Featured Street Photographer – Ed Worthington

Welcome to the first of a new series of featured Street Photographers. First up is Ed Worthington – a street photographer with Sideshow Bob feet…

Why Street Photography?

I wrote a blog entry about this not too long ago and the two main points I made were to do with the human condition itself and expense.

You can read the details at Ed’s blog here : 

https://the6millionpman.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/why-street-photography/

Now what I mean by the human condition is something we pretty much all share, an interest in other people, and it’s that interest in other people, cultures, ways of life that make street photography what it is. There’s not really another genre of photography were you randomly snap shots of strangers just because they interest you, and I think I used the question “do you like to people watch?” to explain it, because who doesn’t find themselves just whiling away the time watching the world go by sometimes?

Then there’s the expense. You don’t need a heavy full frame DSLR and all the latest and most expensive kit for this, in fact I’d argue you’d disadvantage yourself if you tried. I can practice the genre with minimal damage to my wallet.

What Got You “Into” Street Photography?

Again I’d say it’s probably down to my enjoyment to just sit back outside a cafe or on a park bench and watch people going about their business. I’ve also always been a big history buff, all through school it was my favourite subject and since has always been a passion of mine. Once I got properly into photography, and started looking at the work of the greats, people like Cartier-Bresson and early Capa, I realised just how many of these images I’d already seen documenting the past. I don’t imagine anyone will ever look back on my photos and see them of any historical or artistic value. It would be nice to imagine that in a few decades time or even longer that someone might find some of my images and see what ordinary life was like in our time.

Your Best Tip?

Get comfortable shoes, believe me you’ll thank me for it. I’ve got feet that are too big for my height (I’m a relatively short guy but have feet like Sideshow Bob in the Simpsons) and flat as well. A pair of comfortable shoes when you’re spending most of the time on your feet pounding the pavement is an absolute must.

Your Favourite “Go To” Spot?

I live currently in Cardiff in the UK, about a 5 minute bus journey or half hour walk from the city centre itself, and Cardiff is not a very big city really. I generally find myself walking around the centre of the city. There’s about eight or nine street’s where I take 90% of my image’s as well as the Victorian era shopping arcades. Mostly from convenience and then also because of the backdrop, there’s just something about the lighting in the arcades and the mix of old and new architecture in there that lends itself so well to the camera.

What Gear Do You Like and Why?

Currently I’m shooting with an Olympus OM-D EM-5 and either a 17mm Olympus or 25mm Panasonic Leica lens when I shoot digital and with either an Olympus OM-1 or Leica IIIc when I shoot film. The main reason was down to me being a big fan boy of Olympus. I’ve wanted an OM-1 ever since I started taking photography seriously, and then also the size.

All the cameras I use for street photography are small and relatively unnoticeable, perfect for not attracting attention when I don’t want it to but at the same time the Leica and the OM-1 are conversation starters if I’m looking for some interaction. There’s also the cost, my OM-1 and 50mm lens cost me less than £60 on ebay, the Leica was surprisingly cheap for a Leica, and my EM-5 was chosen on the basis of the wide range of lenses available for it. The micro four thirds mount is pretty well served especially in the second hand market. I did consider the Fuji X system at one point but I just couldn’t justify the expense.

Some Final Words?

Anyone who is thinking of getting into street photography but has concerns, just get out there and shoot. The vast majority of people expect to be photographed multiple times a day in the Western World, certainly in the UK they do anyway, and I can say honestly I’ve never had any issues. At best people will smile at you, at worst they’ll think you’re a tourist.

Flickr page:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/the6millionpman/

Twitter:
@6millionpphotos

And blog:
https://the6millionpman.wordpress.com/

Some of Ed’s best images :

23478230731_c8a861997f_o

“Smoking Girl” Olympus OM-1 50mm Fomapan Classic 100 f8 1/250

Photography is about capturing light – the way it falls on different shapes and subjects. Ed’s style strongly leverages light in black and white compositions to create interest in his images. The image uses light and shadow to create the mood, and to highlight the subject to the right of frame. 

The image is balanced – the stationary subject on the right is counterweighted by the cropped, exiting subject on the left. Another great example of not being afraid of cropping people in images in interesting ways. The faceless mannequins in the store add a feeling of empty consumerism to me… Might be reading a bit too much into it? Both subjects in the frame are indifferent to the shop window, adding to this feeling for me. Meh, I do like shopping though, personally!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Olympus E-M5 OLYMPUS M.17mm F1.8 ƒ/8.0 17.0 mm 1/250 400 Flash (auto, did not fire)

Again, strong use of light and dark shade to create the composition. Ed often uses smaller apertures to ensure a wide depth of field for focus, perfect for capturing images quickly and sharply in street photography.

22014345059_d615eba20c_o

Camera: Olympus OM-1 Lens: 28mm Vivitar film: Fomapan Classic 100 f5.6 1/125th sec

Classic laneway street photography. Lanes offer a whole range of great elements for the street photographer – parallel lines, sharp shadow lines where light and dark patches are clearly defined, and often architecture that is different to the generic malls of today.

The gradual increasing amount of light in the image towards the “back” of the image is highlighted by the bright exit point of the lane. It is a fairly challenging composition that Ed has captured nicely – balancing out the darker foreground with the bright highlights of the exit.

Nikon D5200 50.0 mm f/1.4 ƒ/1.4 50.0 mm 1/2500 500 Flash (off, did not fire)

Nikon D5200 50.0 mm f/1.4 ƒ/1.4 50.0 mm 1/2500 500 Flash (off, did not fire)

I also picked out this one from Ed’s feed on flickr. I suspect it is one of his photo pals? What a great shot that absolutely captures the dual nature of photographers… A beautiful, aesthetically pleasing scene… what we are all looking for. Contrasting with the “craft” of photography – winding on the film, checking the aperture or shutter settings, and focusing the lens.

Ed has captured an image that, for me, distills the dual nature of photography into a single image – art and technical craft…

Thanks for spending some time with Melbourne Street Photography, Ed!

2 Responses to “Featured Street Photographer – Ed Worthington”

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to be featured on your blog, I really appreciate it. The bonus photo you picked up from my Flickr is of my friend Steve who, unlike me, is actually a professional photographer. I really love that photo myself, with the sunset colours blurred into the background, and was a nice surprise to see you include it.

    Like

  2. Reblogged this on Photographs I have taken and commented:
    A very nice article featuring some of my work and some very kind word’s about it here.

    Like

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