A New Genre (for me anyway)

As I’ve mentioned before, Street photography’s something that’s never really appealed to me all that much in the past (looking at the results of it, sure, but not shooting it myself). It’s a very minimalist, spur of the moment, and somewhat chaotic & unpredictable form of photography. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I just like a bit more control, and try to remove as many elements of chaos from my shots that I possibly can.

For my own work, even personal work, I like to have a lot more forethought, planning and control. I try to eliminate as much of the chaos element as possible. It often requires taking lots of equipment (even if I don’t necessarily end up using it all, you never know what you may need, so you have to take the lot), backup equipment, maybe an assistant or two. This is the exact opposite of street photography.

So, why have I gotten interested in it now?

Well, it’s partly down to the fact that I’ve been shooting film again this year (as well as digital, obviously), partly due to picking up a fantastic bargain on a good condition old Nikon SLR from the late 60s (A Nikkormat FTn, that’s probably 10 years older than I am and in much better condition!), but mostly down to my buddy Matt, a good friend and fellow photographer from Nottingham, who, since the minute we first met, has been banging on about how much fun it can be.

As luck would have it, I’d already planned to spend Monday wandering around Manchester with him, so he can show me the virtues of street photography. So, I took my N90s along as planned, along with my new (old) Nikkormat FTn.  I had a roll in my N90s from a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to finish off, so used that up first…

Then came time for the FTn.  It took a little getting used to, the meter inside didn’t work (because there’s no battery in it) and I had no idea if the light seals were still good, but I loaded up a roll of film and shot away.  Pretty impressed with the results considering this thing probably hasn’t been used in at least a decade, and I’ve never really done street photography before.

The light seals on the FTn started to crumble a couple of days later (I think they were being held together by dust for probably about the last decade and using it dislodged the dust and started the whole “falling apart” process), so it’s out of commission for now until I can pick up the bits to replace those, but looking forward to getting this thing in action again sometime soon.

Until it’s back up and running again, I’ll be sticking with the street photography using my N90s.  We went out again today to shoot some more and met some some very interesting characters.