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Standing Clouds



Street photography in central Paris. Tourists posing for the Eiffel Tower didn't realise they were actually posing with the clouds....
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Street photography in central Paris. Tourists posing for the Eiffel Tower didn't realise they were actually posing with the clouds.
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Awards

Legendary Award
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People's Choice in Black And White Compositions Photo Contest Vol7
Contest Finalist in Black And White Compositions Photo Contest Vol7
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Peer Award
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Magnificent Capture
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Top ClassTM

Monochrome Visions Photo ContestTop 20 class
photographyawards2019Top 10 class
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All Geometrical Shapes Photo ContestTop 30 class week 1
Black And White Compositions Photo Contest Vol7Top 10 class
Black And White Compositions Photo Contest Vol7Top 10 class week 1
World Photography Day Photo Contest Speed SeriesTop 10 class

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Behind The Lens

Location
Whenever I explore new places, I like to think outside the box with what I'm looking at. I don't want to take the standard tourist photo. Whilst exploring Paris for the first time, stood opposite the Eiffel Tower, I wondered what it would be like to point the camera the other way and capture street photography of tourists instead of the monuments.
Time
Prancing around Paris, I happened upon the Eiffel Tower around mid day. I was very lucky as it had been raining for most of the trip and at that exact moment, the clouds parted and left a portion of the sky in blue. You can see the borders of the looming clouds towards the bottom of the image.
Lighting
One of the recent aims with my street photography has been to capture strong contrasts in black and white. For this, I adore harsh light. Shooting in mid day, late evening or early morning works best for this depending on the time of year. In this case mid day provided the desired effect, highlighting one part of the wall and leaving the other in shadow.
Equipment
I used my good old Fujifilm X100. I love the tactile feel of it, got to love a rangefinder. I dream of the day when a camera company makes a modern version of the Epson R-D1, I crave a wind on shutter.
Inspiration
I've always had a fear of going to tourist hot spots and... being a tourist and taking tourist photos. I want to capture what it's like when "I" visit places. I don't look at things as a tourist, I still see the world as shapes, contrasts and (in some cases) colours. I like to take "tourist photos" that highlight the beauty of composition, over the historic marvels within them. Hence, when visiting the Eiffel Tower, I faced the other direction and took photos of tourists and stairs instead... I really know how to make the most of iconic places...
Editing
Yes, but not a lot. I usually do a lot of post processing on my photos, even a lot of photo manipulation. But this one didn't need it. Just a curves adjustment and we were golden.
In my camera bag
On the go equipment tends to alternate between a Fujifilm X100, Fujifilm X20 and Sony a7. I am primarily a film Director and often shoot with the Sony a7s with vintage glass. I love the Pentax PK vintage lens series. I love the imperfections and embrace them willingly. If you're happy to use a manual focus, I would highly recommend that others get into the vintage lens world. I can't see myself going back to modern lenses unless I need auto focus. But when shooting fast pace street photography, the X100 is the way to go.
Feedback
The main advice I'd give when taking this kind of photography is to put yourself in the right mindset. When I capture these kind of photos, I figure out what tone I want to create with them. Much like when I direct one of my films, I focus on a feeling and try to submerge myself in it. In this case, I relax my breathing, pull back from the photo and question whether everything has "enough" space. I like to be able to fall into an image when I look at it. Give the content of the image breathing room so that it can be taken in calmly. That way, you get an image that feels dreamy and ethereal.

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