Over the last couple of months, I've been getting in some regular street photography in London. Mostly this is done on solo potters around the City or West End, and once in a while in the company of Phil Hinton and Dave Mason.
The picture above was taken last week in the Tate Modern on a dull, cold day when Phil, Dave and I met for a wander. The curved staircase in the Tate has been on my to-do list for a couple of years. When we arrived there, I left Phil and Dave to browse in the bookshop, while I sat myself opposite the bottom of the staircase and looked for a composition.
The overall shape of the staircase is a beautiful curve, and has the look of a ?, but without the dot at the bottom. So, a human being moving through the shot could provide a dot.
I took a bunch of pictures of different people as they came through, but then a young woman, with a great jacket and scarf came down the steps, and stopped at the end, and took a photo on her phone. The gesture of her pose as she took the photo was fab, as you can see above.
I was using my new(-ish) Panasonic GX9 with the 15mm f/1.7 lens**. This is an extremely nice wide angle, with a view equivalent to about a 30mm lens on full frame. Wide, but nowhere near wide enough to cover the whole of the ? structure. So, I did what I always do, and took a series of overlapping pictures to cover the whole structure, and combined them in post-processing using my old favourite PTGui. The picture above is a stitch of four overlapping pictures.
I think of this picture as a "street photography" shot, in the sense that it is a composition in a public space, completed by the presence of a human. But I'm sure the purists would dispute this. It is true to the scene (in the sense that I expanded the field of view using multiple images to bring in static elements that were there at the moment I took the shot with the human element), but this is not a single frame with minimal post-processing. No matter - I'm quite pleased with it.
**Yes, I know. I need to blog about the GX9. I got it in late Spring this year, and I love it. It won't replace the Nikon D810 for the things a full frame DSLR is good at, but as a street camera it is fantastic. More on that at a later (very unspecified) date.