Featured Street Photographer – Steele McWilliams

Next up is Steele McWilliams, a Melbourne based photographer focused on still life photography
and documenting the everyday occurrences of life… Steele has great taste in cameras and beer. How about his images?

Why Street Photography?

It’s a thrill going out and not knowing what I might capture. I could go out and capture the fast paced and sometimes odd scenes or people around Melbourne. Other days I might just be walking around not actively looking for a photo opportunity but walk into it and whip out my camera.

What Got You “Into” Street Photography?

I always had a camera on me and would take photos of my friends and that slowly turned into pointing the camera more towards strangers and scenes. I didn’t really start looking at street photographers and their work until I got a few rolls of filmed back and realised how much I liked the photos I had taken. After that I haven’t been able to stop and I still always have one of my cameras on me hoping to capture something new.

Best Tip?

Always take the photo you’re umming and ahhing about. Chances are it’s good and you’ll thank yourself later for taking it but even if it’s not, at least you won’t be kicking yourself thinking maybe that was the perfect scene or moment.

Favourite “Go To” Spot?

Used to be Chinatown in Melbourne CBD because it’s always bustling but lately it’s just been the surrounding suburbs of Melbourne because I keep stumbling upon gems when I’m out of the city and it’s also a little more relaxing just walking at my own pace through suburbs.

What Gear Do You Like and Why?

I only have two cameras: an Olympus mju II and a Voigtlander Bessa R2M with CS 35mm f/2.5 and Zeiss 50mm f/2. I use the Olympus if I’m out with friends and just want to take quick snaps. I use my R2M if I want to focus more and really set up a scene or person. My film of choice is Kodak Portra 400.

MSP : You can read more about Voigtlander Rangefinder cameras here :

https://melbournestreetphotography.com.au/2013/11/02/voigtlander-r4a-rangefinder/

Final Thoughts?

Support artists you like by buying work or even just the occasional props on social media.
Also shoutout to Lil b #thankyoubasedgod and to Melbourne Bitter.

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The first image makes great use of a large imposing backdrop to highlight the insignificance of the subject. There are some nice waves of colour at the bottom of the silo which add to the feeling of movement. The single green shrub in frame also gives added definition of the overwhelming size of the silos.

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Suburban street photography is a lot more challenging that walking the “mean streets’ of the inner city. Cool looking subjects and locations seem to abound in the city, Ftizroy, Collingwood, Richmond, etc. Whilst my preference is to get on a train into the city to ply my craft, every street photographer should also get out to the outer ‘burbs.

Steele has picked a great subject in the sign. I like the sense of urban decay it gives. The light is warm, and golden. The solid blocks of the walls in the background work with the sky to give a late in the day feel to the image. Even the power line in shot kinda works to balance out the frame.

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Repetition, lines – this shot has a lot of great compositional elements. I love the image.

One “watch out” I have learned the hard way is to be very careful shooting around any kind of correctional facility or police station. I was shooting on the corner of city street one morning and was challenged by a woman – one of the very rare occasions… She was quite assertive, so, I decided to move along – discretion is always the better part of valour.

Later I looked up address. I didn’t realise I was out the front of the Melbourne Remand Centre! Whilst I have every right legally to shoot there, I am not going to win too many arguments with someone leaving the Remand Centre who does not want to be photographed.

I love this shot, but would always recommend avoiding these locations. If you want to shoot a jail, go to Old Melbourne Gaol, The old Pentridge site, or catch a plane to Alcatraz!

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And a final festival shot from Steele. I just love the expression of the female subject at the front of the frame. Something a bit different from what we usually see on Melbourne Street Photography!

You can find Steele on the interwebs here :

http://steelemcwilliams.format.com/2833269-home

https://www.instagram.com/drinkbeerndie/

 

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