fashion Week - February 2019

London Fashion Week - February 2019

Adel Rootstein - Mannequin design

Adel Rootstein - Mannequin design