I’m often asked which photographers have had the biggest influence on the way I shoot and my answer is always Cartier Bresson, Doisneau and Erwitt. So whenever possible I try to work in a similar style. Not only is this an enjoyable challenge but to stay top of my game it is essential to practice timing, anticipation and finding interesting images in the most unlikely situations. In other words – learning how to see.
Here are some images taken on a recent business trip to Bologna in Italy. I love everything about Italy, it has to be my favourite country. With Christmas in the air and some unexpected snow showers the mood and atmosphere of the place gave me plenty of interesting opportunities. Below are some favourites. Most were taken on the Lumix G1 with a the Summilux 25mm 1.4. For the wider work I used the Lumix 20mm, 1.7 pancake lens. These were essential because of the low light.
What better way to spend a cold, grey November afternoon than doing some street photography. I recently purchased the Leica Summilux 25mm 1.4 lens with an adapter to fit my Lumix G1. Below are some shots I recently took on a visit to London’s Science museum with the kids.
I love the Lumix camera in particular its small size and Leica fast lenses. So the 2 together is a match made in heaven. Some have said the AF is slow but I found it perfectly OK. I did not need to go higher than 800 iso which is just as well as it gets quite noisy at 1600 (I guess as a Canon 5d mark ll user I’ve become spoilt). and the Leica Lens is pin sharp even at 1.4.
Most of these were taken on this lens apart from the last few which I took on the Lumix 20mm 1.7. Again a great fast lens and also being very small it fitted very well into my jacket pocketeven when attached to the body.
Most of these shots below were shot around waist/chest height so I can remain as unobtrusive as possible which is important for street photography and photographing strangers.
Very few are aware that the town of Reading hosted approximately 900 prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars between 1807-1809. About two thirds were from Denmark and were ‘fortunate’ to be held in Reading with a fair amount of freedom. The alternative was usually a rotting prison ship. During this time they integrated seemlessly into Reading life and became quite popular. They were often referred to as The Gentlemen Danes.
One of these prisoners was Laurenthes Braag whose memorial stone at Minster Church of St Mary the Virgin can be seen above. This was spotted some years ago by my friend and local historian John Nixon. It was in a bad shape then but was restored to its former glory by Michael Eastham and Joscelyn Schmidt. Yesterday saw the official unveiling of the memorial. This was well attended by local historians and special guests as well as Reading Civic Society, The Mayor of Reading, Per Bjerg (Museum Curator, Fano), Captain Niels Erik Sorensen (Danish Defence Attache) and Lars Flyvholm (MD of Bang and Olufsen UK – who sponsored the event)
Below are some of my favourite shots. If you attended the event and would like copies of the complete set (114 in total) please e mail me with your postal address. Please feel free to add any comments below.
For photographers – All images shot with on Lumix G1. Lenses – Lumix 20mm 1.7 (pancake lens) and Leica Summilux 25mm 1.4. This is a great camera I love using. Very small and discreet with excellent metering and AF which locks quickly and doesn’t ‘hunt’ in low light like my Canon 5D tends to. It is however quite noisy in the shadows at 1600 compared to my Canons. Not so much a problem for me as I often add grain to my images afterwards to give a film look.
I recently exchanged my Leica 75mm lens (which is an overpriced heap of rubbish) for a Zeiss 50mm 1.5. Yesterday’s spring like weather was an ideal opportunity to try this out on a family trip to Oxford.
I do not know any of the people in these images and the aim was therefore to remain as ‘invisible’ as possible. Most of these were taken with the camera around waist/chest level with zone focusing.
This was a very useful exercise and makes me realise, as photographers, how spoilt we are with zoom lenses and Auto Focus. Below are some of my favourites