I really like it when I make eye contact with someone in my street photography. I am trying to capture a scene, an atmosphere, something candid, so I try not to get people’s attention because then they stop what they’re doing or behave differently. But if I can press that shutter just at the moment that they noticed me and before the mask comes down, I feel I’ve captured something special.
I’ve managed it before when taking photos around Soho in March 2013. I’ll add this one to my collection!
London is changing… and not for the better. I started this blog because I was aware of how much London had changed since I was a child and I wanted to capture the atmosphere and character of the city I love before it disappeared.
I took a walk down Berwick Street today. It was once home to a street market with a dozen fruit and veg stalls, many many fabric shops, record shops, cheap cafes, ironmongers, lighting shops – just everything you could possibly want or need and all from independent small businesses.
The lower part of the street – where the street market is struggling to keep going – is being refurbished with new pavement and road being laid and God knows what else. It’s been going on for what seems like years.
I took the photo above just a few months ago, shortly after or before I took this one. And today I saw that this cafe has closed down, along with almost all the other shops along the same side of the street. A popular fancy dress shop is now almost empty – even though it had queues outside before Hallowe’en last year. There are notices now about redevelopment. I hope (but fear) that Berwick Street doesn’t lose it’s wonderful character.
I’m usually drawn to people but with these two shots I was drawn to them and I can’t explain why. The first one is very yellow much like many other shots I’ve taken at night. I think the colour might have drawn me.
The second one was just something about the old-fashioned lampshade and the rippled glass. It’s an odd thing to photograph I grant you – a lit lamp. But I had to do it and I really like the shot – again I can’t explain why. I think it might just be something to do with windows – I can’t help looking into them and taking photos of what I see.
What do we do when we’re bored? I can’t remember what we did before smartphones but these days if anyone finds themselves at a loose end and on their own, they can take refuge in their phone. It works if you’re waiting for customers in an ice cream kiosk on a rainy day or walking down the street.
It does seem to be a particular problem for ice cream sellers – even if you’re offering coffee and hotdogs as well!
If you’re going to try to get the attention of the tourists in the queue outside the Natural History Museum on a chilly Saturday morning, you may as well make a song and dance about it – especially if most of them are foreign tourists who don’t speak much English.
At least you get to have fun!