Tuesday night Damien Demolder came along to give us a talk on street photography.
First of all, Damien asked us what our interpretation of street photography was eg whether people needed to be in it.
Also he asked us what types of camera we used.
Damien told us he started writing in the magazine Amateur Photographer and then other magazines, he later became a reviewer for various cameras and lens which came on to the market.
Damien also brought along a lot of camera equipment that he uses in street photography.
A breakdown of the word ‘photography’ means working with light and without light we just could not take pictures.
Damien said, in the picture below he was in London and spotted this pattern of light created by the light from a building. He carefully positioned and angled the camera to get the light in diagonals across the image. He also realised he needed to keep the bottom green stripe whole at the bottom right. All this is skill, however, luck plays a great part in pictures and he waited for somebody to walk across the scene and could not believe his luck when a lady walked across dead centre of the stripes. He waited for the lady’s head in the shadow to appear and took this shot. At the moment of the shot the lady’s foot is just raised above the ground which gives movement.
Damien then showed us this shot of a jogger, it is nothing special it is a cloudy day, said Damien
However, on a sunny day Damien after several shots used the contrasts of the orange wall and black shadows. He waited for somebody to walk by and he again could not believe his luck when this lady jogger ran past. There was only one spot between the door and wall to fit her in the picture. Her head was in the perfect position to capture her profile.This is more an outstanding picture using the sunlight and is in exactly the same position as the other jogger was taken on a cloudy day.
The next picture was taken in the Tate gallery when Damien notice the sunlight was appearing through the window. It was lighting up the profile of the man looking at the picture on the wall.
The next image was taken outside where Damien spotted a shaft of light in the road. He positioned himself to get the right picture. He said people are predictable and followed parallel with some rails at the edge of the road. Again anybody could have come along but Damien was so pleased that a character almost looking like a Yorkshireman past by with a flappy coat.
In this next shot he asked us what the subject was about. People answered the lady and Damien said correct. Despite the most icon shot of St Paul’s being in the background, people know your taking the shot of the lady as she is in focus and the Cathedral is not. The lighting in this position is illuminating the fur hood around the lady’s face and making it glow. All ladies should have to wear those, he jokingly said as orange and the blue sky goes so well.
Again in this next shot with the background out of focus the photograph was about these ladies hair. (red dot from marker pen lol)
Although this next shot has hundreds of gnomes and fairies etc, the picture is of this man, the collector of these things. Although Damien does not like to put people in the corners of pictures because lens can distort the subject, but the lens being used makes it possible and it works for this picture.
Again the subjects are the two people and perhaps what the guy is thinking. There is a sort of heart shape between them.
The next is a Chinese restaurant which is lit at night and the out of focus menu lights up people as silhouettes as they walk past. Damien has a special camera that can handle the focusing where other cameras would struggle.
The next shot I believe is at St Pancras station and Damien waited for this guy to fill the frame to give the interest.
The last picture before the break was taken at floor level and we were advised to look at things from different angles. People will say I pass that place plenty of times but never seen it like this. it’s different.
Coffee time with some of the cameras and lens on display
Damien told of how he lines up his camera and is able to click on a point in the image to focus on. In the case below the man’s thumb on his Ipad is the focus point. He had one or two goes before hand to get the Shard building in the background to be straight, as all architecture whether in focus or not needs to be upright.
The camera view has lines in the centre and will turn green when level. There are various other indicators on the side but Damien cannot concentrate on those whilst taking the image he wants with his eyes focused on the subject.
When taking people wearing glasses the camera will often focus on the person’s glasses rather than their eyes
On one of his cameras there is a single focus point that will just lock on to the eye and avoid spectacles
Damien gave a demonstration of this using Steve one of our club members using his camera connected to the laptop projector
In this image below Damien was pleased with the lady walking past wearing a similar coloured coat to the floor and the dark shadow bringing out the lady’s face
Here Damien positioned himself in an area to take this shot of workers coming out for a cigarette break. The red light is Damien’s pen and not a cigarette lol
Here Damien set himself in a position to capture the lady in the window working on a laptop, also the reflected street in the window and the stylish lady just walking past.
Here standing with Topshop over the road he saw a lady wearing rather nice glasses. He did not tell her that but just took the picture.
Sometimes people are totally unaware of a photograph being taken. How many of you use silent mode on your camera, asked Damien. If I had a large SLR a person would hear the clicking but on silent mode the person would not know.
I only use a camera that fits in my pocket, said Damien. I looked at this chap and he looked at me and I was just wearing ordinary clothes. No heavy camera gear and I was of no interest to him and he carried on listening to his phone. However, I had visualised the scene and knew what I had wanted to take before taking out my camera. So it is important to have the picture in mind before taking it.
Only having a small camera I took this of a man stepping into a tube train. The man next to me would have been in the way if I had had a big camera.
These two guys would have probably noticed me with a big camera and their expression would have changed but totally unaware of me with a small camera.
If you position yourself well people will enter your space and even apologise for getting in the way
Like this guy walking passed with a coffee and a cigarette
Finally Damien talked about the time spent using software to enhance photographs and said he has very little time in the evenings to do it. Damien will sit on a train coming home and alter his images taken in Raw and use the camera’s software to enhance them.
I believe this was taken on site and then using the camera’s own software changed immediately and shown to the girl’s mum and then emailed off to her.
Damien then announced he was running a course in Aylesbury centre the following morning and seven people took up the offer to attend.
Thank you to Damien and his colleague Andre for coming along and giving us a very entertaining and interesting talk.
Next week is
What is Abstract?
Tuesday February 4, 2020 from 20:15 to 22:15
Kathy will take us through her thoughts (and some techniques) that sit firmly in the world of abstract photography. Bring your enquiring minds as we’re going to set you a challenge!