Friday, June 16, 2017

Street Photography with the X-T2

Street photography is one of my favourite genres of photography. Lots of great photographers who were great at street photography include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Garry Winogrand, Vivian Maier, Josef Koudelka, Robert Doisneau, Jill Freedman, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, William Eugene Smith, Joel Meyerowitz,  Lee Friedlander, Bill Brandt and one of my personal favourites, André Kertész.

My list is by no means exhaustive and I am sure some will wish to include others or even disagree with who is on my list! The truth is, it doesn't mean I am right and they are wrong. Feel free to comment and nominate your own personal choices.

So, street photography, what is it exactly? Well, without seeming to state the obvious, it's photography of the streets. I don't mean the physical street in the sense of pictures of roads, pavements, walls, buildings etc. I mean of people in the street. This is what most folks understand by the term, though I am sure there are photographers out there who just take photographs of empty streets and no doubt they may describe themselves as a 'street photographer'. I am not judging them.

Wikipedia defines street photography as: 
Street photography is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents[1] within public places. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic.

I think that's a pretty good definition and I will run with that. They even include photographing scenes that have no people in them!

Well, as you should know by now if you read my earlier posts, I only have one Fuji lens for my X-T2 and that is the FUJINON LENS XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR partnered with the FUJINON TELECONVERTER XF1.4X TC WR. This is not the equipment normally thought of as 'street photography kit'! Usually, a wide angle prime lens or zoom would be the equipment of choice, such as the  FUJINON LENS XF 14mm F2.8 R or the FUJINON LENS XF10-24mm F4 R OIS.

To be honest, I will buy either one of these lenses in the near future, I just don't have the funds to do so at the moment. So, like all good photographers, I worked with the equipment I had at the time. I took these images in my hometown of Royton, whilst visiting family. Now for those of you who don't know Royton, it's a small town in Greater Manchester and is part of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham. My visit took place soon after the Manchester bombing. On 22 May 2017, 22-year-old British Muslim Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated a shrapnel-laden homemade bomb at the exit of Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.

Sadly, two of the victims were from my hometown and in fact, one of them was a former school-friend of my youngest sister. You can feel the grief in the air and folk were still reeling emotionally from the whole thing. It was still raw for everyone and you could see it in folks' faces.

This second image is of the flowers, balloons and other items left in memory of the two victims from Royton. The two people in the foreground looking at them are my mum and my youngest sister.

Both images were converted from the RAW format to jpegs. The top one is ACROS + Green filter, the second one is just ACROS. Fuji picture styles are fantastic and I especially love the ACROS monochrome conversion. 

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Camera Equipment: Fuji X-T2, Fujifilm VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster, FUJINON LENS XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR and FUJINON TELECONVERTER XF1.4X TC WR.

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