The Beach Version of Street Photography
Shooting from the Hip!
The photographic style of Bruce Gilden is defined by the dynamic accent of his pictures, his special graphic qualities, and his original and direct manner of shooting the faces of passersby with a flash. Gilden’s powerful images in black and white and now in colour have given him worldwide fame. This includes his pictures from his UK trip, where he went to my home town of Wolverhampton!
I was first introduced to the work of Bruce Gilden a while ago by a few friends and became intrigued by his candid photography. Street photography, which was the most accessible to me at the time, had an influence on me when I first started taking pictures. His work, as well as the work of Martin Parr, has had some influence on my projects. These have stayed personal and I have not promoted the fact that I am also inspired by other works and photography, but less so by street photography and beach people photography.
I was working on my project by just documenting the life of a beach in one day on the island of Fuerteventura and because of the lockdown, I was unable to further this; however, I am hopefully going back in a week’s time. I will be continuing with my project and with some new kit.
I will be leaving my trusty little Sony Cybershot camera behind and using my Fuji XT-3 with a flash attachment. I also plan to walk the beach in the national park of Corralejo every day at the same time, with the added dimension of stopping and asking for permission to take pictures directly. I will be posting some results in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, here is my original post from March 2020, which explains more about how I managed to get these shots last time.
Beach Photography, Would this be classified as the same or similar to street photography? or is there less skill needed to accomplish this? Ok, so one difference is everyone’s wobbly bits on show. The challenge “See if you can shoot people in a real way without them knowing” was accepted
A challenge by my peers, colleagues, or friends is sometimes exciting, and although this particular challenge was not too daunting, it still left me thinking, firstly, can I be that bothered about it and secondly, is it worthwhile and interesting enough? My thoughts were getting the better of me in a way. After all, I was on a well-earned holiday in Fuerteventura with my family and so much-needed downtime.
If I do any work on vacation, I tend to give it a few days in the sun and settle down into the swing of relaxation first before even attempting remotely related work! I had taken a look and I had my trusty Sony RX100 Mark 2, which was small enough and powerful enough to get the images.
My intended technique was to shoot pictures in fully auto mode (also known as pro mode for beginners) and place the camera near my hip. First I tried walking up and down the beach with my index finger on the shutter release to see if it was even possible.
In a street, there are many ways to disguise yourself and work covertly, I did not have a long lens and so had to use the range lens provided by the Sony. I walked the beach for a few afternoons at the same time, mainly after lunch when all of the energy was less whilst lunch was digested. Soon realised that there were many strange activities on the beach and the further away from the hotel along the beach the more strange they became. I walked the beach a few hours a day noting activities and working out the ebb and flow of people and how they got through their day on the beach”
The more I walked up and down the beach, I felt people who were lying down almost became familiar with me and therefore less threatened. I held the camera loosely and low, this allowed the camera to appear as though it was not in use and therefore no threat which seemed to work! This process could be viewed as slightly voyeuristic more, so than street photography possibly as everyone is scantily dressed.
Over the course of a few days, after lunch, the shots were taken and the results were consistent. I processed my images in Lightroom and added a few grades and presets to get the feel I like, which is slightly hyper-realistic with saturation down. I hope you like them. These images have been hidden as I was a little nervous about showing work unrelated to my normal fashion and advertising work for clients.
The extended story will be released in a few weeks if everything goes well, so check back, sign up for updates and we will see you later.