I love to try new things and when it comes to photography, I am happy to go out and shoot 'whatever'. So when I saw that IgersBirmingham had teamed up with Street Photography legend Kris Askey to do a talk/walk around Birmingham, I was all over it.
For those that may not know, Street Photography is the art (and it is an art!) of capturing unique scenes in everyday life, sometimes humorous, sometimes emotional but generally, it's documenting what is happening all around us everyday. Street Photography, when done right, is amazingly captivating and gives us a real insight into 'those little moments' that are there for a split second and then gone.
Kris is an expert at capturing them and it goes without saying that you should go and check his work out. He has pretty much single-handedly started a bit of a movement of street work within our city and a quick flick through Instagram shows that there are plenty of people out there trying their hand at what, on paper, should be straight forward enough.
On the day of the meet, I was pretty excited to get out and give it a go. Having done little bits here and there, I knew it could be challenging but after a very compelling half-hour talk by Kris about his journey into Street Photography and some very useful tips on achieving great results, I was pretty certain that I was going to very quickly become the greatest Street Photographer that ever lived, ever.
Armed with my trusty, partially broken Ricoh GR, I set to the streets and started firing at anything that moved, people on bikes 'click', people in coffee shops, 'click', old women 'click', homeless guys 'click click click'... I stopped and looked back through my shots and something wasn't right, they looked nothing like Kris' or any of the other Street Photographers I had seen, they were, well rubbish.
I quickly deleted all my shots, changed some settings and went in for round 2! Several 'clicks' later and I dared to view the images again, they were somehow worse! I felt more miserable than the weather, which I had convinced myself was ruining my shots, so I went into New Street Station in the hope of getting some gold! Click, click, click... Utter rubbish, it was clearly my camera's fault!
By now, it was time to head back to our meeting point where there would be a 'live edit' of a couple of the photos that people had shot. I sheepishly walked in and slipped my camera away and slumped into my chair as Kris asked if anyone would share their pictures... Street Photography was more difficult than I thought, this was more than just an 'off day', it was a big punch right in the ego!
I'm a little embarrassed to post my pictures as, quite frankly, they're terrible. However, this is the thing, you don't just wake up one day and become the world's best dot dot dot... To be good at anything takes time, effort and commitment. I also think some people are a little too quick to try and apply some deep & meaningful context to a shot that, realistically has none... My point? Some things are harder than they seem and you can't be good at everything, so either be honest and say it's not for you or get out there and practice!