I wanted to shoot where there were more people and Exeter is the largest city within easy driving distance so, after three days of aborted shoots due to weather, I went up there. I had two goals – first to try out my partner’s Cannon bridge camera to see if I like working with a small camera and, second, to scope out a few likely sites for some shooting in the style of Cartier Bresson.
Cartier-Bresson is a most daunting subject. He is more than a master – its like he did it all. To deconstruct his process a bit I spent some time with my partner and a photographer friend discussing what makes his work both unique and seminal. The two things we isolated were compisition and a kind of architectural element which acts as a stage for the action or subject he shoots. My plan, then, was to go to Exeter, try out my partner’s camera and see if I could locate some likely places for my shots.
I went up on a cold Wednesday. The Cannon is a good camera – in fact you almost can’t take a bad photo with it. But it is small, the controls are plantged all over the place and unless you are prepared to rely in preset settings, really hard to use for street shooting. On the upside, no one paid any attention at all to me. I must have looked like a tourist.
I did come across two or three places that interested me; however, the camera’s limited telephoto pollibilities limited the kind of shots I got. I did get some good ideas so the day was far from wasted. Below are a couple of examples of that day