Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2011

This is my third year at the Fringe. Its a time when the streets are filled with performers, all of whom love a camera. This year I decided to focus on faces so I used my 18-105mm lens to force myself to take closer shots. This presented no problem at all in shooting performers because they are happy to pose; however, it did require me to use some stret shooting skills in photographing civilians. Sometimes I got caught, sometimes not.

This is a very simple shot of a woman begging on the street. I knelt down beside her and gave her £10,00, telling her the money was hers whether she allowed me to photograph her or not. She agreed and we talked as I shot. Her name is Dawn and she feels as if she looks 20 years older than she is. I have never actually lived on the street, but I have been very, very poor so we talked about how hard it is, especially in the winter. The next day I stopped by to tell her I had studied the photos she she was a very beautiful woman with great cheek bones. She seemed pleased to see me and even happier that I had taken her photo. I didn’t see her again during my stay.

This photo was taken on f/9, 1/40,s, ISO 200. It is a simple shot and I think it captures the woman’s sadness. She sits on a street, asking for money, ignored by most of those who pass by.

This photo is of a young woman playing a Chineese musical instrument. It was taken on my street shooting mode, Speed priority, 1/124, ISO 250. I did a little post-production work in increasing the exposure and brightness and increasing the clarity a tad bit. I was shooting close enough so no cropping was required.

The photo is dark, partially because of the background, partly because of the weather. One of the difficult things about street shooting is background. I have tons of lovely shots with absolutely horrible backdrops. Some can be fixed, others just have to be dumped.

One of the hard parts about shooting actors is that they want to pose. I lost several very interesting shots because I was spotted and the subject jumped into character. |This was an exception. The actress spotted me alright, but it didn’t matter. Something about her 1940s make-up and the hair scarf make this work. The background is cluttered, but for me it works anyway. I did a little post-production by adjusting exposure and clarity, but otherwise this is just as taken. She seems to have stepped out of my childhood. But she looks at the camera with a boldness that would have been unusual at the time.

Edinburgh gave me some great photos this year. I plan to use the best of them in the final assighment for the unit I am working on now. Most of all, it helped me learn to move in closer and focus on the person. I felt I discovered something about myself this year. This is the work I truly love. Landscapes are great for studying composition and form, but my heart is on the streets shooting people.


About idaswears

I left the U.S. for Cornwall 4 years ago. Since then I have spent my time writing, walking and studying the English. It's not always easy being a Yank in Cornwall, but it's always fun and rewarding.
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