You've probably noticed by now that I'm a fairly active member of Birmingham's photographic community. However, this isn't so that I can turn up and talk about myself! I genuinely use every meet up as an excuse to try something new and see if I can actually learn something. So when the wonderfully talented Kris Askey announced that he was partnering with Apple to do a photo-walk around Birmingham, I was definitely in!
The focus of the day was to capture 'Ordinary Life' in Birmingham and with Kris leading the way, that is exactly what we tried to do. After meeting at Apple's very impressive store on New Street, Kris shared some fantastic tips and advice before hitting the streets. Being an Apple event, the focus was on shooting with iPhones and being a 6s owner, I had no excuse not to!
The weather had brightened up outside and we made our way along Corporation Street, trying to capture the ordinary. Shooting with a phone instantly set me a few challenges, not least of all was trying to look discreet! Holding a phone at head height and virtually chasing old ladies down the street was never a good approach, so I tried a little sneaky shooting instead.
The next biggest challenge was 'seeing' a shot. I love 'people watching' and this is effectively what we were doing. Kris had shared some great tips on composition and framing techniques and as we all got warmed up, it was clear that he knew what he was talking about as shots slowly started to appear. It's amazing how these little scenes play out each day and we barely even notice, learning how to 'see' them and even anticipate them is definitely a skill!
I found myself missing my zoom lens and as Kris rightly taught us to 'zoom with our feet' - I found that I needed to be more confident in actually getting close enough to people to frame a shot the way that I wanted. Going out of your comfort zone like this is a real challenge but this is where the real 'learning' happens. We made our way around Victoria Square, down to New Street Station and back to the Apple store.
The group then had some time to edit the photos and once again, Kris and the guys from Apple were on hand to share tips and techniques. The group (around 15 of us) took turns to share our images on the big screen and discuss why we shot what we shot. The shots were incredible and also incredibly diverse, yet each one perfectly capturing one of Birmingham's little moments, never to be captured again.
Looking back at the images, I was really impressed with the results achieved by the iPhone. I normally carry a little 'compact camera' on a day-to-day basis but looking at the results achieved by everyone, this almost becomes pointless as the phones can definitely hold their own. Looking at little closer at the final images (100% crop!) I don't think I'll be throwing my DSLR out of the window just yet, but for capturing a quick image, I will definitely be reaching for my phone more often! After all, the best camera is the one you have with you at the time!
You can find out how Kris shot the day HERE and be sure to follow him on his social channels to see more of his brilliant Street and Portrait work and in particular, his upcoming exhibition which will be a must-see!