Knut, Bazel and I have a photoshoot at Tregirls
For the last couple of years I've been meaning to have some photographs done of me and the boys (my dogs for those who don't know me!) and I've finally gotten round to doing it! It was certainly an eye opener being on the other side of the coin looking for a photographer who I thought would capture the images I wanted....and I had a very clear idea of what I wanted!
I started by Googling as seems to be the norm these days but there are very few photographers in the south west who specialise in taking photographs of dogs. Many stated they were specialists but when you clicked through to their site, there were primarily wedding and/or portrait photographers with the odd dog image thrown in for good measure! As I trawled the pages, I made a note of those photographers who looked promising. Having found 3, I sent each an enquiry email and only 1 responded. I find that quite amazing but they are obviously in such a place where they have plenty of work and can afford to ignore emails from prospects. By the by, that's not how I operate; I read each enquiry and respond as quickly as I can, even if it's to say that perhaps I'm not the ideal photographer for the shoot you had envisaged.
Anyway, Tom of Tom Walters Photography replied and after explaining what I was after (and that he was happy with the fact that I was a photographer and might be a bit picky about some things!), we agreed to do an hour's shoot at Tregirls. Given our busy schedules, Sunday seemed the ideal day but the weather wasn't as good as it could be and we had to reschedule twice....an occupational hazard in Cornwall at any time of the year!
We met at the top of the beach and while we wandered down, Tom took the opportunity to get to know the dogs and to have a chat about what I wanted. I don't like being on the other side of the camera but once you forget about the photographer, it's really good fun! We walked across the sand, sat in the dunes and wandered through the woods behind the beach and all the time, Tom was taking images but I didn't really think about it a lot of the time!
All in all, I really enjoyed the shoot and Tom was excellent at making it relaxed and non threatening. Now I've got to decide how I'm going to present the images; I've already got my 6" x 4" prints so best go lay them out and decide!
Early yesterday morning, Harry and I set off in the mobile dog kennel for Bristol Millennium Square. The reason? Clifton Cameras were organizing a free photo walk which was hosted by Matt Hart, a respected street photographer. I wanted to pick up a few hints and tips with regard to street photography and also revisit my home town to see how it had changed. The event was also sponsored by Fujifilm so I knew that there would be a few more Fuji converts with whom I could talk Fuji!
We met in Millennium Square at 10.30 and the day was already promising to be warm....VERY warm! But that was good because there were lots of people about enjoying the summer...and shopping! After a brief introduction and chat, we set off. I knew that it was going to be impossible to get any candid, unobserved photographs being the tail end of 120 photographers; in fact, I heard the comment "oh, that must be the Bristol Camera Club", several times! But Harry and I were still able to practise our stealth street photography techniques on our unsuspecting fellow photographers and some members of the public. Harry, sporting his (heavy) dSLR, was amazed that the shutter on my XT-1 was silent!
With regard to equipment for the day, I decided on the XT-1 with 35mm f1.4 lens(which I haven't used in a long while!) and the X100s with its fixed 23mm lens in my small, light Ona Bowery bag. Harry opted for his Canon dSLR, two film cameras with a monopod and tripod attached to his backpack.
This was the planned route for the day:
It was great to be back in Bristol but I was amazed at the changes. It was only when we came out in the centre of Broadmead that I recognised where I was! It was really great to meet up with so many other photographers, many of whom had travelled some distances to be there too. I enjoyed the conversations, seeing what inspired others and practising taking photos without anyone realising....and that's much harder than it looks! Enjoy the images...
We had a great, if hot, day practising our street photography techniques and I would recommend this type of walk if you're interested. Imaging having 120 photographers on one of my photowalks in Padstow!
For those interested: the colour images were processed using the Fuji Classic Chrome simulation which seems to suit street photography very well. I enjoyed using the 35mm lens immensely but did miss the 18-135mm when I way trying to take shots of the graffiti-covered walls. The graffiti might be the subject of another Blog and I'll leave you with a couple you may recognise:
This is me...
...teacher, tutor, photographer, gardener and dog walker....in no particular order!