Edinburgh Fringe 2012

We’ve been going to the Fringe for the last 4 years and it is one of the highlights of my photography year. In the past I’ve spent a lot of time shooting actors and mimes but this year I decided to focus on regular people. They aren’t nearly as colourful, but they are, at the end of the day, more interesting. What you get is something real.

This is Brian. He lives on the street, spending his days sitting on a blanket reading from a tiny, red book. He is shy, but friendly enough of you talk to him. I started by pyutting £10.00 on his blanket and asked if I could take his photo. He readily agreed.

I approach street people with care. Some, I know, are quite ill and I don’t want to upset them. I always put the money out first and ask for the photo second and I make sure to introduce myself and spend some time talking to them. The fact is that they are mostly overlooked and ignored. If you are going to photograph them, you must be prepared to accept their pain. I would love to spend lots of time photographing them so the world can have a look. We need to see them.

I was sitting outside a theatre waiting for someone when I looked up and saw this woman. I love the way the sun catches her beautiful hair. Everything around her says “theatre”, which is really the essence of the Fringe.

We were inside the Pleasance Dome when my partner looked up and drew my attention to these two fellows. I took lots of shots of them. Finally they noticed me and seemed to enjoy being the object of my attention. The shot would be much improved if the windows were cleaner, but that isn’t what they were doing.

This year’s shooting was some of my least dramatic but most satisfying. I kept the camera on s/250 most of the time because that setting is fast enough for street shooting. I worked hard on defining each shot through the eyepiece so I didn’t get poles sprouting out of people’s heads.  I thought of each shot as a portrait.


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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