Self-taught amateur ViewBug community member waynerc67 shares his creative ideas, tips and a compelling story behind his awarded image, enjoy!

Photography – “the art or practice of taking and processing photographs” In its literal sense this may seem simple but we all know as fellow photographers this is but a small element of a highly expressive art form. To capture an image is to capture the very essence of life itself and of that moment in time that can never be repeated. Light is the single most important ingredient of photography. It is always changing, flattering and sometimes unforgiving. It demands patience and understanding and never to be rushed or hurried.

Dali Watching by Chasingthelight_67

My name is Wayne Crichlow and I am a self-taught amateur photographer of almost 5 years living in the suburbs of East London, England. I started out my passion of photography with a very modest bridge camera and no real expectations of doing anything more serious than a few family snaps. I was that guy who always seemed to have a camera in his hand almost everywhere be it weddings, birthdays, day trips and holidays. I was never photographing in an official capacity but I was clearly intrigued by the creative freedom and dear I say it power that you have from behind the lens. Strangely enough or not some may say I am far more comfortable taking the picture than actually being in them myself!

Watching the world pass by by Chasingthelight_67

Most of us go through the same genesis of becoming a photographer. Snapping just about anything anywhere and anytime. Experimenting with composition and getting savvy with the latest kit and editing software etc. Subject matters become so varied that it takes a while to understand your direction and unique style.

Seen better times by Chasingthelight_67

Vivian Maier, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martin Parr, Mary Ellen Mark, Mark Asnin, iN-Public are but a few of inspirational photographers that have opened my eyes to the genera that is Street Photography. I enjoy getting up early or going out late to London observing life as it swirls around me. I wait and I watch not intervening but objectively recoding a scene. My composition begins in my mind as I watch. I am thinking how I can capture this image in a way that whoever looks at the final image can feel like they are there but can also build their own narrative. “Where is he going?”, “what is at the end of that tunnel?” , “what is she thinking?”

Tower Trails by Chasingthelight_67

In my image “Dali Watching” I tried to capture all those elements as well using the available light to paint the scene. I stood in front of the bill board on a street corner for around 45 mins in the early evening waiting for the right picture. I wanted Dali’s eyes to be steering out at the viewer, with his crazy moustache completing his signature look. I also wanted to capture the movement of a passer by walking past but not frozen in time but moving. You will see from quite a few of my images in my gallery I use motion blur a lot to emphasis movement in contrast to static objects. If you think about it when we normally take photos’ at a high shutter speed we freeze that moment but in reality life does not freeze it continues to move. I hope that this adds some dynamics to my images. Light was a key facture in this picture. The street light picking up the details off the wall and shadows giving an almost movie still image. I take all my recent street photos with my trusty Fuji X100S and hand held because lumbering around the city with a large DSLR and tripod would probably get you noticed. The key to this shot was setting the camera at the widest aperture in this case F2 and a slow enough shutter speed to give enough blur for the moving subject. Once I had the composition in the viewfinder I focused on Dali while waiting for the man to walk into my shot from the right holding the camera as still as I can. The best technique is to count the person’s steps as they walk into the scene then hit the shutter button. It takes a lot of trial and error until you get the shot you want but it’s well worth the wait. I also edited this in Lightroom to bring out the detail and colour.

Dali Watching by Chasingthelight_67

I was pleasantly surprised that this image Won Contest Finalist in Night Life Photo Contest as this is such a simple photograph. To be recognised by your peers is a great honour. I suppose that his proves that sometimes the simplest compositions can be the effective. I hope you will visit my gallery on Viewbug and see my series of Street images shot both night and day.

Alone by Chasingthelight_67

I am still learning so I am not sure at this stage where take my photography however what I can say is that I am enjoying the creative journey.

Top 7 Tips:

1. Find your location and take note of available light.
2. If shooting a night street scene make sure you set your camera’s white balance for artificial light.
3. Always shoot in RAW as it makes it far easier to make fine adjustments in post processing.
4. Frame your shot in your mind first before shooting.
5. Photography works if you have a good composition to spend time getting this right and less time editing.
6. Be patient, a switch off your flash and use the available light to bring your scene to life.
7. Practice low light photography handheld adjusting the ISO according to the light.
8. Bonus tip: It’s not about your gear it’s how you use it. The camera is only a tool as it is your imagination and vision that makes the image.

The Trekk by Chasingthelight_67

So my final tip as I sign off, say to your self does this composition and use of available light do the scene justice and helps paint the story? Be patient, observe life as it unfolds around you and capture every moment as if it were your last. We hope you enjoyed this amazing post by ViewBug community member waynerc67. Head over to his profile to follow him and share some love.